District parties like Barack stars

All-star lineup shines for Obama-Biden

District parties like Barack stars
BARACK AND ROLL - To celebrate President-elect Obama's inauguration, performers including artists like Shakira (above), Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé will take the stage on Sunday afternoon. The concert begins at 2 p.m. in front of the Lincoln Memo

As excitement grows in the District for Inauguration Day, business owners and entertainment venues are offering many ways for you to celebrate. From breweries to music halls, this weekend is shaping up to have an endless supply of fun - and much of it is free. Here's a list of events that should strike the fancy of a college student in D.C. inauguration weekend, regardless how you may feel about the new president. Love him or hate him, President-elect Barack Obama's given us a weekend of free - or near-free - fun, and extended bar hours to take advantage of.

THURSDAY

Though it may not be inauguration-inspired, witness the continuing spread of the cupcake fad to D.C. as Red Velvet opens its doors for the first time. The new bakery in town pairs specialty cupcakes with, for the very sweet tooth, specialty hot chocolate. According to the bakery's pastry chef, David Guas, the finest ingredients - from French chocolate to vanilla from Madagascar - are imported from around the world and baked in small batches to keep the 'cakes fresh as possible. And, lucky for you, if you're one of the first 500 people in the door at today's 11 a.m. opening, you'll get a free cupcake!

After you're armed with a cupcake, join in the inaugural spirit by witnessing past presidents being sworn in at the National Archives. From the holdings of the National Archives' Presidential Libraries, you can watch the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, at no cost, on Thursday. The event continues through Monday, showing the inaugurations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan on Friday, and George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton on Monday. The films start at noon and run from 90 to 120 minutes.

FRIDAY

What better way is there to celebrate a new president than to continue the traditions of our forefathers and raise our glasses? Rustico, a Southern Italian-inspired restaurant and bar in Alexandria, has stepped up to offer the 21-and-over crowd "American Beer Week." The event began this past Tuesday and will run through Inauguration Day. Raise your glasses to Obama with his local Hawaiian brew, Kona Pipeline Porter, and toast Vice President-elect Joe Biden with Delaware's famed Dogfish Head beer, World Wide Stout. Though the beers may be a bit pricey, you get a souvenir glass for supporting Obama and Biden.

SUNDAY

Join the rest of the country in front of the Lincoln Memorial to see the likes of Bruce Springsteen, U2, Garth Brooks, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé, along with a slew of others. The free concert begins at 2 p.m. and will be televised on HBO, so be sure to wear a ridiculous T-shirt or hat on top of your layers. And don't expect to hear "Single Ladies" - the artists are all supposed to perform covers with the theme "We Are One."

You can reach this staff writer at kboghosian@theeagleonline.com.

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