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Fine Fun at Bethesda Fine Arts Festival 2014

Bethesda Fine Arts Fest 2014

Bethesda Fine Arts Fest 2014

Calling all art enthusiasts!  Don’t miss the last day of the 11th Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.  With over 120 booths featuring jewelry, fine art, hand-crafted furniture and more, this annual tradition is one of my personal favorites in our town.

This year the festival is located at Auburn & Norfolk Avenues at Woodmont Triangle.  It’s open Saturday, May 10th from 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, May 11th from 10 AM to 5 PM.  FREE parking everywhere – all meters and public garages on Sunday.  Live bands are featured throughout the day including one of our favorites, The 19th Street Band who is playing today from 12:30 – 2:30 PM.  The Fine Arts Festival is produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District.  

P.S. A little tip we can give you from our visit yesterday – the chili dog at the Hard Times Cafe booth is absolutely irresistible!  If you do not intend to eat a chili dog, don’t even go near there!  Even though we had just had lunch, we caved and HAD to indulge in a chili dog.  Frankly, I can’t say I regret it!

So take Mom out today and enjoy the art, the music and perhaps some mouth-watering fun at the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival!

Free Concerts Every Thursday This Summer

In need of a relaxing outing for your family this summer?  Enjoy the FREE concert series, produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership, happening each Thursday evening from 6 PM – 8 PM featuring a wide variety of music from swing to reggae.  The concerts are held at Veteran’s Park located at the corner of Woodmont and Norfolk Avenues. As the weather heats up this summer take advantage of a perfect excuse to get out and play!

On July 11th, Bethesda Urban Partnership will be featuring a favorite of Bethesda365, The 19th Street Band!  Check out our earlier post featuring The 19th Street Band here.  We won’t be missing the chance to get out and see a great show.

Here is a link to the summer line-up: http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/summer-concert-series

The concerts will begin Thursday, June 6th and continue through July 25th so rally your friends and family and head out to Veteran’s Park.

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

The Best Beer, Band and Bluegrass in Bethesda!

When one of our favorite places combines with one of our favorite entertainers in the Bethesda area, we are compelled to share the news!

19th Street Band at the Irish Inn Wed Nights

19th Street Band at the Irish Inn Wed Nights

Tonight (and every other Wednesday night) the 19th Street Band is playing at The Irish Inn at Glen Echo beginning at 8 PM.  The 19th Street Band trio includes Caolaidhe on guitar, Meghan on the fiddle and Mike on the upright bass.  The three bring the house down at every performance with a variety of songs including popular country, Celtic, rock and even some bluegrass music!  They get the crowd on their feet and having fun with their impressive acoustic performances and engaging personalities.  You can’t help singing and smiling after attending one of their shows!

The Irish Inn adds the warm, inviting pub atmosphere to the experience and of course, the good beer!  My personal favorite is Kilkenny, an Irish cream beer that originated in Kilkenny, Ireland.  Another little “must have” at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo is their calamari, believe it or not.  It’s pretty fantastic – or at least I thought so last time I was there…of course I had consumed a couple beers and sang a few good songs with the band so the mood was highly elevated!

If you’re looking for a great way to relax, unwind and have some fun, I highly recommend a visit to The Irish Inn on any Wednesday night that the 19th Street Band is playing!  Perhaps we will see you there on the dance floor, clapping your hands and singing along!  Cheers!

Day 237: Pre-hurricane Show at Parker's

Irene!

Come on “Irene”, oh I swear….

At this moment, you mean everything….

Here she comes, good old Irene, heading to Bethesda!  In the spirit of fun and good cheer, Parker’s Bistro is inviting us out for a pre-hurricane show tonight starting at 9 PM with the 19th Street Band – one of my favorite local performers!  Here is an excerpt from their website:

The 19th Street Band

The 19th Street Band is a Washington D.C. based group best known for their enthusiasm and ability to entertain any crowd!   Whether you’re young or maybe just young-at-heart, The 19th Street Band serves up an eclectic mix of both modern and classic tunes that is sure to please the masses!   Their style can best be described as an acoustic mix of popular Rock, Country, Celtic, and Bluegrass songs.   Moreover, each member of the band is classically trained in music and offers their vocal talents to create a great mix of styles and perfectly blended harmonies!

Yea, I know we talk about Parker’s a lot in this blog but, as we mentioned before, it’s our local Cheers bar – where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came!  Come on down tonight and sing, dance, drink and be merry before Irene blows in and ruins our fun.  Parkers is located at 4824 Bethesda Ave.  Check out their Facebook page for tonight’s gig.     ~Amy

Day 76: Your Party Itinerary for St. Patrick's Day in Bethesda

Happy St. Patrick's Day

An Irish blessing for our readers (kind of): May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind always be at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains falls soft upon your fields, and if you drink lots o’ beer on St. Patrick’s Day, may you be wise enough to call a cab!

Here’s the number: 240-767-4488.

Better yet, make a reservation on-line ahead of time for a pick up from your favorite local pub.  Here’s the link:  Bethesda TaxiCab – open 24/7.  They accept credit cards and can be your friendly neighborhood D.D.  So may I suggest picking up your cell phone now.  Then program that number into your phone as “Designated Driver.”  Good! 

Now…onto the St. Patty’s Day festivities!

Bethesda area restaurants and pubs have no shortage of fun planned for this St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  Here’s our suggestion for a fun-filled itinerary for the day (we assume you are honoring the Irish by taking the day off work!):

6:30 AM – Visit RíRá’s 1st Annual Penguin Plunge for the NIH Charities.  Stop by the Shoppes of Bethesda parking lot on Hampden Lane to watch the early birds plunge into the ice filled pool starting at 6:30 AM to raise money for charity.  It will be their most sober moment of the entire day!  Come and cheer them on as they freeze their shamrocks off! 

RíRá Irish Pub

8 AM – 10 AM head over to Union Jacks’s for an absolutely FREE breakfast, no strings attached – hot and cold foods, all good stuff (yes, we know it’s an English pub but why not?  It’s FREE!)…or….from 9 Am – Noon check out Tommy Joe’s who is also offering a free breakfast as a buffet.  If you’re really hungry, you have time to get to both of them!

11 AM – 2 PM – NAP and prepare for the wild evening ahead!  Gather your green garb and maybe even your leprechaun outfits for the crazy night ahead!

3 PM – 5 PM: Stop by The Barking Dog at 4723 Elm Street for a full day of celebrations including live music from Jimmy Nalls Band, giveaways, and all kinds of food and Guinness specials!  There is no cover for their St. Patty’s Day Party that lasts until 12:30 AM.  They will have $5 Irish coffee and $6 green bombs (I have no idea what that is but good luck with that!).

Irish Inn at Glen Echo

5:30 PM  (Call taxi if needed) Head out to Irish Inn at Glen Echo for a special performance by one of our favorite groups, The 19th Street Band.  Bring your smiles and enjoy the fun while partying at the pub with some great music.  They always have great drink specials but  my favorite is Kilkenny on draft.  The Irish Inn is offering a special 2-course lunch or dinner ($25/$35 per person respectively).  Reservations are recommended…or just hit the bar for some darn good music from 3 PM – close.

DINNER:  We recommend the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle or RíRá – all Bethesda Irish pubs who should be doing it right on St. Pat’s Big Day.  Call ahead for your reservations!

9:00 PM – Stop by RíRá for some Celtic Rock by the live band, Kilmaine Saints.  Their pub has a great atmosphere  and lots of room for a rockin’ good time.  Good beer on tap and I’m sure lots of terrific St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials.  Try a black & tan – a combo beer with Guinness draught and some kind of stout – like Bass or Harp lager.  It’s mmmm, mmmm good.

11 PM – Last, if you want to continue on with the pub crawl and really go crazy, dress in your sexiest leprechaun outfit and stagger over to Union Jack’s for a chance to win a trip to the Caribbean while dancing to their live DJ!  You must wear green or you may get pinched (on second thought, if you’re wearing a sexy leprechaun outfit, you may get pinched anyway).  21 and older of course.  They will be offering $3 Killians and Guinness pints.

LAST: Call Bethesda Taxi, your lucky leprechaun, for a ride home: 240-767-4488.  Be safe everyone and may the luck o’ the Irish be with you this night and always!       

~Amy, the red-headed, somewhat Irish REALTOR & blogger

Day 75: The Irish Inn at Glen Echo

Irish Inn at Glen Echo

One of Amy’s and my favorite haunts in the area is the Irish Inn at Glen Echo.  One night after work we stopped by to enjoy one of our favorite beers, Kilkenny.  Kilkenny is an Irish cream ale from the makers of Guinness beer, from Kilkenny, Ireland.  What we really like about the beer are the small tiny bubbles, what they call a “nitrogenated” beer, and of course it goes down smooth and tastes great.  Kilkenny was only recently introduced to the U.S. market back in the fall of 2009.  Candidly, up till now I would have told you that I really don’t like beer that much but this beer has totally changed my opinion of the beverage.  In college I drank my fair share of cheap American beer and I never understood the appeal.  I became adept at the game quarters primarily to avoid drinking it.  I guess I just never had the good stuff! Amy on the other hand is a bit of a beer connoisseur (and yes I did have to look up how to even spell that) and introduced Kilkenny to me having been to Ireland and sampled the ale direct from the source.

Kilkenny Beer

The location where the Inn is located has a bit of a morbid and checkered past, having been the site of tragic fire that killed the family that lived in the residence that once occupied the land, and the location of a rough neck local bar and grill known as Trav’s.  Ghosts of the fire and a lethal brawl at the previous “joint” are believed to haunt the establishment.  For a brief time the building housed the restaurant known as the Inn at Glen Echo until it was purchased by the current owners and renovated and transformed into the Irish Inn in 2003.

Amy and I like the small intimate atmosphere of the place, whether you are eating in the white tabled clothed restaurant or enjoying the tap at the traditional Irish pub.  The bar area has richly colored walls that compliment the extensive long wood bar and amazing hand-painting throughout.  Don’t be surprised if the lovable Christy Hughes, the owner, slides up next to you and introduces himself.  It’s that kind of place.  On the same night I tried Kilkenny I was treated to another experience, live music compliments of the 19th Street Band.  In stroll two young fellas and a beautiful young one (young girl).  You end up saying these sorts of things when you’re in the Inn after a while.  The trio begins to play a wonderful selection of contemporary hits and old classics in the folksy Rockabilly music tradition.  Caolaidhe, Meghan & Mike make up The 19th Street Band with Caolaidhe on guitar, Meghan on violin, and Mike on upright bass.  The first time Meghan took to the mike and began to sing nearly every head in the bar turned to the stage as we all had a collective, American Idol trained, “a-ha” moment when as we realized that this girl has an extraordinary voice.

Lastly, we really enjoy the food.  My personal favorite in the Pub is the “Bangers and Mash”, an Irish staple of sausages served with mashed potatoes, peas and whiskey sauce!  This St. Patrick’s Day Dinner will be served from 4-10 with a $35 per person special featuring your choice of Salads, Potato and Leek soup (yummy) or fried oysters with main course options of Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Lamb Chops, Boiled Ham or Guinness Beef Stew.  The 19th Street Band will be making a special appearance on St. Patrick’s Day as well.  Any idea where I might be on Thursday?  You guessed it.  So don’t be a dry shite (boring person), a dosser (a lazy person), or a Wanker (a person no one likes) and join my “young one” (Amy) and me for a Jar ‘ol Kilkenny at the Irish Inn on Saint Patty’s day. ~Brian Maury