Book festival, Colonial market, and more on tap for weekend fun

The great thing about this metropolitan area is the abundance of things to do on the weekends.

You have to plan carefully and choose your activities wisely in order to take advantage of all the area has to offer. This coming weekend is no exception.

Art gallery opening

Art aficionados in Loudoun County can celebrate a new art space with the grand opening weekend celebration of Arts in the Village Gallery at the Village at Leesburg. Come and meet Loudoun’s finest visual artists, photographers and artisans.

Grand Opening Night reception will be held 5-9 pm Sept. 21, with complimentary hors d’oeurvres, wine, champagne and soft drinks; gallery raffles and prize giveaways.

Arts in the Village Gallery in Leesburg

Grand Opening Day reception will be held from 12-9 pm Sept. 22, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music, artist demonstrations, and more.

Open for business, 12-6 pm Sept. 23. For more information, call 703-442-8661.

Plane pull

The annual Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull will be held from 11 am – 4 pm Sept. 22 at Dulles International Airport. The event draws hundreds of teams who in the past have pulled more than 3 million pounds and raised more than $1.5 million for Special Olympics Virginia.

Pulling a plane for a good cause at Dulles International Airport

The main event features a contest to see which team can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. Other activities that day include the kids truck pull, live music, car show and aircraft displays, kids zone, door prizes and more.

Colonial Market & Fair

The annual Colonial Market & Fair event at Mount Vernon in Alexandria features dozens of America’s finest craftspeople and lots of fun for the family. It will be held from 9 am – 5 pm Sept. 22-23.

Artisans in their colonial finest dress demonstrate 18th century crafts and sell traditional wares such as baskets, woodcarvings, ironwork, weavings, furniture and much more. The man of the house, George Washington himself, will oversee the Revolutionary War military drills and entertainment, including fire-eating, sword-swallowing and puppet and magic shows.

An 18th century fire eater at Mount Vernon

There will be live music, jugglers and an array of hearty specialty food on sale. And this weekend only, Potomac River sightseeing cruises are free of charge with the cost of admission.

National Book Festival

The annual book festival features an exciting lineup of American and international authors. Book lovers will be able to buy as many books as they want, and sit in on discussions with acclaimed authors.

The 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held from 10 am – 5:30 pm Sept. 22 and from 12 – 5:30 pm Sept. 23 on the grounds of the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets.

Scheduled to appear are Mario Vargas Llosa, TC Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Lois Lowry, Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Eugenides and many more. The event is free and open to the public.

Authors, illustrators and poets will make presentations in Children, Teens, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Contemporary Life, Poetry & Prose, SciFi Fantasy & Graphic Novels and Special Programs pavilions. There’s also a Family Storytelling Stage featuring musical acts popular with young children.

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