Things to See and Do in the Bethesda Area in September and October
Our picks for music, festivals and other entertainment
History on the March
Many things have changed in Gaithersburg over the past 80 years, but some have stayed the same. There’s still a drugstore at the corner of Diamond and Summit avenues; a train still rolls through Olde Towne; and the summer still ends with the annual Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade. The parade, which marches through Olde Towne along Russell Avenue, features marching bands, dance troupes, equestrian groups, antique vehicles and other attractions.
1 p.m., free, Olde Towne Gaithersburg, gaithersburgmd.gov
Kids can spin gears, flash LED lights and make their own musical instruments while meeting the professionals who do those things for a living at KIDfest, a family festival that takes place outside at Veterans Plaza and indoors at the Silver Spring Civic Building. It’s presented by the KID Museum, which promotes art, culture, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on learning. Attendees can participate in a computer coding jam session; meet artists, scientists, inventors and creators of all types at TED-style talks; and try their hands at building their own creations.
Noon to 5 p.m., free, Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, kid-museum.org/kidfest
Before Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey could even pick up a microphone, Diana Ross was garnering praise for her talent, glamour, beauty and success. The singer, actress and cultural icon became a Motown star as the lead singer of The Supremes and went on to a successful solo career spanning nearly 50 years. The superstar will perform hits from her catalog for two nights at Strathmore.
8 p.m., $69-$239, The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org
What About Bill?
Bill Murray, the Oscar-nominated actor famous for Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, What About Bob? and Lost in Translation, among other films, joins cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez for a unique and diverse collaboration called New Worlds that includes classical and pop music, Broadway tunes and literary readings. The project aims to showcase powerful American voices in music and literature, which, in theory, sounds pretty high-minded. But this is Bill Murray the comedian, so, while the show is thoughtful and at times serious, expect there to be plenty of levity too.
8 p.m., $68-$148, The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org
Improv actors Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, stars of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, bring their brand of created-on-the-fly comedy to Strathmore in their two-man show, Scared Scriptless. The audience is encouraged to yell out ideas, and some may even be invited to join Mochrie and Sherwood onstage as they make up and perform original scenes and songs based on audience suggestions.
8 p.m., $34-$64, The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org
Autumn on Tap
Gaithersburg’s Oktoberfest blends some of the Bavarian customs found at the annual German beer festival in Munich with favorite local hallmarks of the fall season. The 27th annual autumn festival takes over the Kentlands Mansion grounds, Village Green, Main Street and Market Square, and features German music and dancing along with horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin carving and apple cider pressing. Of course it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without beer, which will be available at a traditional-style beer garden. There will also be tastings of local wines, crafts for kids and live entertainment on five stages.
Noon to 5 p.m., free, Kentlands, gaithersburgmd.gov/leisure/special-events/oktoberfest
The Walking Dead
At the first Silver Spring Zombie Walk in 2008, about 120 people dressed up as zombies and lurched through Silver Spring. The annual walk now includes thousands of participants. This year’s event starts with a party at Denizens Brewing Co., where zombie fans will gather before walking to the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center for a zombie film viewing. Downtown Silver Spring will host a dance party on Ellsworth Drive. Anyone can be a zombie participant or spectator.
Walk begins at 9 p.m., free, Denizens Brewing Co., Silver Spring, denizensbrewingco.com