Tomorrow, the nation's capital will kick off a week's worth of festivities to celebrate the inauguration of the country's 57th President, Barack Obama, who will take a second term.
Saturday marks a "National Day of Service" and the day is chock full of events at the National Mall. Speakers and guests include Delaware's own Beau Biden, Honorary Chair Chelsea Clinton, actress Eva Longoria, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the Washington Children's Choir.
Nearly 100 service organizations will be on hand conducting service projects and training citizens to serve their communities throughout the year. Paint a portable mural, craft cards for foster children, fill backpacks with the Red Cross. The choices are endless.
But the day doesn't have to be all about service. There's a retrospective exhibit of political cartoons at Malmaison as well as exhibits all over town. Check out Roy Lichtenstein's "The Oval Office" at the National Gallery.
The capital city is also known for its food, and local chefs are going all out this weekend. Stop by Cashion's for the prix-fixe Barack Obama-themed three-course menu of tuna poke in a Bibb lettuce cup, dry-aged strip loin with creamed spinach and a crispy potato cake and a Hawaiian pineapple upside-down cake. Or, stop by some of the places Obama visited during his first term, like Ray's Hell-Burger or Fran's Chocolates, which specializes in savory-sweet treats.
Transportation throughout the weekend is expected to be hectic, at best. Be sure to consult guides to the Washington Metrorail and other public transportation options.
Dreaming of a new ride this year? Then, you'll want to check out the 2013 Philadelphia Auto Show this weekend. See 2014 models of everything imaginable, from Acura, Ford and Subaru to Jaguar and Porche.
It's not all about what's new, though. There's also some sweet rides from yesteryear. Imagine yourself in the Aston Martin DB9 Convertible or the Maserati Quattroporte. Guests will even be treated to the east coast debut of the McLaren 12C Spider at the manufacturer's exhibit.
New this year is the "Face-Off" event, which pits clubs against one another for the best kiosk display. Attendees will vote for their favorites and the winner will be announced on the auto show's Facebook page.
DUB magazine, an urban automotive lifestyle publication, has set aside 70,000 square feet at the event to showcase some of the hottest customized rides and celebrity vehicles today.
Michael Chapman, chairman for the event, said that this year is bigger and better than ever.
"The display floor of this year's event is a sprawling 630,000 square feet of everything automotive, which is up 30,000 square feet from last year. This increase makes our 2013 Philadelphia Auto Show our biggest yet. Picture 11 football fields filled with every kind of car or truck you can imagine, and that is our 2013 event."
If getting behind the wheel is more your speed, though, don't fret. There are several opportunities to grip the steering wheel and step on the gas. Toyota and Jeep will both offer indoor test drives while Cadillac, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru will take things outside.
"We are thrilled by the increased interest from manufacturers to host ride-and-drive opportunities at our event," said Mike Gempp, director of the Philadelphia Auto Show. "Enhancements by the manufacturers, such as interactive ride-and-drive opportunities, are truly a testament to what auto shows are all about, which is putting consumers directly in touch with all of their vehicle options in one location. Some come to dream, others come with a notepad. In either case, it's an informative and enjoyable day for all."