Things to do in the DC area: Blerdcon, Bastille Day … and more!

Nerds, unite! Blerdcon runs from Friday through Sunday with a widespread focus on everything from video gaming, to tabletop gaming, to anime and manga, to cosplay, as well as music — while celebrating Blerd (a portmanteau of Black and nerd) culture.

This year, there will be over 100 panels and workshops, often on subjects that have social or niche impact in the community. Also, expect comedy shows, concerts, after-parties and “the largest attached food truck rally of any convention in the country,” according to Hilton George, founder and CEO of Blerdcon.

A few of the many notable guests and speakers include Phil LaMarr, whose acting has been seen in shows and movies such as “Futurama,” “Samurai Jack,” “Static Shock” and “Pulp Fiction,” among others. Also speaking is Walter Jones, who was cast as the first Black superhero on live-action television as Zack, the original Black Ranger from “The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”

“The community is very, very welcoming. And this is not just a nerd space, it’s also a Black space, and everything that comes along with the Black space that people talk about — that feeling of a family reunion, that feeling of recognition and appreciation that we get,” George said. “It’s also an inclusive space. So even if you’re not Black, you are welcome to come to Blerdcon.”

Over 12,000 guests are expected to attend this year. Badge passes for the event vary in price, depending on the time frame and additional perks, such as autographs and photo ops. The event is located at Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

There’s so much to do in the D.C. area in the coming days, and WTOP has you covered with our weekly roundup of area events worth anticipating.

Check back every Thursday for a roundup of Things to do in the D.C. area.

Here’s what else is happening in the D.C. area:


Bastille Day
There are several ways to celebrate French culture this Bastille Day around the region. In D.C.’s Tenleytown neighborhood, Fessenden Park is set to be transformed into a “French Quarter” on Saturday with French-themed activities, plus food and live music. Tickets cost $20.

Elsewhere, there is also a 1.5-mile walking tour on Sunday that begins at Lafayette Square and continues throughout the surrounding neighborhood to explore French-influenced architecture. This tour costs $30.

(D)rafts and (C)rafts
The D.C. Brewers’ Guild is hosting this second annual festival on Saturday with dozens of local craft beverage producers and artisan makers. With tickets that start at $20, this event is hosted at Dock 5 in the Union Market District.

Doubles’ July Market
Shop at this vintage and artisan pop-up on Sunday at Doubles on Georgia Avenue in Northwest and stay for coffee, natural wine and pizza from Sonny’s Pizza. No tickets are necessary.


Bastille Day
For those who would prefer to dance the night away, Maryland’s Glen Echo Park is hosting a Bastille Day ballroom dance event on Sunday with music by Djangolaya. Tickets cost $20 at the door with no partner necessary.

Babies & Books
Designed for children ages 3 and under in mind, People’s Book in Takoma Park is hosting a biweekly baby story time on Friday mornings. Free coffee is included for caregivers.

Smash Bros Tournament Series
Every Sunday this summer, gamers can congregate at AxGard in Old Ellicott City, Maryland, for a free Smash Bros Tournament Series on a 30-foot projector screen. The tournament is kid and teen-friendly.

Senior Fitness Class
On Wednesday, Onelife Fitness is hosting a fitness class for those ages 55 and older. The free class is at National Harbor for all fitness levels, with chairs available to help aid with balance.


Date Night at the Innovation Studio
The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is hosting a free hands-on workshop on Friday with resident artist Roxana Geffen. The D.C.-based artist will assist guests in creating textile collages.

Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, Virginia, is hosting a dynamic duo called Griefcat as part of its summer concert series. Tickets for the event on Friday vary, though those who would prefer to watch the livestream only have to pay approximately $15.

Tour the oldest house in Arlington, Virginia
The Ball-Sellers House, which is owned and operated by the Arlington Historical Society, is hosting free open houses every Saturday, now through October. The structure dates back to 1750, so there is no electricity or air conditioning inside. Because of that, the structure is not open during “really hot or really cold weather,” so inquire ahead of time.

Have an event you’d like featured in WTOP’s Things to do in the D.C. area weekly guide? Fill out this contact form to have your event considered.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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