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If you’re a Howardite—or just an aficionado—you know the university’s homecoming week is truly a beacon, and the admission-free International Yardfest is the most economical way to celebrate. (Though acquiring a fresh outfit still costs money.) As usual, this year’s lineup is semi-secret, perhaps because organizers tend to book acts down to the wire—though Young Jeezy, Big Daddy Kane, Wale, Raheem DeVaughn, and throwback group Whodini are among the confirmed performers. But even with a no-show or two, there’s still plenty to do: The Yard, Howard’s main grassy quadrangle, is usually encircled by vendors hawking tchotchkes, food, and clothing; in the middle of it all, the main stage dispenses mic-dropping of the highest order. While the event has the haphazardness of any outdoor music festival, bumping beats, contests, and lots of fried fish should pacify the several thousand attendees between sets. And believe it or not, it’s family-friendly, as T-shirted and baseball-capped Bison-to-be toddle around with their parents and grandparents in a multi-generational celebration of Howard University.

International Yardfest begins at noon at Howard University’s Main Quad, 6th Street and Howard Place NW. Free. (202) 806-6100.