When the residents of Lyon, France, survived the plague in 1647, they celebrated by lighting candles and offering tributes to the Virgin Mary. More than three centuries later, the display has evolved into a sweeping lights party that draws millions of tourists to the town in early December. Now, with the help of Alliance Française Washington, Georgetown will undergo a similar transformation, hosting five different light displays from artists around the world. Read more >>> The opening night party takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at Malmaison, 3401 K St. NW. $10. Installations are on view Dec. 13 to Dec. 20, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at locations around Georgetown. (202) 234-7911. francedc.org. (Caroline Jones)
Correction: This event does not take place this weekend. It happens next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Grocery store samples aren’t usually this good: Whole Foods Georgetown will offer free tastes of Champagne and caviar Saturday, Dec. 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The store will have 30 types of bubbly from its favorite vendors plus its new line of caviar and other seafood bites. Participants will be entered to win a three-liter bottle of Bogle Phantom Zinfandel. Whole Foods Georgetown, 2323 Wisconsin Ave. NW. (202) 333-5393. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/georgetown. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Chain & The Gang plays songs from its upcoming album at Comet Ping Pong along with Boston’s Guerilla Toss and Brooklyn’s Blanche Blanche Blanche. Spiv will also premiere his directorial debut, What Is a Group?, Saturday night at Meeps in Adams Morgan. Read more in our interview with Svenonius on Arts Desk. 10 p.m. at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $12.
Friday: Jangle-pop group San Fermin performs an intimate show at the Mansion at Strathmore. Cosmic-folk artist Marian McLaughlin (recently featured in our “One Track Mind” column) opens. 8 p.m. at 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. $12.
Friday: Celebrate the holiday season with some festive comedy from Washington Improv Theater: The company performs its holiday show, “Seasonal Disorder,” twice tonight. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at 1835 14th St. NW. $12–$30.
Saturday: Ja Rule’s a free man, and he’s got a new single—“Fresh Out da Pen”—to prove it. He’s been free for seven months now, and he’s seemingly unhappy with what became of hip-hop in his absence; on “Fresh Out da Pen,” he disclaims interest in both molly and Tom Ford. Read more >>> Ja Rule performs at 11:30 p.m. at Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $25.50–$30.50. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. (Will Sommer)
Saturday: Capital City Showcase presents a special Christmahanukwanzakah edition of its show, featuring comics Matty Litwack, Jamel Johnson, and Andrew Bucket, at DC Arts Center. 10 p.m. at 2438 18th St. NW. $15–$20.
Saturday: Electronic duo Benoit & Sergio perform at U Street Music Hall with Bicep and DJ Nav. 10 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $10.
Sunday: D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood isn’t well known for its folk musicians. Wisconsin-bred songwriter Shannon Carey—-of group Luray—-was once one of them, and her tune “Kalorama” pays tribute to her old stomping ground. With Luray’s members now scattered across the region, the band’s performance at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center Sunday afternoon should serve as a reunion of sorts. Read more >>> Luray performs at 2 p.m. at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-7970. americanart.si.edu. (Caroline Jones)
Due to a reporting error, the original version of this blog post misidentified the date of Whole Foods Georgetown’s free Champagne and caviar event. It takes place Dec. 21, not Dec. 14.
Want ToDo ToDay sent to your inbox five days a week? Sign up here.