5 Things

Who here is looking for something to do this weekend? How about a famous NPR show comes to town and the Lebanese food festival gets ready to fill bellies? And that’s just naming only two! Here are 5 Things.

1. This American Life: Live

You either love This American Life or you’ve never heard of it. For those who fall into the latter category, may I recommend downloading some podcasts of the extremely compelling radio show and getting with the program? Then all of you from both categories skedaddle on down to UR for a showing of last week’s live broadcast of the radio show. “Sounds boring,” you say. “No one wants to watch people talk into a radio microphone for an hour.” Well, it’s a lot more than that. There’s a short film by Mike Birbiglia, dancing, animation, music by OK Go, all sorts of stuff they’ve been saving for this audiovisual version. By Act One of our show…Act One…you will find yourself laughing or crying or emoting in some way.

  • Thurs. May 17 • 7:30 PM
  • Camp Concert Hall in the Booker School of Music, 28 Westhampton Way, University of Richmond
  • $10 – $14

2. Dominion Riverrock Festival

Well, Richmonders, I hope you’re ready to rock. And I hope you’re ready to roll…down a river? It’s Riverrock time again! That delightful combination of sporting and musicianship kicks off this Friday. “Sporting and musicianship?” you say. “What can you mean?” Well, fool, it’s like a thousand people running, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, dog jumping, puddle splashing, rip roaring, and lip smacking. And then, there’s a sturdy lineup of bands to listen to! It’s like the Olympic Games mixed with the X Games mixed with a little of The Hunger Games mixed with Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games.”

  • Fri. May 18 – Sun. May 20 • see site for event schedule
  • Brown’s Landing
  • Free to attend, registration fees for athletic events vary

3. 28th Annual Lebanese Food Festival

If there’s one thing Richmonders are good at, it’s calling something they think will fail “the next Sixth Street Marketplace.” If there’s another thing, it’s food festivals at churches, which will never, ever be compared to that sad experiment. This weekend, the celebrated Lebanese Food Festival holds court at Saint Anthony Maronite Church in Glen Allen. Stop by for a virtual feast of sights and sounds and enjoy the literal feast of Lebanese delicacies. “But what if I don’t have time,” you say. “What if I don’t have time AND I love Lebanese food?” Saint Anthony Maronite has your back. Check the site for the full menu and order a lunch or dinner to go.

  • Fri. May 18 – Sat. May 19 • 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sun. May 20 • 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saint Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, 4611 Sadler Rd.
  • Free!

4. Richmond Symphony: The Music of Queen

QUEEN. “Now wait a second,” you say. “Queen is defunct (RIP Freddie).” Queen, friends, will never be defunct. How dare you even utter that word that I put in your mouth for you! As long as the Richmond Symphony is around to perform “Fat Bottomed Girls,” the legacy of Queen will live forever. And who wants to live forever? Queen does. Seriously though, this couldn’t not be a good time. In fact it’s guaranteed to blow your mind (anytime).

  • Sat. May 19 • 8:00 PM
  • Landmark Theatre, 6 N. Laurel St.
  • $25 – $65

5. Richmond Food Cart Derby

I have a super dumb question. Does the Richmond Food Cart Derby involve actual racing? “Idiot,” you say. “How do you walk around without banging your empty head against everything.” Look, I’m sick of you chiming in all the time. Who’s writing this column, anyway? And in my defense, it’s not really clear! I mean, sure, I will go to that thing and eat all the victuals from my favorite carts (and there are a ton of them there, dang. I didn’t even know we had so many carts), drink from my favorite local breweries, and revel in the sounds of my favorite local tunemakers, but damn if it wouldn’t be super funny to see them all hurtle down Main Street.

  • Sun. May 20 • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmer’s Market, 100 N. 17th St.
  • Free!

stock photo by squidish

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Justin on said:

    As a discussion about any large project in Richmond grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving the Sixth Street Marketplace approaches 1.

  2. Shame on me for reading this today instead of yesterday because I missed the This American Life show and now my life is ruined. RUINED. 8(

  3. @hayley – It was…incredible. There were a couple of parts that weren’t as showstopping as they wanted them to be, but the rest was completely unforgettable. Blew the last one they did out of the water.

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