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Your guide to Spring Fling alternatives

Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer
Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer

If you’re not exactly Jay Sean’s No. 1 fan or want to escape the hordes of drunken GW students who will crowd University Yard on Saturday, there are plenty of other events outside Foggy Bottom to check out. Here are a few highlights from across the city.

In the mood to dance to something other than “Down?” You’re in luck. Swedish rock band The Sounds will headline the 9:30 Club on Saturday ($20, doors open at 5 p.m.). Having been on the road for the better part of the last 10 years, playing shows like Warped Tour, supporting Panic! and at the Disco and embarking their own world tour, The Sounds’ latest North American stint is in support of their newest album, “Weekend.”

In the mood for a gay dance party that isn’t at Town? Black Cat will host MIXTAPE, a monthly dance party featuring an eclectic mix of music genres ($10, doors at 9:30 p.m.). Washingtonian Magazine dubbed the event D.C.’s “Best Gay Dance Party.”

No way was Program Board going to book Daft Punk for Spring Fling. But if you pay $10 – and don’t actually need to see the famed robot duo – U Street Music Hall will host a Daft Punk tribute night with local DJs and producers Will Eastman and OZKER (doors at 10 p.m.)

Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Head to Nationals Park for D.C. Beer Festival on Saturday.

If you’re 21 or older and have some cash to spare, you can enjoy a more sophisticated boozy festival Saturday. Head to Nationals Parks, D.C.’s best springtime venue, for the second annual D.C. Beer Festival.

The event – the second in a lineup of four spring beer festivals – will feature 60 craft breweries, 120 beers, games, music and food. It’s no Bacon and Beer fest (the Penn Social event sold out within weeks), but the park will offer food sold separately from the ticket. Look forward to tasting local, regional, and rare national brews.

Admission to the festival is $40. You can choose from one of two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Buy tickets here.

Start the Spring Fling revelry early by watching the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Saturday morning. Jay Sean will make an early performance at the festival before heading over to Foggy Bottom for Spring Fling.

The lineup includes more talent than just ‘90s heartthrob Aaron Carter. “American Idol” champ Candice Glover is set to perform alongside Grammy award-winning singer Sheena Easton.

But, aside from some big throwback names, this year’s festival also included the first annual “Sing Into Spring Competition,” which searched for local artists to perform in the parade. The GW Vibes is one of five acts chosen from the competition, along with Reverb, an award-winning a capella group, and eight-year-old singer Kelvin Dukes.

The parade on Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets will start at 10 a.m. Spectators can stand on the sidewalk along the parade route between Ninth and 15th streets for free. Grandstand seating prices start at $20.

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