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Falling for Festivals

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
The monthlong pumpkin festival at Butler's Orchard in Germantown, Md., packs a lot of fall favorites into one place. For $11, visitors can explore a straw maze, interact with farm animals and enjoy a hay ride. The farm also sells pumpkins and other fall decorations, as well as treats.

The tastings are available only for guests 21 years and older. The adjacent property on Barrel Oak Winery welcomes families and pets.

WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, reservations suggested.
WHERE: 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane, Va.
COST: $25 to $75

Concert Series
Argentinian bandoneonist and tango composer JP Jofre is kicking off the Hill Center's first concert series with pianist Steven Beck and violinist Christiana Liberis.

JP Jofre, whose full name is Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion, arrived in the United States from Argentina four years ago and quickly established himself as a tango expert in New York. He plays at music festivals around the country and the world, traveling to Taiwan, Italy and South America. He performs the works of Ã?stor Piazzolla - a traditional Argentinian tango composer - as well as his own compositions. 

"Tango is a culture and a lifestyle in Argentina," said Burnett Thompson, director of the Hill Center's concert series. "It's almost like the blues in this country. It's a dance, it's music, it's literature."

Beck plays with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series and has made a name for himself performing demanding new works.

The New Yorker called him "one of the city's finest young pianists," and the New York Times described him as "an eloquent and persuasive performer of contemporary works." Since attending Juilliard, he has become a fixture of the New York performance scene. 

Liberis is a freelance violinist in New York City. Born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Athens, Greece, she has performed with major artists, on Broadway and television and in the studio. Her Broadway credits include "Light in the Piazza" and "Camelot." She studied at Wellesley College, Purchase College and the Mannes College of Music. 

The trio will perform Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets are $15. Upcoming artists in the series, which runs through June, include violinist Pamela Ferguson, the Sunrise String Quartet and the newly formed Hill Center Jazz Ensemble.

WHEN: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE 
COST: $15

The terms "Oktoberfest" and "family-friendly" don't often go hand in hand.

But on Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the town of Haymarket, Va., a community about 40 miles west of the District, will host an event that does just that, melding the traditions of Oktoberfest with family-friendly activities such as face painting, pumpkin decorating and Halloween costume contests. 

"It's a really, really fun event, with vendors that line the streets," said Kim Kennedy Ingalls, one of the event's organizers. 

Ingalls said this is the event's second year. Last year, she said, almost 10,000 people turned out.  

Ingalls said the Oktoberfest-themed festivities are geared toward the 21-plus crowd, complete with a biergarten offering $5 beers, the proceeds from which will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project benefiting wounded veterans. A German band called Edelweiss and a German dance troupe will entertain the crowd, and a funnel-cake vendor will donate its profits to Parkinson's research.

Other events, including a Halloween costume parade and contest, apple bobbing, face painting and pumpkin painting, are all free and geared toward families, Ingalls said.

"This is a fall festival that is comfortable for families to come to, with plenty to do for the kids and plenty to do for adults," Ingalls said.

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