Weekend picks: RVA Duck Race at Brown’s Island, The Shins at the National, The 31st Annual Down Home Family Reunion w/Trouble Funk at Abner Clay Park | Arts and Culture | Style Weekly

RVA Duck Race and Festival of Inclusion at Brown’s Island on Saturday, Aug. 20

Maybe our favorite pitch-line this week: The Quack is Back!
The Autism Society of Central Virginia (ASCV) is hosting the popular RVA Duck Race in conjunction with a new Festival of Inclusion, scheduled to be Richmond’s “first sensory-friendly festival designed to include and accommodate individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” How it works: The little toy ducks are sold online leading up to the event. With each entry, participants get to watch the duck float down the canal and race to the finish line. Organizers expect more than 7,000 attendees on Browns Island. The Inclusion Fest includes zoned areas of music, family activity zones, vendors, food and much more. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, visit www.rvaduckrace.org.

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  • Brent Baldwin
  • Trouble Funk’s Big Tony in an old photo from the go-go band’s appearance at the Richmond Folk Fest.

Elegba Folklore Society presents The 31st annual Down Home Family Reunion feat. Trouble Funk at Abner Clay Park on Saturday, Aug. 20

Oh, it’s going down, y’all. You know when Big Tony shows up, things are gonna get all kinds of funky in the park. This celebration of African American folklife includes world music and dance on the main stage, the Heritage Market, special children’s events, interactive site demonstrations and delicious down home food. The lineup features go-go pioneers Trouble Funk headlining a party that also includes Terry Harmonica Bean, Africa Unplugged, Pan Masters Steel Orchestra, Teshia Lesane and the Live Experience and Dance Candy. “The 30th Down Home Family Reunion is grateful to offer parking for the festival in the lots at Belvidere and Leigh Streets, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church and the lots across from the church.” 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more info, visit the Elegba Folkore Society webpage.

The Shins and Joseph at the National on Saturday, Aug. 20

Yes, it’s the group that made that fuzzy earworm song “New Slang” featured in that Zach Braff movie about Jersey (“Garden State”). But most fans would quickly note that the band has been more than just a one-hit wonder, having gone on to win multiple Grammys for its later work.

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Formed in New Mexico by singer-songwriter James Mercer, who now resides in Portland, Oregon, The Shins are nonetheless touring in celebration of the 21st anniversary of “Oh, Inverted World,” their breakthrough album that featured “New Slang” and gave them a much wider audience. The band will be performing this album, which got some remastering love from Mercer last year, from start to finish at the Richmond show.

If you’re unfamiliar with their music, you might think the band is super twee from that one hit, but I saw them play at the All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening in Long Beach, Ca. in 2005, and they rocked out at a decent clip for much of it (of course, this was on a bill that featured the Stooges, Sonic Youth, Beefheart’s old Magic Band, and Mission of Burma, so maybe it was a “when in Rome” situation). Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets available here.

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