Mark Your Calendars For These Spring Festivals and Events


Craving something to look forward to beyond warmer temperatures alone? Luckily, when it comes to festive happenings, DC doesn’t disappoint.

From family-friendly outings to musical displays and themed celebrations, here’s your roundup of the best events and festivals slated to hit the DC scene this spring and summer. Our advice? Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out!

#1 Passport DC: Passport DC is a month-long festival in May that pays tribute to Washington, DC’s thriving international culture. As part of the festival, the first two Saturdays in May are devoted to embassy open houses. Thanks to this only-in-DC experience, you can step inside a foreign embassy with the Around the World Embassy Tour and the EU Open House.

#2 Capital Pride: Every June, the DC community comes together annually to celebrate Capital Pride, a citywide celebration of LGBTQ rights and the continuing fight for them — and you don’t want to miss the ensuing festivities. Celebrations include its official opening soiree, a block party, the iconic Pride Parade, and the Pride Festival & Concert.

#3 Capital Barbecue Battle: Over the weekend of June 22nd, rib roasters and sauce bosses will have the chance to show off their delicious wares during the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle. Dozens of pit masters, local restaurants, and live music shut down Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th streets NW for a lively street party in late June. Cooking demos and free tastings make for a delicious (and filling) experience!

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#4 Smithsonian Folklife Festival: The free Smithsonian Folklife Festival salutes different international cultures every year on the National Mall. The 2024 Indigenous Voices of the Americas edition, which will be held on June 26–July 1, 2024, will bring together Indigenous artists and makers, professional chefs and home cooks, musicians, dancers, athletes, and storytellers to demonstrate the depth of multigenerational traditions as well as new, innovative approaches to cultural expression.

Some highlights? Join a circle of celebration with stories, songs, and dance. Experience ancestral foods like the Three Sisters (beans, corn, and squash) and inventive, sustainable cuisine. Learn stories that underlie Indigenous sports and games. Hear how Indigenous youth are reclaiming their languages through spoken-word and hip-hop. Explore traditional arts that flourish in their connections to place and environmental knowledge.

#5 Capital Fringe Festival: During the irreverent Capital Fringe Festival, you can catch out-there performances from local creatives — including improv dramas, punk rock shows, and colorful dance shows (to name just a few). Events take place at libraries, museums, galleries, and other locations throughout the District on July 11th-21st.

#6 Citi Open: It’s official: The District’s signature professional tennis tournament will return to Rock Creek Park Tennis Center from July 27th through August 4th this year. Get ready for top-tier tennis talent from all over the world to converge on DC to compete for a prestigious trophy, generating on-court action no sports fan would want to miss.

Looking for more ways to spend time outdoors as the weather heats up? Check out these other great summer activities around DC.

#7 Summer Restaurant Week: Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington hosts two annual celebrations of DC’s eclectic dining scene, one of which is a summer edition that runs from August 28th-September 3rd. For both seasonal editions, Restaurant Week offers diners pre-fixe menus for lunch/brunch ($25) and dinner ($40 and $55)!

#8 DC JazzFest: JazzFest introduces national and local musicians to a range of venues all over the city (including The Wharf) from August 31st-September 1st. Some concerts are free; most are ticketed. A lineup stacked with talent and free performances are just two of the many reasons why you should check out the 2024 edition!

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