The following is a list of major events that occur throughout the year in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. These are annual events, some have specific dates and others are announced during the year, in which case we noted the season instead of the actual date.
White House Easter Egg Roll - On Easter Monday, kids of all ages hunt for and race Easter Eggs on the White House Lawn. Enjoy a morning of storytelling and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Free tickets are usually distributed on the Saturday before and early on Monday morning. Date: April 25, 2011
Cherry Blossom Festival - “Festival” is a term somewhat loosely applied to the activities surrounding Cherry Blossom season. What takes place is more of an association of celebrations, all of which encourage tourists to visit the District at its most beautiful. The early spring events include guided tours of the city’s best blooms, bike tours with knowledgeable park rangers, exhibitions of Japanese art, sporting events, and fireworks cruises on the Potomac. Most events are free to the public, and the omnipresent blossoms are sure to make your field trip more memorable and photogenic.
For More Information Please Visit: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/
Earth Day on the National Mall – Every year the he DC Mall plays host to the largest Earth Day celebration in the world, incorporating the nationally renowned Green Apple music festival. The events operate free-of-charge, though they come with a healthy political earful about the virtues of going green. Guests at the 2008 festival enjoyed performances by the Roots, O.A.R., and Toots and the Maytalls, as well as speeches by Chevy Chase and Edward Norton. While exhibitions on green technology and environmental action take place on the Mall’s expansive lawn, most of the musicians perform at D.C.’s major venues.
For More Information Please Visit:: http://www.greenapplemusicfestival.com/
Memorial Day / Weekend Celebration – Special events for Memorial Day include wreath laying ceremonies at several monuments and memorials in Washington, DC, a free National Symphony Orchestra concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol and a Memorial Day parade along Independence Avenue. Date: May 30, 2011
Capital Fringe Fest – The Fringe Fest’s tagline promises “unjuried, risk-taking, independent performing arts,” and delivers D.C.’s wildest mix of events over a period of about two weeks in July. Performers include comedians, political playwrights, vaudevillians, and other promoters of on-stage mayhem. It’s an ideal program for theatre lovers, and other visitors are certain to find a light-hearted improv troupe or critically acclaimed play to suit their interests. During the festival’s zenith it sponsors upwards of twenty events in a single evening, so there are plenty of performances from which to choose.
For More Information Please Visit: http://www.capitalfringe.org/fringe-festival.html
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival – This annual “international exposition of living cultural heritage” takes place on the lawn of the National Mall and runs for two weeks in July. Artists, storytellers, performers, craftspeople, and musicians congregate to share and celebrate their cultural traditions with the museum-going public, who can enjoy the free-of-charge festival at leisure. In the evenings, the Smithsonian sponsors outdoor concerts that are cultural explorations in their own right. This year’s festival featured a celebration of Texan music, exhibits on the art of Bhutan, and a tribute to NASA. Dates: June 30 – July 4 and July 7 – 11, 2011
For More Information Please Visit: http://www.folklife.si.edu/center/festival.html
Fourth of July Celebration - Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th! Independence Day celebrations in the nation’s capital start with a morning parade, concerts on the National Mall and the West Lawn of the Capitol and a huge fireworks display on the grounds of the Washington Monument.
National Book Festival - Celebrate the joy of books and reading at this an annual event held each September on the National Mall in Washington, DC, between 7th and 14th streets. The National Book Festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by first lady Laura Bush. Visit with more than 80 award-winning authors, illustrators and poets. September 24-25, 2011
Adams Morgan Day – Adams Morgan is one of D.C.’s most culturally diverse areas, and its annual street fair reflects its composition. Political demonstrators, cultural dancers, craft merchants, and food vendors assemble to celebrate the neighborhood every September. Dance troupes hold workshops to instruct community members on their art, while clowns and carnival games entertain children. First-time visitors to the area will be able to enjoy the Morgan’s sundry ethnic cuisines in a lively street fair setting, and local entertainers provide family-friendly fun.
For More Information Please Visit: http://www.ammainstreet.org/
Duke Ellington Jazz Festival – This city-wide jazz celebration typically takes place in early October, when the District enjoys its finest weather. Over a hundred acts perform in the space of a few days, inhabiting the city’s most celebrated music venues and jazz clubs. The festival also organizes parties for jazz-based mingling, classes in jazz technique, and a “Jazz n’ Families” fun day that encourages the younger generation to explore the music’s complexities. If you’re not jazz-obsessed, you’ll at least enjoy the festival’s free performance event on the National Mall.
For More Information Please Visit: http://www.dejazzfest.org/
December – January
The National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace - Each holiday season the White House Ellipse is surrounded by a path of decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. The President traditionally lights the tree at a holiday program and musical groups perform each night until New Year’s Day. Lighting Ceremony: 2011 Date to Be Announced.