Washington DC, as the capital of the United States, has events year-round. If there’s not some internationally or nationally-recognized festival then there is surely an event in one of the countless museums, memorials or cultural centers that make up a large part of the city’s culture. It’s hard to imagine the city without something going on. The ebb and flow of world decisions and current events is reflected in the ongoing hustle and bustle of this white marble city. Even if you don’t bother with any festivals while you’re there, you can at least put your imagination to good use to see how it might be during the madness. Below are listed a few of the most attractive festivals set in Washington DC.
Image source National Kite Festival: ep_jhu
Screen on the Green
The National Mall is the setting for many events throughout the year, but a classic one is Screen on the Green. It takes place during the summer months, when people gather on the lawn to picnic and watch such films as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and other films with political twists. It’s especially nice to head out to catch a showing with friends that you met at that HostelBookers’ Washington hostel you booked.
A Capitol Fourth
Image source: thomwatson
The 4th of July is the United States’ Independence Day, and throughout the country families are gathered with beer and brats to watch the fireworks. The fireworks of Washington DC are shot over the Potomac River above gigantic crowds. The day had been drawn-out splendidly, with the massive parade to match the crowd and a great orchestral concert on Capitol Hill.
Shakespeare Free for All
For two weeks in August and September, this festival brings locals and visitors out in droves. Held at the Harman Center for the Arts, the Shakespeare Theater Company puts on totally free performances for anyone who can win the online lottery or who can endure an early morning queue to pick up their golden tickets.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Image source: benmurray
Make your way to Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms in bloom during the month of March. They say that the flowers are not always in bloom during the festival, but you can be sure to be one among countless visitors who have come to Washington for the purpose of seeing the city decked out in its lovely cherry blossoms before they’re all swept off by the first heavy rains.
National Kite Festival
All around the Washington Monument in the National Mall you will see hundreds, or thousands, of kites blowing in the wind. There are exhibitions and competitions, but mostly it’s just a bunch of kite-flying enthusiasts out on a calm March day flying their preferred colors.
These are some of the widely-known festivals in Washington DC. You can also look up local events before you get there. The Smithsonian Institute, which manages the museums on the mall, is always changing those establishments’ exhibits, and the many Washington DC universities are always putting on events either set up by the students or by clubs and organizations; you can expect special speakers, concerts, films, etc. If sports are your thing, you can check out local leagues; if you prefer activities on the water, look for regattas and competitions of that sort that might happen on the Potomac. The options are endless, because Washington events never stop. If you have tips for things to do in Washington share them by adding them to the United Sharing Adventure map here.