Best 2017 summer festivals in D.C.

These five events will keep you busy all summer long

Best 2017 summer festivals in D.C.

D.C. summers are not the best. The humidity and the feeling of being on an empty campus can be miserable. Luckily, there are plenty of meaningful events to inspire and enrich your experience. Here are five festivals to check out this summer in D.C. to make your summer a memorable one.

Capital Pride Festival

This four-day long event features a rooftop pool party, block party, concert, parade and day long festival. The festival is held every year in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots which are credited with being the first events of the modern LGTBQ+ rights movement. It is one of the most popular events in the city, so expect a lot of people and a lot to do. The Pride Parade and Festival Day are on different days with the parade being on June 10 and the festival on June 11. The Pride Concert will also be on June 11. The festival will feature 300 exhibitors and three stages of national and local talent. While the festival itself is free, other events such as the pool party vary in price. Check out Capital Pride’s website for specific details.

When: June 8-11

Where: Washington, D.C. Locations vary by event

Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station

National Barbecue Battle

Calling all barbecue lovers: this event is for you. Come to downtown Washington to witness barbecue cooks from across the country compete against one another for more than $40,000 in prizes and the title of America’s National Barbecue Champion. The best part is attendees get to taste authentic beef brisket, chicken, pork and lamb from some of the best barbecue restaurants in the nation. The event will also feature activities from many of the Washington professional sports teams like the Wizards and Nationals. In addition, there will be the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the world's largest grill from Johnsonville Brats. This event is sure to leave all attendees happy and full. The cost is $15 per day if you purchase tickets on the day of the event. Advanced tickets are also available for purchase online.

When: June 24-25

Where: 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Metro: Federal Triangle, Metro Center or Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

For two weeks every summer, the Smithsonian puts on a festival dedicated to celebrating different cultural traditions. This year’s focus will be on youth, culture and migration. Specifically, it will be about how American culture has been shaped by the movement of people in and around the U.S. It will also delve into the power young people have to bridge the gap between different cultures and generations. The festival will also focus on Circus Arts, a major artform in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its role in shaping American culture. The festival will feature artists, costume designers, makeup artists and others who work to display circus art. It is also the 50th anniversary of the festival, so it’s expected that there will be some events devoted to the history of it. There is no cost to attend the event.

When: June 29-July 4 and July 6-9

Where: The National Mall

Metro: Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, L’Enfant Plaza or Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station

The Fourth of July

There is nothing quite like celebrating the nation's birthday in its capital. There are an immense array of events to choose from so there is bound to be something for everyone. The National Independence Day Parade is worth checking out. This annual parade features military units, celebrity participants, bands, drill teams, equestrians and more from across the country. It takes place on Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 17th Street. A Capitol Fourth is another great option to experience the celebration. It is a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. To finish off the night, watch the fireworks shoot off over the National Mall. There are no other firework show can top having the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol as a backdrop. Make sure to arrive on the Mall early though as it will fill up fast. There is no cost to attend any of those events.

When: July 4

Where: National Mall, U.S. Capitol Building

Metro: Smithsonian, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter or Capitol South station

Capital Fringe Festival

This July, the 12th Annual Capital Fringe Festival descends upon Washington. This event is about all things independent: independent music, art, dance, visual performances and theatre.Come check out a variety of different artists that you have probably never heard of before. The cost for the event have not yet been announced but tickets go on sale June 19.

When: July 6-30

Where: Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave NE Washington, D.C. 20002

Metro: NoMa-Gallaudet U

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