DC’s Summer 2012 Festivals and Cultural Events

Written by Sammy Nielsen, Institute on Economics and International Affairs Program Advisor

 Although your summer may seem far too busy to squeeze in any more activities, you simply cannot spend time in DC without attending at least one of the many summer festivals. The summer in DC is one of the best ways to gain exposure to new experiences such as experimenting with different cuisines, getting acquainted with the city’s locals, and visiting some of the great museums. Here is a guide to some of the great warm weather events you can attend in this nation’s capital:

Source Festival
June 8th – July 1st
This festival is put on by CulturalDC in an effort to promote 100% new work from artists in all disciplines. It includes theatre, dance, music, visual art, film, spoken word and more. This year it will feature 24 original works! If you’re an artist at heart, this event will give you the opportunity to embrace the arts of DC like never before. Ticket prices range from $10 – $20.

45th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 27th – July 1st & July 4th – July 8th
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is my personal favorite. Every year, the National Mall plays host to hundreds of tents with cultural artifacts, great food, and colorful displays—the Smithsonian’s annual salute to the cultures of the world. It’s like taking a trip around the world in a single day, and if there is any food you are craving from overseas you’ll be sure to find it here. Plus it’s free! This is a DC must.

20th Annual National Capital Barbecue Battle
June 23rd – June 24th
Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 9th & 14th, this event has been voted a “Top 10 BBQ Event” by The Travel Channel and Discovery.com. You can even register to be a contestant. The tickets are $10 each to attend this event, and all the proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. Come out and listen to great music from nationally-known bands like Soul Asylum, ConFunkShun, and Cowboy Mouth while eating delicious food. Nearby Metro stations are: Federal Triangle, Metro Center and Navy Memorial/Archives.

Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
Fridays, June 8th – August 24th
If you like both politics and film then this summer festival is right up your alley. The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival features political comedies played on a huge screen in Gateway Park every Friday night from June 8th through August 24th. The 2012 film festival theme is “Friday Night is Election Night”, and the event is free and open to the public! Moviegoers are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic in the park before the movies begin at dusk. Show up early for the pre-show games and prizes. Films this year include Election, Swing Vote, and Wag the Dog.

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