A Guide to Washington DC Street Festivals for 2018

Washington, DC is full of nationally known festivals -- like the Cherry Blossom Festival -- that blanket the city each year. But if you venture off the National Mall, you’re bound to find a plethora of smaller local festivals that highlight DC’s neighborhoods, unique history, and vital contributions the diverse communities have made to the nation’s capitol.

Photo Courtesy of The Bullpen

Truckeroo - April 20, May 11, June 15, June 29, August 10, & September 14, 2018

Truckeroo highlights the best traveling food in DC while playing to the strengths of the Navy Yard neighborhood. Held from April until September, Truckeroo showcases over a dozen food trucks against the backdrop of Nationals Park, where you can get everything from cookies and custards to lobster rolls.

Photo Courtesy of All Hallows Guild

Flower Mart - May 4, 2018

Held in the more established Cathedral Heights neighborhood of DC, the Flower Mart showcases the beauty of the neighborhoods and has a slate of international floral displays. Tour the grounds, see some kid-friendly puppet shows, and make a stop at 2Amys— often voted among the best pizza in DC.

Photo Courtesy of Cultural Tourism DC

Embassy Day - May 5, 2018

Commonly referred to as “Embassy Day,” the Around the World Embassy Tour is a day when the Embassy Row neighborhood opens its doors (literally) to their neighbors. Check out the architectural beauty of the neighborhood while enjoying house tours, art, music, fashion, interactive dance, and more.

Photo by Barry A. Wilson / Funk Parade

The Funk Parade - May 12, 2018

Held every May, the Funk Parade is a parade and festival that celebrates the U Street Corridor’s rich contributions to funk, jazz, and blues music. Dubbing themselves as celebrating the “spirit of funk,” the fair includes local artists, dancers, music, and one of the most raucous parades in the DMV.

Photo Courtesy of Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon Wine Festival - May 18-20, 2018

Just across the Potomac, this festival celebrates one of the area’s most historic spots: George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. With both fall and spring festivals, you can take your pick of the weather, enjoy some live blues, and take in incredible views of DC’s Potomac River.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Raker Photography / Kingman Island Bluegrass

Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival - June 9, 2018

Washington, DC can have its Southern moments. Enter the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, a day-long festival of nature, live music, and food trucks that is perfect for all ages. This zero-waste festival benefits Living Classrooms Foundation, an educational non-profit that manages the island for use as a "living classroom" for underserved area schools.  

Photo Courtesy of The Fab Empire

Jazz Festival - June 16, 2018

DC’s rich history with jazz music is celebrated with the annual Jazz Festival, held at the Howard Theatre in the Shaw neighborhood. Take in some live music at Howard, at Yards Park, or at over 20 smaller neighborhood venues across DC, affectionately called Jazz in the Hoods.

Photo by brownpau / CC BY

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - June 27- July 1 & July 4-8, 2018

One of DC’s longest-running festivals, the Folklife Festival is a celebration of everything that makes the region unique. Accessible via the Smithsonian stop on the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines, the festival features circus acts like aerials and trapeze, song, dance, craft workshops, and a whole lot more.

Photo Courtesy of the DC Center

OutWrite LGBT Book Festival - August 3-5, 2018

Held at the DC Center in the U Street Corridor, one of the District’s historically LGBT neighborhoods, the festival is a celebration of LGBT authors, poets, and literature, complete with panels and book sales throughout the festival. 

Photo Courtesy of DC Style Is Real

17th Street Festival - August 25, 2018

This festival is all about celebrating the best of a small and vital piece of the DuPont Circle neighborhood and the 17th Street Corridor. Running just one afternoon, the festival includes Chinese dragon dancers, flamenco, mariachi, and a dog parade.

Photo Courtesy of Adams Morgan Day

Adams Morgan Day Festival - September 9, 2018

Washington DC’s longest-running neighborhood festival, the Adams Morgan Day Festival is an all-volunteer celebration that showcases the vibrant neighborhood of Adams Morgan. The festival showcases neighborhood businesses, including music and art vendors, and has kid-friendly activities to welcome revelers of all ages.

Photo Courtesy of Ted Eytan / CC BY-SA

H Street Festival - September 15, 2018

The H Street Festival celebrates the best parts of the H Street Corridor neighborhood. Originally a neighborhood block party, the festival centers around several performance areas that highlight the artists, musicians, and youth of H Street. The festival also promotes economic revitalization of the neighborhood.

Photo Courtesy of BBQ in DC / Twitter

Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle - June 23 -24

Located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets, Giant National Barbecue Battle showcases barbecue masters from all fifty states, and features live music, cooking demos, and free tastings.

Photo courtesy of Main Street Takoma

Takoma Park Street Festival - October 7, 2018

Thirty-seven years running, the Takoma Park Street Festival celebrates its namesake neighborhood. The festival includes local artists, jewelers, woodworkers, food vendors, and craft options for the kids. Get yourself a commemorative Takoma mug for The Crawl and get discounted beers at local restaurants.

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