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10 Summer Events and Activities to Look for in the DMV

Picture of the United States Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan.

As the spring semester comes to an end at Howard University, we move closer to experiencing summer in Washington, D.C. The Hilltop has compiled a list of summer events and activities for families and friends to look forward to. Whether it’s attending a festival or the unveiling of a new exhibit at a museum, there is always something to do in the DMV. 

Picture of the D.C. Jazz festival. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post. 
  1. Washington D.C. Jazz Festival 

Whether you are a jazz music enthusiast or simply looking for something to do after Labor Day weekend, the 18th annual Washington, D.C. jazz festival has something for everyone. The festival will take place on The Wharf from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Attendees can expect to listen to live musicians, learn the history of jazz music or enjoy the different restaurants and shops throughout the waterfront. For more information, visit here

Picture of employees of The American Federation of Government participating in the Capital Pride Parade (2019). Photo courtesy of Keith Mellnick.
  1. ReUNITED Capital Pride Parade

Attend the ReUNITED capital pride parade spearheaded by the Capital Pride Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Washington, D.C. The parade is one the largest held here in D.C., with there being live music, food and entertainment to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. The parade will take place on June 11 from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m. within the Logan and Dupont Circle neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit here

Picture of fireworks at the National Mall. Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith.
  1. Fourth of July Fireworks at the National Mall

There are various activities to enjoy in the DMV area on Independence Day. The annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert, fourth of July parade and fireworks show at the National Mall are just a few. Families and friends can enjoy an array of activities from the beginning to the end of the day. The vibrant fireworks display is a great way to close out Independence Day celebrations as it begins around 9 p.m. 

Picture of Juneteenth mural in Galveston, Texas. Photo courtesy of Mike Fisher. 
  1. The Freedom Festival

Celebrate Juneteenth by stopping by the Freedom Festival on June 18 and 19. Hosted by The Juneteenth Foundation, the federal holiday celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Black people in the United States. The two-day festival will include panels, entertainment, food, live music and even a freedom concert headlined by known musicians, such as Domani Harris who performed last year with rapper T.I. 

Pictured is one of the “infinity mirror rooms” in the Hirshhorn Collection. Photo courtesy of Adam Fagen.
  1. Yayoi Kusama Exhibit

Take a trip over to The Hirshhorn Museum on Independence Avenue and 7th Street SW in Washington, D.C. to view the “One with Eternity”: Yayoi Kusama exhibit with five permanent pieces of the profound artist’s work. The Hirshhorn collection includes two of Kusama’s infinity mirror rooms, sculptures such as Pumpkin (2016), paintings and pictures of the artist herself. This exhibit is available to the public now and throughout the summer until Nov. 27. For more information, visit here

Picture of Genevieve Nnaji, a well-known actress and producer in Nollywood. Photo courtesy of Iké Udé, collection of the artist, 2014-2016. 
  1. Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits Exhibit

Take a trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art to view Iké Udé’s featured exhibit of Nollywood portraits. Nollywood refers to Nigeria’s consistently growing $3 billion film industry. These portrait photographs include leading figures within Nigeria’s film industry as a way to bring light to the power and beauty of African identities in Nollywood and Africa as a whole. Udé conveys meaning behind his art by using vibrant colors and maintaining an elegant component to the photos. 

Picture of a woman canoeing in the river. Photo courtesy of Rawpixel. 
  1. The Wharf Boathouse

If you’re looking to get into the water over the summer, head over to The Wharf Boathouse. Grab a couple of friends or come by yourself and enjoy D.C.’s Southwest waterfront by kayaking, paddle boarding or canoeing. These activities are available for all ages. Your day doesn’t have to end there; the boathouse is around many more activities on The Wharf such as ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, restaurants and shops. 

Picture of people sitting in an interactive exhibit. Photo courtesy of ARTECHOUSE.
  1. ARTECHOUSE: PIXELBLOOM Exhibit

Enthrall yourself into the “metaverse” of virtual cherry blossoms at ARTECHOUSE DC. This fifth annual spring exhibition is interactive with an extended reality bar. This is a great way to experience cherry blossoms virtually, giving you a different perspective with vibrant colors and textures of the cherry blossoms. For more information, visit here.

Picture of people watching a movie outdoors. Photo courtesy of Visit Maryland.
  1. Movies on the Potomac 

Head over to the National Harbor in Maryland to watch a movie on the Potomac River. These outdoor movies are free to the public – just bring a chair and some friends to enjoy the night. The showings are themed each month, starting with animal movies in May, traveling movies in June, food movies in July, musicals in August and American-themed movies in September. Movies are catered to families on Sundays and date nights on Thursdays. For more information, click here.

Picture of a sunflower field. Photo courtesy of Piqsels.
  1. Burnside Farms: The Summer of Sunflowers 

If you would like to get out into nature over the summer, travel to Burnside farms in Nokesville, Virginia. In the summer, you have the opportunity to pick sunflowers of your own; there’s even a sunflower maze for you and your friends to experience. The Summer of Sunflowers is expected to open mid to late July and last through Labor Day. For more information, click here.

Copy edited by Lauryn Wilson

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