From the historic sports teams to the busting musical Broadway scene, the nation’s capital possesses everything a city-lover could ask for. Washington, D.C. is home to many famous restaurants and jaw-dropping museums in addition to being a melting pot of numerous cultures. People from all over the world attend the city’s festivals throughout the year. Here are 10 events in the district to attend just in time for the fall semester.
1. The Library of Congress’s National Book Festival
The 23rd Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will happen in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Founded by Laura Bush and James H. Billington in 2001, this festival aims to bring together book fans from all around the country. Attendees can expect to hear from their favorite authors, have books signed, connect with other writers, book lovers and more. Famous authors who will be in attendance include Jericho Brown, Tananarive Due and Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the event ends at 8 p.m.
2. NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is hosting its annual hip-hop block party on Sunday, Aug. 13. The event will highlight the cultural influence and historical importance behind the world’s most famous music genre.
Live performances from the DMV’s up-and-coming artists, and the music industry’s best featuring Alphabet Rockers, Mumu Fresh, and D Smoke. It will also feature presentations and activities that explore the music genre’s origins.
Dwandalyn Reece, associate director for curatorial affairs at NMAAHC, speaks on the significance of Hip-Hop and the meaning behind it.
“The origins of hip-hop and rap rest in communities where people gather together in basements, on street corners, neighborhood dance parties, and community shows to tell the stories of the people and places that brought it to life in a language all its own,” Reece said.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Although it is free of cost, tickets are still required and can be obtained on the museum’s website.
3. Washington Mystics vs. The Chicago Sky
The WNBA’s Washington Mystics will take on the Chicago Sky at Entertainment Sports Arena at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. The Mystics look to win all three games against the Chicago Sky while maintaining or surpassing their current number four rankings in the eastern conference.
Look for forward Elena Dells Donne to lead the way as she excels this season, averaging 18.2 points per game and six rebounds. The Mystics are looking to win their first championship since 2019 this season. Tickets can be found on their website.
4. “To Kill a Mockingbird” at The Kennedy Center
Harper Lee’s classic novel and play “To Kill A Mockingbird” will be performed at the Kennedy Center on Aug. 15 through Aug. 27. The play will be directed by Tony Award-winner, Bartlett Sher. Set in the 1930s in Alabama, the classic follows the childhood of Scout and Jem Finch as their father, Atticus, defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas will play the role of Atticus Finch. Tickets are available on the Kennedy Center’s website.
5. Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind and Fire Concert
The funk will be in town as the GRAMMY award-winning artists Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind and Fire will be performing live at the Capital One Arena on Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Lionel Richie, a former member of the Commodores, is most famous for his smooth and soulful ballads that reigned supreme in the 1970s with hits such as “Easy” and “Flying High.” Earth, Wind, and Fire effortlessly combined the sounds that came before them including jazz, blues, funk, gospel, and deep soul. The group brought power to Black music and produced hit after hit with classics like “Shining Star” and “After the Love Has Gone.”
Gabe Bryant, a junior audio production major, details his favorite Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind, and Fire tracks.
“My favorite song by EWF is ‘Spirit.’ The song reminds me of my mother and road trips to see my grandma,” Bryant said. “I haven’t really dove into Richie’s solo stuff, but my favorite Commodores song is ‘Zoom.’”
Tickets are available on Earth, Wind, and Fire’s website.
6. D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union Soccer Game
D.C. United will host the Philadelphia Union at the Audi Field on Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. After their last meeting resulted in a draw on May 17, Wayne Rooney and D.C. United’s head coach are looking to turn things around for the soccer club. Currently, the team is in ninth place in the eastern conference. D.C. United is looking to win their first Major League Soccer (MLS) cup since defeating the Kansas City Wizards in 2004.
Christian Bernard, a junior outside back for the Howard University soccer team, talks about his experience attending a D.C. United game.
“I’ve been to D.C. United games and they’re extremely fun to watch because of the level of play,” Bernard said. “It is much faster and more intense in person, and you see how good the professionals actually are. The food is very good too, and the atmosphere is amazing.”
Tickets can be purchased on D.C. United’s website.
7. Soulja Boy Concert at the Howard Theater
Soulja Boy will be in the nation’s capital this summer as he is set to perform at the Howard Theater on Aug. 30 at 8:00 p.m. The Chicago-born rapper first gained notoriety when he came onto the scene in 2007 with the hit “Crank That,” which broke the internet and made Soulja Boy a household name. He followed up with hits in 2008 like “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” and “Turn My Swag On.”
Tickets are available for purchase on the Howard Theater website.
8. Sunset Cinema at the Wharf: Black Panther
Friends and family will gather at The Wharf on Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on an outside LED screen. Seats are available starting at 7:00 p.m.
9. D.C. Jazzfest
The 19th annual Jazz Fest will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3, during the Labor Day weekend. The event will hold over 20 concerts with artists from the district and international artists. The festival’s signature event, Jazzfest at The Wharf, will feature two outdoor stages with live performances and a water destination with restaurants, shops and views of the nation’s capital. Star-studded performances from Samara Joy, Gregory Porter and Charles Lloyd are slated.
Tickets can be purchased on DC Jazzfest’s website.
10. World Culture Festival
The World Culture Festival will be coming to the nation’s capital this year. Held at the National Mall, this special three-day festival aims to build a more compassionate relationship between cultures globally and promote a peaceful and harmonious society. Organized by the Art of Living Foundation, this year’s festival will feature vibrant performances, health and well-being sessions and international food trucks. Free tickets can be found on the foundation’s website.
Copy edited by Diamond Hamm