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10 DC must-attend events to end your summer

A list of 10 thrilling events occurring soon in DC including the National Book Festival, a WNBA game, an Earth, Wind and Fire/Lionel Richie concert and more. 

The Washington Monument stands firmly in the sunlight. The monument was built in 1848 to honor of United States’ first president, George Washington. It has since become a popular tourist spot, with millions visiting yearly. (Unsplash)

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 

Attendees gather at the 2022 Library of Congress National Book Festival. The festival’s first event was held on Sept. 8, 2001, and over the years its audience has grown tremendously. The event has now become an important event for litterateurs and those who love to read. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

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 

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The NMAAHC chose to host its block party on Aug. 12 in honor of hip-hop being born at a party in the Bronx, New York on Aug. 11, 1973. The block party was inaugurated in 2022, with more than 8,000 people in attendance. (iStock/Disobey Art)

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. 

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“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 

Thousands of fans attend a sold-out game at the Capital One Arena and watch the Washington Mystics take on their opponents. The WNBA team will play its 30th game this season against the Chicago Sky on Aug. 13. (@washmystics/Instagram)

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 

The Kennedy Center is named after the 35th U.S. president, John. F. Kennedy. The center officially opened in 1971 and has become a staple in Washington, D.C. for performing arts. Thousands of events and performances are held each year. This month, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the world-famous novel and Broadway play, returns to the center. (The Kennedy Center Gallery)

Harper Lee’s classic novel and play To Kill A Mockingbirdwill 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 

A look at Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind and Fire’s tour schedule for 2023. The international icon, Richie, has sold over 125 million albums worldwide and has won four Grammy Awards, along with an Oscar and many other awards. Earth, Wind and Fire emerged in 1971 and have won 6 Grammy Awards, sold over 90 million records worldwide and hold seven Top 10 hits on the Hot 100. (Official Earth, Wind and Fire website)

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.” 

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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’s team logo has changed three times since it was first created in 1996. The professional soccer team’s current logo was only created seven years ago in 2016. However, the logo has maintained its colors: red, black and white, and our nation’s bird, the bald eagle. On Aug. 26 the team will play its 26th game of the season against the Philadelphia Union. (Wallpaper Safari)

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.” 

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Tickets can be purchased on D.C. United’s website.

7. Soulja Boy Concert at the Howard Theater 

Soulja Boy during the “Crank That” music video in 2007. The video has reached over 500 million views on YouTube since it was first uploaded on the platform in 2009. “Crank That” also remained the number-one song on the Hot 100 for seven weeks. (Wallpaper Access)

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

DC’s waterfront community, The Wharf. The Wharf is home to many popular restaurants, hotels, events and more. Millions of people visit the major attraction in DC each year to experience its elegant ambiance and entertainment. (iStock Images)

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

An audience gathers during the Jazzfest at The Wharf. The D.C. Jazz Festival showcases talent from local to international, averaging an attendance of 180,000 since 2020. With its beautiful waterfront and a plethora of restaurants, hotels, and residents, the Wharf has become a district staple. (DCist/Sriram Gopal)

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

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10. World Culture Festival 

Two men celebrate and play West African djembe drums at the World Culture Festival. The djembe is one of West Africa’s most commonly-known instruments, often used for important events, celebrations, and funerals. For three days this upcoming fall, the World Culture Festival will take place at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Art of Living)

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


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