Summer in the City

From baseball games and barbeques to picnics and parades, there’s nothing like an all-American summer. If you’re planning a visit to Washington, DC this summer, that’s just what you’ll find. Join in the American Originals celebration by taking part in one of these special summer events:

May 28
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally
This annual bike rally pays homage to the nation’s veterans, particularly those still missing in action or prisoners of war.

May 26 – June 4
Shakespeare Free-For-All
A Washington, DC summer tradition, the Shakespeare Theatre Company presents a free performance, staged in a beautiful outdoor setting at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre. The 2006 production is Pericles.

May 29
10:30 am
National Memorial Day Parade
The National Memorial Day Parade salutes veterans past and present, starting at the foot of the U.S. Capitol and continuing along Constitution Avenue towards the White House.

June 3
10 am – 4 pm
Wilson 150: Road Rally on “S” Street
The Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, DC’s only presidential house museum, kicks off the year-long national celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of President Woodrow Wilson with a road rally on S Street, featuring the return of Wilson’s original 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and a gathering of vintage vehicles and presidential limousines. Admission is free.

June 10
Flag Day Family Festival
12 pm – 4 pm
The National Museum of American History celebrates the birthday of America’s first flag with stories, music and hands-on craft activities.

June 30 – July 4, July 7-11
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
This annual celebration of cultural diversity turns the National Mall into a global bazaar, with music, dancing, crafts demonstrations and informative exhibits exploring different cultures throughout the world. Themes for this year’s festival include “Alberta at the Smithsonian,” “Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions,” and “Nuestra Música: Latino Chicago.”

July 1
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery’s Grand Opening Celebration
Celebrate the vision and creativity of Americans at the grand opening of these two museums.

July 4 America’s 2006 Independence Day Parade
11:45 am – 2 pm
The traditional National Independence Day Parade features marching bands, military units, floats, giant helium balloons, veterans organizations and specialty units.

July 4
A Capitol Fourth Independence Day Concert
National Symphony Orchestra performs during the nation’s premier Independence Day event. Be dazzled with a wonderful evening of musical entertainment topped by a stunning display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.

July 10-15
Hip-Hop Theater Festival Washington, DC
This popular summer tradition presents artists who stretch, invent and combine a variety of theatrical forms, including theater, dance, spoken word and live music sampling. Through open submissions and through aggressive curating both nationally and internationally, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival finds, develops and introduces new artistic creations from a diversity of cultures.

July 20 – July 30
Capital Fringe Festival
Enjoy hundreds of performances by adventurous and innovative artists from DC, Baltimore, the United States and overseas. More than 20 traditional and nontraditional venues will host theater, dance, music, poetry, spoken word, puppetry and other art forms.

Aug. 1-31
Culture Cool
Museums and other Washington, DC cultural institutions feature programs designed to refresh body and soul in the midst of a long, hot summer. Taking place inside air-conditioned venues such as embassies, museums and historic sites, events will feature opportunities to mix and mingle and preview the upcoming arts season.

To learn about other summer events and happenings, visit

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