Tag Archives: Washington DC Summer Events

The 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Last year's Festival spotlighted the 25th anniversary of The AIDS Memorial Quilt

Last year’s Festival spotlighted the 25th anniversary of The AIDS Memorial Quilt



I think the late end to the school year has thrown off my mental calendar, because until I happened upon the clusters of white tents and construction of several interesting wooden structures on the National Mall yesterday, I completely forgot the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins this week!

The 10-day celebration of living cultural heritage begins tomorrow June 26 and runs through June 30, then again July 3-7. Generally, the festival is divided into three programs focusing on a nation, region, state, or theme. This year will spotlight “Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival,” “One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage,” and “The Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity.”

Festival preparations include the construction of several wooden stuctures for "Hungarian Heritage."

Festival preparations include the construction of several wooden stuctures for “Hungarian Heritage.”

Visitors of all ages will have many opportunities to discover and explore all three areas through special exhibits, workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more, including plenty of activities especially children. For specifics, see the festival schedule.

This will all take place on the National Mall just past Smithsonian Castle. Festival hours are 11am – 5:30pm with special events and performances taking place later most evenings. And in true Smithsonian spirit, just about all of it is free and open to the public. Concessions will be available for purchase, including fare inspired by the festival themes.

If you plan to go… Be aware that the National Mall will likely be crowded during this time. Besides the influx of tourists to DC during the summer, the July 4th celebration draws even more crowds, especially in the days leading up to the Independence Day event (on the day of, it’s jam-packed). That said, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival definitely is worth checking out. We go at some point every year and always find exhibits and activities that are interesting for the whole family. Generally, I always recommend taking Metro to the Mall. The Smithsonian stop on the Blue/Orange line and L’Enfant on Blue/Orange & Yellow/Green is also nearby.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Monuments & Memorials, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Washington Kastles Serve Up Fun & Excitement in DC

Riverfront tennis at a Washington Kastles match

 

Tennis, anyone? The Washington Kastles, the 2011 World Team Tennis Champions, are getting ready to return to the DC court!  The season began on July 9, and their first home match at Kastles Stadium is tomorrow, July 12, against the New York Sportimes.

The Kastles are the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, the professional league that, you might say, is a complete 180 from Wimbledon. WTT breaks from the familiar traditions of tennis — teams play by a unique set of rules, loud music and fun spectacles occur during the match, and the crowd is not just welcome, but encouraged to be a part of it all. It’s a sporting event that focuses on the fans just as much as the stars.

Owen & friend cheer on the team

As they defend their title, it’s guaranteed to be an exciting season.  Not to mention, some of the sport’s biggest stars are on the team, Serena and Venus among them. Tickets are still available for all of the matches (though the cheap seats are gone for the star-studded ones), and this coming Sunday, July 15, is a Family Night with lots of fun activities for kids and adults around the grounds of Kastles Stadium. Owen and I attended last year, and we had a blast, both during the pre-game festivities and watching the match.  The stadium isn’t huge, so you have a good view no matter where you sit and really feel like you’re in on the action.  Plus, the music, mid-match exhibitions, and the players keep the crowd amped up.

With team mascot, Topspin

And I have to mention the location. Kastles Stadium is located at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront.  You get views of the river, a nice summer breeze, and exciting tennis action all at once. If you’re a fan of tennis, it really is a can’t-miss local event.

The Washington Kastles season at home lasts through July 28.  See the full schedule and purchase tickets here.

 

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Competition, DC, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

View of a past Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Photo: Jeff Tinsley, Smithsonian Institution)

 

Lots of white tents are starting to pop up on the National Mall. Which, around this time of year, can only mean one thing: The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival is about to begin.  From June 27 – July 1 and July 4-8,  the National Mall will become the stomping grounds of folks from around the globe to celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions.

Focused on a few main themes every year, the festival has three in 2012: Campus and Community commemorates the 150th anniversary of the founding of land-grant universities and the USDA. Citified celebrates arts and creativity east of the Anacostia River. Creativity and Crisis spotlights the 25th anniversary of The AIDS Memorial Quilt and 30 years of life with AIDS.

Visitors of all ages will have ample opportunity to discover and explore all three areas through special exhibits, workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more, including plenty of activities especially children. For specifics, see the festival schedule.

This will all take place on the National Mall just past Smithsonian Castle (and all of the construction) from June 27 – July 1 and July 4 -8. Festival hours are 11am – 5:30pm with special performances taking place later most evenings. And in true Smithsonian spirit, just about all of it is free and open to the public.

If you plan to go… Be aware that the Mall will likely be crowded during this time.  Besides the throngs of tourists that visit DC during the summer, the July 4th celebration draws even more crowds, especially in the days leading up to the event (on the day of, it’s jam-packed).  That said, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is definitely worth checking out.  We go at some point every year and always find exhibits and activities that are interesting for the whole family. Generally, I always recommend taking Metro to the Mall.  The Smithsonian stop on the Blue/Orange line lets out right by the Festival, and L’Enfant (Blue/Orange/Yellow/Green) stop is also nearby.

 

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend