This year in the District

August

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial dedication, Aug. 28
On the 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will be dedicated. It is located on Independence Avenue directly between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, in a symbolic “line of leadership,” according to the memorial’s website. Check out other related events as well, such as performances at the Kennedy Center from Aug. 26 to 28, and a display at the National Archives about the 1963 March on Washington.


September

D.C. Shorts Film Festival, Sept. 8 to 15
The D.C. Shorts Film Festival is the Capitol area’s only festival dedicated to showcasing and discussing short films. Spanning virtually every genre, there are nine showcases throughout the week at the two locations. This is also a great introduction to the popular Landmark E Street Cinema, which features the most innovative movie snack yet: the Crab Pretzel.
Locations:
Landmark E Street Cinema
555 11th St., NW (near Metro Center and Gallery Place Metro stations)
U.S. Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (near to the Navy Memorial Metro station)

Adams Morgan Day, Sept. 11 from 12 to 7 p.m.
After a lazy Sunday brunch, take a few friends off campus and get to know this culturally diverse neighborhood. Adams Morgan Day includes live music and dancing at Dance Plaza, as well as international food, from Argentinean to Ethiopian, at street vendors.
Location: 18th Street, NW, between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road (accessible by Metro – Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan on the Red line)


October

Taste of Georgetown, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Featuring signature dishes of Georgetown’s most celebrated restaurants, the Taste of Georgetown provides live jazz to accompany your culinary discoveries. Proceeds benefit the homeless by providing them with psychiatrist care, shelter and meals through the Georgetown Ministry Center.
Admission: $5/tasting or $20/five tastings; $10 for entry into the Wine Pavilion (tickets may be purchased in advance online.)

Dupont Drag Race, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m.
(crowds gather as early as 6 p.m.)

Do away with trick-or-treating this year, and head to Dupont Circle for the Capitol’s annual Drag Race, showcasing the best of D.C.’s drag queens hurtling down 17th Street in their finest racing wigs. Expect large crowds and even larger heels.
Location: 17th Street, between P and S streets NW, near Dupont Circle


November

Help the Homeless Walk, Nov. 20
With holiday season approaching and nearly 12,000 homeless people living in the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Fannie Mae Foundation is sponsoring a 3.1 mile Help the Homeless Walk on the National Mall. Raise awareness and funds for local homelessness organizations, and enjoy a beautiful walk.

Thanksgiving international student special
Are you an international student faced with the impending American extravaganza that is Thanksgiving? Scared of Black Friday? By now you will know that the Office of Study Abroad is your go-to guide for everything – they can also arrange for you to join a host family for a genuine Thanksgiving dinner to learn about the tradition. Speak to the staff or go to their website.


December

Lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Dec. 10 (subject to change)
Join President Barack Obama, the first family and entertainers on the White House South Lawn for a holiday tradition dating back to 1923. Keep checking recreation.gov for when the lottery opens to enter to win free tickets.


January

Ice skating at the National Sculpture Garden, throughout January
Return refreshed from the holidays, and make your way onto the ice at the National Sculpture Garden. The rink is open until mid-March, but why wait? Waltz past pieces by Louise Bourgeois and Joan Miro while cradling a warming cup of cocoa.
Prices: $6 students, $7 adults, $6 seniors


February

Open rehearsal: American Ballet Theatre, Feb. 2 at 1:15 p.m.
Join dance scholars for an inside look at the rehearsals of the American Ballet Theatre for their performance of “La Bayadère” and a mixed repertory program. The Explore the Arts Audio Scholars program will teach you via headset about the history of the performance and dancers.
Price: $12 for three hours
Location: Opera House, Kennedy Center – 2700 F St.

George Washington birthday parade, Feb. 18
Get off campus and head to Old Town Alexandria to celebrate George’s birthday in style with a parade that retraces his steps through Virginia. Celebrations feature a 10K and the Cherry Challenge – a competition for restaurants using cherries. There’s never a better time to don your buff and blue and make a toast to GW.
Location: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia


March

D.C. 20th annual Environmental Film Festival, March 13 to 25
Raising awareness and encouraging debate on environmental issues, the 20th annual Environmental Film Festival encompasses a fortnight of films and discussions at locations around the city.

“1776” at the Ford’s Theatre, beginning March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Based on the letters and memoirs of America’s founding fathers, there is no better place to see this Tony Award-winning musical than in this famous theater, also the site of Lincoln’s assassination.
Location: Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St., NW
Price and other times: Available online


April

National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 to April 27, and the Sakura Matsuri street festival on April 14
Tourists flock from all over to admire the cherry blossom beauty around the Tidal Basin, so make the most of this natural phenomenon right on your doorstep.
The Sakura Matsuri Street Festival is part of the wider National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the largest Japanese Street Festival in the U.S. It includes performances, Japanese and Asian restaurants, cultural exhibits and Japanese product vendors.
Location:
National Cherry Blossom Festival – centered around the Tidal Basin
Sakura Matsuri – Pennsylvania Avenue, between 9th and 14th streets

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