Despite the sweltering heat, summer in the District has its perks: some of the city’s biggest musical, performance and food events take place between June and August. If you’re on campus for the summer or have extra days after Colonial Inauguration, be sure to drop by some of these festivals to get a taste of D.C.’s summer life.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 26 — June 30; July 3 — July 7
If you’re looking to get lost in other cultures, check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which has three main programs. “The Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival” festivities include musicians, dancers and artisans who highlight the significance of the culture’s folk-revival movement. On a more global scale is the “One World, Many Voices” program, which offers talks with Kalmyk epic singers and Tuvan stone carvers from Russia and showcases the significance of language in shaping a culture. Lastly, “Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style and Identity” covers everything from traditional African dress and performances to social turning points like the Civil Rights movement.
Rossyln Outdoor Film Festival
Fridays at dusk
Just across the Potomac River, Rossyln, Va. holds a series of free summer movies, all in the theme of “Summer School.” Screenings range from teen comedy classics to modern day romantic comedies, such as “Risky Business,” “Easy A” and “Pretty in Pink.” Alcohol isn’t allowed in the park, but the wide selection of movies is appealing for families or even for just a group of friends, a blanket and a box of cupcakes.
Safeway Barbecue Battle
June 22 and 23, 11 a.m.
1011 Pennsylvania Avenue
$10 one-day pass, $20 two-day pass
If you just can’t wait until the Fourth of July to stuff your face with barbecued goodness, then picking up a pass to the Safeway Barbecue Battle may be just the thing to settle your stomach. The BBQ-ers compete for a $40,000 prize and the title of National Pork Barbecue Champion, but you can feel just as good that your ticket money is being donated to the Boys & Girls Club. And while you’re eating yourself into delirium, there are three stages set up for bands to lull you into your food coma.
D.C. Jazz Festival
June 5 — 16
A jam-packed 11 days of jazz concerts across the District, the D.C. Jazz Festival is for anyone looking to just sit back and absorb their summer. The stars, of course, are The Roots, who will perform June 15 at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, with ticket prices starting at $35. The band is using the concert to celebrate its 25 years together, which have included a Grammy win and their current stint as the house band on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
June 7 — 30
1835 14th St. NW
Starting at $10 per performance; $100 all-access pass
For a unique festival experience, the Source Festival offers a series of performances, from 10-minute to full-length plays. Three “artistic blind dates” bring together artists who had six months to piece a work together based off of a play. The 10-minute performances are arranged by three themes: “On the Cusp,” “In the Midst” and “Afterward,” each meant to describe a unique stage in life for a character. The plays range from serious to silly, as some are described as simple love stories while others include mermaids and supernatural powers.