If you’re upset that syllabus week is coming to an end, just remember that this weekend is three days long. Enjoy Labor Day weekend with free concerts and festivals all around the city.
Labor Day Weekend Music Festival
To kick off the holiday weekend, the Lincoln Theatre will begin a three-day music festival showcasing music by local performers. Jazz, blues, pop and rock dominate the featured genres at this festival. On Friday night, local jazz artist Flo Anito and Margot MacDonald, a one-woman indie-pop artist best known for her NPR Tiny Desk Concert performance, will both perform.
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. 7 p.m. Free.
National Book Festival
You’ll want to book it to this year’s National Book Festival. The annual event will feature hundreds of authors, including Condoleezza Rice, David Baldacci, Michael Lewis and Emma Donoghue. Authors, illustrators and poets will share musings on their books and many will sign their latest works during the festival. The festival also includes craft centers for bookmark making, slam poetry performances, poetry readings and special exhibits from The Library of Congress.
Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Place NW. 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free.
Head to Yards Park for DC VegFest 2017, a free food and music festival, hosted by the non-profit organization Compassion Over Killing. More than 130 vendors like Craft Kombucha, Miyoko’s Kitchen and Amsterdam Falafelshop, will be giving out vegan food samples. The festival will also have live music, a kids’ zone, cooking classes, a Humane Rescue Alliance “Barking Lot” for pet adoptions and a beer garden. David Carter, a former NFL player who is known as the 300-pound vegan, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Dr. Ruby Lathon, a holistic nutritionist and wellness expert, are among the speakers scheduled throughout the day.
The Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Drink the World
If you’d love to travel the world drinking unlimited beer, but don’t have the time or money, ditch your passport and head over to the Fairgrounds Saturday for the International Beer Festival. Beer and other beverages, like wine and hard cider, from more than 30 countries will be served for the ticket price of $40. Live music and “surprise entertainment” add to the festival-aspect at this alcohol mecca. Tap into your inner explorer and wear the best international garb or tourist attire you have, because a prize is awarded to the best costume.
The Fairgrounds, 1299 Half St. SE. 1 to 4 p.m. or 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $39 online for one time slot.
National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert
As an annual tradition produced by the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra will light up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with a free performance the day before Labor Day. The set list revolves around patriotism with songs like “Washington Post March” and “Armed Forces Salute.” Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, famous for “Red & White & Blue & Gold,” will join the NSO and John Morris Russell, conductor at the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, will serve as the guest conductor.
West Lawn, U.S. Capitol Building. Gates open at 3 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. Free.
Keep summer going and soak in the Caribbean vibes next to the National Mall at the Ronald Reagan Building Outdoor Plaza. The festival Carifesta celebrates the Caribbean-American heritage of English, Spanish, French and Dutch speakers in the Caribbean. With a beer garden, craft center, art exhibit, fashion showcase, book signings, five live performances and a DJ, the heritage of the Caribbean is represented through a spectrum of artistic activities. You must register online to RSVP for the event, but admission is free.
Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 12 to 8 p. m. Free, RSVP required.
Page-to-Stage New Play Festival
More than 60 local theater companies band together to perform a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals for the 16th annual Page-to-Stage. An opera without music, a reimagining of Medusa and a story of desegregating a private swim club will headline the event. Thirty-seven different performances and theaters share the stage throughout the 12 and a half hour festival. Check the schedule online for a list of times for each show.
The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Free, limited seating available.