As students wrap up their first month of summer break, the nation’s capital is only just beginning its summer festivities.
This weekend, enjoy a popular artisan festival put on by the Smithsonian, visit new art exhibitions or learn some new barbecue recipes to kick off your Fourth of July celebrations.
Here are our top picks for a weekend of fun:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, an event showcasing the work of a variety of artisans, will be conducting its celebration virtually this year. Starting Friday, tune into the festival’s livestream as the Smithsonian explores the theme “Making Matters,” which celebrates the way artisans, cooks and musicians have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic within their own communities. Throughout the weekend, the virtual celebration will include kitchen demonstrations of cooks preparing various recipes, craft workshops, story circles and more. The festival also includes an online marketplace where you can shop the featured artisans’ products.
Jacob Lawrence’s “The American Struggle”
This Saturday, the Phillips Collection art gallery will display American painter Jacob Lawrence’s “Struggle… From the History of the American People.” The series, which he painted from 1954 to 1956, consists of 30 paintings that illustrate the struggle of oppressed Americans throughout the nation’s history with “clashing angular patterns of color and form,” according to the exhibit description. The display of his collection will be the first time that all the pieces in the series have been reunited since 1958 after being bought by a private collector and sold individually. The exhibition officially debuts Friday and will run until Sept. 19.
The National Capital Barbecue Battle
Don’t miss the final weekend of the National Capital Barbecue Battle, which benefits the Capital Area Food Bank branch of Feeding America. The barbecue-themed festival, which will be held virtually this year, usually takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown and runs throughout the month of June. Be sure to catch program events like the daily giveaway with prizes ranging from coolers to barbecue tools, video recipe tutorials and voting for your favorite recipe in the USO military chef cook-off hosted by celebrity chef Robert Irvine. You can also watch performances from local bands and vote for your favorite to win the ‘Ultimate BBQ Battle of the Bands.’
Virtual. Runs throughout the month of June. Free, donations encouraged. Find more information here.