Spring festival guide 2024: Step out for art, flowers, music and more in the DC area

Looking for festivals this weekend? Here's where to go in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Courtesy of The Wharf/Visit Loudoun

There's nothing quite like a spring day out with your friends, family and neighbors. And festivals let everyone have some fun while reveling in music, food, flowers, world cultures and more.

D.C., Maryland and Virginia have plenty of ways to get out and celebrate. There's something to fit every mood from weekend ragers to family-friendly gatherings.

While we count down to summer (the solstice is June 20), mark your calendars for these festivals! And if you want reminders and updates on stuff to do every weekend, subscribe to The Weekend Scene newsletter.

May festivals

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
April 26 to May 5, Winchester, Virginia

Cherry trees aren’t the only blossom game in the DMV! Centered in Winchester, Virginia, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival includes parades, a carnival, a wine fest, sports tournaments, beauty pageants and more over 10 days.

National Cathedral Flower Mart
May 3-4, National Cathedral in Northwest D.C., free entry

In addition to the showstopping International Floral Display and the huge plant sale, Flower Mart visitors can ride an antique carousel, watch free performances and climb the cathedral’s skyscraping towers. Activities for kids and food vendors will be on-site.

The festival’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

International City Food Festival
May 3, 4-9 p.m. and May 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., The Square (1875 I St NW, Washington, D.C.), free admission

With a focus on how food brings people together, this festival is set to present performances, crafts and vendors from around the world inside the downtown food hall.

Running of the Chihuahuas
May 4, 2-5 p.m., The Wharf in Southwest D.C., free entry

Look at those little legs go! Go for the delightfully cute chihuahua races, then stay for a pet photo booth, a dog costume contest featuring adoptable pups and all The Wharf has to offer. It’s free and kid-friendly. Dogs who aren’t participating in the races are welcome to cheer on their furry friends.

Big crowds show up for the main event, but you can watch the races on a jumbo screen.

Proceeds benefit Rural Dog Rescue, and News4's own Tommy McFLY will emcee.

Around the World Embassy Tour
May 4, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., free

Journey around the world without your passport. More than 50 embassies are set to open their doors so you can learn about different cultures — and get some international snacks if you’re lucky. It’s part of the month-long Passport DC program.

By the way: European Union embassies have their own open house day scheduled for Saturday, May 11.

Sligo Creek Fest
May 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Silver Spring, Maryland, free

A stretch of Sligo Creek Parkway is going to the walkers, bikers, boarders (and dogs! as long as they're leashed).

Along the road from Dennis Avenue to University Boulevard, you'll find a stage with live music, kids' performances, food trucks, a beer tent featuring local breweries and hands-on activities.

Anacostia River Festival
May 4, Anacostia Park at Good Hope Road and Anacostia Drive SE in Washington, D.C., free

Celebrate the tenth annual Anacostia River Festival. The event is family-friendly and will have plenty of food, local performers and outdoor activities, including a free fishing workshop.

M3 Rock Festival
May 4-5, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, $90 - $275 (two-day pass)

The hard rock and heavy metal festival is celebrating its 15th year at the venue sharing an ‘80s arena rock experience with new and old audiences. It features performances from Queensrÿche, Bret Michaels and Bret Michaels of Poison fame. 

NVA Thai Street Food & Culture Festival
April 21, May 5 and May 26, The Manassas Museum, free entry

Take in the tastes, sounds and culture of Thailand right in Manassas, Virginia. You’ll find performances, live music and games, plus tons of street eats and sweets. Pro tip: You’ll want to get there early to avoid long lines for food.

Arts and Culture Festival at the National Museum of Asian Art
May 10-12, 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, D.C., free

More details and an exact schedule will be released soon, but the museum gave us a look at what we could expect.

“Activities like mindfulness practices will be integrated alongside arts and cultures resources that support mental health. Programming also includes panel discussions, interactive experiences, culinary pop-ups and art-making projects,” according to a press release.

EU Open House
May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free entry

Rub elbows at the embassies of many European countries while getting acquainted with their culture, tourism, art and more. Details on each embassy’s offering usually come out in the weeks before the event.

Maryland Craft Beer Festival
May 11, noon to 5 p.m., Carroll Creek Linear Park in Frederick, Maryland, $15-$85

Dozens of Maryland breweries will be pouring all the samples you care to drink. Live music and local food vendors will be on tap, too.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival
May 11-12, begins at 10 a.m., Roosevelt Center, free

Music, fairy gardens and an environmental focus: Could this festival be more spring?

Kids will love body paint and fairy gardens while the whole family enjoys live music.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
May 11-12, Woodmont Triangle in Bethesda, Maryland, free admission

More than 120 artists are expected to show and sell their fine art wares along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray avenues. Come to refresh your home décor, stay for live music, entertainment and restaurants.

Fiesta Asia Street Fair
May 18, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., downtown Washington, D.C., free

Taking in a lively parade with dragons, live performances, kids' activities, a talent competition, shopping and pan-Asian cuisine will keep you busy during this celebration for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
May 17, 18 and 19, Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia, $54-$60 for nonmembers

Sip unlimited samples of wine while enjoying George Washington’s estate during the golden hour.

Lucketts Spring Vintage Market
May 17 to 19, Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds in Berryville, Virginia, $15

This market turns Berryville, Virginia, into a destination for finding "vintage garden gems, architectural salvage, crusty antiques, and all kinds of crazy-good finds." It's been around for more than two decades.

Asian Festival on Main
May 19, noon to 6 p.m., Main Street in Historic Old Town Fairfax City, free entry

Celebrate Asian heritage with food, arts and crafts and performances. The rain date is June 2, 2024.

Old Town Festival of Speed & Style
May 19, Old Town Alexandria, free

Dozens of rare of exotic cars, a fashion show and live music will take over several blocks of Old Town, including parts of King Street.

Art in Nature Festival
May 25-27, Chantilly, Virginia, $35+ (one-day pass)

The National Botanic Garden in Chantilly, Virginia, is a privately owned estate that only opens its gates a few times a year.

During the Memorial Day weekend festival, you can take in the lake, water-conserving garden, a hobbit village while viewing art and sampling wine and chocolate. Three tastings cost $10.

Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art
Fridays from May 31 to Aug. 9 (excluding July 5), National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., free if you win the ticket lottery

An indigenous fusion quartet, funk and Soul, Caribbean Steelpan, and more—this concert series transcends jazz genres.

If you would like to enter the ticket lottery, it opens the week before the first concert. Winners will be notified the Monday before the show. Here are more details.

June festivals

Riverfest & Craft Show
June 1-2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Occoquan, Virginia, free

Browse more than 250 artisan’s work, enjoy live concerts in River Mill Park and walk down the environmentally-conscious Conservation Alley.

Head down on Saturday for the Whatever Floats Your Boat Parade or Sunday f or the Duck Splash, where hoards of rubber ducks “race” down the river to benefit a good cause.

Fort Hunt concerts
Sundays in June, July and August, 7 p.m., Fort Hunt Park in McLean, Virginia, free

The National Park Service at George Washington Memorial Parkway kicks off its free concert series on June 2 with a performance from the National Concert Band of America (NCBA). The group includes veterans and legendary players from military service bands.

Come back on late spring and summer Sundays for cover bands, a jazz orchestra and a blues and swing band — all native to the DMV. 

Capital Pride Parade and Festival
June 8-9, Washington, D.C., free

Capital Pride's big weekend is taking over the District with a massive parade and joyful block party in Dupont on Saturday, followed by a packed festival with a big concert downtown on Sunday. Bonus: it's all free to attend!

Capital Jazz Festival
June 7-8, Merriweather Post Pavilion, $89+ (one-day pass)

Grammy winners Anthony Hamilton and Chrisette Michele kick off “one of the longest-running festivals in the DMV and one of the premier black music events in the country” during Black Music Month, the Capital Jazz Festival says.

The Capital Jazz Festival features 30 acts over three days. Despite its name, artists span multiple genres, including soul, R&B and jazz.

Out & About Festival at Wolf Trap
Sat., June 22, Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia, $52+

In its second year, this festival continues to highlight LGBTQ+ artists and allies, integrating nature, pride and great music at the striking outdoor amphitheater.

Grammy winner Brittany Howard will headline a superstar lineup that also features Jenny Lewis, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and more.

Past events

April festivals

Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival
April 20-21, opens at 10 a.m., free entry

Flowers and plants are taking over historic downtown Leesburg, Virginia, for a weekend of all things gardening.

A landscape display contest, three stages of entertainment, the rooftop wine and beer garden and a children’s area will give the whole family a spring in their step.

National Cannabis Festival
April 19-20, RFK Festival Grounds, $55-$130

THUNDERCAT and Wu-Tang Clan + Redman are exciting headliners for the D.C. festival that’s grown massively since its 2016 debut. The music festival is the big draw for most, but you’ll also find an exhibitor’s fair, the National Cannabis Championship and – never fear – a whole zone dedicated to munchies. Do remember that D.C. cannabis laws still apply.

Savor Bowie
April 20 and April 21, Bowie Town Center, free entry

Complimentary wine tastings, two stages of live music, vendors and artisans: Savor Bowie has all the ingredients for a lovely spring day out. The event is free and proceeds benefit Concerts for Causes.

And if you’re up for more, check out the Funk After Fest concert at the Bowie Performing Arts Center ($29-39).

Project GLOW
April 27-28, RFK Festival Grounds, $215.90 (two-day pass)

Get your neon raver gear ready! ILLENIUM, Zedd, Lane 8, REZZ and dozens of other electronic acts are descending on the RFK Festival Grounds for this two-day music festival.

Purcellville Music and Arts Festival
April 27, noon to 7 p.m., Dillon’s Woods and the Bush Tabernacle, free

Pack a lawn chair and head to the park for a day of live music, an art show and kid-friendly crafts.

The event is family-friendly – even dogs are welcome!

Parking is available at Emerick Elementary School, and some vendors only accept cash.

Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland
April 27, Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard, Maryland, $25 (presale)/$30 (at gate)

Head to Leonard, Maryland, to celebrate the heritage of the Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Brittany, Cornwall and Galicia/Asturias.

Filmfest DC
April 18-28, most general admission tickets cost $14

The District’s longest-running and largest film festival returns with international films, locally-made movies, shorts and more.

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