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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cultural and ethnic festivals in the Washington DC area (2014)


Summertime brings a number of local cultural events and ethnic festivals to the
Washington, D.C. Metro area. The diversity represented in the area is highlighted during the year through celebration. Here are a few of the upcoming events which will be taking place throughout the region over the next couple of months:

German Festival: The 114th Maryland German Festival takes place on Sat., July 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun., July 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Timonium. This event features German entertainment, food and drink. There is an admission fee for this event which is $8 adults, $6 seniors, Active Military $6; children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult ticket. 

Peruvian Festival: This annual event takes place on Sun., July 27 in Arlington at the Gunston Arts Center, located at 2700 S. Lang Street. This event honors Peru's day of Independence (July 28th) and features Peruvian dance, music and food. This is an annual event, but I had a bit of trouble finding details this year, other than on this calendar listed by Arlington Democrats. In previous years, this event was free.

African American Heritage Festival: For 23 years this festival has been taking place in Prince William County on the first Saturday in August. This year's African American Culture Arts Festival takes place in Manassas at Metz Middle School on Sat., Aug. 2, 2014 and will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. According to the official website, this year's event will feature 125 exhibitors, entertainment (see schedule) a classic car show, games for the kids and much more. Admission to the festival is free.

2014 Irish Festival in Alexandria: This annual event takes place on Sat., Aug. 9, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Alexandria's waterfront park (1A Prince Street). Visitors can experience Irish culture including arts and crafts, food, refreshments, cultural dance and entertainment. This is an event open to all ages and entrance to the event is free. Proceeds go to support the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in March.

Annual Pakistan Festival: Now in its 28th year, this increasingly popular event takes place this year at Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, Va. on Sun., Aug. 24, 2014.  Visitors can expect lots of traditional Pakistani food, folk music and more. Admission and parking for this event is free. You can learn more on the Pakistan Festival USA website.

Annual Cambodian Community Day Festival: This festival will be a celebration of Cambodian culture, which will showcase folk and classical dance performances, live music, traditional foods and entertainment for the kids. You can learn more about the event on the Cambodian Community Day website. 

KORUS Festival: This annual event takes place in 2014 from Fri., Sept. 19 to Sun., Sept 21 at Bull Run Regional Park. Run by the 
Taken at KORUS 2012
Korean American Association of Washington Metropolitan Area, a
weekend full of fun, food, music and more throughout the days and nights. For entertainment, Friday is listed as "singles night", Saturday as "family day"  and Sunday as "cultural day" (all are family-friendly though in my experience). Activities for the kids too.

September also brings the Reston Multicultural Festival. The 2014 festival takes place on Sat., Sept. 27, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is an annual event, now in its 14th year, which celebrates the diversity represented in the community. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in attire to represent their own cultural background. There will be entertainment, music, dress, food and anything related to cultural diversity. The event takes place at the Lake Anne Village Center located at 1609-A Washington Plaza in Reston. Rain or shine! The event is free to all ages.

The annual Turkish Festival takes place on Sun., Sept. 28, 2014 from 11a.m. - 7 p.m. downtown in D.C. Now in its 12th year, the festival will culminate Turkish Cultural Heritage Month. The website doesn't seem to provide current information, other than a date, but you can check out last year's festivities.

While many of the cultural festivals in the area have already occurred (May is a big festival month), there are still lots of celebrations left this summer and the rest of the year throughout the Maryland, Northern Va. and Washington D.C. areas.

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