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Visitors will enjoy a feast of festivals this spring in Washington, DC, featuring fireworks, Jazz, and culture from differing neighborhoods.

Yearlong Anniversaries, Events, & Celebrations

Duke Ellington’s 125th birthday year | 2024

Celebrate DC-born American jazz icon Duke Ellington’s life and accomplishments through the Kennedy Center’s Ellington 125 series in spring and DC JazzFest’s 20th anniversary festival in autumn. Year-round, visitors can explore Black Broadway alongside DC’s U Street corridor, a historically influential Black neighborhood which served as a prominent symbol of Black culture and sophistication amid racial and political tension in America. Black Broadway includes DC’s Duke Ellington statue and the historic Howard Theatre where Ellington often played alongside other Black musical leaders.


60th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act | July 2, 2024

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act following a culmination of iconic events, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech at DC’s Lincoln Memorial and concurrent March on Washington the year prior. The Act prohibits discrimination in public settings and the workplace and forced school integration. Visitors can visit historic and modern civil rights locations like the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Black Lives Matter Plaza for free throughout the year. The National Museum of African American History and Culture holds exhibits to explore Black culture, like Cultural Expressions, Afrofuturism and Reckoning. Visitors can stay at The Willard Washington DC hotel, where Martin Luther King Jr. put the finishing touches on his iconic speech.


Museum anniversaries

National Museum of American History’s 60th anniversary | January 2024

Visitors can experience new exhibitions in 2024 like the sport-focused Change YOUR Game and motorcycle themed Zen and the Open Road.


The Kreeger Museum’s 30th anniversary | June 2024

Explore current exhibitions like Pablo Picasso’s Still Life with Fruit, Glass, and Newspaper.


National Museum of the American Indian’s 20th anniversary | September 2024

The museum will have a leading role in this summer’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival,  themed around Indigenous individuals. Explore new exhibits: Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains and Sublime Light: Tapestry Art of DY Begay.


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s 50th anniversary | October 2024

The sculpture garden is currently undergoing revitalization and slated for a 2026 opening. The museum is celebrating the anniversary with the new exhibit, Revolutions: Art from the Hirshhorn Collection, 1860–1960, a survey of artwork made during a transformative period characterized by new currents in science and philosophy, and ever-increasing mechanization. Featured artists include Francis Bacon and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others.



A Capitol Fourth and Fireworks Show | July 4, 2024

America’s national Independence Day celebration honors our country’s birthday with an all-star salute in concert form, followed by a fantastic display of fireworks with a plethora of scenic views.


Smithsonian Folklife Festival | June 26 - July 1, 2024

Each summer, the National Mall plays host to a free, kid-friendly celebration of cultures across the globe. The 2024 theme is Indigenous Voices of the Americas. Indigenous artists and makers, professional chefs and home cooks, musicians, dancers, athletes and storytellers will demonstrate the depth of multigenerational traditions as well as new, innovative approaches to cultural expression.


Back to the Future: The Musical – The Kennedy Center | July 23 – Aug. 11, 2024

The beloved cinematic classic is now a Broadway musical coming to Washington, DC in 2024. When Marty McFly finds himself transported back to 1955 in a time machine built by the eccentric scientist Doc Brown, he accidentally changes the course of history. Now he’s in a race against time to fix the present, escape the past, and send himself... back to the future.


Mubadala Citi DC Open – Rock Creek Park Tennis Center | Late July TBD

The District’s signature professional tennis tournament will return to Rock Creek Park Tennis Center for its 55th edition in 2024. Top-tier talent from all over the world will compete for a prestigious trophy, leading to back-and-forth pro action.


Washington Mystics 2024 Season | Ongoing May – Sept. 2024

The 2019 Women’s National Basketball Association champion Washington Mystics have become one of the most exciting draws in the city. The team calls the Entertainment and Sports Arena home from May through September.


Washington Nationals 2024 Season | Ongoing March – Sept. 2024

See Major League Baseball at the state-of-the-art Nationals Park in Capitol Riverfront. The stadium offers magnificent views of the Capitol dome and Washington Monument along with the 2019 World Series champions. Don’t miss the famous Presidents Race, which happens between the top and bottom of every fourth inning.


DC United 2024 Season | Ongoing Feb. – Oct. 2024

Did you know that DC United is one of the most successful soccer teams in the country? Catch a game at the premier Audi Field and see why. Winners of four Major League Soccer Cups, the squad takes the field from March through October. Extra points if you sit in the particularly boisterous “Screamin’ Eagles” fan club section.



Otakon – Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Aug. 2-4, 2024

The family-friendly annual convention is run by and dedicated to fans of Asian media, entertainment and pop culture, including anime, manga, music, movies and video games. The festivities range from cosplay contests, skits and live music to panel discussions with comic book (super)heroes, for-sale artworks and more.


MAMMA MIA! – The Kennedy Center | Aug. 13 – Sept. 1, 2024

Even though it’s become widely known as a successful film franchise, the stage rendition of MAMMA MIA! remains a musical powerhouse. The essential hits of chart-topping Swedish group ABBA serve as the soundtrack to a daughter’s journey to find the father she’s never known, which prompts the arrival of three men from her mother’s past.


Usher: Past Present Future – Capital One Arena | Aug. 20-21, 2024

Following his successful 2024 Super Bowl performance and two-year Las Vegas Residency run culminating in 100 sold out shows, multi-platinum and 8-time GRAMMY award-winning global entertainment icon Usher performs downtown.


Voting by Mail – National Postal Museum | Aug. TBD

The presidential election year is the perfect time to reflect on past examples of national voting by mail. The collection includes a mailed tally sheet from 1864 recording votes of soldiers, an absentee ballot request postcard for a World War II soldier and a complete absentee ballot kit and instruction sheet from the last presidential election in 2020.


Restaurant Week | Aug. TBD

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington hosts two annual celebrations of DC’s eclectic dining scene: one in January and one in August. For both seasonal editions, Restaurant Week offers diners pre-fixe menus for lunch/brunch ($25/$35) and dinner ($40/$55/$65).



DC Bike Ride | Sept. 7, 2024

The family-friendly course is one of the biggest celebrations of cycling in DC and offers a unique experience to its participants, winding riders through city streets and by monuments and memorials. The 20-mile excursion welcomes riders over the age of three and includes a Finish Festival with food, music and fun activities.


Washington Commanders American Football Team Season Starts | Sept. 8, 2024

Washington, DC’s official professional American football team, The Commanders compete in the National Football League as a member of the National Football Conference East division.


Paris 1874: The Impressionist Moment – National Gallery of Art | Sept. 8 – Jan. 19, 2025

Discover the origins of one of the most important art movements in history. The museum is replicating a legendary exhibit from Paris in 1874 that helped bring about the dawn of Impressionism. In the display, you will be able to view beloved paintings by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissaro and many more.


DC JazzFest's 20th Anniversary | August 31 - September 1, 2024

Celebrate DC JazzFest’s 20th anniversary in 2024 during this can't-miss event on the District's cultural calendar, inviting visitors of all ages to celebrate all things jazz each summer. As the city's premier jazz festival, the event serves up a diverse selection of national and international masterclass jazz artists, performing in a wide array of venues reaching every quadrant and corner of the city. Many concerts during the festival are free.


DC Theatre Week | September TBD

Theatre Week kicks off the launch of the theater season in the Washington, DC region. With dozens of participating theaters and productions, it is a celebration of the theater community, providing an opportunity to sample the diverse and vibrant work on a variety of stages across the region.


H Street Festival | September TBD

One of DC’s exciting neighborhoods pulls out all the stops for this annual festival that draws thousands of attendees every year. The H Street Festival will feature live music, dance performances, family-friendly activities, contests and plenty of food vendors across its 14 staging areas, with dozens of businesses participating.


Adams Morgan Day | Mid-September TBD

The longest-running neighborhood festival in the District puts on its 46th edition in 2024. Lively 18th Street will be buzzing with music, food vendors, for-sale artwork and family-friendly activities. The day-long extravaganza is led by volunteers and showcases the businesses, artists and organizations that make up Adams Morgan.


Walkingtown DC | Late September TBD

Events DC showcases the incredible walkability of the nation’s capital during Walkingtown DC, a free, week-long public tour program. Dozens of guided walking tours are held throughout the District, including neighborhood showcases, themed excursions, historical journeys and many more. Historians, licensed tour guides, community leaders and business owners, among others, host these adventures that will take you to both well-known and hidden gems across DC.



Washington Capitals - National Hockey League Season Begins | Oct. 10, 2024

Catch a match of DC’s NHL team, the Washington Capitals as they take to the ice at Capital One Arena.


Boo at the Zoo – Smithsonian's National Zoo | October TBD

Guests can feast their eyes on spellbinding habitats decorated with Jack-O-Lanterns, spooky enrichment and tasty treats. Fiendishly fun vignettes featuring frolicking skeletons and fantastical creatures liven up the Zoo’s main pathway.



Downtown Holiday Market | Late November TBD

DC’s free-to-frequent downtown bazaar is centrally located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. The beloved market stretches across two blocks of F Street between 7th and 9th streets. Scope out eclectic wares from dozens of pop-up tents with seasonally flavored music performed live. Locally roasted coffee and crafted-before-your-eyes mini-doughnuts inspire a cold-weather appetite, creating a festive holiday atmosphere.



National Christmas Tree Lighting | December TBD

The National Christmas Tree is one of DC’s claims to fame during the holidays for good reason. The gorgeous conifer lives in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, where it's surrounded by trees decorated with handmade ornaments from 56 U.S. states and territories and is accompanied by nightly musical performances throughout the holiday season. The display is free to visit.


National Menorah Lighting | December TBD

Chanukah kicks off with this lighting ceremony of the world’s largest menorah on the White House Ellipse, which greets all with latkes, doughnuts, menorah kits and dreidels. Music from the United States Navy Band will add a soundtrack to the scene. As is the custom, a new candle is illuminated on each of the eight days of Hanukkah.



National World War I Memorial’s A Soldier's Journey sculpture wall | 2024

The memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the war’s end and honors its 4.7 million servicemen and women. Located across from The Willard InterContinental Hotel, the memorial’s 58.5-foot (about 17.8 meters) bronze sculpture wall will b the highest free-standing bronze sculpture in the Western hemisphere.


WorldPride DC 2025 | May 23-June 8, 2025

The year 2025 marks 50 years of Pride in Washington, DC, and we're celebrating with the world. WorldPride DC 2025 will feature a vibrant and innovative slate of events and cultural programs. From music to film, from the National Mall to Embassy Row, visitors will experience the world through Washington’s multi-faceted and multi-cultural community. Additionally, visitors will find unforgettable experiences throughout the week that promote the city’s principles of inclusion, affordability and celebration.


Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden Revitalization | 2026

The campus is currently undergoing transformative improvements in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2024. The museum building’s envelope is being repaired and the revitalization of the Sculpture Garden is underway. The projects will enable the Hirshhorn campus to support the museum’s mission and its expanded programming and collections, as well as enhance visitor experience and address critical infrastructure needs. Japanese architect/poet/photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, is leading the design group.


11th Street Bridge Park | 2026

The city’s first elevated public park over the Anacostia River, visitors can expect an amphitheater, picnic gardens, interactive art and waterfalls among other attractions and events.


Jay I. Kislak World War II in the Air – National Air and Space Museum | 2026

Jay I. Kislak's World War II in the Air examines how the revolution in warfare that took place during the war redefined the promise and peril of military aviation and explores the dramatic changes to flight and culture that continue to reverberate through society today.


RTX Living in the Space Age – National Air and Space Museum | 2026

The RTX Living in the Space Age Hall provides insight into space technologies and infrastructure that are largely invisible to the public but have a profound impact on our daily lives. The exhibition covers topics from the beginning of the Space Age in the mid-20th century to the present and beyond.


Museum of Ice Cream | Ongoing  

The museum is currently looking for property in DC to establish its fifth location.