Festivals & Fairs in DC, Maryland, & Virginia
Call it good ole’ nostalgia, but there’s just something about a county fair that makes me smile. The obscene variety of triple fried foods, semi-reliable tilt-a-whirls, and “interesting” crowds make it all quite memorable. Luckily, for those who live in the Washington metropolitan area, there are no shortages of street fairs and festivals year-round. DC:
Lake Anne Plaza’s Chalk on the Water– If you have ever wanted to literally “paint the town red”, then this is your chance! This is a two day street art festival in which all age participants are invited to turn the waterfront of Lake Anne Plaza into a chalk gallery. Participants can purchase a plot of brick space to unleash their artistic visions upon. The cost for spaces are $5.00 for kids, $10.00 for adults/families, and $15 for professional artists. Prizes will be awarded for winners in each age category.
- Takes place from June 7th-8th. Located at 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston.
Capital Pride Parade– Capital Pride is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and asexual communities through educational events. The annual parade serves to create a celebratory and supportive environment of acceptance.
DC Independence Day Parade– The annual 4th of July Parade is hosted by the National Park Service and features everything from spectacular floats, marching bands, and military units to dance performances, celebrity participants, and giant balloons. The goal of the parade is to represent all parts of the United States for the enjoyment of the public.
- Takes place on July 4th. Located on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th St.
DC Drag Queen Race– This is an informal costumed drag queen race that is held each year on the Tuesday before Halloween. Thousands of spectators join to watch the participants race in heels for glory. The race welcomes both professional and amateur Drag Queens in a celebration of the LGBTA community.
- Takes place annually on the Tuesday before Halloween. Located at Dupont Circle.
Universoul Circus– Circus acts from around the world joined together to tour in the Universoul Circus. Acts include acrobatics, wire work, global dancers, illusion magic, clown performances, animal stunts, and strongmen. Accommodations can be made fro large groups and handicapped guests.
- This is a traveling circus that takes place throughout 2-14 at various locations. Check the schedule here.
Shenandoah Riverside Festival– Both a celebration and a clean up of the riverside complete with live music, environmental workshops, crafts, and food. The proceeds from previous years have made it possible for Earth Korps to pull over 54,000 pounds of trash from the river.
- Takes place from June 13th-15th. Located at 100 S. Maple Ave, Brunswick .
Highland Festival– The traditions of Highland music, games, and dance come alive at the McHenry Highland Festival. Clan tents and Celtic vendors will be present at this celebration. This is home away from home on a grand scale for Scottish decedents and enthusiasts alike.
- Date for 2015 is TBD. Located in Garrett Country near Deep Creek Lake.
In the Street Festival– For over 25 years the In The Street Festival has been held in downtown Frederick. The full day festival brings food, fun, and entertainment for the whole family. Local vendors will also be in attendance to display and sell their food and craft.
- Takes place on September 13th. Located throughout Market Street, Frederick.
Howard County Fair– The quintessential fair experience can be found in Howard County’s annual festivities. From horses and livestock, to farming and gardening competitions, this fair is for the agricultural guru’s out there. All things related to farming culture will be present.
- Takes place from August 2nd-9th. Located at 2210 Fairground Rd, West Friendship.
Montgomery County Fair– Going strong since 1945, the fair was first started to exhibit prize livestock, garden, and home economics projects. Today, it is one of the largest county fair in the state of Maryland. You can expect fair rides, carnival games, and plenty of food and crafts.
- Takes place from August 8th- 16th. Located at 16 Chesnut St, Gaithersburg.
Celebrate Fairfax/ Fairfax County Government Festival– Three day festival featuring over 300 interactive sights and sounds as well as live concerts, food, petting zoos, and nightly fireworks. This celebration starts at the County Government Hall with an opening ceremony so be sure to arrive early. Credit: Celebrate Fairfax Gallery
- Takes place from June 5th- 7th. Located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.
2nd Street Annual Festival– A return to the center of the African American community of Richmond. This event celebrated both history and the future with all day festival. Food, a variety of live music, and activities for all ages will be provided with admission.
- Takes place on August 3rd. Located throughout 2nd St, Richmond.
Annandale Fall Festival and Parade– The Chamber of Commerce hosts this event every year and it is the largest public event in Annandale. The Community Market area will host one hundred vendors including artisan handcrafts, gourmet pet food, clothing designers, accessories, jewelry, and numerous others. The Food and Entertainment area will feature live rock, country, and jazz bands as well as international cuisine.
- Takes place on October 25th. Located in the Safeway Parking Lot on Little River Turnpike.
Prince William County Fair – This event promises no shortage of things to do for visitors of all ages. The PWC Fair is the alrgest county fair in the state of Virginia. It includes everything you would hope to find at an event like this from livestock exhibits and music to tractor pulls and demolition derbies. Upwards of 90,000 to 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the fair this year.
- Takes place from August 8th-16th. Located at 10624 Dumfries Rd, Manassas.
Arlington County Fair– One of the largest free events on the East Coast, this fair has been providing entertainment for Virginia residents for over 35 years. Visitors should be comfortable with large crowds because attendance has been known to reach 50,000 people in the past. Attendees can expect to enjoy competitive exhibits, rides, games, vendors, racing piglets, and a plethora of other all age entertainment.
- Takes place from August 6th-10th. Located at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd St. South Arlington.