Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: Capital Pride Parade and 20+ More Things to Do in the DC Area

It's a huge weekend to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride in D.C. with a big parade, festival and concert

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A weekend of both celebration and activism is ahead in the D.C. area. Crowds of people are expected to demonstrate against gun violence Saturday at the March for Our Lives, plus thousands of LGBTQIA+ community members and allies will stand up for visibility and acceptance at Capital Pride.

While Saturday’s forecast calls for clouds and midday rain, we’re expecting streets filled with rainbows.

Capital Pride Parade, Festival and Concert

Capital Pride will be back in full swing after two years with the theme reUNITED.

The Capital Pride Parade is the centerpiece of the weekend. It will take place Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods. Here’s a map of the parade route. Before or after, stop by the Pride Block Party from noon to 10 p.m. on 17th Street NW.

On Sunday, the Capital Pride Festival will take over Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 7th and 3rd Streets, near the National Mall. DNCE, featuring lead singer Joe Jonas, will headline the Capital Pride Concert. It’s free to attend the festival and concert, although VIP packages are available.

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From family-friendly gatherings to late-night ragers, there are many ways to celebrate pride weekend.

The Pride on the Pier and Fireworks Show (Saturday, 2-9 p.m., The Wharf) will have entertainment, a dance party plus a family-friendly zone.

There’s also an author talk with James Kirchick about his book “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington” (Thursday, 7 p.m., Library of Congress), DC Front Runners Pride Run (Friday, 6:30 p.m., Congressional Cemetery), Sixth & I's National Pride Shabbat Service (Friday, 6 p.m.), the WERQ Pride Party & Drag Show (Saturday, 3-6 p.m., DC Brau beer garden) and the We Say Gay Pride Party (Sunday, 3-11 p.m., Dirty Habit).

Parties include RIOT! The Capital Pride Official Opening Party (Friday, 9 p.m., Echostage) and WONDERLAND, which organizers describe as “Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka meets Studio 54” (Saturday, 8 p.m., HQO).

Our Pride Guide has more details plus a look at other LGBTQIA+ Pride Month celebrations in Maryland and Virginia.

More Events and Things to Do in D.C., Maryland and Virginia This Weekend

Maryland Strawberry Festival
Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sandy Spring Museum (17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, Maryland)

Celebrate — and eat — delicious strawberries all day in Montgomery County. The 40th Sandy Spring Museum’s Strawberry Festival also will have live performances, carnival games, crafts, a plant sale and more for the whole family. Tickets start at $5.

Mount Vernon Summerfest
Friday and Saturday, 6-9 p.m.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 12-Acre Field

Catch a sunset on the grounds of George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon estate while enjoying live music and craft beer samples. Bring a blanket or small lawn chair. Tickets start at $40 for members and $48 for the public. Here are more details.

Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition
Open Wednesday through Sunday until Aug. 31, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Ground Floor of Tysons Corner Center

Experience the life and legacy of Princess Diana from the unique perspective of her Official Royal Photographer. The walk-through documentary’s intimate portrayal of the icon is exclusive to the exhibit, as it uses never-before-seen images, videos and stories. 

Prices vary depending on factors such as age and day of the week.

Monster Jam Stadium Championship Series
Saturday
FedExField

Giant, colorful trucks with 5.5-foot tall wheels will be tearing up dirt and flying through FedExField. Competitors include “El Toro Loco” and “Grave Digger.” Monster Jam tickets start at $25. Check out the Pit Party for photo ops and to meet drivers.

Célébrez en Rosé
The Plateau at National Harbor
Saturday, doors open at 11 a.m.

Rosé all day is no joke here. Put on your best pink and white attire to enjoy samples of libations, photo installations and live music.

Whiskies of the World
June 11, 6 p.m. VIP or 6:45 p.m. GA
Yours Truly DC Hotel (1143 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037)

Whiskey exhibitors from across the globe are meeting in D.C. to create a high-class tasting experience. Attendees can explore the flavors of different whiskeys with access to “unlimited lite bites,” souvenir glassware, connections with the top international distillers and more. 

General admission tickets cost $99. For perks like 45-minute early access to the event, VIP tickets are available for $150.

WERQ Pride Party & Drag Show
DC Brau beer garden (3178 Bladensburg Road Northeast)
Saturday, June 11, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Turn it up at this drag show party hosted by CAKE with performances from Crimsyn, Crystal Edge and Druex Sidora. Tickets cost $15 and include a Signature Pride Pilsner Beer.

Jollof Festival
Saturday, 3-7 p.m.
Sandlot, 633 Howard Rd SE, Washington, D.C.

Jollof, the beloved West African dish of rice cooked with tomatoes and spices, is the star of this festival. Attendees can sample a variety of recipes then vote for their favorite — all to crown a winner of the jollof wars.

Tickets range from $20-$75. A pre-festival panel called “The Economy of Culture” on Friday will be held at the Eaton DC hotel, and it’s free with registration.

“Drumfolk”
Runs through June 26
Arena Stage

Step Afrika! and Arena Stage have been powerhouses in the D.C. cultural scene for decades, and now they’re joining forces. The “Drumfolk” story focuses on the Stono Rebellion of 1739, which led to a South Carolina law banning African-Americans who were enslaved from using drums. The history is told through bold movement and music.

Free Things to Do This Weekend in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Afterhours @ NMAA: Korean Cool
Friday, 5-8 p.m.
National Museum of Asian Art

Step into Korean culture and enjoy an after-hours foray into the National Museum of Asian Art.  A folk-pop band from Seoul called ADG7 will play and curators will lead gallery tours. You can purchase Korean-inspired food from Bun’d Up, ice cream from Ruby Scoops and signature cocktails from Please Bring Chips. It’s free, but register here in advance.

Korean Film Festival
Various screenings through next weekend
Freer Gallery of Art and virtual

The Korean Film Festival kicks off with a screening of “Hot in Day, Cold at Night” Friday at 8 p.m. in the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium. Here’s ticket information.

Other films you can see this weekend include “Introduction” and “In Front of Your Face.” More movies are scheduled to screen next weekend, both online and virtually. Here’s a guide to the films.

FUTURES Cypher: Pride 2050
Friday, June 10, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building (in person and virtual)

Reimagine the future of PRIDE at the Smithsonian’s FUTURES Cypher: Pride 2050. The main event is a call-and-response style art performance. Queer identifying speakers will share thoughts about ideal futures, and performance artists will translate those thoughts into different mediums.

Innovative Housing Showcase
Showcase Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
National Mall, between 7th and 4th Streets NW

Full-size prototype houses are popping up on the National Mall to showcase new technology and innovations in building. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this is like an open house to the future.

Soar Together @ Air and Space Family Day - UFOs: Fact or Fiction?
Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia

Future astronauts and their families can learn about UFOs together by exploring the Air and Space Museum’s Soar Together @ Air and Space Family Day. Activities will include a video chat with the office of the Director of National Intelligence, an IMAX movie screening, collaborative music-making and more hands-on demonstrations about UFOs.

Although the cost is free, registration for the event is still required and venue parking is $15. Tickets and registration can be found here

Home Rule Music Festival
Saturday, June 11, gates open at 3 p.m.
The Parks at Walter Reed (1010 Butternut St NW, Washington, D.C.)

Celebrate D.C.’s culture and sound at this festival in Northwest Doug Carn, Plunky & Oneness of Juju, David Murray and TCB Band will play. There will also be a record fair, food trucks and craft drinks. The festival is free, but you can purchase VIP tickets with extra perks.

Stick around for the world premiere of the “Black Fire” music documentary at 8:45 p.m.

Matt Neuman’s “Pattern Recognition” Exhibition
Opens Saturday, then hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Long View Gallery (1234 9th Street NW Washington D.C.)

Matt Neuman’s geometric art pieces reminiscent of optical illusions will be on display at the Long View Gallery in Mount Vernon. It’s free to visit.

Road to ESSENCE Festival of Culture
Gateway DC (2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington, D.C.)
Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.

A preview of the big ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans, this afternoon “pregame” will feature a DJ, giveaways and “culturally inspiring experiences,” organizers say. You must register and show proof you’re vaccinated.

Civics Fest
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The National Archives

More than 200 museums and cultural sites around the country are set to participate in programming to “help inform tomorrow’s activism,” organizers say. At the National Archives, you’ll find trivia, art projects and a Sign the Declaration activity.

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