The Best Cultural Events and Pageants in Washington – Part 2

The second part of our blog to see the best cultural events and pageants in Washington DC each year focuses on Fiesta Asia, Smithsonian Folklife festivals and also the Virginia Scottish Games. In part one of this blog we celebrated everything that was great about Ireland, Mexico and Japan and in this edition,  we move on to glimpse other nations and their traditions.

Fiesta Asia

In May, Washington DC opens up its doors to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which is also part of the bigger Passport DC event. As it sounds, the event is to celebrate Asian culture and tradition, there are many live events featuring music, Pan-Asian cuisine, martial art demonstrations, performance arts including traditional dance, cultural displays featuring arts and crafts and many interactive activities designed around the whole family.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

If you are in Washington DC be in June and July, the place to is the National Mall, where the Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes place. Each year the themes change to highlight a different culture, well, in all actuality, it’s three different cultures. The program features special performances, including music and dance, but also different cuisines with cooking demonstrations, storytelling and interactive events.

With the Capitol in the background, visitor to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival walk on The National Mall in Washington, Friday, June 30, 2006.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Virginia Scottish Games

Another Celtic celebration in Washington but this time Scottish, and what better way to explore the rich traditions of Scotland than hold your own Highland Games. The event is held in Northern Virginia on each Labor Day weekend and enjoys everything that is Scottish. There are displays of piping and drumming, highland dancing, fiddling competitions, sheep herding, even an antique car show! Those who enjoy haggis will be most pleased as Haggis, Neeps and Tatties are in plentiful supply.


If you like beer, beer and more beer, then Oktoberfest is right up your street. During September and October this German beer festival hits Washington DC. It is not just beer that features but it is the main focus, German food, music and dance are also celebrated. It is one elongated party with some amazing quality German pilsners and lagers to enjoy.

Latino Festival

One of the most colorful parades and festivals takes place in September in the nation’s capital, it is the Latino Festival. The festival features the Parade of Nations which is the main spectacle, representing many Latin nations wearing their traditional costume dancing to their own particular style of music, the performers make their way around the route. The festival also features a children’s festival, a diplomatic pavilion, a science fair, arts and crafts workshops and displays, and a plethora of different food from all around the Latin world. The festival is designed to fall in with the Hispanic Heritage Month.

These festivals and parades highlight the many different cultures that are present in the everyday life of Washington DC, and as capital city of America, it represents the U.S.A in all these matters of cultural exchange, and in our concluding part of the best cultural events and pageants of Washington DC we look at a children’s festival, a Turkish festival and a particular Christmas walk that has a distinctly Scottish flavor.

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