Guide to Washington, DC: Spring and Summer 2012 Festivals

The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off a slew of spring and summer events, showcasing movies, crafts, books, science, and more.

By: Washingtonian Staff

Even the police get into the spirit at DC’s summer Capital Pride Festival. Photograph courtesy of Borderstan.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival (nationalcherryblossom­ continues through April 27, with art, food, music, and other events across town.

The Smithsonian Craft Show ( returns April 19 through 22, bringing 121 exhibitors and vendors to the National Building Museum.

The Bethesda Literary Festival ( is April 20 through 22, with readings and panels by authors including Walter Isaacson, Sally Bedell Smith, and R.L. Stine.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival (usa­ returns for its second year April 28 and 29, with events, presentations, and stage shows in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Passport DC ( runs throughout May, offering embassy open houses, cultural events, and more.

The arts festival Artomatic ( returns May 18 through June 23, with showcases from artists of all different mediums.

Capital Pride ( is scheduled to run May 30 through June 10, featuring vendors, entertainment, and a street parade.

The DC Jazz Festival (, June 1 through 10, offers jazz performances, family days, and other events across town.

The Source Festival (, scheduled for June 8 through July 1, showcases new and emerging plays and theater companies performing at Source.

The biggest documentary festival in the country, Silverdocs (, screens a hundred new films in Silver Spring June 18 through 24.

The DC Caribbean Carnival (, June 23 and 24, includes a street parade, entertainment, and food.

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival (, June 27 through July 1 and July 4 through 8, stages cultural events with food, crafts, music, and more on the Mall.

Snag a spot on the mall July 4 for the National Mall ­Independence Day Celebration (, with fireworks, concerts, and other attractions.

The DC Shorts Film Festival ( screens a variety of national and international short films at three area venues, September 6 through 16.

The National Book Festival ( returns to the Mall September 22 and 23, with readings, book sales, and more.