June 15 through 22: SilverDocs Film Festival
More than 100 films will be screened during this eight-day documentary film festival, which is expected to see more than 25,000 attendees. Screenings will be held at AFI Silver Theatre, Discovery Communications World Headquarters, and the Round House Theatre. In addition to film showings, there will also be roundtable discussions and an idea-pitching forum for filmmakers and interested participants. Festival passes are on sale starting at $125; tickets for individual screenings ($10) go on sale May 28 and can be purchased through the SilverDocs Web site.
June 24 through 28 and July 1 through 5: Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Learn about cultures around the world at the annual Folklife Festival on the National Mall (between Seventh and 14th streets). The Smithsonian packs the two-week event with music, food, dancing, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and outdoor exhibits from a diverse sampling of world cultures. This year, Latino culture in the Americas, African-American culture and traditions, and the nation of Wales will be highlighted. Open daily 11 to 5:30; evening events start at 6. Call 202-633-7484 during the festival to find out about daily events. Free. Closest Metro: Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines).
June 27 and 28: National Capital Barbecue Battle
You’ll probably be able to skip lunch—and maybe dinner—if you check out the National Capital Barbecue Battle, held along Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, between Ninth and 14th streets. Sample ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, and more as barbecue teams duke it out for $40,000 in cash and prizes. There will also be cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, live music on three stages, and celebrity appearances. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12, under age 6 free. Closest Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green and Yellow lines).
June 27 and 28: DC Caribbean Carnival
This annual festival features performances by local bands and artists who hail from Caribbean countries as well as food, crafts, and entertainment. The don’t-miss event is the parade (Saturday starting at 11), which travels down Georgia Avenue from Missouri Avenue to Barry Place. The parade ends at the carnival grounds at Banneker Recreation Park. Admission to the carnival is $10. Open Saturday noon to 9, Sunday noon to 7. Closest Metro: Shaw-Howard University (Green and Yellow lines).
May 22 through September 11: Jazz in the Garden
Friday nights from 5 to 8:30, enjoy free jazz concerts in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Bring a blanket and picnic dinner or enjoy a sushi platter and a cheese-and-fruit plate from the Pavilion Café.
May 29 through July 5: Artomatic
This free multimedia arts event features the work of local visual artists, musicians, and performers. Held at Half Street, a mixed-use development in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, the event includes dance and theater performances, art installations and exhibits, poetry readings, open-mike opportunities, and more. Exhibits are open on Wednesday and Thursday noon to 10, Friday and Saturday noon to 1 AM, Sunday from noon to 10; closed Monday and Tuesday. Closest Metro: Navy Yard (Green Line).
This article is part of Washingtonian.com’s Visitors’ Guide. For more articles like it, click here. If you’re visiting in a different month, check out our City Schedule for events happening throughout the year.