Labor Day in the Washington, DC Area: What to Do This Weekend

Stuck in town this Labor Day weekend? There’s lots of fun going on, and we rounded up some of the best activities.

By: Eliot Stein

Labor Day may be symbolic end of summer, but it’s also a perfect excuse to wear white clothes, stain them with barbecue sauce, and not wash them for another six months. So ditch the tie, smear on your last dabs of SPF, and enjoy these Labor Day weekend highlights.

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DC


Andy Roddick may be gone, but Carter Barron Amphitheater is still serving some impressive hits at the free DC Blues Festival on Saturday from noon to 7:30. A main stage will host six regionally renowned acts, while a second workshop stage offers children’s harmonica lessons, a guitar workshop, and an instrument “petting zoo” where music lovers can pluck, blow, and strum with the pros.

Take the family to Nationals Park on Sunday at 1:30 for Kids Day, where tickets for kids 12 and under are only $1 with the purchase of an adult ticket ($33). Between our national pastime, the fourth inning’s Presidents Race, and jumbo hot dogs, youngsters will be reminded what makes this country great.

As part of the Kennedy Center’s Prelude Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra is playing a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Sunday starting at 5.

Maryland

Marvel at fire eaters, cheer for jousters, and down an oversize turkey leg at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville on Saturday and Sunday ($8 to $18, children six and under free). Set in a recreated 16th-century English village, the festival’s family-friendly atmosphere also offers 130 craft shops, 42 eateries, and a free play area for kids—or their worn-out parents.

Haggle for crafts, try on jewelry, and admire lithographs at the 39th annual Glen Echo Labor Day Art Show. More than a hundred artists from the region will bring their finest work to the park to create the area’s largest public-art showroom. Saturday through Monday, noon to 6.

Those craving a traditional Labor Day experience should venture to Gaithersburg for the city’s 71st annual Labor Day Parade Monday from 1 to 3. The festivities include marching bands, clowns, and floats.

Virginia

What do you get when you mix a strongman competition with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival? The Virginia Scottish Games & Festival in Great Meadows. Visitors may feel like they’ve stepped back into the old country—complete with sheepherding, piping, and drumming. Just keep an eye out for flying objects from the hammer throw and stone toss. Saturday and Sunday 9 to 9. Free admission, Admission is $18 for adults for a one-day pass. More info on tickets and schedules at their web site.

You won’t see Zac Efron (sigh), but you can catch the next best thing at Wolf Trap’s live performance of High School Musical Friday at 8, Saturday and Sunday 2 and 8 .Tickets are $25 to $70.

For sophisticated varietals and toe-tapping tunes, check out the Herndon Labor Day Jazz & Wine Festival Monday from noon to 6. Ten Virginia wineries will be on hand, as will legendary banjo player Tony Trischka. $5 or $15 with winetasting.

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