News & Politics

2006 Who We Are: Celebration Days

Events that will showcase the heritage of Washington’s recentimmigrants with food, fun, and pageantry

October 1 —Latino Festival of Washington. Folklorists, musicians, and artists kick off Hispanic Heritage Month. Festivities include a parade. Mount Pleasant St. between Irving St. and Park Rd., NW. 202-232-4393;

Early February —Chinese New Year. Firecrackers, dancing, and a large parade along H Street between Sixth and Eighth sts., NW. 202-638-1041.

March 31­ to April 15 —National Cherry Blossom Festival. One of Washington’s biggest festivals celebrates Japanese culture and history with museum exhibitions, films, and live performances. The annual parade down Constitution Avenue steps off April 14 at 10 am. It’s followed by a Japanese-style street fair with food, games, and crafts. 202-547-1500;

April 1 —Sizdah Bedar. A big picnic and live musical performances mark the end of the Iranian New Year celebration. Black Hill Park, 20900 Lake Ridge Dr., Boyds. 301-928-2888;

May 6 —Cinco de Mayo. Music, dance, food, and children’s workshops on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Last year’s festival featured Latino rapper Cristopolis. 15th St. and Independence Ave., SW. 202-724-1475;

June 3 —Philippine Fair and Parade. Filipino cuisine, handicrafts, and a parade with music and entertainment. Downtown DC. 301-567-9795;

June —Arlandria Chirilagua Festival. Latino music, food, crafts, and dance. About 40,000 people came to last year’s festival. Mount Vernon Ave. between 36th and 39th sts., Alexandria. 703-684-5697; details will be posted on closer to the festival.

June 9 and 10 —DanceAfrica DC Festival. Indoor and outdoor performances, an African marketplace, and master classes. Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St., NE. 202-269-1600;

June 23 —Caribbean Carnival. Caribbean holiday with parade on Georgia Ave., NW, from Missouri Ave. south to Barry Pl. near Howard University. This year’s parade included 5,000 marchers in costume and more than 20 bands. Banneker Recreation Park near Howard hosts live performances. 202-726-2204;

June 27 to July 1 and July 4 to 8 —Smithsonian Folklife Festival. A focus on the cultures of the Mekong River region, which includes Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. A Cambodian wedding procession and a Vietnamese opera are among highlights. National Mall. 202-633-1000;

July 22 —Colombian Festival. Colombian musicians celebrate the country’s independence day. $15; under age ten free. Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg. 202-862-5581;

Late July —Asian Festival. A battle of the bands, contests, food, and “Asian Idol” contest. 11452 Baron Cameron Ave., Reston. 703-589-4144;

Early August —Naija Fest. One of the area’s largest Nigerian festivals includes cultural performances, kids’ activities, crafts, and food from Africa. Patterson Park at Eastern and Linwood aves., Baltimore. 410-608-0420;

Labor Day —Bolivian Festival. Music, dancing, food, and crafts. $15; ages 5 to 11 $10; under age five free. Prince William County Fairgrounds, 10624 Dumfries Rd., Manassas. 703-819-5728;

September 9 —Adams Morgan Day. Arts, kids fair, and cuisine representing one of Washington’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods. 18th St. between Florida Ave. and Columbia Rd. 202-232-1978;

September 22 and 23 —International Children’s Festival. Children from around the world perform and sing. Prices TBA. Wolf Trap Park, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. 703-642-0862;

Late October —Diwali. Local temples unite to celebrate this holiday of India, known as “the festival of lights,” with a market, cultural performances, and fireworks.

—Elahe Izadi and Rebecca Yergin