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Which DC-Area Events Are Canceled Because of Coronavirus?

The latest updates on parades, conventions, and gatherings.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Photo courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

With concerns about the novel coronavirus on the rise in the Washington area, some organizations are deliberating whether it’s best to postpone, cancel, or move forward with some of the biggest events of the season.

On March 11, Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency for the District. DC Health also released an advisory recommending that events with 1,000 people or more in one location should be canceled or postponed. Additionally, it advises that other events expecting large crowds should be reconsidered. The advisory is in effect until March 31.

Here’s where some of these events stand. This list will be updated.

23rd Street Festival, Crosshairs Garage Races

Status: Postponed

The 23rd Street Festival, which was scheduled for March 21, and the Crosshairs Garage Races, which were scheduled for March 17, 24, and 31, have been canceled. The Crystal City Business Improvement District, which hosts both events, hopes to postpone them to a date later this year.

Other programs hosted by the BID will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Arena Stage Events

Status: Canceled

All public performances and events at Arena Stage have been canceled. This includes the production of Celia and Fidel, which has been suspended through March 30.

Arlington National Cemetery

Status: Closed to public, funerals as scheduled

The Arlington National Cemetery has closed to the public until further notice. Only family pass holders will be able to visit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Funerals will be conducted as scheduled, although families should contact the cemetery’s main office for new information on arrival procedures, or if they would like to reschedule.

Awesome Con

Status: As planned

DC’s annual pop culture convention is still set to take place from May 1-3 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Event coordinators plan to implement a series of hygiene measures at the event, such as having sanitation and disinfection materials available as well as onsite medical support.

Coordinators are following suggestions from U.S. and public health guidelines regarding the virus before taking additional precautionary measures. About 80,000 people are expected to attend the event over the three-day weekend.

The Birchmere

Status: Postponed, Canceled

Two shows at this Alexandria venue with The High Kings will continue as planned on March 13 and 14. Otherwise, the venue will postpone all shows until March 29. The Holly Near/Crys Matthews show on March 26 has been canceled. The venue has postponed all other shows in that period and is working to reschedule them, urging ticket-holders to wait it out as they look to set up new dates.

Capital Hill Classic

Status: Postponed

The 2020 Capitol Hill Classic has been postponed. Organizers hope to announce a new date within the next two to four weeks.

Capital Pride Celebration

Status: UPDATE: 3/17/20: As planned, Postponed

Capital Pride Alliance community events that take place in May, including Youth Pride, Capital Trans Pride, Silver Pride, DC Black Pride, API Pride, and DC Latinx Pride, have all been either canceled or postponed, Capital Alliance Director Ryan Bos says.

The Capital Pride Celebration is still scheduled for June 5-14. The team is working on contingency plans in case attendance and funding are impacted by the coronavirus.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Status: UPDATE 3/11/20: Several events postponed or canceled

Organizers for the National Cherry Blossom Festival announced the following event cancelations and schedule changes following DC Health’s advisory:

  • The Pink Tie Party originally scheduled for March 20 has been postponed. The event’s silent auction fundraiser will still take place online.
  • The Opening Ceremony, which was originally scheduled for March 21, will no longer take place at the Warner Theatre. Organizers are looking to live stream the event instead.
  • The Blossom Kite Festival, which was originally scheduled for March 28, has been canceled.
  • The Tidal Basin Welcome Area, which features food, souvenirs and other trinkets presented by the National Park Service, and the ANA Stage, which presents performances during the festival, have been canceled.
  • UPDATE: 3/13/20: The Anacostia River Festival will be postponed until August 9.
  • UPDATE: 3/13/20: The Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street Festival will be postponed once a new date has been determined.

“It is a difficult decision and one that we do not take lightly,” National Cherry Blossom President and CEO Diana Mayhew said in a statement. Organizers are working with local government officials, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine next steps.

“While our signature events will certainly be impacted, there are a number of events, exhibitions, and performances that will still occur,” Mayhew says. The complete list of event changes can be found here.

DC Environmental Film Festival

Status: Canceled, going virtual

Bad news environmental film lovers: This year’s Environmental Film Festival is canceled because of the coronavirus. “We did not come to this decision lightly, but as the safety of our audience … is our highest priority, we have determined that this was the only viable course of action to take,” the organization announced in a statement.

The event, which was originally scheduled for March 12-22, will host a virtual festival next week instead, screening a selection of 2020 films online. A smaller version of the festival will also be hosted in the fall.

Episcopal Church Services

Status: Canceled, going virtual

Worship services at Washington National Cathedral and hundreds of other Episcopal churches in the area are canceled. Leaders hope to start having services again on March 29. Until then, viewers can watch virtual services online on March 15 and 22.

Events DC Events

Status: Suspended

Events DC will “suspend operations and services” until March 31. The organization will no longer host any of its planned events during that time.

In the meantime, Events DC will continue to keep its indoor venues clean, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Entertainment and Sports Arena, DC Armory, and the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center.

Ford’s Theatre Events

Status: Postponed, Canceled

The following events at Ford’s Theatre have changed:

  • A free preview of the musical Guys and Dolls, which was scheduled for March 13, has been canceled. The performance scheduled for March 14 will continue as scheduled. Performances from March 16-April 4 have been canceled and are expected to resume April 6-May 20.
  • The Abraham Lincoln Institute Symposium, which was scheduled for March 21, has been canceled.
  • History on Foot walking tours from March 25 to April 4 have been canceled.

The theatre’s national historic site and aftermath exhibits will remain open to visitors during the day.

Funk Parade, Wammie Weekend

Status: UPDATE 3/17/20: As planned, Canceled

The MusicianShip’s Wammie Weekend, which was scheduled for March 27-29, is canceled until further notice. Organizers are exploring new ways to announce and celebrate the winners.

The MusicianShip’s other major spring event, the Funk Parade, is still scheduled for May 9.

George Mason University Events

Status: Canceled

George Mason University has canceled all events and gatherings until April 10. Performances and events by the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts have also been canceled until April 10.

A series of performances and special events at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas have been canceled through May 1.

Gridiron Dinner

Status: Canceled

The Gridiron Club & Foundation’s 135th anniversary dinner has been canceled following concerns of the coronavirus. Organizers made the decision based on advice from government officials recommending that people should avoid large gatherings, group president Craig Gilbert said in an emailed statement.

“We feel it’s best not to put you or your guests at risk,” Gilbert said in the statement. “We are taking this step based on expert advice as well as the feedback we are hearing from members and others who had planned to attend.”

This is the third time in the event’s history that the annual dinner has been canceled. Earlier cancelations were due to World War I and II.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Status: Closed

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery has closed until further notice.

Hamilton Live Shows

Status: Postponed

All ticketed live music events at the Hamilton Live and the Soundry have been postponed until March 27.

Harriet Tubman Tribute

Status: Canceled

The National Archives will no longer host a tribute to Harriet Tubman, which was scheduled for March 12.

Hill Center DC Events

Status: Postponed

All events and programs at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital have been suspended from March 15 to March 31. Those who registered for these events will be notified once there is a rescheduled date. Hill Center will be closed to the public during this time.

Holland on the Hill – Tulip Days Reception 2020

Status: Canceled

The Royal Netherlands Embassy has canceled its Holland on the Hill – Tulip Days Reception, Kingdom of the Netherlands ambassador André Haspels said in a statement. The event was originally scheduled for March 26. The embassy hopes to resume its regular schedule “once this crisis abates,” but did not offer a specific date.

HopFest 2020

Status: Postponed

HopFest 2020, an annual beer festival hosted by DC Brau and DC Brewers’ Guild, has been postponed. “The health and well-being of our guests, staff and participating breweries is too important to risk,” a representative said in a statement.

Those who purchased tickets to the event are encouraged to hold on to them until organizers announce a new date.

Imagination Stage Events

Status: Postponed, Canceled

All classes, performances and events at Bethesda’s Imagination Stage have been either postponed or canceled through March 27. This includes performances of Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth and Thumbelina, which have been canceled. For those already enrolled in a class, make up sessions will be scheduled as possible.

I.M.P. Productions Events

Status: Postponed

I.M.P. Productions, which owns several music venues in DC, is postponing all events scheduled at the 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre, and the Anthem, as well as shows that 9:30 Club Presents at U Street Music Hall, regardless of size until April 1.

Ticket holders can keep their tickets until a new date is announced. If they can’t attend a show on the new date, they may request tickets for another show of similar value or request a refund.

Ireland at the Wharf

Status: Postponed

Ireland at the Wharf, which was set to take place March 14, has been postponed until later this year. Those who purchased VIP tickets to the event have received a refund.

Kennedy Center Events

Status: Canceled

All performances and public events at the Kennedy Center are canceled through March 31. The campus and its facilities are closed to visitors, including the restaurant, cafe and other food services typically offered. Organizers are looking for ways to reschedule performances at a later date.

Events that are scheduled for March 12, including Millennium Stage, Shear Madness, and Forté, will continue as scheduled.

Library of Congress Events

Status: Postponed or Canceled

All Library of Congress buildings and facilities are closed to the public until April 1. All public programs sponsored by the Library  during that time have been postponed or canceled.

MLS Games

Status: Suspended, Postponed

Major League Soccer has suspended its 2020 season for 30 days. DC United’s April 3 match against New York City Football Club will be postponed, the team said in a statement.

National Food Policy Conference

Status: Postponed

The Consumer Federation of America decided to reschedule its conference to a later date this year, saying that proceeding with the event as scheduled would “undermine efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” The event was supposed to take place March 11-12, with hundreds expected to attend.

National Gallery of Art Events

Status: Canceled, Postponed

The National Gallery of Art will close to the public March 14, the museum announced Thursday. The museum tentatively plans to reopen April 4. The premiere of an exhibit on Lynda Benglis, slated to open March 22, will be postponed. The planned exhibit “A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750,” previously scheduled to open May 3, is indefinitely postponed because of limitations on travel in Italy. According to spokesperson Anabeth Guthrieit is too soon to know whether the National Gallery’s closing will affect the dates of other scheduled exhibits.

National Museum of Women in the Arts Events

Status: Canceled

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has canceled all tours and public events through March 31. You can find the full list of programs here.

NBA Games

Status: Suspended

After a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus, the National Basketball Association announced that all games for the 2019-20 season are suspended indefinitely. There will be no Washington Wizards games until the NBA determines next steps.

NCAA Games

Status: Canceled

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has canceled all remaining winter and spring championships.

New Kitchens On The Block by Mess Hall

Status: UPDATE: 3/17/20: Postponed

Mess Hall’s seventh annual food festival, which features new local restaurant vendors before they open, has been postponed. The event was scheduled for April 5.

NHL Games

Status: Suspended

The National Hockey League has paused the 2019-20 hockey season, beginning March 12. There will be no Washington Capitals games until the league determines next steps.

The news comes after an NBA player tested positive for coronavirus. “Given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Opening Day

Status: Delayed

Opening Day, which was originally scheduled for March 26, has been delayed by two weeks, Major League Baseball announced. Spring training games are canceled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona, have been postponed until further notice.

One With Eternity: Yayoi Kusama In The Hirshhorn Collection

Status: UPDATE 3/12/20: All Smithsonian events have been either canceled or postponed to a later date.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s exhibit of a newly acquired Yayoi Kusama room was scheduled for April 4-September 20.

Phillips Collection Events

Status: Canceled, Postponed

The Phillips Collection will close to the public March 14 through April 3 as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus, the museum announced Friday. All public events at the Phillips Collection are postponed until April 3. Special exhibits and permanent galleries will remain open.

Politics and Prose Events

Status: As planned

Events at Politics and Prose bookstores are scheduled to go on as planned. Any changes or cancelations will be updated on its event page. Instead of signing lines at these events, authors will sell copies of books that have been signed in advance.

Ticketed events held outside Politics and Prose stores will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.


Status: Canceled

The Ballston BID has canceled Quarterfest, which was scheduled to take place May 16. The BID will move forward with smaller events for now, and will follow instructions from Arlington County when deciding if other upcoming events should be canceled or postponed.

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5K

Status: UPDATE 3/13/20: Postponed, Canceled

This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Half Marathon & 5K, which were scheduled for March 28, have been postponed to the fall. The marathon distance has been canceled and will not be offered on this new date.

Those who registered for the half marathon or 5K will have their registration moved automatically to the new 2020 race date, once it has been finalized. Those who can’t attend the race on the new event date can defer their entry to the 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & Half Marathon event.

Those who registered for this year’s marathon will have transfer or deferral options.

SAS Global Forum

Status: Canceled, going virtual

This year’s conference will be held virtually from March 29-April 1 out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus. The SAS Institute is currently working on finalizing details and says it will share more information about this transition, soon.

ScopeItOut 5K

Status: Postponed, possibly going virtual

The 2020 Washington, DC ScopeItOut 5K, which was originally scheduled for March 29, has been postponed. The District pulled the permit for the race following DC Health’s advisory. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, which hosts the event, is currently working on ways to bring runners a virtual experience.

“It does hit the core to not physically see it happen, but we’re making lemonade out of lemons and trying to create it in a different light,” Colorectal Cancer Alliance staff member Maurisa Potts says.


Status: Canceled

ShamrockFest announced its decision to cancel this year’s event in February, but it wasn’t entirely because of the coronavirus. Issues related to venue contracts were among its major concerns, although the growth of the virus reaffirms its decision not to have it this year, owner Richard Shea says.

“It wasn’t the main reason, but it was a factor, I would say,” Shea says. “The situation is changing so fast. … It would have been pretty scary to do it this year for everybody.”

Signature Theatre Events

Status: Canceled

All performances and public events at Signature Theatre have been canceled through March 30.

Sixth & I Events

Status: Postponed, Canceled, Going virtual

All Sixth & I events will be postponed, canceled, or streamed online through March 31. The Shabbat service that was scheduled for March 13 will be streamed on Sixth & I’s Facebook page, and the morning service scheduled for March 14 has been canceled. All other scheduled classes during that time will be available via Zoom, a web conferencing service.

Smithsonian Events

Status: Postponed, Canceled

All Smithsonian public events are either postponed or canceled through May 3. This includes Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day 2020, which was originally scheduled for April 4. The full list of events can be found here.

UPDATE 3/12/20: The National Zoo and all Smithsonian museums in the DC area will close indefinitely starting March 14.

Spring Meetings

Status: Canceled, going virtual

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group announced last week that the 2020 Spring Meetings will be held virtually this year due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus. About 4,500 people usually attend, including delegates from the group’s member countries, observer organization representatives, and members of the press.

“With this adapted format, we are confident that our member countries will be able to effectively engage on pressing global economic issues at these Spring Meetings,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass said in the statement.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Concert

Status: Canceled

The Washington Chorus’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration concert, which was scheduled for March 13 at Strathmore, has been canceled. Currently, there are no plans to reschedule the performance, and refunds will soon be available to all ticket holders.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Status: Postponed

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed due to health and safety concerns, coordinators announced in a press release. More than thousands around the area were expected to attend on March 15. While the new date has yet to be determined, the event committee plans to post updates on its website once details have been finalized.

Washington Ballet’s Swan Lake

Status: UPDATE: 3/13/20: Postponed

The Washington Ballet’s Swan Lake, which had been scheduled to run from April 9-19 at the venue, will now take place June 13-21 at the Kennedy Center.

Taste of Iceland in DC

Status: Canceled

Taste of Iceland in DC, an event sponsored by Iceland Naturally, has been completely canceled due to recent health concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The festival, which would have featured Icelandic food, films, music, and more, was supposed to take place from March 19-22.

Tours at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Status: Canceled

The Capitol Visitor Center has suspended all tours until April 1 at 8:30 a.m.

Underground Comedy Shows

Status: Canceled

All Underground Comedy shows have been canceled through the end of March.

“Over seven years and thousands of shows we’ve never taken a break like this,” Underground Comedy founder Sean Joyce said in an email. “We are saddened that it has come to this, but certain it is the right thing to do.”

Vital Voices 19th Annual Global Leadership Awards

Status: Postponed

Vital Voices Global Partnership has postponed its 19th annual Global Leadership Awards, which was scheduled for March 11 at the Kennedy Center. The ceremony, which plans to honor female leaders with “bold, disruptive ideas” at this year’s event, will now be held on June 10.

Washingtonian‘s Winter Wine Classic

Status: Postponed, Canceled

Washingtonian’s Winter Wine Classic, which was scheduled for Thursday, March 19, has been canceled. Event organizers hope to reschedule the event for later in the year. Ticket holders have been notified on next steps.

Washington Performing Arts Performances

Status: Postponed, Canceled, going virtual

The following changes have been made for upcoming Washington Performing Arts events:

  • Performances by the Kronos Quartet, which was scheduled for March 13, and Veronica Swift, which was scheduled for March 21, have been canceled.
  • Washington Performing Arts’ 2020 Gala, A Celebration of Women, will be staged without an audience on its original date of March 14. Viewers will be able to watch a live stream of the event that evening, instead.
  • The Black Love Experience 2020, which was originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for August 29.

White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

Status: As planned

The White House Correspondents’ Association will still host its annual dinner on April 25.

“We have not changed our plans, but are monitoring the situation,” WHCA Executive Director Steven Thomma says.

Longtime Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson will host this year’s event, while Netflix’s Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj is the featured entertainer.

White House Easter Egg Roll

Status: Canceled

The annual White House Easter Egg Roll has been canceled.

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Events

Status: Postponed

The Vienna performing venue will postpone all public programming and performances starting March 13 through March 31. Performances from Aoife O’Donovan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Rodney Crowell, The 5th Dimension and The Second City are all postponed. A full list of postponed events is available on the venue’s website.

Nora McGreevy and Emma Francois contributed to this report.


Cordilia James joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in 2020. She was previously a digital content producer at NBCWashington. Her work has also appeared in DCist and The Telegraph. Originally from Macon, Georgia, Cordilia now lives in Chevy Chase.