Though the official first day of summer isn’t until June 21, summer festival season is underway in Washington, D.C. Beer is a key ingredient for beating the summer heat—especially at Summerfest DC, Brew at the Zoo and DC Beer Week—but there are also celebrations of plenty more. Put these on your calendar now.

By Amy McKeever
June 09, 2015
Francisco Guerra

Capital Pride

Until June 14, 2015
You can still make it in time to toast the 40th anniversary of DC’s Capital Pride Festival, which culminates in the Pride Parade and a concert in front of the U.S. Capitol featuring Wilson Phillips, En Vogue, Amber, Katy Tiz, and Carly Rae Jepsen.

The Source Festival

Until June 28, 2015
Source showcases 24 new works from playwrights across the country to support established and rising talent. This year’s line-up includes 18 10-minute plays, three full-length plays, and another three “artistic blind dates,” in which artists from a variety of disciplines collaborate on a project.

Jazz Festival

June 10-16, 2015
The DC Jazz Festival returns for its 11th year with a weeklong lineup led by Common, Femi Kuti, Esperanza Spalding and the Jack DeJohnette Trio.

Summerfest DC

June 13, 2015
Summerfest DC will serve more than 100 beers from 50 breweries, with highlights from Abita, Dogfish Head, Saranac, Rogue, Flying Dog, and DC Brau, as well as a selection of ciders and wine. Tickets from $40, at The Fairgrounds near Nationals Park.


June 17-21, 2015
The area’s most celebrated film festival features the work of independent filmmakers at various theaters in DC as well as AFI’s own theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. This year, pieces will explore topics such as vigilante groups pushing back against drug cartels in Mexico, food critic Jonathan Gold’s search for LA’s most authentic and adventurous cuisine, and the history of hip-hop fashion.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 24-28 and July 1-5, 2015
Held over two weeks on the National Mall, each year’s festival celebrates a different folk culture. This year the Smithsonian honors Peru with cooking demonstrations, talks about Amazonian myths, musical performances, dance workshops and more.

National Capital Barbecue Battle

June 27-28, 2015
Pitmasters from across the country descend on DC in late June for this part-competition, part excuse to eat amazing smoked meats.

Fringe Festival

July 9-August 2, 2015
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Capital Fringe’s quirky Fringe Festival that features adventurous and freewheeling art of all genres in venues across some of the city’s less-traveled neighborhoods. There’s a (free) kickoff party on June 19, and the full schedule of events will be released on June 22.

Brew at the Zoo

July 23, 2015
An ideal summer event for people who love beer and animals. The National Zoo hosts more than 70 craft breweries for one night only as a fundraiser for animal care and conservation science.

DC Beer Week

August 9-16, 2015
This “celebration of good beer” features a ton of nerdy and specific seminars on subjects like sour ales, instructions on the perfect pour, visiting breweries taking over the taps at the city’s best beer bars, and lots of good food, too.

More good reads from T+L:
The Guide to Pride: Nine LGBT Destinations to Visit This Summer
All the Weird, Delightful Ways Portland is Celebrating Bikes This Month
10 Airports You Really Want to Avoid This Summer