Summer is pretty busy in a trying-really-hard-to-do-all-of-the-relaxing-while-also-having-all-of-the-fun kind of way.

We make time to travel, visit relatives, catch up on our reading lists, and fit in an afternoon post-ice-cream-coma nap as needed.

Also, we LOVE going to festivals!

8 Must See Summer Festivals Near D.C.

There is no way we can make it to all of these, but here are some we each love to hit every year AND a few on our dream list that we hope to make it to this year (or in a future summer).

1. Truckeroo

DC’s food truck festival. This is one of our do-not-miss festivals each summer because, duh, FOOD. The scale may not be your friend for weeks following, but your belly will be all hey girl, I loves you for like ever.

Must know: It’s a monthly festival so if you can’t make it in July, make sure you do in August (or really any month between April and October).

When: Monthly dates April through October, Washington, D.C. area

2. 23rd Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle

For BBQ lovers this event is serious awesome. There’s live music, free food sampling, and plenty of attractions to keep you and your family smiling and full.

Must know: This event is not free for adults ($15 for a one day adult pass),  but it is for kids 12 and under making it a pretty affordable affair for a family. You can even save a few bucks by buying online.

When: June 27th & 28th, Washington, D.C.

3. Gettysburg Civil War Reenactment

History buffs, this event is for you. Learn about the most notable war in American history by witnessing reenactments and a number of other demonstrations. It’s kinda cool to get up close and personal with the experts on the time period and there are tons of opportunities to do so at this annual event.

Must know: This is the first year there will be a youth tent at the event so that youngsters can have a more hands on experience. Might want to check it out if you’re visiting with your kids.

When: July 3-5, Gettysburg, PA

4. Frederick’s 4th

It’s been a couple of years since we ventured out for the day and we’re fortunate to have a respectable Independence Day celebration right here in our home city that provides fireworks and fun for the entire family.

8 Must See Summer Festivals Near DC: Frederick's 4th - a great celebration in Frederick, MD!

Must know: The bath tub races are a Frederick tradition that you can’t really find anywhere else. Take time to pop over and see them for yourself.

When: July 4th, Frederick, MD

5. Annapolis Irish Festival

Those who enjoy the food, music, and cultural of Ireland can get up close and personal with it at this two day event. There are three stages for entertainment and over 70 vendors on site to give visitors an immersive, engaging Irish experience. It’s a charitable event and proceeds help support a ton of local nonprofs.

Must know: They allow outside food! Awesome way to cut back on costs a bit even though, chances are, you will still want to buy some traditional foods on site. You can also bring in blankets, chairs, coolers, and shade tents for a full day of comfortable lounging.

When: July 10-11, Annapolis, MD

6. Artscape

At America’s largest free art festival you can expect to see hundreds of artists showing of their works. There is a mix of visual and performing arts for visitors to enjoy. Plus food, and other awesome entertainment.

Must know: There are so many delicious food vendors on site they might as well call this a food festival! But, expect it to be crazy crowded; this event attracts over 300,000 visitors annually!

When: July 17-19th, Baltimore, MD

7. Maryland Renaissance Festival

Visit the 16th century living village and enjoy everything the time period has to offer (think turkey legs and awesome performances) without giving up the modern luxuries we all know and love (you can shower first, use your credit card on site, and snap pics of the awesome on your cell phone).

8 Must See Summer Festivals Near DC: Maryland Renaissance Festival

Must know: Allow for a full day of revelry as the village is quite large and there are a ton of events you won’t want to miss, including a real life-like joust and a knighting ceremony for your kids. Also, renaissance era costumes!

When: August 29-October 25, Annapolis, MD

8. American Music Festival

The kids will be back in school for this one, but technically it’s still summer. This is one of the largest music festivals on the East Coast and it’s cool because one, it features an eclectic mix of music, and two, it’s at the beach so, if all else fails, you can just go lay out when the band you’re not really into is on. Super fun way to round out the summer.

8 Must See Summer Festivals Near DC: American Music Festival
Luke Addision via Flickr

Must know: Sheryl Crowe performs on the stage on Sunday!

When: September 4-6th, Virginia Beach, VA

What’s your favorite summer festival?

 

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