Though the country's lawmakers typically leave town in August during Congress's annual recess, Washington, D.C., and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia keep plenty of festivals and special events on the calendar.
Counties celebrate their agricultural and culinary heritages at county fairs, with carnival rides, live animal shows, musical entertainment, arts and craft exhibits, and plenty of food. Other communities promote their dining scenes with a restaurant week, while sporting and cultural events take place throughout the month.
The Arlington County Fair, one of the largest in the region, takes place August 14–18, 2019, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington, Virginia. The fun happens both indoors and out, with an interactive aquarium, arts and crafts, jewelry vendors, and competitive displays in the air-conditioned exhibit hall. On the midway outside, you can find thrill rides and kiddie activities such as pony rides, an obstacle course, and animal races plus music and other entertainment
This two-events-in-one county fair incorporates the Fairfax 4-H Fair and the Frying Pan Park Farm Show into a one-weekend extravaganza at the Frying Pan Park Farm in Herndon, Virginia, from August 1– 4, 2019. Join in for some old-fashioned country fun with carnival games and rides, 4-H exhibits, live shows, booths, farm chores and fair food.
If you like farm living, you'll want to head to the Howard County Fair in West Friendship, Maryland, from August 3–10, 2019. With ponies and livestock, tractor pulls and a petting zoo, this more than 70-year-old fair celebrates the agricultural tradition still surprisingly prevalent in the D.C.-Baltimore metropolitan corridor.
The largest county fair in Maryland, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair takes place August 9–17, 2019, in Gaithersburg. The week-long family event features carnival rides, live animals, monster trucks, a demolition derby, food, and fun activities for all ages. You can also purchase quilts, handmade clothing, canned goods, baked goods, and homegrown vegetables, and enjoy exhibits of arts and crafts by local youth.
Virginia's largest county fair takes place in Manassas during August 9–17, 2019. A group of World War II veterans started the Prince William County Fair in 1949 to promote the county's agricultural industry, and now the festivities include things like a rodeo, tractor pulls, lawnmower races, livestock and home arts exhibits, contests both serious and silly, live performance, and carnival games and rides.
Bring the kids to the Friendship Firehouse Festival in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, on August 3, 2019, where they can explore the firehouse museum and enjoy crafts, live musical entertainment, giveaways, and more.
Through August 11, 2019, you can watch the Washington Redskins gear up for the regular season at Redskins Park in Richmond, Virginia. You must register online for a free pass to Redskins Training Camp.