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.
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The Arlington County Fair, one of the largest in the region, takes place August 15–19, 2018, 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
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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 2– 5, 2018. Join in for some old-fashioned country fun with carnival games and rides, 4-H exhibits, live shows, booths, farm chores and fair food.
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If you like farm living, you'll want to head to the Howard County Fair in West Friendship, Maryland, from August 4–11, 2018. With ponies and livestock, tractor pulls and a petting zoo, this 73-year-old fair celebrates the agricultural tradition still surprisingly prevalent in the D.C.-Baltimore metropolitan corridor.
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The largest county fair in Maryland, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair takes place August 10–18, 2018, 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.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Virginia's largest county fair takes place in Manassas August 10–18, 2018. 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 a rodeo, tractor pulls, lawnmower races, livestock and home arts exhibits, contests both serious and silly, live performance, and carnival games and rides.
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The DC Brewers' Guild brings you the 10th annual DC Beer Week August 19–26, 2018. Hundreds of venues throughout Washington, D.C., and metropolitan Virginia and Maryland host a variety of beer-related events, including beer dinners, tastings, educational panels, glassware giveaways, and more.
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Bring the kids to the Friendship Firehouse Festival in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, on August 4, 2018, where they can explore the firehouse museum and enjoy crafts, live musical entertainment, giveaways, and more.
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Watching a movie on a large outdoor screen can turn an ordinary summer evening into a special occasion. DC Outdoor Films maintains a schedule of free outdoor showings throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area. Note that outdoor movies typically get canceled for bad weather.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Through August 14, 2018, 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.
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Restaurant Week: Alexandria
More than 60 restaurants offer special menus and pricing from August 17–26, 2018, to entice both residents and visitors to dine in Alexandria, Virginia, located just 5 miles south of Washington, D.C. The restaurants serve either a three-course pre-fixe dinner or dinner for two, both priced at $35.
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Howard County, Maryland's bi-annual 15-day summer "restaurant week" joins the national movement to introduce a community's local dining scene. Through August 6, 2018, the Farm-2-Table summer dining specials offer a great opportunity to enjoy locally grown products while trying new restaurants and supporting local farmers, and food and beverage purveyors.
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Restaurant Week: Metropolitan Washington, DC
The Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week August 13–19, 2018, highlights the best culinary offering in the region with $22 prix fixe meals for brunch and lunch, and $35 prix fixe meals for dinner.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Enjoy indoor and outdoor summer theater entertainment for all ages throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area, with free admission to many performances.
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With 15 home games during August, you get plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Washington Nationals Baseball team at Nationals Park.