Guide to Labor Day in Washington, D.C.: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

U.S. Capitol concert
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Washington D.C. has a packed calendar of events over the holiday weekend, including a free outdoor concert at the U.S. Capitol, a crab festival, and derby race in Crisfield, so you're sure to find something fun for the whole family to do on Labor Day weekend in 2019 in Washington, D.C. 

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Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol

National Symphony Orchestra's Labor Day Concert

Destination DC


There's nothing quite as patriotic as listening to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Capitol building of the United States. On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, you can head over to East Capitol and First Streets in Washington, D.C. to hear this free, live concert starting at 8 p.m.

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National Book Festival

New York Knicks player Chris Duhon speaking at the National Book Festival
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The nation's capital hosts the free National Book Festival every year on Labor Day weekend at the Washington Convention Center on Mt. Vernon Place in Washington, D.C. Visit on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and you'll see more than 100 award-winning authors, illustrators, and poets who will be in attendance to discuss their works and sign their books.

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Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

 Lake Anne Plaza

On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend each year, the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival brings a free, family-friendly showcase of talented local emerging artists and international jazz performers together for one day of music and fun. Located at the Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Virginia from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., this event is open to all ages.

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Maryland Renaissance Festival

Battle Re-Enactments
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Although not exclusively a Labor Day event, the Maryland Renaissance Festival runs on weekends from August 24 through October 20 in Annapolis, MD. The whole family will marvel over the 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games and lots more.

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Glen Echo Park Art Show and Irish Festivities

Glen Echo Park Art Show

 Glen Echo Park

Located at MacArthur Boulevard in Glen Echo, the Labor Day Art Show in the Spanish Ballroom takes place Saturday through Monday of Labor Day weekend. Featuring artwork for sale from more than 200 regional artists, including sculpture, paintings, ceramics, glass, and jewelry, the event will also include a wide variety of musicians and dancers performing toe-tapping Irish dancing to beautiful Irish folk songs in Glen Echo Park's Bumper Car Pavilion.

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Olde Towne Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

Craig Shipp / Flickr / CC BY 2.0


Located on Summit and Diamond Avenues in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the Olde Town Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade is one of the biggest events of the year. Here on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., you can watch the fire engines, high school marching bands, clowns, horses, and giant balloons fill the streets of Olde Town Gaithersburg.

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Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

 Greenbelt Labor Day

All Labor Day weekend, the Greenbelt Community Center in Maryland offers kids of all ages the chance to enjoy a festival with carnival rides, games, a petting zoo, art exhibits, athletic tournaments, the Miss Greenbelt pageant, and live entertainment. The carnival hours vary by year so check the official website for up-to-date information before you go.

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Kensington Labor Day Parade

John Hane / Flickr / CC BY 3.0


On the Monday of Labor Day, the town of Kensington, Maryland celebrates the holiday with a parade and festival. The parade begins at St. Paul's Street and Plyers Mill, and the festival is located along Howard and Armory Avenues. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a day of family entertainment with a parade, live music, arts and crafts, food, and kids' activities.

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The Virginia Scottish Games

Antique car show at the Virginia Scottish Games

 Scott Nunemaker / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Located on the Great Meadow in the Plains, Virginia, you can celebrate Alexandria's Scottish heritage and enjoy piping and drumming, highland dancing, fiddling competitions, sheep-herding demonstrations, an antique car show, children's activities, and much more. Visit on August 31 and September 1, 2019.

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The Crisfield Crab Festival and Derby

Crab Racing at the National Hard Crab Derby and Festival

Crisfield Events


Located in Crisfield, the National Hard Crab Derby and Festival is a unique event that attracts a crowd from across the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Enjoy crab races and contests, carnival rides, crafts, live entertainment, beauty pageants, parade, and fireworks at this annual event on Labor Day weekend.

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