Guide to Labor Day in Washington, DC: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

U.S. Capitol concert

Kris Connor / Getty Images 

Washington, D.C., and the local area have a packed calendar of events over the Labor Day holiday weekend, including a free outdoor concert at the U.S. Capitol, a crab festival and derby race, and a Scottish heritage festival, to name just a few. You're sure to find something fun for the whole family to do on Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C. 

Many events have been canceled in 2020, so be sure to confirm the latest updates on the official event webpages.

01 of 10

The Crisfield Crab Derby and Festival

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. And of course, a crab festival wouldn't be complete without tasty crab concessions. Locally caught and delectably prepared, you can enjoy crab legs, crab rolls, crab chowder, and many other styles of this tasty crustacean.

The Crab Derby and Festival is scheduled for August 31 to September 6, 2020, but be sure to check for updates and possible cancellations. The event is mostly free to attend, except for Saturday, September 5—the day of the crab derby—where there is a $5 admission.

02 of 10

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 p.m. 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.

The 2020 parade is currently scheduled for Monday, September 7, but be sure to check for updates and possible cancelations.

03 of 10

Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol

Summer Night at Capitol Hill - A dusk view of west-side of the U.S. Capitol Building, as a small crowd gathering around a summer concert at front, Washington, D.C., USA.
SeanXu / Getty Images

The National Symphony Orchestra has canceled all live events for 2020.

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.

04 of 10

National Book Festival

New York Knicks player Chris Duhon speaking at the National Book Festival

NBAE / Getty Images

The 2020 National Book Festival has been moved to a virtual event taking place September 25–27.

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.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

 Lake Anne Plaza

The Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival is canceled in 2020.

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.

06 of 10

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Battle Re-Enactments

Moment Editorial / Getty Images

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is canceled in 2020.

Although not exclusively a Labor Day event, the Maryland Renaissance Festival runs on weekends from August 24 through October 20, 2019, in Annapolis, Maryland. The whole family will marvel over the 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games, and more.

07 of 10

Glen Echo Park Art Show and Irish Festivities

Glen Echo Park Art Show

 Glen Echo Park

All 2020 events are canceled at Glen Echo Park until further notice.

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.

08 of 10

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

 Greenbelt Labor Day

The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival is canceled in 2020.

All Labor Day weekend, the Greenbelt Community Center in Maryland offers kids of all ages the chance to enjoy the Greenbelt Labor Day 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.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Kensington Labor Day Parade

"That Band" on a parade float at the Kensington Labor Day Parade

John Hane / Flickr / CC BY 3.0

The Kensington Labor Day Parade is canceled in 2020.

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.

10 of 10

The Virginia Scottish Games

Antique car show at the Virginia Scottish Games

 Scott Nunemaker / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Virginia Scottish Games is canceled in 2020 and returns September 4–5, 2021.

At the Virginia Scottish Games 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.