While Washington DC has dozens of wonderful events throughout the year, there are a few that draw the largest crowds and stand out as unique and special. Mark your calendar for the major annual events in 2017 in the nation's capital.
Late March - Early April
The National Cherry Blossom Festival
Dates: March 20 – April 16, 2017
See the blossoming of thousands of cherry trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The capital welcomes spring with this annual tradition begun by the gift of 3000 trees to the United States from Japan in 1912. Mark your calendar for the upcoming spring dates and plan to participate in the parade, kite festival, concerts, fireworks and cultural events.
White House Easter Egg Roll
Date: April 17, 2017
On Easter Monday, kids of all ages hunt for and race Easter Eggs on the White House Lawn.
Enjoy a morning of storytelling and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Free tickets are usually distributed on the Saturday before and early on Monday morning.
Date: May 27-29, 2017
Special events for Memorial Day include wreath laying ceremonies at several monuments and memorials in Washington, DC, the annual motorcycle rally Rolling Thunder, a free National Symphony Orchestra concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol and a Memorial Day parade along Independence Avenue.
Late June - Early July
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Dates: June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 2017
Every summer the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage sponsors this annual festival on the National Mall which celebrates cultural traditions around the world.
The Festival includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues.
Fourth of July
Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th! Independence Day celebrations in the nation’s capital start with a morning parade, concerts on the National Mall and the West Lawn of the Capitol and a huge fireworks display on the grounds of the Washington Monument.
National Book Festival
September 2, 2017.
Celebrate the joy of books and reading at this an annual event held each September in Washington, DC.
The National Book Festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress. Visit with more than 80 award-winning authors, illustrators and poets.
December – January
The National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace
Lighting Ceremony: 2017 Date to Be Announced.
Each holiday season the White House Ellipse is surrounded by a path of decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. The President traditionally lights the tree at a holiday program and musical groups perform each night until New Year's Day.
For a detailed calendar of events, see our Monthly Event Calendars.
Note also, that the 2017 Presidential Inauguration will be held on January 20, 2017. The public will participate by attending the swearing-in ceremony, inaugural parade and inaugural balls.