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Save on gas and take a D.C. staycation this summer

A roundup of local events to keep you entertained all season

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With gas at $5 per gallon, more Washingtonians are opting to stay close to home this summer. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

It’s summertime in Washington D.C., and the city is teeming with things to do. From new museum exhibitions to city events, and fine dining, there are countless ways to spend a weekend — or longer — in the city. And with gas hovering around $5 per gallon, these ideas will also save you some money.

FOOD

The RAMMYS 2022 – July 24. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the RAMMYS, D.C.’s annual restaurant and food service awards ceremony. The event will feature a silent auction, food, drinks, and a dance floor DJ-ed by music group Cash Cash.

A Taste of the DMV: Food, Culture & live music festival – July 30. Experience “Food, Culture, Music and Fun” at the Gateway D.C. Pavilion from 4-10 p.m. on July 30. Businesses from around the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area will have booths, and there will also be contests, games, and live performances.

Jollof Festival 2022 – July 30. The Jollof Festival visits several cities each summer to host vendors cooking — and competing — for the title of best Jollof rice, a savory West African staple. The Jollof Festival will come to D.C. at the end of July, held in the new Sandlot Anacostia events space.

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week – Aug. 15-21. Join the Restaurant Association of D.C. for a week of fine dining, featuring “3-course menus for lunch, dinner and brunch,” according to their Instagram, in addition to “RW-To-Go dinner meals and cocktail pairings.”

Around the World Cultural Food Festival – Aug. 27. This festival boasts “the best of the best” food from every country, with only one restaurant chosen to represent each country in attendance. In addition to food and drink, there will be live song and dance and ethnic artisans and crafters, all hosted at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, Va. 

ARTS & CULTURE

Baltimore Museum of Art; Joan Mitchell – Through Aug. 14. The Baltimore Museum of Art has partnered with San Francisco MoMA to organize a comprehensive retrospective of Joan Mitchel, an American post-war artist who has received international acclaim. Mitchell broke into the male-dominated New York art scene of the 1950s before moving to spend nearly 40 years in France, and in addition to the exhibition’s 70 featured works, it includes a collection of photographs, poems and documents that flesh out an understanding of the artist’s multifaceted life. 

Renwick Gallery; This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World – Through April 23, 2023. This nearly year-long exhibition at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Art Museum highlights art’s ability to create change and shape a more “relational and empathetic world.” It features craft mediums from the Renwick’s permanent collections as well as more than 100 new acquisitions, paying special attention to the often-overlooked history and contributions of BIPOC and women artists.

National Portrait Gallery; Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue – Through Sept. 5. According to theNational Portrait Gallery’s website, “On the fiftieth anniversary of the Watergate break-in, this exhibition of photographs, paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection brings visitors face-to-face with the scandal’s cast of characters.” The exhibition delves into visual biography as a new way to contemplate questions raised by the crisis’s political and cultural fallout. 

Capital Fringe Festival – July 14-17 and July 21-24. This summer’s Capital Fringe Festival is a performing arts showcase featuring “31 productions, 6 stages, 4 performance venues and one official festival bar,” all located in Georgetown. The event is back after a two-year break due to COVID-19, but its goal of creating an un-curated and unfiltered space for artistic exploration and performance has remained.

Fiesta Asia Street Fair – July 16. More than 1,000 performers, artisans and vendors will line Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Capitol Hill for a celebration of Asia’s rich and diverse heritage. The event is hosted by the Asia Heritage Foundation, and this summer will mark its 17th year commemorating the vast array of Asian culture and community.

Del Rey Artisans Summer Art Market – July 9-10. This two-day event held in Arlington will feature a different slate of local artists and artisans each day. Attendees can purchase “original handmade artwork” in a variety of media: ceramics, jewelry, glass, photography and more will all be on display.

DC JazzFest – Aug. 31 – Sept. 4. The 18th Annual D.C. JazzFest will feature live performances on multiple waterfront stages at The Wharf, in addition to the DCJazzPrix international band competition at Union Stage. The event is “DC’s Celebration of All Things Jazz,” and over 15 different jazz groups and performers will be featured. 

MISCELLANEOUS

National Zoo; Birds in Flight – Through Sept. 5. Watch exotic birds take to the air under with acclaimed bird behaviorist Phung Luu at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The exhibition happens rain or shine, every day besides Tuesday, at the Zoo’s Great Meadow.

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