11 Fun Summer Food Festivals Around DC

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Celebrate Black-owned wineries, barbecue, and more.

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Last year’s National Capital Barbecue Battle. Photograph courtesy of Giant.

31st Annual Giant National Capital Barbeue Battle

When: Saturday, June 24 (11 AM to 9 PM) and Sunday, June 25 (11 AM to 7 PM)

Where: 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

This 31 year-old DC tradition transforms a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue into a vast backyard barbecue with a cook-off featuring pitmasters from around the country, dozens of vendors, go-go and funk performances, and free samples of various snack foods (the event is sponsored by Giant). This year, the festival has a ’90s theme, and DJ Jazzy Jeff is taking the stage Saturday afternoon. Awards for the best barbecue will be handed out at 6 PM on Sunday. Tickets start at $20 for single-day passes. 

DC Black Food & Wine Festival

When: Saturday, July 1 from 2 PM to 9:30 PM

Where: Gateway Pavilion (2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE)

Check out drinks and snacks from Black-owned wineries and eateries at this outdoor venue on the redeveloped St. Elizabeth’s campus. There will be live music, and you can bring lawn chairs and blankets to eat and drink picnic-style. The event is 21+, and tickets start at $40, with options to pre-order wine. 

A Taste of the DMV

When: Saturday, July 1 from 2 PM to 8 PM

Where: Republiq Hall Nightclub (2122 24th Pl., NE)

A 21+ food and hip-hop festival takes over the nightclub formerly known as Bliss, with general admission tickets starting at $20. Local food vendors will be joined by apparel and craft sellers, and there will be a wing-eating contest. 

Afrobeats & Wine Festival

When: Sunday, July 2 from 2 PM to 9 PM

Where: The Bullpen (1201 Half St., SE)

DJs spin Afrobeats as a musical accompaniment to a selection of wine and eats from Black-owned vendors and food trucks. Tickets start at $45 for late general admission and go up to $800 for VIP tables at the Nationals Park-adjacent venue. 

Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival

When: Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 22, from 9 AM to 4:30 PM

Where: The Chincoteague Center (6155 Community Dr., Chincoteague)

This long-running festival on the pastoral island (about three and a half hours from DC) celebrates this summer’s blueberry harvest with pie, jam, art and craft vendors, and live music. While tickets aren’t yet available, you can call 757-894-2334 for more information. 

10th Annual Halal Food Festival

When: Saturday, August 12 from 12 PM to 10 PM

Where: Islamic Society of Baltimore (6631 Johnnycake Rd., Catonsville)

Local halal restaurants come together for this outdoor festival, which also hosts a jewelry and art bazaar. Along with Middle Eastern dishes, previous offerings have included halal burgers, cupcakes, barbecue, and Mexican food. Tickets arer $10. 

Taste Leesburg

When: Saturday, August 12 from 5 PM to 10 PM

Where: King and Market sts., Leesburg

Dozens of local food vendors take over a few blocks of downtown Leesburg, offering everything from raw oysters and sausage rolls to birria and mango sticky rice. The festival is free to enter, with food for purchase.

Silver Spring International Food & Craft Fair

When: Sunday, August 13 from 1 PM to 7 PM

Where: Veterans Plaza (1 Veterans Pl., Silver Spring)

This downtown Silver Spring festival is a kid-friendly “celebration of the nations” with a wide array of international food and music. Admission is free. 

The Family Reunion

When: Thursday, August 17 through Sunday, August 20

Where: Salamander Resort & Spa (500 N Pendleton St., Middleburg)

This luxurious multi-day event celebrating diversity in the restaurant world is hosted by James Beard-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi, and features appearances from many of the nation’s most celebrated Black chefs, sommeliers, and food media figures. Tickets, which cover dinner events, panels, and accommodation, are sold out.

Maryland Seafood Festival

When: Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, from 11 AM to 7 PM

Where: City Dock, Annapolis

At this bayside festival, guests can peruse a variety of vendors (crab shacks are naturally a favorite) and attend events like a crab soup cook-off and beer and oyster tastings. General admission tickets range from $10 to $20 depending on when they’re booked, and pre-orders are recommended. 

Around The World Cultural Food Festival

When: Saturday, August 26 from 11 AM to 7 PM

Where: Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St., Alexandria)

This festival along the Potomac River in Old Town features two dozen food vendors from as many countries, plus artisans and dance performances. Admission is free, with food for purchase. 

Ike Allen

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