May Day traditionally marks the start of springtime. The first day of May brings the hope of warmer weather and renewed life after the dullness of winter. Traditionally, the first of May was cause for enormous celebration, but in today’s culture, true May Day festivals are few and far between. But the beginning of spring brings celebrations of all kinds to the District. A plethora of festivals arrive in the area beginning in late April. Festivals of music, culture, food and entertainment are brimming with excitement for DC-area residents. These festivals promise the thrill of great food, fun entertainment and the discovery of new experiences.
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Naptown barBAYq Contest & Music Festival
Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds
1450 General’s Highway
Crownsville, MD 21032
Date: May 4-5, 2013
The 3rd Annual Naptown barBAYq Contest & Music Festival brings together the best of Annapolis food, live music and entertainment for a day of fun for the whole family. Top local area chefs and home cooks alike compete for the title of best barBAYq in Annapolis. A variety of soulful comfort foods await the hungriest of judges, including whole-roasted chicken, pulled pork, ribs and it’s not Annapolis without seafood. Games for families and children keep everyone entertained all day. A portion of the proceeds helps local area charities.
Bay Bridge Boat Show
Bay Bridge Marina
357 Pier 1 Road
Stevensville, MD 21666
Date: April 18-21, 2013
There’s no better way to celebrate the start of spring on the Chesapeake Bay than with the Bay Bridge Boat Show. Featuring the area’s most talented boaters, the Bay Bridge Boat Show is an exciting sightseeing event for the whole family. The area’s best food vendors serve up a variety of cuisines from seafood to barbecue. With prizes, demo boat rides, children’s activities, arts and crafts, live entertainment and even a flea market, there’s something for everyone.
Israeli Dance Festival DC 2013
Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
13300 Arctic Ave.
Rockville, MD 20853
Date: April 28, 2013
Springtime jumpstarts the cultural festival season in the District. The Israeli Dance Festival is one of the earliest springtime events in celebration of culture, music and creative expression. Featuring the DC-area Israeli dance troupes HoraDC, Yesodot, Kesem, Kinor, CES-JDS, and JPDS-NC, with special guest performance by Collage Dance Ensemble of Boston, the Israeli Dance Festival is brimming with cultural significance and entertainment. The evening comes to an end by welcoming the audience to dance the night away.
National Cathedral Flower Mart
Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
Date: May 3-4, 2013
The National Cathedral Flower Mart is a Washington DC-area annual outdoor festival for gardening aficionados, families and environmentalists of all kinds featuring beautiful flowers, arrangements and plants of all kinds, including designed landscape exhibits. Live music and entertainment, gourmet food vendors and children’s activities including a rock wall, moon bounce, mini-Ferris wheel and a century-old restored carousel accompany the mart. This historic festival has been held on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral since 1939, thanks to the volunteer organization All Hallows Guild. Rain or shine, the mart is available to District residents who are excited to experience the first new blooms of spring.
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 2013
Winchester, VA 22601
Date: April 26 to May 5, 2013
One of the largest celebrations of spring in the Washington DC area is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. The festival comprises the whole town of Winchester, Virginia for 10 days of entertainment, contests, live music, dancing, carnivals, children’s activities, food, demonstrations and celebration of the newness of spring. With the gorgeous backdrop of the Virginia countryside and the freshly blooming apple trees, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is the ultimate springtime experience. The culminating event, the Grand Feature Parade, will be held on Saturday, May 4th and features floats, bands, antique cars and more fun for the whole family.
Kayleigh Bryant is a D.C. native, traveler, foodie, artist and frequent museum visitor. Her lifelong fascination with art has moved her to explore the themes, techniques and media artists have employed to express their ideas. Kayleigh has earned a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.