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Any major city will have some sort of festival or cultural event at least a few times each month, but visitors to the nation’s capital are luckier than most — Washington, D.C. boasts some of the country’s most enticing annual events.
Summer visitors should consider planning a visit over 4th of July weekend. The city’s Independence Day celebration, "A Capitol Fourth," is one of the nation’s best, if not the best in the country, featuring a massive concert and orchestral performance, plus big name acts. Airing live on PBS each year, the Thursday-evening concert will celebrate America’s 236th birthday with the famed “1812 Overture” as well a number of celebrity performances.
But we have a secret — the best day to watch the concert isn’t even on Thursday, but at the open-to-the-public rehearsal the day before. Gates usually open mid-afternoon, and almost all of the performers and emcees taking place in the event will participate in this dress “practice round.”
The upcoming Capital Fringe Festival is one of my favorite summer events. From July 11-28, more than 135 groups will perform eclectic selections throughout the city, from burlesque interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s movies Mme. Macbeth (in which the women rule the world and then men are domestic plotters). The only rule is that all performances chosen by the Fringe Committee are creative and uninhibited.
Another can’t miss Shakespeare show: “43 and ½”, staging just the deaths and “stabby bits” from the Bard’s masterpieces. Even if you’re not a performance-art aficionado, stop by the festival’s Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar for prosecco, craft beer, and one of the coolest, most artistic crowd in Washington.