National Book Festival (Sept. 2)
Trade in your afternoon in Lauinger Library for a trip to the Library of Congress — or, better yet, to its annual National Book Festival, to be held Saturday, Sept. 2. Founded in 2001 at the suggestion of former first lady Laura Bush, the National Book Festival is among the largest literary events held in the country. Hosted at the Washington Convention Center, the location for a number of inaugural balls, this event draws in avid readers and writers from across Washington, D.C. and features panels and lectures by well-known authors. The free book festival is a full-day affair, and attendees will not want to miss out on a single event — last year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shonda Rhimes and Salman Rushdie were among the guest speakers in attendance, and Condoleezza Rice has already been confirmed to give a talk at this year’s event. In addition to panels and discussions, visitors can enjoy watching slam poetry, listening to book readings or simply settling down with newly signed copies of their favorite novels.
The Nation’s Triathlon (Sept. 10)
Calling all athletes: The Nation’s Triathlon is coming up this September. The annual event, now celebrating its 12th anniversary, is one of the largest athletic contests held in the District. This is no ordinary triathlon, however, as the course, which spans the city, is designed to pass by some of D.C.’s most historic monuments and memorials. The three stages of the event consist of a swim in the Potomac River and a bike race and long-distance run through the capital. Athletes will cross over the Tidal Basin and pass through Hains Point, a scenic spot between the Potomac River and Washington Channel, before crossing the finish line at a location along Ohio Drive, close to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Taking part in the Nation’s Triathlon is a great way to break out of the Georgetown bubble and discover what D.C. has to offer, while also getting active. Don’t forget to register online prior to the event!
With plenty of options for nightlife and late-night dining, Adams Morgan is considered a perfect place for millennials to explore in D.C. Luckily for Georgetown students, the historic neighborhood is just a 15-minute drive from the front gates. Perhaps the best time to visit is during its yearly end-of-summer celebration, Adams Morgan Day, coming up on Sunday, Sept. 10. From the hours of 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., residents of Adams Morgan and the surrounding area are invited to attend the multi-block street festival, which features live music, cultural performances and a number of other activities. The event not only celebrates Adams Morgan’s rich history and diversity, but also highlights the neighborhood’s businesses, restaurants and artisans; there are food stalls at which visitors can sample different world cuisines, as well as workshops and activities led by local artists. Adams Morgan Day, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, is now celebrating its 39th year, making it D.C.’s longest-running neighborhood festival, as well as one of its most beloved cultural traditions.
Taste of Georgetown (Sept. 24)
Although on- and off-campus restaurants like Bulldog Tavern and The Tombs are often the first choice for students, there are plenty of dining options in Georgetown beyond the campus. Taste of Georgetown, a one-day event held every fall, offers students a smorgasbord of options. Showcasing 60 signature dishes from 30 local restaurants, the festival highlights the best food that Georgetown has to offer. In the past, attendees have been able to enjoy sweet treats from popular bakeries and shops like Cafe Bonaparte, Dean & DeLuca and Baked & Wired, as well as tastes of world cuisine from popular restaurants like Chaia Tacos, Muncheez, a late-night Lebanese eatery, and Bodega, which serves Spanish tapas and drinks. Now celebrating its 24th year, Taste of Georgetown is an event that attracts foodies from across the city, as well as from Georgetown’s campus. Students can purchase tickets the day of the event. Prices range depending on the quantity of tickets purchased; two tickets cost $10, and 10 tickets cost $40. Proceeds from the event benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center, which works to create programs for and provide services to those experiencing homelessness. The festival takes place on K Street between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street.
Big Hunt (Oct. 14)
Every fall, freshmen and transfer students are invited to take part in the Big Hunt, one of Georgetown’s most prized traditions. The scavenger hunt sends its participants across the District in search of clues, helping them become better acquainted with their new home. The event is well-known for awarding winners of the scavenger hunt with an assortment of wonderful prizes, which are typically donated by student organizations and local businesses. In the past, winners of the Big Hunt have been gifted private tours of D.C. monuments; box seat tickets for games at the Verizon Center; dinners at 1789, an upscale restaurant just a block from campus; and gift cards for The Tombs, an off-campus restaurant and pub beloved by students and faculty. At the end of the event, students celebrate by enjoying treats from popular eateries in the neighborhood — Sprinkles Cupcakes catered last fall. This year, the Big Hunt is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 14. With the event’s prize count currently at $6,000, students will not want to miss out on the chance to win free gifts and, of course, make new friends and explore the capital city.
IlluminAsia: A Festival of Asian Art, Food, and Cultures (Oct. 14-15)
The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art are perhaps the best places in the District to learn about Asian culture. Showcasing collections of sculptures, paintings, ceramics and artifacts from East, South and Southeast Asia, the Islamic world and ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Sackler and Freer galleries are brimming with rich history and extraordinary artwork — they are well worth a visit! Although both museums have been closed for renovations this past year, they will reopen to the public in October during a free weekend-long event: IlluminAsia. The festival will feature food vendors, live music and special events on both days. On Saturday night, attendees will be able to enjoy a dazzling light show, complete with floating lanterns and video projections. On Sunday, IlluminAsia will present a number of interactive performances and activities, including art workshops and kite-flying. Although the performances and activities are sure to be entertaining, the focus of the celebration is the long-awaited reopenings of the Sackler and the Freer; attendees of the event will be the first to explore the redesigned galleries, as well as permanent and pop-up exhibitions at the museums. The galleries will co-host the two-night celebration in partnership with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. IlluminAsia will take place on the grounds of both museums, which are located along the South side of the National Mall.