When I think of my personal experience as a third generation American, I think of the stories I grew up hearing about my ancestors immigrating from Russia during one terrifying wave of anti-Jewish pogroms. I flash back to a distinct memory I have of my grandfather sitting at the head of a family dinner, reminiscing to all of his very privileged grandkids about the time he finally saved enough money to venture outside of his small Jewish ghetto in the Bronx and go to a Yankees game for the first time.
I often, especially lately, think about the family members I’ve never met, but whose faces I know from old photographs. I think about what their journey overseas and through Ellis Island must have been like, and I think about what life was like for the family members who never got the chance to come to the US.
No matter where your family originated from, as Americans we’ve all become the literal melting pot that is America; We’ve all added our own unique thumbprint to the ever changing traditions, cultures, and belief systems that make up the collective consciousness of this country.
In honor of everything that is good about being an American (whatever that means for you), let’s celebrate this weekend in honor of those who were here before us, and let’s also remember to honor those who come to America seeking a better, safer, more prosperous life.
If you’re like me and don’t feel especially drawn toward loud fireworks or displays of red white and blue, I’ve got some fun (less loud) options for you. The events I’ve handpicked for this week are some stereotypical “American pastimes”, and also happen to be more relaxing than your average July 4th events.
LOCAL’d Tip: Place your orders early on into the holiday to make sure the shop doesn’t run out of the products/gifts you want for your weekend festivities. And don’t forget, if you’re busy with plans all weekend, LOCAL’d has a delivery option that allows you to schedule a time frame for your next-day delivery that will make your Local’d experience extra smooth.
1) You might have already noticed that the Folklife Festival is in full swing on the National Mall. Kick off the weekend with a very multicultural and diverse festival, an annual celebration of communities and cultures in the United States and around the world.
The free event takes place on the National Mall for two weeks around the Fourth of July.
This year the festival highlights the cultural heritage of Armenia and Catalonia through food, craft, music, and dance. Experience human towers with the Catalans, Armenian craft and cooking demonstrations, and much more.
For updates on what to expect at the Festival check out the website.
2) It’s always a good weekend for some live Underground Comedy.
Thankfully, The Big Hunt has several shows to offer you this weekend!
The $20 (reoccuring) shows on Fridays and Saturday nights at The Big Hunt feature rising comics from around the country. Many of these comics are nationally touring headliners with television credits, and regularly perform with nationally touring headliners at comedy clubs and festivals across the country. If you’re interested in a free option, check out the open mics they offer that feature the best of Local comedians and those just starting out.
Head to the The Big Hunt website for more details.
Must be 21 or older to enter.
3) Celebrate on the fourth with (arguably the most) American past-time there is; hanging out at the ball field with a beer, some peanuts and a hot dog.
The Washington Nationals annually play at Nationals Park on Independence Day, holding an 11:05 a.m. game to accommodate the activities throughout the city the rest of the day. This year, the Nats will take on the Boston Red Sox, one of Major League Baseball's best teams in 2018. Expect an exciting game and an extremely lively atmosphere at Nats Park for the early holiday game.
Buy your tickets or view the rest of the season's schedule on the National’s website
Insider LOCAL’d Tip: Don’t forget! You can often find discounted tickets for these games on www.stubhub.com
4) If you came here looking for a recommendation on a specifically 4th of July event and the above events aren’t patriotic enough for you, check out this complete list Best 20 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day in Washington DC at Washington.org