The District may not have the coldest of winters, but these chilly days and biting winds (seriously, is American University in the middle of a wind tunnel?) have many of us dreaming of warmer days. If this is your first time spending spring in the District, prepare for an overload of cultural attractions and engaging activities. There is even fun to be found without stepping foot off campus. Check out this list of the top five events to look forward to in D.C. this Spring!
1. The Cherry Blossom Festival
This world famous festival, marketed as “The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration”, has been held in Washington for 80 years to celebrate and commemorate the gift of cherry blossom trees from Japan to the U.S in 1912. The festival kicks off in March with the opening ceremony and continues through April. Highlights include free fitness classes at the Washington Monument, the Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall, a fireworks show at the Southwest Waterfront, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Most events are free and open to the public.
2. Greek Organization Philanthropy Events
A great way to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather with friends is to participate in one of the many fundraising activities hosted by AU’s Greek organizations. Chapters hold events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for specific philanthropic causes, and they are a fun and accessible way to support both the AU community and those in need. Keep an eye out for events such as SigEp Tug of War, Alpha Xi Delta’s Xi Marks the Spot, and Sigma Chi’s Derby Days!
3. HoliDC: The Festival of Colors
Holi is a traditional Hindu festival held in the spring that is now celebrated in cities around the world and across the U.S. Known as the Festival of Colors, the event rejoices in all that is good in our lives and encourages everyone to celebrate with color, literally. For $5 participants can throw, frolic, chase and cover each other with colorful powder while lively musicians play in the background. April 11 is the HoliDC Festival, held in nearby Potomac, Maryland (accessible via the Metro and Metro Bus system), and it’s certainly a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t forget.
4. Passport D.C.
May is International Culture Awareness Month in D.C., and the Passport D.C. event is the perfect way to get a taste of the city’s “thriving international diplomatic community.” Over 50 embassies will open their doors for visitors to explore the food, art and culture of their nation as part of the “Around the World Embassy Tour” beginning May 2. With many of the embassies located within walking distance of AU, there’s no excuse for you to miss out on this cultural experience!
5. Charity Walks
The spring is the perfect time to stay active and support meaningful charities as they host walks and races around the city. Upcoming events include the Bright Beginnings 5K on March 7 to help families transition out of homelessness, the National Walk for Epilepsy on April 11, and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on May 2 and 3.