Labor Day weekend is considered the last unofficial summer weekend across the United States. What began as a holiday back in 1887 during the Industrial Revolution to give laborers a day off, as well as to celebrate American workers and their achievements, has now turned into a three-day weekend full of festivals, parades, fairs, concerts and more.
Throughout the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas you’ll find no shortage of great ways to spend your long Labor Day weekend. If you’re looking for something to do, we’ve rounded up several different options throughout the region. Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to plan a one-day trip from Baltimore to enjoy any of these exciting events!
Labor Day Weekend in Baltimore
Maryland State Fair
The Maryland State Fair runs from August 5th through Labor Day, so Labor Day weekend is actually your last chance to check out this Maryland tradition. The holiday weekend is full of fun events for the whole family, with farm and animal exhibits, thoroughbred horse races, arts and crafts, rides and amazing attractions.
Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
2016 marks the 62nd year of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, which started back in 1955 as a way to raise the funds needed to build a Youth Center. Starting on Friday, September 2, festival-goers will enjoy a variety of amusement rides and carnival games, live bands and entertainment, art exhibits, and used book sale and a parade on Monday.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Starting August 27 and running each weekend through the end of October, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is now in its 40th season. During Labor Day weekend, the festival will also be open on Monday. Step back into medieval times and enjoy delicious food, music, theater and sporting events.
Old Towne Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade
Head to the streets of Old Towne on Labor Day to take in the Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade, now celebrating its 78th year! Starting at 1 p.m., watch antique cars, ethnic dance groups, high school marching bands and more as they parade from Girard Street to Russell Avenue.
Labor Day Weekend in Northern Virginia
Lake Ann Jazz and Blues Festival
This free, weeklong event is family-friendly, and showcases local emerging artists as well as nationally-known jazz performers. The week closes out on Labor Day with headliners the Adrian Duke Project and their New Orleans jazz sound.
Virginia Scottish Games
The Virginia Scottish Games began as a celebration of Alexandria’s rich Scottish heritage and now celebrates Scottish heritage throughout the entire state. Enjoy athletic competitions, highland dancing, pipe and drums, sheep-herding demonstrations, and of course, plenty of delicious Scottish food and drink!
Labor Day Washington D.C. Events
Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol
On Sunday, September 4, head to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for their annual free music event and the beginning of the Kennedy Center’s performing arts season. Enjoy all the patriotic classics from the National Symphony Orchestra, and the 2016 performance also features singer Storm Large and her band Le Bonheur.
DC Blues Festival
The 28th Annual FREE DC Blues Festival will be held this year over Labor Day weekend on Saturday, September 3 at the Carter Barron Amphitheater. Enjoy music from Lauren Mitchell, Slam Allen and more, plus workshops throughout the day led by talented artists for family-friendly fun.
Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival
The Page-to-Stage Festival is held every Labor Day weekend at the Kennedy Center in D.C., and this year the festival pays tribute to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, showcasing more than 30 female playwrights. Enjoy free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals from more than 40 theaters in the Washington, D.C. area.
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