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Celebrating Diversity: An Introduction to DC’s International Festivals

Celebrating Diversity: An Introduction to DC’s International Festivals

Washington, DC, is a city where politics meets culture, and its international festivals are a testament to this unique blend. The city’s commitment to celebrating diversity is not just a nod to its global identity but a celebration of its multicultural soul. Here’s a glimpse into some of the most popular international festivals that make Washington, DC, a cultural haven.

Why Diversity Is Important to Washington, DC

The importance of diversity in Washington, DC, lies in its role as a global stage. The city’s diverse population brings a wealth of perspectives, enriching its social and cultural landscape. This diversity is celebrated and showcased through various festivals, making DC a vibrant, inclusive, and dynamic city.

Celebrating Global Cultures Through Festivals

  • Cultural Exchange: International festivals in DC offer a platform for people from different backgrounds to share their heritage and stories.
  • Economic Impact: These events draw tourists and locals alike, boosting the local economy.
  • Community Engagement: Festivals encourage community participation and engagement, fostering a sense of belonging and identity.

Highlighting DC’s International Festivals

Washington, DC’s international festivals are a vibrant showcase of the world’s cultures. Here are some of the key events that celebrate this diversity:

1. Passport DC

  • International Film Festival DC: A part of Passport DC, this festival offers a diverse array of international films, opening windows to different cultures and stories.
  • EU Open House: An opportunity to explore European Union member states’ cultures, the EU Open House offers a day-long journey through Europe without leaving DC, featuring music, dance, and culinary specialties.
  • Around the World Embassy Tour: This event allows visitors to travel the world through DC’s embassies, offering cultural presentations from a multitude of countries. Visitors can explore cultural displays, food, and music, making it a unique experience in diplomatic circles.

2. Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival

  • As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri is a significant celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S., featuring arts, food, and performances.

3. Fiesta DC

  • International Food Festival DC: Known for its vibrant parade and Latin American cuisines, Fiesta DC is a gastronomic delight.
  • Latino Culture Celebrations: The festival includes music, dance, and arts from various Latino communities, showcasing Hispanic cultural richness.

4. DC Turkish Festival

  • This annual event brings the essence of Turkish culture to Washington, DC, with traditional music, dance, arts, and cuisine.

5. Washington DC International Music Festival

  • Celebrating the universal language of music, this festival unites international artists and showcases diverse musical traditions.

6. Caribbean Carnival

  • Celebrating Caribbean heritage, this festival features a colorful parade with masqueraders, live music, and authentic Caribbean food.

7. OutWrite LGBTQ Literary Festival

  • A celebration of LGBTQ literature, OutWrite brings together authors, poets, and readers for discussions, readings, and book signings.

8. Smithsonian Folklife Festival

  • This renowned festival on the National Mall showcases living cultural heritage, featuring artisans, performers, and traditions from around the globe.

These festivals not only celebrate the international diversity of Washington, DC, but also foster understanding and appreciation among its communities.

Engaging With DC’s Cultural Scene

For those new to the city or just exploring, engaging with these festivals is a great way to immerse yourself in the cultural diversity of DC. Discovering DC’s cultural scene means more than attending events — it’s about connecting with the myriad cultures that shape the city’s identity.

The international festivals of Washington, DC, are gateways to exploring the world’s cultures. They celebrate the city’s role as a cultural center and provide immersive experiences for residents and visitors alike. From the vibrant hues of Fiesta DC to the serene beauty of Sakura Matsuri, these festivals are a testament to the diverse and inclusive spirit of Washington, DC.


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.