D.C. may be known as the city where everyone works 24/7, more devoted to their Blackberrys than their significant others, sleeping with them every night without fail. But we know how to have fun here too — you just have to pay attention to find out where the party is. And because this is such a cosmopolitan city that so many ethnic groups call home, we’re not stuck eating the same kind of food at every festival.

Last weekend was the Latin Fiesta, a party of epic proportions spreading three blocks, featuring bands, music, crafts, demonstrations and more.

The event — in its 46th year — kicked off Saturday with the annual parade up Constitution Avenue, including dancers in native costumes and local Latino dance troupes, organizations and schools. This year’s featured country was Panama.

The party continued Sunday from 11 to 7 with bands and musicians on four stages playing Latin dance music. Food vendors lining the streets sold carne asada, tostones, pupusas and other favorites, and the lines grew longer as the day wore on.


The Latin Fiesta is the perfect family-friendly event. Many visitors pushed baby strollers or held the hands of children clutching balloons or soap-bubble wands while older children played with hula hoops. Vendors sold toys — some emblazoned with the ubiquitous stars of PBS kids’ programming, Dora and Diego (and Boots!).IMG_0742

Lots of clothing was also for sale, and from the looks of festival-goers, the top seller was El Salvador shirts. Blue and white clothing and flags were everywhere, although memorabilia from other countries was also prevalent, including Honduras, Mexico and Colombia.

Many booths featured crafts such as tiny handcrafted alpacas, cotton beaded bracelets and crocheted finger puppets. Woven sandals, backpacks and purses were also available.

Fall is a great season for festivals in D.C. — skies are clear

and the weather is warm, and the threat of dehydration and heatstroke that comes with attending summer festivals is greatly reduced.

If you missed the Latin Fiesta, try one of the upcoming festivals listed below.

Curbside Cookoff — Sample the best of the city’s portable restaurants at the annual food truck festival; tickets: $39 each, two for $55, includes four tastings and one drink; free games and activities; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri., Oct. 27, 425 M St. SW.

Taste of Georgetown — Taste samples from 30 Gtown restaurants, including 1789 and Georgetown Cupcakes; ticket packages: 5 for $22, 8 for $33 or 11 for $44, one ticket per taste/pour; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24, K Street NW between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street.

The Capital Home Show — See what’s new and trendy in the area for home décor, improvement and construction; tickets: $7 per adult online, $10 at the door; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday Sept. 22 and 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20151.

Renaissance Festival — Get out your puffy shirt or bustier and head to this month-long celebration of life during the time when jousting substituted for road rage and everyone drank beer for breakfast; tickets: adults, $25, children 7 to 15 $10; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends through Oct. 22, 1821 Crownsville Rd., Annapolis.

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