Multiple jurisdictions in the DC area have planned festivals and parades to celebrate the celebratory nature of the Latino community. Many activities focused on music, food, art and culture.
The DC region embraces the traditions and customs of its Spanish residents through numerous Hispanic Heritage Month events.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the national observance of Hispanic Heritage Week, and it was expanded to a 30-day period in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. The national celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month became law two years later.
It began on September 15, the anniversary of independence for several Latin American provinces, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
There are several other holidays that are celebrated by the Hispanic community within the 30-day period, such as Independence Day for Mexico (September 16) and Chile (September 18) and Día de la Raza, or Day of the Races (October 16) 12) .
The one-month celebration ends on October 15.
Multiple jurisdictions in the DC area have planned festivals and parades to celebrate the celebratory nature of the Latino community. Many activities focused on music, food, art and culture. See more below.
Smithsonian’s Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off Events
Friday Sept 16. until Saturday 17 Sept. at the American History Museum
The Smithsonian will host two events during its opening weekend: first, an after-hours dance party with food and drinks on Friday, September 16. On Saturday 17 September, it organizes a family day in the museum with a skating demonstration, several presentations and a concert.
View The Smithsonian’s full calendar of events online.
Saturday September 24 to Sunday. Sept. 25 on Pennsylvania Ave. and 14th Street in Northwest DC
Considered the district’s top annual event during Hispanic Heritage Month, the two-day festival features a parade, beauty pageant, science fair, and multiple food vendors to highlight the area’s Latino culture.
2022 Manassas Latino Festival
Saturday, September 24 from 12-7pm at the Loy E. Harris Pavilion
The annual event includes live music, dance performances, food and other fun activities – multiple performances will have a South American flavor. For example, The Mystic Warriors, one of the festival’s performers, use ancient flutes and pan flutes along with contemporary instruments to perform Andean folk music. View a list of the scheduled acts on the festival’s website.
Sunday October 16 from 1pm-4pm at Lane Manor Park
Prince George’s County, Maryland’s closing event for Hispanic Heritage Month, focuses more on bringing families together. The event will feature live entertainment, a youth soccer clinic, and provincial resource information.
Andean and Latin fusion band VACATION
Saturday, September 17 at the National Museum of the American Indian
RAYMI, founded in DC in 1996, combines traditional Peruvian instruments with contemporary instruments. The band will give four-hour performances in the Potomac Atrium from 12:30 p.m. View their schedule here.
123 Andrés at Arlington Public Libraries
26, 27 and 29 Sept at multiple locations
Duo Andrés and Christina bring their Latin Grammy-winning and family-friendly music to the library branches of Central, Columbia Pike and Shirlington. The pair blend bilingual lyrics with music from multiple genres such as cumbia, salsa, merengue, and bachata to create a fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Watch when they play.
Live! in the library: US Poet Laureate Ada Limón Opening Reading
Thursday, September 29 at the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress
Award-winning poet Ada Limón will deliver her inaugural lecture as the 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The historical reading marks the beginning of the Mexican-American laureate. Tickets are free.
Comedy Show and After Party “I SURVIVED LA CHANCLA”
Saturday, September 24, 7pm at Simple Bar and Grill in Northwest DC
An evening of laughter with an all-Latin lineup of comedians who have performed in the DC region and abroad, including at the DC Improv, Magoobys and Broadway Comedy Club. Tickets are $10.
Hispanic Heritage Month Craft Kit
September 17-24 at Takoma Park Neighborhood Library
Kids over the age of 8 can pick up craft kits, featuring items representing some of the countries celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. The kit includes papel picado crafts, ojos de dios crafts and puzzles. While stocks last.
Cooking History: Celebrating Comida Chingona and the Low-Rider Lifestyle
Saturday 17 September, 12.00-13.00 at tthe National Museum of American History
During Smithsonian’s Family Festival chef Silvana Salcido Esparza plans to prepare a cochinita pibil, a Maya pork dish from Yucatec, while discussing its roots and history. This event is free.
Spanish Heritage Month Themed Trivia
Friday, September 16, 2 p.m. at Mott Community Center (Senior Program)
Fairfax County hosts an interactive trivia game focused on “facts, individuals, and celebrations related” to Hispanic Heritage Month.
Latin American Film Festival
22 Sept. until Oct 12. at AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland
Now 33 years old, the AFI Latin American Film Festival will feature 41 films from 21 countries, including Spain and Portugal. General admission tickets are $15. Check out the list of movies and showtimes on AFI’s website.
Virginia Hispanic Chamber’s Restaurant Week
Oct 10 until Oct 16
The Virginia Hispanic Chamber will feature Latino establishments on its Restaurante Week webpage, allowing residents and tourists to experience “the many different kinds of flavors” that make up the world of Latino Cuisine. Restaurants highlighted on the website have Restaurante Week specials and offers that guests can take advantage of during the week.
WTOP’s Juan Herrera, Veronica Canales and Carlos Ramirez contributed to this report.