Guest blogger and GPO Supervisory Librarian Valerie Furino
There’s snow on the ground. AGAIN. It just melted the other day, and now it’s back. I need a break – if you need one too, join me in taking a look at some of the fun and educational activities the Federal Government has planned for 2014.
An upcoming metro-D.C. event is the EPA-sponsored National Sustainable Design Expo. From April 25 through the 27th, you can go to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and view innovative sustainability ideas crafted by teams of students. It’s indoors, free, next to a Metro stop, and provides an educational experience to my family – sounds good to me.
A fun annual event in D.C. is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year it’s scheduled to run June 25 to June 29 – after a short break, it resumes July 2 and ends July 6. The cultures of China and Kenya are being celebrated this year. Keep an eye on the Web site – a schedule will post as the event nears.
The Library of Congress National Book Festival is a one-day event enjoyed by many in the D.C. area. This year, the Library of Congress-sponsored event will be held on August 30 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which is a change from the prior years of being held outdoors on the National Mall. Renowned authors, children’s activities, and fun programs such as “Great Books to Great Movies” ensure something for everyone.
That’s enough about local (to me) activities; let’s take a look at what’s going across the nation. Alaska has THREE bird festivals in May, and San Francisco, CA has one and - oh, just check out the enormous number of Fish and Wildlife Service birding festivals here. The end of May has the Annual Utah Wild Horse and Burro Festival. The Thunder Bay Maritime Festival in Michigan promises lots of family fun around the Fourth of July. You can view and purchase art from veterans in October at The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Wisconsin. Some annual festivals don’t have their 2014 information available yet – like the John Jarvie Ranch Family Fest and the Fall Fish Festival in Utah, and the National Weather Festival in Oklahoma - but the Web sites have descriptions of the fun activities enjoyed for the past few years, so keep checking them for updates. For all you long-term planners, 2015 will see the Solar Decathlon in California – stop by if you want to see the latest innovations on housing using solar energy.
This is just a small sampling of educational, enriching, and entertaining festivities the Federal Government offers. For more federal fun, start your search at Recreation.gov. You can also check Federal agency calendars/schedule of events, like those for the National Arboreaum or the Smithsonian. And for those who noticed that there are no National Park Service festivals in this posting, good catch – they offer so many fun activities that they are getting their own article – stay tuned!
What Federally-sponsored festivals take place near you? Share your info in the comments field so we can all benefit!