From International Culture to Local History, Cultural Tourism DC Celebrates Washington, DC in 2011
2011 Sees the Return of Passport DC, an Expanded WalkingTown DC, and the Introduction of Two Neighborhood Heritage Trails
Washington, DC – Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit coalition of DC’s arts, cultural, and heritage organizations, announces its 2011 series of events. From global cultural to local history, this year’s calendar of events presents both visitors and residents the opportunity to discover the real DC.
The year kicks off with The Embassy Chef Challenge, the annual international culinary competition. The 2010 “Judge’s Choice Award” winner, Chef Jan Van Haute from the Embassy of Belgium, will host embassy chefs as they vie for the title of Best Embassy Chef. The Washington Post Food and Travel Editor Joe Yonan leads this year’s panel of celebrity judges. In addition to the “Judge’s Choice Award,” chefs will attempt to woo the event guests to win the “People’s Choice Award.” The private preliminary competition, Challenge Belgium, takes place on Saturday, March 26, 2010. The Embassy Chef Challenge, the annual benefit for Cultural Tourism DC, will be on April 12, 2011 at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Proceeds from the Embassy Chef Challenge support the many free programs of Cultural Tourism DC.
Passport DC, an international exploration through Washington, DC, continues the celebration of international culture during the entire month of May. Now in its fourth year, Passport DC invites participants to experience a global journey without leaving the city. Featuring street festivals, open houses, embassy events, special performances, and much more, Passport DC explores the international community that is a vital part of DC culture.
This year’s Passport DC events include:
• Short Cut to Europe: EU Embassies Open House: May 7 – Tour inside the embassies of the European Union member countries and discover their distinctive cultures.
• Around the World Embassy Tour: May 14 – Cultural Tourism DC presents the fourth annual Around the World Embassy Tour, the capstone event of Passport DC. Embassies from around the globe open their doors and welcome visitors to experience the art, culture, cuisine, and much more. A complete list of participating embassies will be available in April.
• National Asian Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia: May 21 –The National Asian Heritage Foundation, in partnership with Passport DC, presents this street festival honoring the diverse cultures of Asia.
• Meridian International Children’s Festival: May 21 – This festival introduces the next generation of global travelers to cultures around the world.
This year Cultural Tourism DC will add two new DC Neighborhood Heritage Trails. In June Cultural Tourism DC will launch Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./ Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail and in the fall, Hub, Heart, Home: H Street, NE Neighborhood Heritage Trail. These two trails join the 11 Neighborhood Heritage Trails that offer self-guided walking tours of historic DC neighborhoods. Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./ Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail explores the communities surrounding Howard University that attracted individuals of culture, creativity, and purpose. Hub, Heart, Home: H Street, NE Neighborhood Heritage Trail explores the rich history of the multi-ethnic neighborhood on and around H Street, NE. The Neighborhood Heritage Trails are the Official Walking Trails of Washington, DC.
This summer, Cultural Tourism DC will celebrate the unveiling of the 100th plaque for the African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC. The African American Heritage Trail is an online database with information on more than 200 significant sites in African American history. One hundred of those sites, in all eight wards, now boast a colorful plaque detailing the sites’ importance. In addition, Cultural Tourism DC has published a free guide with 15 neighborhood walks.
Hailed as a “DC institution” by The Washington Post, this year’s WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC expands to two consecutive weekends in the fall, September 24 – 25 and October 1 – 2. These two weekends will feature more than 100 free walking and biking tours through all eight wards of the city. Participants journey through DC history, art, and recent development. The 2011 edition of WalkingTown, DC will feature a series of tours exploring the Civil War history of DC, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. All tours are free and open to the public. A complete list of tour topics and times will be available in early September.
More information about these events and high resolution images are available upon request.
About Cultural Tourism DC
An independent nonprofit coalition of more than 230 culture, heritage, and community-based organizations, Cultural Tourism DC and its members help residents and visitors experience DC’s authentic culture and heritage. For more information, visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org or call 202-661-7581.
"I looked at the new brochures for the Deanwood and Civil Rights Heritage Trails. I am always astonished and amazed at the work you do and the quality of it. Beautiful."