Passport DC: European Embassy Open House
During the month of May, Cultural Tourism DC presents Passport DC, a month long international celebration. Cultural Tourism DC promotes events focused on arts and cultural all year but May is a particularly exciting month filled with special events.
Last Saturday, we attended the European Union Embassy open house from 10 am to 4 pm. Each embassy invited tourists and locals for a look at the country’s technology advancements, cultural achievements, cuisine, and embassy itself. This event was very popular and many of the embassies had lines several blocks long! To entertain guests outside, some embassies like Ireland and Latvia organized dance performances in their lawns.
Despite the crowds, we were able to make it into the British Embassy. Their theme was “Shoulder to Shoulder” to celebrate the alliance between Britain and the United States. Visitors were given stickers to put on their shoulders which we thought created a great sense of international community.
The British Embassy is one of the larger embassies and is home to beautiful architecture and gardens. The Ambassador’s residence and the gardens were designed in 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It was originally meant to hold both offices and a living space for the Ambassador. However, the embassy quickly grew and new offices were built next to the residence in 1950. Today, the embassy employs over 400 people.
The residence and the gardens were open to visitors on Saturday so we were able to see the beautiful dinning room and living room where the ambassador hosts guests for special events and charities. The gardens are filled with flowers, trees, shrubs, and fountains that accent the beautiful architecture.
The Passport DC events continue through the month of May. You can check out the full list of Passport DC events online. You will find both free festivals and ticketed events. If you attend the Festa Asian Street Fair this weekend or other free events throughout the month, go early to make sure you can see as much of the event as possible!
You can follow Cultural Tourism DC on Twitter (@CultureDC) to follow their events all year.