Join us for tonight's (6.20) Summer Concert at 7:30pm! Kona Ice will be serving shaved ice, and Praline will be serving food and drinks! Learn More >>



    April 27, 2024 • 11am – 4pm  ||  FREE Performances  ||  FREE Hands-On Arts & Crafts  ||  Carousel Rides  ||  FREE Parking


    Schedule of Events & Event Map >>      PURCHASE CAROUSEL TICKETS ONLINE >>

    carousel interior with colorful horses and other animalsJoin us (rain or shine!!) on Saturday, April 27, for a festival event in celebration of Glen Echo Park's 103-year-old Dentzel Carousel as it opens for the season! 

    In addition to riding the carousel ($2.00 per ride or $5 for an all-day pass), visitors will enjoy many FREE activities throughout the Park, including performances, hands-on art projects, open studios & galleries, and more! Food options include Praline Cafe, Ben & Jerry's, and FlyPizza Truck

    RSVP  (preferred, not required)

    Schedule of Events & Event Map >>  |  PURCHASE CAROUSEL TICKETS ONLINE >>

    Find more information about visiting the park here >>

    We are thrilled to present these performers:

    🎠 Coyaba Dance Theater

    Led by Founder/Artistic Director Sylvia Soumah, Coyaba Dance Theater will present exciting traditional and contemporary West African dance and drumming focusing on the diverse ethnic groups and various humanitarian themes of West African culture. Additionally, try out a free, all-ages mini-class in African dance!


    African dancers on stage

    🎠 chitra.MOVES

    chitra.MOVES is excited to take part in Carousel Day!  Dancers will perform pieces from the recent production, TEMPLE, while also engaging audiences in a mini-class that shares joyful choreography and brings people together to exchange and build relationships. Open for all ages and levels!

    Chitra Subramanian is an Indian American dancer, choreographer, and educator residing in Washington, DC. A Pittsburgh native and originally from South India, Chitra currently teaches, choreographs, and performs with a collective of artists called chitra.MOVES. 

    Her aesthetic draws from Hip Hop and Bharathanatyam foundations to tell stories, elevate artists, and meaningfully engage unseen and new audiences.  Chitra's life-long love for Hip Hop culture and community work was forged through nonstop club gatherings of music, dance, and fellowship.  Heavily influenced by her immigrant roots and her love for Hip Hop, Chitra has cultivated a depth of experience in youth work, teaching, choreography, performance, and learning.


    Three female dancers on outdoor stage

    🎠 Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance

    The Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance keeps Irish dance and music alive through a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum for ages 5 through adult.

    Founded in 1997 by Sean and Denise Culkin, the school prides itself on it’s sense of community and has been able to foster relationships that last a lifetime through the ties of Irish culture and the interest in Irish dance.

    For many years, Sean has been a Branch Officer of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann (CCE), part of a global organization devoted to Irish traditional music and culture in the Washington, DC area. Sean’s involvement in CCE has led to tremendous opportunities for Culkin dancers; they have danced to the accompaniment of world renowned Irish musicians at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, Wolftrap, BlackRock Center for the Arts, the Irish Embassy and The White House.


    Three girls in Irish outfits performing traditional Irish dance

    🎠 Happenstance Theater

    Happenstance Theater performs PREPOSTEROUS! A Sophisticated-yet-Ridiculous, Family-Friendly, Pocket-Sized Theatrical Clown Circus!

    A quintet of charming vintage clowns become circus animals, transform into a human calliope, do a classic circus mirror routine with a twist, perform a number of preposterous "entrées", make live music and sound effects, and execute a very satisfying slow motion number involving a pie!

    "Happenstance Theater is a delightfully precise group of actor/clowns, all hell bent on making you smile. It will be a smile that goes directly to your heart. If they're in your neighborhood, grab a friend or relative and hurry to buy a couple of tickets. You'll be sure to have a wonderful time." - Paul Binder, Founder, Big Apple Circus


    Clowns leaping in front of stage

    🎠 The Line Dance Addicts

    The Line Dance Addicts will host a participatory line dance class for all ages; a free chance to try out one of the offerings in the Partnership's DanceFit series!

    The Line Dance Addicts is an urban group of adults who enjoy learning dance steps and routines choreographed by a myriad of people from all over the United States. The Line Dance Addicts began thirteen years ago at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in NE, DC by a courageous, determined Paula L. Allen who filled in for an absent aerobics instructor. A shared joy for line dancing grew the initially small group into a dedicated 40+ participants, and the program is going strong to this day.


    Line dancers on basketball court

    🎠 Story Tapestries

    Guided by its mission "to use the arts as a powerful tool to create accessible, open spaces and opportunities for individuals to reach their highest potential and to work together for a more inclusive community," Story Tapestries, founded in 2010, has reached over 1 million people in 1,300 venues, primarily in communities with limited economic capacity and limited access to arts and arts education opportunities. The nonprofit provides innovative, custom-designed performances, workshops and hands-on community and educational experiences; designs programs that develop skills, connect individuals, elevate diverse voices and celebrate youth, families, adults, and seniors; and engages and impacts individuals where they live, work and thrive.


    Founder Arianna Ross storytelling for school group

    🎠 Washington Conservatory of Music

    For Carousel Day, the Washington Conservatory of Music (WCM) is pleased to present a performance by the Capital Horns, one of their  ensembles. WCM, a resident arts program at Glen Echo Park's, is dedicated to fostering the joy of music and guiding students of all ages and skill levels to reach their personal musical potential.


    capital horns players with their instruments in front of the carousel

    🎠 Washington Revels

    To kick off Carousel Day, Washington Revels will provide a festive musical procession throughout the park. In the afternoon, the Spring Revels chorus of adults, teens, tweens, and children will be joined by the Whiskey Before Breakfast Band (and friends!), and some merry mummers, to present a festive celebration in the Spanish Ballroom. This family-friendly show will include many opportunities to sing along, and to join in some Maypole dancing after the show!


    young girls dancing with spring flower crowns in their hair


    Carousel Day will also include:

    🎠 Family-Friendly Art Projects

    Children will enjoy a range of arts and crafts celebrating spring and the magic of the carousel:

    • Springtime Flutters (Butterfly and Dragonfly paper hand puppets)
    • Create-Your-Own-Carousel! (THE Craft of all Carousel crafts is back!)
    • Carousel Animals in Nature Headbands
    • Carousel Animal Fans
    • LEGO Carousel Activity

    Two young boys coloring carousel fans with crayons

    🎠 Community Art Quilt

    Visitors of all ages are invited to contribute to a collaborative, mixed-media community art quilt. The artwork will reflect each participants views of what being loving and joyful means—both as individuals and as a community. This art-making will inspire reflection on how we bring joy and wellness into our lives and how we can focus on the intention of creating more space for it around us.

    Prompts include:  What brings me joy?   I take care of myself by....   A loving community looks and feels like ...    

    The facilitating artist is Aliana Grace Bailey, an interdisciplinary fiber artist, designer, and care worker. 


    🎠 Resident Artist Studios & Galleries

    Glen Echo Pottery

    Glen Echo Glassworks

    Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery


    Art Glass Center

    Sculpture Studio


    Stone Tower Studio

    🎠 National Park Service Ranger-Led Tours

    Attend a Glen Echo Park Civil Rights and History walking tour at 11:30am, 1:30pm, or 3:30pm. Earn a Glen Echo Park Civil Rights badge for attending the program!

    Junior Ranger programs are a great way for "children" of all ages to learn about National Parks by completing fun activity booklets and earning their Junior Ranger Badges. Stop by the NPS Mobile Visitor Center, pick up the free booklets of your choice, and learn about the history of Glen Echo and the Civil Rights Movement. A selection of Junior Ranger Books and Badges will be available, including Glen Echo Park Civil Rights, Clara Barton National Historic Site, The U.S. Colored Troops from Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Captain George Pointer from Great Falls Park.



    Thank You to our Carousel Day sponsors: Nora Roberts FoundationWashington Waldorf School, and Child's Play!          

    outline of young girl reading and holding a paintbrush three lines mimicking school's architecture over school name child's play with monkey, robot, and dinosaur


    Also Happening in the Park on Carousel Day:

    "AN EVENING WITH STRAUSS" Viennese Waltz Ball

    Waltz Time presents the annual Viennese waltz ball, An Evening with Strauss. A long-time dance presenting partner at Glen Echo Park, Waltz Time generously presents this dance as a benefit for the Park. Viennese lesson: 8:00pm || Dancing to live music: 9:00pm - midnight Formal attire suggested, no partner required Grand March, refreshments, & dance cards Tickets sold at the door || Carousel open 8:30pm - 10:30pm (tickets sold separately) 8:00pm - midnight | Spanish Ballroom | Learn More >>

    Praline Cafe in the Spanish Ballroom lobby will be open, serving wine, beer, and much more!

    Partnership Galleries Exhibitions

    The Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture curates and manages three galleries: Popcorn Gallery, Stone Tower Gallery, and Park View Gallery. These spaces present work by both established and emerging artists. Current exhibitions are 2024 Yellow Barn Studio Instructors Exhibition, Wrapped Attention, and Intervals.

    Learn More >>

    "Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales" (Special $5 discount for Carousel Day!)

    Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. The score, which interweaves music throughout the tales, is inspired by “Old Time” Appalachian music featuring fiddle and banjo that drives the play’s action and makes music itself a character in the play.

    To receive $5 off for Carousel Day performances, use this link:

    11:00am & 2:00pm | Adventure Theatre | Purchase Tickets Now >>

    "Alice in Wonderland"

    This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story.

    11:30am & 1:00pm | the Puppet Co. | Purchase Tickets Now >>

    "2024 Yellow Barn Studio Instructors Exhibition"

    Attend a closing reception for Yellow Barn Studio's 2024 Yellow Barn Studio Instructors Exhibition in the Popcorn Gallery.

    5:00pm - 7:00pm | Popcorn Gallery | Learn More >>

    Swing Dance

    Gottaswing presents a fun and friendly swing dance featuring JAY BROWN'S GRACE STREET SEVEN in the Bumper Car Pavilion! All ages welcome and you never need a partner!

    Back for a return performance! All the way from Richmond, Virginia! JAY BROWN’S GRACE STREET SEVEN are known for Hot Jazz of the 1920s and ‘30s, but tonight they’ll be showing off their Big Band bona fides. Consisting of trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, piano, upright bass and drums, we’ll be treated to the tunes they tailor for WWII-, USO-, and Hangar Dance-themed events. We’re ready to welcome dance friends from Richmond for this exciting night too. Waltz Time presents the annual Viennese waltz ball, An Evening with Strauss. A long-time dance presenting partner at Glen Echo Park, Waltz Time generously presents this dance as a benefit for the Park. Viennese lesson: 8:00pm || Dancing to live music: 9:00pm - midnight Formal attire suggested, no partner required Grand March, refreshments, & dance cards Tickets sold at the door || Carousel open 8:30pm - 10:30pm (tickets sold separately) 8:00pm - midnight | Spanish Ballroom | Learn More >>

    Praline Cafe in the Spanish Ballroom lobby will be open, serving wine, beer, and much more!

    8:00pm - 11:30pm | Bumper Car Pavilion | Learn More & Purchase Tickets >>

    Visit our Dentzel Carousel page to learn more about the carousel's operation.

    Learn more about the carousel's history and the civil rights story of the carousel here.

    Learn about our 2021 Carousel 100th Anniversary Celebration here.

    Watch 100 years of the carousel in photos here.