The National Mall is the open green space between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. Four rows of elm trees line either side that are in front of the Smithsonian Museums, East and West National Galleries and Sculpture Garden, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Administration Building.
When Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed the city of Washington DC in 1791, he envisioned a place of celebration for the nation. Today the area serves as a park for picnics, jogging, and recreation and annual events like Cherry Blossom Festival, Smithsonian Kite and Folklife Festivals, Earth Day Celebration, National Memorial Day, and July 4th celebrations.
One of the most popular events on the mall is the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress. This festival is a celebration of the joy of books and reading. It gives the attendees the opportunity to visit with award-winning authors, illustrators, and poets. Pavilions are set up on the mall for Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Children & Teens, Poetry, and Home & Family. The theme for 2011 is “Celebrating the joys of reading aloud.” This is the first time the festival is a two-day event and the dates and times are as follows:
September 24-25, 2011
Saturday: 10:00a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The National Mall is a great place to relax and enjoy the day, take a break from touring the museums and memorials, or enjoy the festivals in the national capitol.
Pierre L’Enfant would be proud.