The promise of cooler autumn temperatures and slightly less humidity means the good people of DC want to be outside meeting their neighbors and sampling deep-fried foods that may or may not be served on a stick. That’s right — it’s street festival season in Washington DC! There are lots of special neighborhood and cultural events scheduled for the coming weeks. Here’s a smattering of places you can stretch your legs on streets closed to cars, sample unusual and delightful foods, hear live music, and maybe even find a few live animals to admire.
This weekend the grand opening of the Yards Park is sure to entertain. The park is located at 3rd and Water Streets SE, not far from Nationals Park. Events are planned for the entire weekend, including performances by the Trapeze School of New York. More information can be found at http://www.capitolriverfront.org/.
Also this weekend the annual Black Family Reunion Celebration will be held on the National Mall from noon to 8:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. Education pavilions, artisans, food, and music are all scheduled. Find out more at http://www.ncnw.org/.
Sunday, September 12 THIH gives you permission to leave the hill and experience the Adams Morgan Day Festival on 18th Street NW between Columbia Road and Florida Avenue. The celebration runs from noon to 7:00 pm and includes local and regional vendors, food, live music, a pet pavilion, and much more. This is honestly one of the most well-attended street fairs in DC, so get there early or plan to people-watch as you wait on a few lines.
Saturday, September 18 from noon to 7:00 pm enjoy all that the Atlas District has to offer at the H Street Festival. Vendors, live music, dance performances, and lots of food and drinks will be available. Special events are planned throughout the day including a pie-eating contest (I wonder where the pies will come from?) and a tattoo competition (hopefully NOT speed-inking). Events like this are a great opportunity to sample local eateries you haven’t been to before so perhaps you’ll get that schnitzel or latke you’ve been thinking about.
The next weekend you just have to walk to a different part of the Hill as the Barracks Row Fall Festival is planned for September 25 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on 8th Street SE. There’s really something for everyone at this annual event — a petting zoo with llamas, sheep, and bunnies for this kids (okay, and adults), live music from the Marine Band and others, lots of great food, and a military chef cook-off to be judged this year by celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, Food Network star and Granville Moore’s Teddy Folkman, and Dish Network’s Lauren DeSantis. The military buff in the family will also be able to enjoy tours of the Marine barracks and the House of the Commandants. More information can be found at http://www.barracksrow.org/.
September 25 is also the date of the National Book Festival, located on the National Mall and sponsored by the Library of Congress. Several notable authors are scheduled to attend. This party starts at 10:00 am, so you can always hit up the book-fest first and then head back to Barracks Row.
On Sunday, October 3 you can head down to Pennsylvania Avenue NW near Metro Center for the Turkish Festival. Music, dancing, eating, Turkish coffee and kids’ crafts will be available. Where else can you see someone try to break the world record for the longest ever kabob?
I’m sure there are more events planned, but this list will at least occupy your weekends through early October.