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Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival Plans Complete; Set for September 9th

By Chinko Watkins*

Accompanying images can be viewed in the current issue PDF

Anticipation grows for the 34th annual Adams Morgan Day Festival for Sunday, September 9th from 12 noon ‘till 7 pm. Arts on Belmont opens at 10 am. Offerings from diverse cultures showcasing live music and dance at the Columbia Road and Florida Avenue stages and at the Dance Plaza; artwork, gifts, cuisine and more will abound. In addition, Adams Morgan businesses, which will not be blocked by vendor booths but be fully visible and accessible, will be open with their varied retail shopping and diverse food offerings and sidewalk cafés.

Organized by Adams Morgan Main Street and numerous local volunteers, Lisa Duperier, Main Street’s president, stressed, “This year we are inviting everyone to rediscover Adams Morgan. . . . We have a new streetscape and this is the time to see the new look and new retail and restaurants here, as well as to be reminded of the existing diversity of retail and food options.” “A Global Community of Cultures” is the ongoing theme of the festival, sponsored by PNC Bank and the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District because this event celebrates all cultures together and the creative synergy that comes from the mix.

Jerry Phillips, 5th generation Washingtonian, returns as Florida Stage impresario and emcee. He is a well-known broadcaster in news and public affairs programming, and is currently the president and producer of DC Metro Talk and a Reporters Notebook regular contributor. Jerry, who first began with the Adams Morgan Day Festival in 1989, exudes, “This festival is a center of multicultural Washington and is a beautiful gathering of people from all types of backgrounds.”

The Florida Stage, which will feature a Latin international theme and will offer fabulous music and a Samba dance contest. It will open with Juventud Unida A Christo, spiritual-rock Latin Sextet, then will move to Zezeh Brazilian Dancers. Next will be Oasis Steel Band, local musicians with a Caribbean twist, and the always popular Wayne Wilentz Brazilian Jazz band which will host the Samba contest between 5 and 6 pm. Jerry’s closing act will be the 13-piece Salsa band, Timber Street. The Columbia Stage, coordinated by Kat Hansen, will feature American music roots or spin-offs, such as rock, soul, Afro pop, funk, bluegrass, and acid jazz.

Opening the Festival at 10 am will be the ever popular “Arts on Belmont,” sponsored by Harris-Teeter. The shady residential Belmont Street will be lined with some 45  artisans and coordinated by Avner Ofer. Offerings span the gamut of diverse cultures and mediums in all price ranges. Collectors and newcomers can choose from fine art and sculpture, crafts, jewelry, photography and the all original work ranges from contemporary to traditional to avant-garde.

The interactive Dance Plaza line-up will include such acts as the energetic Jinga Dance Fit, DC Casineros, and the famed local Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers. The Kid’s Fair, sponsored by Caps on Line, will be located at Marie Reed School playing field with activities and amusements for children and families where they can sample Stonyfield yogurt and enjoy the Acro Spring Bungy Trampoline, Spider Climb, Buccaneer Pirate Ship Inflatable, and Monkey Bounce.

Shops and restaurants will be open and a number of the neighborhood businesses will also be showcasing their offerings at festival booths. Some to look for will be Himalayan Heritage, Mellow Mushroom, Mint Fitness & Spa, DC Dental, Yoga Studio DC, Tibet Shop, and Smash.

The Green and Health/Fitness Pavilions will be located on the tennis courts facing 18th Street. In addition to interesting vendors, Nissan Next will be demonstrating a car recharging station, along with Washington Gas’ sustainable and clean energy. Also to be featured will be vendors demonstrating holistic, medical, dental, yoga, spas, and exercise for all ages. DC Lottery, the Washington Hilton and Comcast are sponsoring this part of the festival.

“Volunteers are always welcome,” said Janet Lugo-Tafur, Main Street’s executive director, “This festival would not be possible without the many hardworking local volunteers who donate their time and organize vendors, work on signatures, stages and plazas, and execute the actual ‘day of’!” Volunteer opportunities include working at stages, pre-festival activities, and ‘day of’ and breakdown. To volunteer, send an email to  [email protected] or visit for the volunteer application. For more information, call (202) 232-1960.

*Chinko Watkins, a resident of Adams Morgan, has lived in DC for 10 years. He is the chair of the Organization Committee for Adams Morgan Main Street, as well as President of Families First, an early education nonprofit.

Copyright © 2012 InTowner Publishing Corp. and Adams Morgan MainStreet Group. All rights reserved.