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Dupont East’s 17th Street Neighbors Gearing Up for September 13th Event

Accompanying images can be viewed in the August 2014 issue PDF

By Bill McLeod*

The 5th Annual 17th Street Festival, a community-building event celebrating the shops, restaurants, residents, pets, and artists of Dupont Circle, is taking place on Saturday, September 13th from 12 noon to 6pm — rain or shine. This year, the festival is expanding to include a technology zone where high-tech vendors can talk about innovations in the business world: shared office space, new technology, and products you can try.

“Last year’s festival was amazingly successful,” said Dupont Circle Main Street’s board chair Dail Doucette. “We are excited to continue this annual event that brings more exposure to our beloved 17th Street corridor, which is so lively throughout the year.”

The festival will once again feature an entertainment stage that will, among other acts, include two drag performances during the day. These performances have proven to be the most popular with the prior years’ approximately 10,000 spectators, bringing together the entire neighborhood for lip-syncing fun. There will also rock bands, a dance troupe, and other musical performances.

The festival will have more than 40 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between. Other vendors will include area nonprofit organizations, politicians, and local businesses.

And, many 17th Street businesses will be running specials throughout the day for all to enjoy. There are 16 restaurants along 17th Street — most with outdoor patios to take in the good weather.

The festival is unique in that outside food vendors are not invited to participate; the focus is purposely on the neighborhood’s restaurants which will be serving throughout the afternoon.

The kids zone, held at Ross Elementary School, will be sponsored by the YMCA this year. The ‘Y’ will have activities for children organized by its staff, including a moon bounce, ball crawl, face painting, and games.

The pet zone, sponsored by City Dogs Rescue, brings together pooches, and other four-legged creatures, from around the neighborhood to peruse vendors who sell dog treats, grooming products, give demonstrations, and pass out giveaways.

The 17th Street Festival is organization by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. The mission of HDCMS is to expand the coalition of neighborhood stakeholders; retain, expand, and attract a mix of neighborhood businesses; manage and improve our public spaces; assist independent business owners; preserve the diverse and historic character of our neighborhood, and promote Dupont Circle as a shopping and dining destination. To learn more, visit www.17thstreetfestival.org or www.dupontcircle.biz.

*Bill McLeod serves as Executive Director of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.

Copyright © 2014 InTowner Publishing Corp. and Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. All rights reserved.