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Dupont East’s 17th Street Neighbors Gearing Up for 7th Annual Celebration

Accompanying images can be viewed in the August 2016 issue pdf

By Bill McLeod*

Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets once again will be presenting the annual, late summer 17th Street Festival on Saturday afternoon, August 27th. Now in its seventh year, the event celebrates the shops, restaurants, and services of the neighborhood’s four-block commercial strip. The festival will feature artists and artisans, vendors, kids activities, a pet area — and even local politicians. Rain or shine, the event will take place on Saturday, September 12th between 12 noon and 6 p.m.

“We are trying some new things this year,” said Promotion Committee Chair Sue Taylor. “We will have moving entertainment, and are including some ‘parades’ down the street, as well as our favorite artists and vendors.” All- afternoon entertainment will be featuring a marching band to open the festival, a mariachi band to enliven the day, a Chinese dragon dancer to add some mystery, and a New Orleans jazz band to bring some charm.

Also new this year will the “parades” mentioned by Sue Taylor — three that will start at R Street and end at P Street. The first will be the baby parade with participants being parents with strollers featuring infants two years and even younger for all to enjoy their antics as they pass by. The second will be the wagon brigade for children ages three to 12 who will be encouraged to decorate their wagon and pull them along down the street with their favorite stuffed animals being the passengers. The third of these parades will showcase dogs whose human companions will have been encouraged to help create a kind of menagerie by outfitting their owners (the dogs) to appear like lions or squirrels or any other kind of mammal — even cats.

Not to be missed will be the more than 50 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between. Other vendors will include area non-profit organizations, politicians, and local entrepreneurs. The Kids Zone this year will be set up on 17th Street as an integral part of the event’s offerings with a moon bound, ball crawl, and face painting.

The 17th Street Festival is organized by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, with major support from DC Department of Small and Local Business Development, Elxel Design and Development, Colonial Parking, Attaché Housing, DC Jewish Community Center, Dupont Circle Citizen’s Association, ANC 2B, Stonewall Kickball, TD Bank, PNC Bank, Friends of Stead Park, and Redwood Real Estate.

The mission of Historic Dupont Main Streets is to promote, coordinate, and maintain improvements of the cultural, economic, and environmental qualities of Dupont Circle to make it an exemplary place to live, work, shop, and play. To learn more, visit www.17thstreetfestival.org or www.DupontCircleMainStreets.org to learn more about Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. [Editor’s note: also see “Dupont Circle Main Streets Organization Credited for Programs Helping Merchants,” InTowner, February 2008 issue pdf, page 1.]

*Bill McLeod is the Executive Director of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.

Copyright © 2016 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. All rights reserved.