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40th Adams Morgan Day to Celebrate the Neighborhood’s Culture, Arts & More

Accompanying images can be viewed starting on page 1 of the August 2018 issue pdf

By Carol Miller*

Once again heralded by fans and critics of DC’s vibrant nightlife, dining, drinks, music, culture, arts and great places to live as one of the best neighborhood street festivals, this year’s Adams Morgan Day will celebrate four decades as DC’s longest-running annual neighborhood festival.

With most of 18th Street, NW closed for more than 100 vendors, activities for all ages, and stages hosting a variety of live music, bands and performances representative of the diverse cultures and generations living and working in the neighborhood, residents and visitors alike will be sure to enjoy a memorable afternoon

Always held on the second Sunday of September — this year on the 9th from 12 noon to 6pm, the event is free of charge; food and drink specials will abound in most establishments, ranging from street food and fine dining to a variety of international and American fare.

Most of the restaurants, bars and pubs on the street will be offering food and drink specials inside and on their patios, and some will be hosting special activities.

Organizers are eager and ready to welcome neighbors and returning visitors, and to show those new to Adams Morgan the great vibes in this quintessential enclave of fun, culture and history old and new. This year’s festival has been curated to highlight the vibrant energy and and creative cultures that define the neighborhood that has always been artsy, interesting, and diverse – albeit on some weekend nights rowdy — but at all times a favorite among places to live, eat, play and find what you like.

As it has been since 2015, this year’s event is an all-volunteer, community-driven celebration for all. The event strives to strengthen community ties and economic development, and it thrives on sharing the elements that are so unique to Adams Morgan.

To celebrate this historic anniversary the DC Public Library is collaborating with the community, as well as staff from the Smithsonian and American University, to present exhibits, activities, and musical performances that engage the public with the history of the festival and the neighborhood itself as a cultural crossroads.

A few festival highlights will include popular DC musicians and bands representing the cultures and genres that have defined Adams Morgan Day since the year it was conceived by five neighborhood businessmen — including John J. Schulter, the founder and then publisher of The InTowner — at what was originally a neighborhood potluck block party in 1977.

Bands and entertainment will be announced closer to the festival date, and stages will be located on 18th Street at both Columbia Road and down at Wyoming Avenue.

An expanded special section of the festival for youth and families will include games, performances, activities, sports, health and exercise programs at the newly renovated Marie H. Reed School and Community Center and adjacent soccer field. Students will hold an arts and crafts sale and a bake sale supporting the after-school program. The youth and family area and most youth activities are being made possible through a partnership with representatives of Volo City Kids Foundation and the Marie Reed Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

In other parts of the festival there will be exercise classes and demos for adults, including a chance to take a test ride on the Peloton bike. Mint Health Club is also planning to lead exercise classes, which were a big hit last year. More activities will be listed on the festival’s website as they become confirmed.

Thanks to last year’s successful event, the number of vendors of unique art and locally-crafted goods has increased from 80 to more than 100, and Artists’ Alley will again feature live visual art demos that engage the crowd.

Adams Morgan has a new boutique luxury hotel with highly rated restaurants run by celebrity chefs, a new neighborhood pharmacy; many new restaurants, bars and long-time favorites; and businesses selling everything from home goods and vinyl records to trends in street wear, retro second-hand clothing and gifts unique to the DC area. It is hoped and expected that nearly all local businesses and franchises will participate in the event this year.

The neighborhood festival is made possible by thousands of volunteer hours, in-kind services and funds provided by committed Adams Morgan residents and businesses, individual donors and sponsors that serve Adams Morgan and the Washington DC area. The organizers put a high priority on fiscal transparency.

Early sponsors of the 40th Anniversary Adams Morgan Day include Peloton, DC Public Library, music coordinated by Songbyrd Music House and Record Café, graphic design by Corinto Gallery, television sponsors NBC4 and sister station Telemundo 44, fiscal sponsor DC Arts Center, and youth and family area sponsors Volo City Kids Foundation and Marie Reed Elementary School Parent Teacher Orgganization. Early donors include the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C, BUL, the DINER, Jug & Table, Roofers Union, Sakuramen, Tryst, and Kalorama Citizens Association. Individual donors and vendors that have already contributed are listed at

Vendor applications which are closing soon, and a log for businesses planning activities can be found at Individual donors may make a tax-deductible donation with a credit card at Sponsors may send inquiries and details to the Adams Morgan Community Alliance at [email protected] and will be contacted. Volunteer planning meetings have been posted and open regularly to the public since planning began.

For more information, or to volunteer, sponsor, donate, apply for vendor space, log activities planned at a local business, or learn about specials and a way to register for extra deals, visit One can also follow developments at and @AdamsMorganDay #AdMoDay18.

CLICK HERE to enjoy more photos

*Carol Miller, an Adams Morgan resident since 2002, serves as the communications chair for the all-volunteer Adams Morgan Day Planning Committee. She was assisted by other committee members who contributed to this article. She is also a board member of the Adams Morgan Community Alliance, a non-profit formed for the sustainability year-to-year of the Adams Morgan Day festival.

Copyright © 2018 InTowner Publishing Corp. and the Adams Morgan Day Planning Committee.