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Dupont East’s 17th Street Neighbors Gearing Up for 10th Annual Celebration

Accompanying images can be viewed starting on page 1 of the August 2019 issue pdf

By Bill McLeod*

On Saturday, August 24th, between 12 noon and 6:00 pm, Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets will once again present its annual 17th Street Festival celebrating the shops, restaurants, and services of 17th Street.

With the street’s blocks between P and R closed to traffic, a wide variety of vendors will be participating, including more than 120 artists and crafts persons displaying and selling everything from paintings, jewelry, homemade candles, clothes, and more. Entrepreneurs will also have booths, as will local nonprofit organizations and services; DC politicians will be doing meet and greets.

This “kid-friendly” event will feature a special Kids Zone which will include an inflatable slide, snow cones, and a variety of fun-filled activities. The festival is truly an event for the whole family and the whole community.

“Our festival is unique because we focus on 17th Street,” said Promotion Committee Chair Sue Taylor. “We have artists and makers, and we don’t have outside food vendors. That way, we promote all our great businesses along 17th Street.”

Festival founder Lee Granados will be the grand marshal this year. Started after the streetscape project was completed, the festival reflects her vision as a long-time resident with a family history in the neighborhood and business owner on the street.

“I was raised on 17th Street in a community of business owners and residents who knew the importance of working together and supporting each other day in and day out.

“When asked by ANC 2B to lead a celebration of businesses and residents working together on the renovation of the street, I saw it as an opportunity to honor my family and the many other small business owners and long-time residents of Dupont who knew what it meant to support a common mission. To see the festival continue under Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets a decade later is an honor and testament to the importance of what it means to be part of an inclusive community for all.”

Unique to the festival, rather than the usual fixed music stages found at street fairs around the city, is the innovative and much enjoyed all afternoon roving live music performances featuring a variety of acoustic entertainers, including an African band, a flamenco dancer, mariachi band, a Chinese lion dancer, and a New Orleans jazz band. Since this approach was introduced three years ago, festival-goers have let it be known how much they love the more intimate interaction with the performers.

The festival is organized by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, with major support from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development, PNC Bank, Colonial Parking, Edlavich Jewish Community Center, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, Zico Coconut Water, Honest Tea, ANC 2B, and Friends of Stead Park.

The mission of Historic Dupont Circle 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.

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

Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §§ 107 & 108 (“fair use”).