Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Columbia Heights Day recap

The rain stayed away and a pretty big crowd came to Columbia Heights Day. I got there about 1 pm and saw lots of folks hula hooping, kids playing games, and lots of folks I knew, both from the neighborhood and from farther afield.

It was a good time. There was a yoga demonstration early, some booths (MPD, DC GOP, etc), lots of fun for kids (see this awesome photo), and a lot of varied bands, from reggae (locals Lucky Dub) to samba (Clube do Samba) to hard rock (Imperial China). The petting zoo is always a popular spot, with a camel, sheep, ducks, geese, and rabbits, and there was also a pet show and the cupcake eating contest. Unfortunately this year's contest didn't feature Jim Graham as emcee (he's on vacation) or other political types as eaters.

There was also a food tent, but unfortunately most of it was gone when I went there. I hear there were Scotch eggs from CommonWealth and pupusas, but I missed them. There were also some local artisan types, like t-shirt guys and others.

As for constructive criticism -- food was a big one, I would have liked there to be vendors and/or more free food. Of course, there were lots of deals in area restaurants, but sometimes you just want to eat while walking around. I also could have gone for more booths of craftspeople and organizations and such, it was kind of quick to see everything. But all in all, a good time in the neighborhood.

Did you go? What did you think?

Above photos by me. Lots more photos from me and reader Ken here.


  1. There definitely needs to be more vendors there in future years. If you're an adult, after you grab some food and listen to music for a bit, you've run out of things to do (at least kids had the bounce houses). It shouldn't be that difficult to get some of the vendors who are out at Adams Morgan day and/or Eastern Market on Sundays to set up shop. If there were there this would be a way bigger draw.

  2. There needs to be more opportunities to get water. Especially on a hot day.

  3. I was on the planning committee. The food & water criticisms are noted - we began with about 500 bottles of water which were gone within a couple hours. We went out to get more whenever it ran out but it was hard to keep up.

    For food, we easily gave away twice as much free food this year as last year, and had representations from several neighborhood restaurants of which we had only one last year.

    However we really do want to keep this a neighborhood festival. And that means we want the food vendors to be people who represent neighborhood businesses. We're not going for a street festival/adams morgan day thing where it's just cart after cart of food vendors who have nothing to do with the neighborhood. So I doubt you will ever see dozens of pushcart vendors, but I think after this year's success it will be easier to get more of the local restaurants to be there in the future.

    It's hard to know how big a crowd to expect and we got a much bigger crowd this year than last year, so it was a learning experience.


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