Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Are Your Ready for the H Street Festival?
H Street Festival 2014 from Michael Price on Vimeo
I hope the answer is yes, because it's this Saturday from 12-7pm. The H Street Festival has grown into DC's largest neighborhood based festival (at least that was true the last I heard) drawing crowds in excess of 100,000 people. It offers diverse musical entertainment. You can typically find hip hop, rock, gospel, jazz, and more. If the visual arts are more your thing, they've got that too (including some interactive exhibits). This year's Festival reportedly features upwards of 500 performers and artists doing their thing on 14 different stages.
There's also going to be a ton to eat and drink. Just like in the past most businesses on H Street will be open and operating during the Festival. Some will also have outdoor beer gardens set up on the sidewalks out front. In addition, there will be food trucks and a bunch of stands serving all sorts of fare. Some H Street restaurants cook something special for the Festival. One year Toki Underground (1234 H Street) did a pig roast, and the cronut I got from Batter Bowl Bakery (403 H Street) last year is definitely not on the normal menu.
Every year there are various contests. This year I've heard about chili, pie, and burrito eating contests at Ben's Chili Bowl, and a po-boy eating contest at Po Boy Jim. BritishInk (508 H Street) typically has a few categories for its tattoo contests (always fun to watch). Pizza Parts & Service (1320 H Street) says they will have a marinara dunk tank out front. Buy two slices and get three free throws. Successfully dunk someone and you win a whole pizza.
Here are some of other other attractions you won't want to miss this year:
Washington Nationals Presidents – The Presidents will race down part of the Festival route from the 8th Street Stage (8th and H) following the singing of the national anthem at noon. The Presidents will also be available for pictures with festivalgoers at 3pm at 9th and H.
DC Streetcar Open House - Visitors will be able to get an up close look at the exterior and interior of the DC Streetcars, which are set to begin running later this year (5th and H, 8th and H and 13th and H).
Grand Opening of Gallery on O – Celebrate the grand opening to the public of Gallery on O (1354 H Street), showcasing the 50th anniversary of Washington Informer photography (13th and H).
Kids Zone – The Festival will have a special “kid’s zone,” featuring GolfZilla, a Godzilla-themed inflatable target that kids can hit golf balls at, multiple appearances by Callaloo the puppet, face painting, a giant slide and other family-friendly activities (9th and H).
Interactive Art Displays – Festivalgoers will be able to get an up close look at a number of art cars (13th and H), as well as watch artists paint an H Street-themed bus from start to finish and build custom bikes from scratch (5th and H).
District Fashion Week – The Fashion Stage will kick off the annual District Fashion Week celebration with area designers (10th and H).
Here's the full schedule of events on those 14 stages.
If the fun gets to be too much for you, take a discounted pedicab ride. They will move up and down I and G Streets during the Festival. Uber is offering (new users only) free rides to and from the H Street Festival.