The Festival stretches from Fourth Street to Fourteenth Street, and runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday. I've got some tips to help you make the most of the festivities.
Plan Ahead for Travel
The Streetcar will not run at all between 2 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Some streets will be closed for an extended period, and you can expect buses to be rerouted. The @HStreetDC Twitter account tweeted that the streets will close at 4 a.m., but I haven't seem a full press release from them yet. A press release from the streetcar team says 3:30 a.m., so I'm going with that just to be safe. I can tell you from past experience that the Festival typically means the X2, the D8, and the 90/92/93 detour during the street closures. Again, I don't have anything current, but here's what they did back in 2014.
Here's the street closure information from a recent streetcar press release.
F Street NE between 4th Street NE and 14th Street NE - No Traffic Northbound
I Street NE between 4th Street NE and 14th Street NE - No Traffic Southbound
400 to 1300 B/O H Street NE - No Traffic East/Westbound
Bikeshare is great, but it's going to be super crowded, and attempting to ride a bike on H Street during the Festival would be a terrible idea. If you have friends coming by Bikeshare, tell them to find a dock a bit further away and plan to walk from there. If you have friends riding their own bikes, make sure they lock them up securely, and know it's probably best to do that off H Street during this time.
If you have friends who are driving in from elsewhere warn them it will not be easy to park nearby, and make sure they know about the closed off streets.
I normally suggest people take Metrorail, but I know that might involve a little extra planning this year. Those buses listed above will still get you close, even if they can't run on H Street.
Assess the Parking Situation
No cars can remain parked on H Street after 3:30 a.m. Saturday (seriously, they will tow you). That time is based on street closure times from the streetcar press release since I don't have anything else yet. You won't be able to park there again until they reopen the street after the Festival is clear (that same press release indicates closed streets until 11 p.m.).
Things to Bring
- Cash. ATMs can run dry during this event, and not everyone takes cards.
- Water bottle. You can always find a place to fill it, and DC Water usually has a mobile station set up.
- Sunblock. Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 85° with partly cloudy skies.
- Bag for loot? Maybe. You can probably score a plastic bag from a vendor, but it's not a bad idea to bring you own just in case.
- Phone charging cord and power backup? There will be charging stations available at the PokemonGo Zones. I would assume they will be equipped with charging cables. But it never hurts to have a little extra juice on hand whenever and wherever you need it.
Things to Keep in Mind
- The Festival can be loud in certain spots, so it can be easy to miss calls from a friend trying to meet up with you. A few years back we had such a large crowd people definitely had trouble making calls. Maybe we overwhelmed the local towers? Texting is probably a better bet.
- Some people bring dogs. If your dog is fine with crowds this could work, but it can get hot out there quickly. I brought my dog a couple of years ago, and even with a water break he was ready to head home in less than 45 minutes (and that was before the festival even got crowded).