September brings lots of annual milestones – the first day of autumn, kids going back to school, Congress grumbling back to work, and the beginning of the street festival season in Washington DC. You can easily fill up your weekends over the next couple of months attending these free and fun events. In the process you will undoubtedly savor many types of deep-fried foods and those served exclusively on a stick. You’ll hear great (and questionable) music. You’ll pet goats, watch tattoo contests, and see who has the biggest melons (relax, you can see the big melons at the State Fair). Here are the events going on in and around the Capitol Hill neighborhood in the coming weeks:
Grab your fanciest hipster fedora and wash off that cool tattoo, because Saturday, September 21 is the annual H Street Festival on H Street NE, from 4th to 14th Streets. The festival will kick off at noon and offer ten stages with local performers and over 150 craft and food vendors. This author is hoping for the annual best tattoo contest and the return of the Baltimore Rock Opera Company, but you can also class it up with performances and tours at the Atlas Performing Arts Center and lunch at many of the H Street restaurants.
On September 21 and 22 you can also head down to the National Mall for the National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress. In addition to the dozens of authors on hand who will read from their works and answer questions, there are fun kids activities planned, including a photo-opp on the Wells Fargo stagecoach and a bookmark-making station sponsored by the Washington Post. Kids can also meet Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and other favorite PBS characters in the PBS Kids tent.
Saturday, September 28 marks the return of the annual Barracks Row Fall Festival on 8th Street SE. From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., enjoy outdoor dining, performances from the Marine Corps drill team, demonstrations by the Trapeze School of New York, and dozens of local vendors and organizations. For the first time this year Belga Cafe, Cava, and the Matchbox Group of restaurants will team together for an outdoor beer garden. The wildly popular petting zoo will return this year, so you can get up close and personal with llamas, goats, and chickens. Kids activities will abound, including a play zone sponsored by the Playseum and cartoons being screened in the National Community Church. The DC State Fair will again pair with the Barracks Row Fall Festival to offer unique judged contests such as best home brew, funkiest looking vegetable, and best bicycle accessory. More information can be found on the State Fair website, including how to enter your homemade pie or odd-shaped melons in a competition.
When you’re done on Barracks Row, wander down to the Yards Park for Veg Fest 2013. This celebration of all things non-carnivore will take place rain or shine from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. More information is coming on the Yards Park website.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of craft vendors yet, check out the Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair at Union Market on September 28 and 29. Over 140 artisans will showcase their unique products from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, organized by the Washington City Paper. Tickets are $5 in advance and can be purchased from their Paper’s website.
Union Market also hosts Snallygaster, a gargantuan craft ber festival featuring over 150 drafts on Saturday, October 19 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. If you’re an Oktoberfest fan you’ll enjoy the assortment of German beers, fall lagers, and sneak peaks from Bluejacket Brewery along with live music and good food. Tickets are on sale here. Not only can you sample some amazing brews, you’ll be doing good for the region too. Proceeds from the event benefit Arcadia, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a sustainable and equitable local food system in the DC area.
Go out and celebrate the neighborhood this fall!