Barracks Row Fall Festival 9-28-2013


Barracks Row Fall Festival - September 28, 2013

If you love DC’s famously diverse spirit then put Barracks Row Fall Festival on Capitol Hill on your must-do list Saturday, September 28, 2013; festival opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. The midway includes the oldest post in the Marine Corps, dozens of historic buildings plus forty international restaurants -- most with sidewalk cafés for perfect festival viewing. Matchbox Food Group (Ted’s Bulletin, DC 3 and Matchbox) will be partnering with Belga Cafe and Cava for the first ever outdoor beer garden.

Llamas, goats and hedgehogs are waiting to meet you at the petting zoo; acrobats from nearby Trapeze School New York will be sailing through the air at treetop height and at 2:30 p.m. there is a performance by the world renowned Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.  DC State Fair joins Barracks Row Fall Festival again this year showcasing unique categories: Funkiest-Looking Vegetable Grown in DC, Best Home Brew, Best Bike Accessory, Best Pie, etc.  There are dozens not-to-be-missed DC State Fair contests all day long. This year Barracks Row Fall Festival features over 100 booths.

Take Eastern Market Metro then turn down 8th Street, S.E.  There, under the elms, urban adventure hooks up with an All-American small town fair.  At 8th and I Streets, SE, a black-box cook-off starts at 7:00 a.m.  Chefs from all branches of the United States armed forces compete to be named Top Chef in the US Military. As the audience looks on culinary creations are developed in cook tents right on Barracks Row then whisked off to sequestered judges.  Announcers give the play-by-play as you cheer for your favorite chef teams.

Bringing the kids? The freshly renovated Meader Theater, circa 1910, now the National Community Church will play free cartoons so little ones can catch their breaths. Along with the petting zoo there are loads of kid’s activities. Playseum, partnering with the National Community Church, is devising a spectacular Kids Zone.  Older kids can compete in corn hole, shuffleboard and bocce or take in the Labyrinth tent where board game drama unfolds throughout the day.

Watch Chesty, the Marine Corps mascot bulldog out walking; learn the right strokes on an ERG machine from Capitol Hill Rowing Club. Demonstrations take place throughout the day at midway booths: Capitol Hill Yoga, Roller Girls and the amazing Marine Corps Pull-Up booth.

As you enter the festival sign up at Shakespeare Theatre Rehearsal Hall to be a contestant in the festival PhotoChallenge, part of Cultural Tourism’s Art4All citywide arts event. Dozens of Barracks Row businesses are participating in PhotoChallenge during the festival where contestants will be sent to businesses with the assignment to use a mystery prop provided by each business to create a photo essay with their camera phone. Photos must then be sent to the contest’s email address and from there the entries will be forwarded by Instagram to thousands of members of Arts on the Hill, a group of Capitol Hill art organizations, to vote for winners. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded.

During the festival the Home of the Commandants and Marine Barracks Washington are both open for docent led tours! Meet celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme and hum along with the nostalgic harmonies from the Georgetown Chimes… it’s all about DC, Capitol Hill and a gem of a neighborhood revival named Barracks Row.