30th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival Coming This Sunday! (By John who includes future street fairs upcoming)

This Sunday, September 14, is the 30th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival.

As always, the festival is centered on 18th Street, with live music stages at the intersections of 18th and Columbia Road and at Florida Avenue. The stages will feature Latin rock, salsa, jazz, soul, funk and American rock.

The opening acts begin around 11:15 am and the music goes until after 6:00 pm.

The festival is billed as the longest continuously running neighborhood Festival in DC and attracts around 25,000 people to the day-long event.

Official Highlights (Adapted from the excellent Adams Morgan Day website)

Dance Plaza – Located on the grounds of the Marie Reed Community Center, the Plaza also features Afro-Samba Reggae, Bolivian Folk dance, Cuban Salsa , Afro-Brazilian Capoeiras and Ghana Tribal Dancers

Jazz Oasis in the Park – Was a new venue in 2007 and is located in Kalorama Park. The Jazz Oasis is aimed at residents with children who may want a quieter, more contained area and features a few vendors in addition to the jazz.

Arts on Belmont – A huge range of glassware and metalwork, paintings, jewelry, sculpture & photography for sale on beautiful Belmont Street.

The Cultural Stage (located at Columbia Road and Euclid Street) also boasts a variety of acts, including poetry, theater, dance and music, even the Sitar Arts Center of Adams Morgan.

Kids’ Fair – Located off of 18th St. at the field of Marie Reed School. Families can sit on bleachers set into the hill near the tennis courts for a day of family entertainment, including a moon bounce, puppet show, face-painting, magicians and more.

Unofficial Highlights

The Peyote Café Karaoke – Experience the wonders of karaoke without actually having to hang out in a karaoke bar. The Peyote karaoke team brings the action to the streets allowing you to massacre your favorite tune in front of an adoring audience.


Meat-on-a-Stick – Just as people rarely eat Jumbo Slice pizza sober, has anyone ever eaten one of those teriyaki chicken-on-a-sticks other than at a neighborhood street festival? Corn dogs are also available.

The WeatherWithout trying to jinx the entire festival, Adams Morgan Day has historically been blessed with superb weather. Forecasts are calling for 89 degrees and sunny skies on Sunday so hopefully this tradition will continue. Future fairs throughout the city after the jump.

Other Upcoming Street Festivals

Fall is festival time in DC. I look forward to the following, but I’m sure there’s many more I’m not aware of:

Arts On Foot – Penn Quarter/Gallery Place/Chinatown’s annual street festival is this Saturday, September 13 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm around 7th and F streets NW. The festival features numerous artists as well as awesome food samples from some of the ridiculously good restaurants in that area. Well worth checking out.

5th Annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair. Sunday, September 28th from 10am-5pm at the Marie Reed Learning Center. This festival is sponsored by the CityPaper and as the name suggests, focuses on local crafty types selling their creations. The Fair also features the ever popular break dancing exhibition and contest.

Columbia Heights Day – Saturday, October 4, 2008 at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School. This will be the second Columbia Heights Day and while the inaugural event was relatively small, I’m hoping for bigger and better things this year.

Tacoma Park Street FestivalSunday, October 5, 2008 — 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Music on three stages, tons of good food and great artwork and crafts for sale. Interestingly, the festival has a policy that “Crafters must sell only the wares they make themselves.”

Is Once a Year Enough?

I always enjoy Adams Morgan day and love how 18th Street is opened up to pedestrians and vendors. Practical considerations aside (including the enormous amount of work the volunteer teams undertake to pull it all together), is once a year enough? I’d love to see a spring festival, or even monthly, smaller events throughout the summer.

Adams Morgan Day attracts thousands from outside the area to Adams Morgan, as well as the entire neighborhood population, it seems. I hope to see you there.

8 Comment

  • Street karaoke? There are some things that are just plain wrong to do in public spaces, things that embarrass your mother, shame your father, and cause your name to forever be whispered low. You should never clip your nails, spit on the sidewalk, canvass for John McCain, and karaoke.


  • My god street Karaoke is a dream come true.

    Odentex you need to live a little!

  • I hate these “neighborhood” festivals that have nothing to do with the neighborhood.

    Adams-Morgan Day is the worst day of the year to experience the real Adams-Morgan. You might as well be anywhere else buying Italian saugage, funnel cake, and tacky arts and crafts sold by out-of-towners.

  • I think a festival that happens IN Adams Morgan and is attended by nearly everyone who LIVES IN that neighborhood has just a little bit of everything to do with the neighborhood.

    Also, Adams Morgan isn’t hyphenated.

  • It used to be cool, now very lame. I live there and avoid it.

  • RCR, I know lots and lots and lots of people who LIVE in Adams Morgan who don’t attend the annual Adams Morgan Day Festival. In fact, a lot of them get out the ‘hood on the day of the festival just to avoid the masses.

    The original poster was correct that while Adams Morgan Day is better than what it was a decade okay, it still is not about the neighborhood and more about outside vendors willing to spend the high rates for an individual booth. Several long-time businesses in the neighborhood are not participating because of the cost of booth spaces and difficulties with the organizers.

  • When it began, it consisted of a few community-oriented business booths on Mintwood Place.

  • Don’t forget about Fiesta DC in Mt. Pleasant celebrating the neighborhood’s Hispanic heritage. It happens the last weekend in September every year right along Mt. Pleasant Street – Sept 28th this year. Food, dancing, music, parades (amazing costumes) and fun!

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