Columbia Heights Day Hits another Home Run

I feel like a broken record but again Columbia Heights Day (this year with the addition of the DC State Fair) was a huge success. And as I say every year the photos do far more justice than words. Sadly, I missed the cupcake eating contest this year so if anyone got some of those shots please upload a few of them to the PoPville flickr pool. Congrats and thanks to the organizers for putting together such a fun day.

Lots more photos after the jump.

DC State Fair photography contest winners and presenter Heather Goss

Pickling entries for the DC State Fair

Dog contest

33 Comment

  • Really, a home run ? Maybe my expectations were to high, but I thought it was pretty lame. It seemed like an average weekend day at Eastern Market if you ask me…. but with animals. Can’t wait for the H St NE Festival though. That was the best street fair in the city last year, IMHO

  • i can’t believe they cheaped out and only got a *one* humped camel. guess that’s the state of the economy – maybe you’ll get a second hump next year, kids.

  • The Apache Camel needs to be the official animal for the District. As a docile and sweet animal and does have a stubborn and angry temperament if ill treated, the camel both wins your heart and your respect. Kind of reflects the average PoP reader.

    • The average PoP reader? Do they also come across as cranky and miserable almost all the time? Are they argumentative just for the sake of arguing?

  • Go Pickles! Does anyone know where I can get pickling lime (food grade) around here? Thanks!

  • I thought it was a very good event for its young age BUT I would beg the organizers to be more humane towards the animals. Having a camel sitting for hours and hours on in the sun with basically no moving space is horrible and seeing the turtle being pecked by the roster was a little too much for me. Poor turtle!

  • I was very disappointed. The majority of the tents were dedicated to people campaigning for office. I felt like I was constantly being accosted by Fenty or Gray or any of the other supporters. Maybe it was just the timing of the festival vis a vis the upcoming elections, but next time I would prefer less campaigning at the festival.

    • I totally agree with Anymouse. Should change the name to CH Campaign Day. I thought CHD was supposed to be a celeration for Columbia Heights, or did I not read the correct information?

  • I was underwhelmed. The animals showed up late and I felt really, really bad for them once they did arrive and got MOBBED. (Also, bunnies in a petting zoo? Can’t they literally scare themselves to death?) It was freaking hot out and the bigger animals didn’t have any shade. And yeah, too much campaigning.

  • I was dissapointed as well! It was a bunch of busniess pushing their stuff and church’s to join. and let’s not forget it was very political. Best part was the drum circle, animals, and the crowning of miss Columbia heights. I look forward to going to the H st. Festival and 17th St. Festival.

  • I agree with the comments above. We got there at 3 which was a bit late but the only thing left on the soccer field were campaigners. In the end I got a Fenty sticker so they would leave me alone.
    The Curbside Cupcakes were excellent though.

  • Dang, they DID bring the animals out? I was there from opening til a little after 11 and was pretty disappointed they didn’t have the camel, et al this year. I guess they were just fashionably late.

  • Was it a commuity festival or a political event? It was like walking into a lion’s den of voter hungry canidates. Please no more this, it really detracted from the whole, easy going, togetherness atmoshpere of the event.

  • Well, hopefully the next three years there won’t be any campaign-related activity. But even given that, I thought it was fantastic and the haters fail to give credit to the enormous amount of work the organizers did to create a wonderful community event out of thin air in only a few shorts years. 11th Street was hopping to a degree I’ve NEVER seen in five years living there. By late afternoon, things were dying down, but you had:

    (a) several very good bands playing; (b) lots of food options (a nice addition this year were the food trucks, hopefully more will come next year), (c) the petting zoo which I liked especially feeding the llama although I understand concerns, (d) the very cool State Fair, (e) cupcake eating contest, (f) booths with giveaways, community info, good t-shirts for sale, even if some weren’t great you could just pass them by), (g) mr. / mrs. CH (which alas I missed), (h) a dog show, (i) a yoga demonstration, and (j) the drum circle thing. I mean, how much more can you really ask for? A bit more food from local places would be cool, but otherwise, I think it was a VERY full day. And in addition, there was stuff going on at Bloom Bars, Wonderland, Room 11, Meridian Pint, Rinconsito, all of which were packed. Come on people, think about what the organizers have accomplished in four years. The critiques here are ridiculous in my view.

    • We were there with a toddler from about 10:30-12. It was hot as hell. Half the reason we went was the petting zoo (see my comment above). The only food I saw was Rita’s (welcome in the heat) and SweetGreen froyo. The Taste of Tivoli North tent was deserted. The jumpy things for kids were disorganized. I think we heard one band play, pretty badly. And who wants to watch other people do yoga? People in the community want more than to drink at Wonderland, Room 11, Meridian Pint, Red Rocks, not to mention that those places are prohibitively expensive for a lot of people who live nearby. And really, the campaigning was over the top.

      We hadn’t been before, and I don’t quite know what I expected, but it was nothing special. I didn’t get much of a community feel at all. Sure, one or two people let my kid pet their dog, but that happens pretty much every day when we’re outside.

      Label me a hater all you want; I just spent most of the time we were there looking around and wondering, is this all there is?

      • Spot on, Dreas. This was my first visit and to be practically assaulted by the campaigners the minute you happened to look around was not what I wanted. I guess I was expecting a lot more. I got there around 1pm and as Dreas sais, the only food was Rita’s and the Sweet Green truck outside. The Taste of Tivoli tent had people inside sheltering from the sun! Hugely disappointed and it’s unlikely I’ll be rushing out to the next one.

      • Well again, I wasn’t there the entire day, and I listed a whole slew of things I saw going on. Oh, and I forgot a juggler and a moon-bounce tend thing for kids. As for food, there was a taco truck, a pizza slice truck, the cupcake truck, a bakery selling croissants and bread and such, Rita’s, a gelato stand, and DTF giving out chips and salsa samples. So while there could certainly be more food, there was a lot more than you are talking about. It was a vibrant FREE event with a lot of different things giong on throughout the day. I heard two bands, and at least one of them I thought was fun and solid. I talked to tons of people in the community at my booth who seemed excited to be part of Columbia Heights and by this event. If you think you can do a better job, by all means, go ahead and organize something. But there was a lot going on, almost all of it, again, free, and it attracted a ton of people to the area. Things can always improve, and I’d say this event has improved / added features each and every year, and I’m sure will continue to do so.

        I think the folks putting it together have done a great job and I applaud the tremendous amount of hard work and energy they put in, without any compensation, to try to create something fun for the neighborhood. Personally, I say they succeeded, and lots of other people seemed to be having fun as well. I’m not exactly sure what you were expecting, U2 on the mainstage, free food from Citronelle, an exploding fireworks dragon, or what. But if you don’t like it, you can just ask for your money back I guess.

  • I went at 10 for the bike tour/scavenger hunt. I was the only one who showed up and it was therefore cancelled. Went back later in the afternoon and it was dead, only thing going on was the campaigning and the cupcake eating contest, which you couldn’t see anyway since they set the table up at ground level and not on a stage. I did get good breakfast tacos from the taco truck though!

  • The only real enjoyable experience I got out of it, was eating a cupcake that looked like a cheeseburger. AMAZING!

  • Check this out:

    Captures the entire feel of the festival. And to those who complain about the festival, please provide constructive feedback so that the organizers can incorporate your ideas into the 2011 Columbia Heights Day.

  • Nice showing from Ward One Canidate Bryan Weaver in cupcake eating contest. Although the Urban Hipster in a sundress, Eva beat him.

  • Maybe it was better with a child? My daughter decorated a cookie (free, courtesy of some church), got her hand painted (free, courtesy of some arts org I think), was charmed by the PETA chicken, petted the critters, played on the playground, and climbed on the firetruck. All between 10:30 and 12:00. She could have done the bounce house, except she’s a little shy about stuff like that.
    I think if you weren’t taking advantage of the kid activities, it might have been a little dull.
    Concrete suggestion: How about a tent with a nice big photo exhibit of the history of CH? Maybe with historians on hand to give mini-lectures and answer questions?

  • as i said above, I had a great time, but one complaint – we came back to see Flex Matthews at 5:45, and the whole thing was over. What happened with that?

  • We went last year and were hoping for an improvement this year, suffice to say we probably won’t go next year.

    1) too many politicians
    2) not enough food/drink on the field – the only people I saw with water, on a very hot day, was a church. I kept walking.
    3) not really enough to do/see
    4) the animals were the highlight

    sorry to be a downer but I gave it a second chance.

  • I had a friend from out of town visiting, and we had a great time. It was fun to have an event to show her part of my neighborhood. We mostly just walked around and looked at everything that was offered, then bought food from DC Slices and the Taco truck and sat and listened to the music. The kids tent seemed to be the best attraction, but we felt stilly asking if we could decorate our own bookmarks/cookies! I would definitely go back next year, it was a great way to spend some time outdoors.

  • Went with a toddler and had a good time. The festival is a work in progress and has been getting better every year – it’s not just “The Wonderland Festival” anymore. Loved the moon bounces, petting zoo, and Bloombar youth tent with dancing, arts and crafts, and the Guitars Not Guns guys introducing kids to making music. If I was not with my kid, though, I would have bailed pretty quickly. Main complaint was lack of places to get cold water – we wandered across the whole field and couldn’t find a stand selling drinks. Also, needed more meat on a stick options.
    Can somebody tell the CH hipsters that they are not kids anymore? 25 year olds in sundresses and ironic graphic t-shirts shouldn’t be stepping on little kids at the petting zoo fence, blocking the view and complaining that only kids are getting to go in the petting section. Also, grown man, why are you hogging a chair when children are waiting to use the coloring books and paints? Sigh.

  • That’s alright CH, at least you have a Target.

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