Sign a Petition to Close U Street for the Funk Parade on May 2, 2015

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw


“Last May’s inaugural Funk Parade was a huge success. It brought together 30,000 people in the U Street neighborhood, showcased nearly 100 hours of music and dance performances, and generated an estimated $1 million in sales for local businesses.

Unfortunately, city officials refused to permit the parade to pass down U Street. The avenue has been a hub of live music and celebration for decades. It has hosted dozens of parades. Marion Barry’s first inaugural parade passed down U Street. But officials refused to close it briefly for Funk Parade, a celebration of the heart and soul of the city.

Instead, city officials forced the parade to use a narrow, inconvenient route down V Street and ending in an alley. The popularity of the event easily overwhelmed the route, and when the parade concluded crowds swarmed onto U Street anyway, forcing an impromptu closure. This petition is to ask the city, let us do it right this year!

The neighborhood supports this request: local ANC 1B has unanimously endorsed closing U Street for the parade. Its transportation committee has carefully reviewed the proposed U Street route, weighed community concerns, and unanimously voted to approve the request. But it needs your voice alongside it.

The Funk Parade is a true community event, supported by more than 100 local businesses and clubs, all the local neighborhood associations, and dozens of arts and culture groups from the Kennedy Center and Cultural DC to dance, music and urban art collectives. But it needs your help to call on DC officials to close U Street!

Missed Funk Parade last year? You missed live go-go, jazz, R&B, Latin, rock, reggae, hip-hop, afrobeat, capoeira, drumming, funk, soul, and samba. Other performances included magic, juggling, flash mobs, gypsy swing, and breakdancing. Basically, everything great about the city rolled into one giant event, and delivered — free! — to your doorstep.

Please sign this petition and help convince city officials that THE FUNK PARADE MUST BE ON U STREET IN 2015!”

10 Comment

  • Done. Thanks for posting.

  • You had me at “Funk Parade.”

  • This was a really fun time last year…….but, it was super annoying trying to navigate the festival via the heavily crowded sidewalks. Traffic was also a mess, due to crowds wandering into the street to navigate.
    They really need to shut down U Street, similar to how they close down H Street for their festival. Please sign the petition, it’s a wonderful family friendly event. I’d love to see the local restaurants able to offer their food and drinks right in the street.

  • This thing seemed like an out-of-control mess last year. I’m not saying DC government doesn’t do stupid things for no reason, but I’d sure like to hear their justification for why they don’t want it to be on U Street before I sign anything from an obviously one-sided source.

  • What’s the route? How many blocks? What is the proposed time (both timeframe and total time of closure)? Is this for a parade only, or a street festival as well? What is the cost the event will pay for the closure and security (assume there would be more for a larger street)? Where will the buses be rerouted to?

    • Good questions.

      – Route: The proposed route starts at the Howard Theatre, runs west on T St to 9th, then up 9th to U, then west on U to 14th. 14th would not be affected.
      – Purpose: The closure would be to accommodate the parade only.
      – Time: The total anticipated closure period is from 5 to 7 PM, but it’s important to note that parades use a “rolling closure” procedure, so that as the procession passes, roads open up progressively behind it. This means that the route is unlikely to be closed for an entire 2 hours.
      – Costs: As with all public events, the organizers bear all costs associated with the closure.
      – Affect on Bus Routes: Alternate routes would be negotiated with WMATA, as happens for other neighborhood events, like Howard Homecoming Parade and the United House of Prayer Parade (or Pride Parade or 17th St Festival or H St Festival or Adams Morgan Day or Taste of DC or…) FWIW, Pride, HHP and the UHOP parade feature longer routes than Funk Parade, and last longer as well. And they’re all great.

  • Signed. And endorsed.

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