“Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and DC Department of General Services (DGS) announced on Marvin Gaye’s birthday that a brand new multi-million dollar facility in his honor will open with a block party style festival with members of Gaye’s family, live music, food trucks, giveaways and more for DPR’s first Marvin Gaye Day on Saturday, April 7, 2018, 2 p.m. at Marvin Gaye Recreation Center.
Highlights of the event include the ribbon cutting of the new center by Mayor Bowser and Marvin Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye and ex-wife Janis Hunter. Author, Georgetown professor and music historian Michael Eric Dyson will speak to the crowd before Marvin’s former band/group, The Marquees, perform a tribute set. Closing out the event will be a more current Marvin-inspired performance by Black Alley.
“We want to give people a piece of Marvin with the Marvin Gaye rec center and festival; where he grew up, the park he wrote early songs,” explained DPR Director Keith A. Anderson. “Hopefully this will inspire the Ward 7 community like the community inspired him.”
Following the ribbon cutting, attendees can take part in a Marvin Gaye 5K fun run/walk or venture inside to explore the facility.
The new $14 Million Marvin Gaye Recreation was designed by IStudio Architects and constructed by MCN Build. It replaces the Watts Branch Recreation Center, a small one-story brick building, whose basketball court drew thousands each summer to watch summer league basketball.
The modernized Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and Trail Project includes a new two-story 7,200 square foot recreation center, with exterior amenities and improvements along the existing trail.
The building features a music room, art gallery, tech lounge, fitness center and a senior room with floating balcony. Other exterior improvements include NBA regulation basketball court and new practice filed for soccer, football and baseball.
Trail enhancements include a fitness station, community garden and a memorial bronze statue of Marvin Gaye coming late spring and a splash pad opening this summer. Programming at the new center will include summer camp for youth.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Ribbon Cutting: 2:00 p.m.
5K Run/Walk Begins: 2:30 a.m.
Entertainment: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Marvin Gaye Recreation Center
6201 Banks Place NE
*Closest Metro: Capitol Heights Metro Station”