Metro Weekly

17th Street Festival celebrates artistic and entrepreneurial spirit of Dupont Circle

Featuring artists and organizations, it's "like a big block party"

The 8th Annual 17th Street Festival — Photo: Todd Franson

“The 17th Street Festival is small but mighty,” says Nataliya Andreyeva. “It’s really like a big block party.”

A local artist who will sell her wares during the Aug. 25 festival, Andreyeva says the festival does a good job of finding a variety of artists and creators who want to showcase and sell their works, which range from pottery to jewelry to oil paintings.

Andreyeva will be selling collages dedicated to the evolution of the D.C. Metro system, her pop-art renditions of the D.C. flag, and pieces chronicling historical events or honoring groups like the District’s LGBTQ community. “I try to have the viewer ask a question or elicit an emotion,” she says. “I want people to probe deeper and find their own meaning.”

Now in its ninth year, the 17th Street Festival will also feature street vendors representing local businesses or nonprofit organizations, and a “Kids Zone” with an inflatable slide, snow cones, and a soccer demonstration. Mandy Warfield, the past president of the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, says this year’s festival will include new street entertainers, including a funk band, a New Orleans jazz band, a Chinese lion dancer, a mariachi band, flamenco dancers with guitars, and a performance by drag queen Brooklyn Heights at 5 p.m.

Organized by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, with support from the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development and local community organizations, the festival not only promotes the cultural and economic life of the Dupont neighborhood, but encourages attendees to patronize local businesses, particularly the 16 restaurants that line the 1500 and 1600 blocks of 17th Street NW, including mainstays Floriana, Dupont Italian Kitchen, Trio’s, Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Annie’s Paramount Steak House.

“There’s many streets that make up the Dupont neighborhood, but 17th Street is sort of the soul of Dupont Circle,” says Warfield. “It’s the area where everyone wants to go and hang out.”

The 17th Street Festival is Saturday, Aug. 25 from Noon to 6 p.m. in the 1500 to 1600 blocks of 17th St. NW. There is no entry fee. Rain or shine. For more information, call Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets at 202-656-4487 or email Bill McLeod at execdirector@dupontcircle.biz.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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