An annual free celebration of local produce, art, animals and homegrown pot plants is slated to take place in NoMa later this month.
The seventh D.C. State Fair will kick off at NoMa Junction at Storey Park (1005 First St. NE) on Sunday, Aug. 28.
This year’s fair will bring with it all the usual attractions of a state fair: heaviest vegetable contests, food and music, live animals. But this year’s fair will also have some new features along with the usual suspects, according to D.C. State Fair board member Kish Rusek.
“The fair will comprise contests one might find at a traditional state fair, including best pie, tastiest tomato, best honey, best ice cream and best homebrew,” Rusek said. “But we’ll have some contests that will be particular to D.C. culture.”
One of this year’s new District-centric contests is the mumbo sauce cook-off, where locals will compete to see who can cook the best sweet and tangy concoction. Other new events this year include a chili-making competition, a dance-off, a longest hula hooper contest, a sloppy joe eating showdown and a best tattoo showcase, Rusek said.
This year’s festival will also include some returning fan favorites like the “best bud” pot growing contest.
“The D.C. State Fair will once again honor the legalization of marijuana in the nation’s capital by inviting District of Columbia residents to enter their prized buds in the fair’s second annual best bud contest,” Rusek said. “This is a way for us to highlight this new freedom while also showing off the agricultural talents of people in the District.”
Like last year, “best bud” won’t involve any ingestion or smoking. Instead, the pot will be judged based sight, smell, touch, cure and trim.
Another event slated to return this year is the pet parade, which will kick off the fair at 11:30 a.m. and include all kind of animals, Rusek said.
The fair will also have a beer garden, education pavilion, live music and performances by local groups Batala Washington and Words Beats and Life.
Nearly 10,000 people are expected to attend this year’s D.C. State Fair, Rusek said, increasing the need for volunteers. Locals who want to help out with the event can sign up online.
Photos courtesy D.C. State Fair
Best Bud — In addition to the pet parade, the D.C. State Fair is also hosting its first-ever marijuana growing competition this year. Buds will be judged on appearance, odor, touch and backstory. Participants must submit a one or two gram bud in a mason jar — and no, the judges will not be sampling them. [Washington Post]
Millions Don’t Mean Mansions — D.C. has more million dollar homes than ever. In May, 20% of single-family homes sold for over $1 million. That’s nearly double the amount of homes that sold for more than $1 million in the 2010 fiscal year. [WTOP]
Development — 338 Meridian Hill residents signed a petition opposing a development planned by Meridian International Center. Neighbors will sound off their concerns at next week’s Historic Preservation Review Board meeting. [Borderstan]
Cover Up Cosby? — A reader at PoPville is calling for the removal of the Bill Cosby mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U street. “I can only imagine how victims of sexual assault feel when they walk by it. It should be taken down period,” the author argues. [PoPville]
Borderstan residents have been invited to strut with their mutts the during the upcoming DC State Fair’s first-ever Pet Parade in September.
Pet owners are encouraged to showcase friendly pets “on a leash, or in a cage, tank or aquarium,” the fair’s website says.
Paws hit the pavement at the Shaw Dog Park (11th and R streets NW) on September 12 at 12:30 p.m. The parade route travels north from the park on 11th Street NW, turns east on R Street NW and follows Rhode Island Avenue to the fair grounds at Old City Farm and Guild.
The parade will be led by an undisclosed “celebrity pet.”
Participants are encouraged to dress up with their pet, but costumes are not required to march.
Prizes will be awarded to best non-costumed pet/owner look-alikes, costumed pet/owner look-alikes and best animal-only costumes. All parade members will receive a commemorative ribbon.
Residents are encouraged to register online before attending.
From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com
DC may not have statehood or representation in the Senate, but it does have its own in-city state fair, coming to Barracks Row this Saturday, September 22. Sponsored by local businesses, the state fair will showcase culinary knowledge and local craft throughout the day via competitions, live stage shows, and other neighborhood-focused activities. Barracks Row is on 8th Street SE, south of Pennsylvania Avenue.
These contests and events range from the Home-Brewing and City’s Most Valuable Apron competitions, to growing Asian vegetables and beekeeping demonstrations, to a Military Chefs Cook-off. Our very own Borderstan businesses such as P Street Whole Foods and Whisked! will notably sponsor contests this year.
Judges will decide who has the best jam or jelly, and our city’s diverse local artisans will have the opportunity to showcase their craft. Much of the focus of the festival is on the educational aspect, through healthy sportsmanship and competition as well as community bonding and sharing.
DC State Fair began in August 2010 at the Columbia Heights Day Festival and is in its third year of operation. More information about the DC State Fair’s mission, history and events can be found on their website.
I’m always surprised when people tell me they haven’t been to a county fair– after all, memories of candied apples and craft tables during fair season are a significant part of my childhood.
With state budgets being hit hard, state and county fairs are buckling down more than ever before. Luckily, if you’re up for a day trip, these fun ventures into fried food, pie contests and shaky rides can still be part of your childhood — or adulthood, for that matter.
DC State Fair
DC “State” Fair, September 22
Just because we don’t have states’ rights doesn’t mean we don’t know how to throw a good party. This year the DC State Fair will be joining Barracks Row Day on Capitol Hill, where you’ll find the best of gardeners, cooks, bakers, photographers and artists. We’re already looking forward to the contest for best homebrew.
Arlington County Fair, August 8-12
Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. Second Street, Arlington, Virginia
You’ll have fun at the Arlington County Fair if you go for the pig races alone, but you can also catch performances by local artists and check out the competitive competitions (pie, anyone?).
Prince William County Fair, August 10-18
10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, Virginia
Believe it or not, there is another reason to visit Prince William County besides Ikea, namely the largest county fair in Virginia. Check out the Demolition Derby, 4-H Livestock Shows and carnival rides. Deal: On Tuesday, August 14, purchase admission to the Fair for only $2.00!
Virginia State Fair, September 28-October 7
13111 Dawn Boulevard Doswell, Virginia
Getting to Virginia’s State Fair will require a bit more of a drive to it’s Doswell location, but still well-within day-trip territory. Head here for the Midway – wonderfully colorful rides and games. You can also check out livestock animals including cows, rabbits, chickens, goats, ducks and newborn calves.
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, August 10-18
Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, Maryland
If you were ever a 4-H’er, you’ll remember county fair just like this. MoCo Ag Fair has a demolition derby, monster trucks, and tractor pull. If you’re a parent, head to the KidZone for remote control car racing and carnival rides, including bumper cars. Be sure to check out the animal demonstrations and if you’re hungry, pick up something called a Fudge Puppie Waffle.
Prince George’s County Fair, September 6-9
PG County Showplace Arena, Water Street, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Check out local performers, a NASCAR simulator and carnival rides at the Prince George’s County Fair.
Maryland State Fair, August 23- September 3
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland
If you happen to live with a 13-year-old girl, you should definitely make plans to visit the Maryland State Fair where The Band Perry and Victoria Justice will be performing. If you’re 15 or older, you’ll want to go to the Maryland State Fair for the bull riding competitions, the attempt to beat the world’s largest crab cake record and the chainsaw sculptors. Kids will enjoy learning how to milk a cow at during the Agricultural Farm tours, and mom and dad can check out hyper-local Maryland food at the farmers market, to you know, balance out that fried Oreo.
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.
Featured image: Cherry tomatoes by Alejandra Owens.
Yeah, I said it. I’ll throw down the gauntlet on this one, too. I know, I know. Some are wedded to Eastern Market, while others have a passionate love affair with Dupont, but I think the best farmers market in the whole city is at 14th & U Streets NW. And it’s back up and running this weekend into November; hours are Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm. (Find the market on Facebook for updates about upcoming offerings each Saturday.)
Why? Pretty simple: damn good produce, meats and products, friendly vendors, convenient (for me) location and a charismatic leader (that would be Robin, say hi if you see her, and ask questions!) that brings everything at the market to life.
In all seriousness, some of the most amazing produce and eggs I have ever purchased have come from this market. Granted, some of the vendors sell at other markets, including Dupont or Penn Quarter (where I shop the rest of the year), but the point is the critical mass of amazingness at 14th & U. Oh, and did I mention Whisked! is at this market?! I mean, now we can get strawberries, eggs, meats, cheeses AND a pie (or cookies, or brownies, whatever strikes your fancy)!
BONUS ACTIVITY: If you’re a gardening geek, this Saturday’s market will host DC State Fair Seedling Swap! Anyone can attend and learn about growing produce and more!
So this Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm, the market opens back up for the first time this season. I had already planned a trip to Rehoboth Beach for a little getaway, so when I realized I’d be missing the first weekend of the market I actually got sad. Like, sad sad… for real real. I tried to make myself feel a little better by grabbing strawberries from Garner’s Produce, which is one of the very fine vendors featured at 14 & U, on the way out of the city today but it’s just not the same. So will you stop by for me? Grab a hand pie from Whisked!, buy some Garner’s strawberries and grab a bag of spinach!
Have a wonderful weekend y’all! Tell me what you buy and what you’ll be making with it! I’ll be watching Twitter, even from the beach.
- Desperately Seeking: Cooking Inspiration
- Seeing Green At The Farmers Market
- Get Ready For Strawberries at the Farmers Markets
It seems like we all have two options this weekend:
- Give in to earthquaccaneapocalypse and plan to wait out the storm (Come on, Irene) with lots of bottled water, candles and movies, or
- Brave the storm, get up and go this weekend, because there are still a ton of things going on.
Of course please be safe if Hurricane Irene lives up to all the hype, but I’d encourage you to grab your slicker and get on this weekend lineup:
Friday, August 26
- Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration for the ages “Celebrate MJ“ at 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW) presented by DJ Dredd. Doors at 9, tickets $15. Go prepared to dance.your.face.off.
- You could also go check out weekly Friday Night Frights at Black Cat (1811 14 Street NW) and stick around for the Modern Man show at 9 pm, with openers Harper Blynn (really good) and The Dustys.
Saturday, August 27
- UPDATE: Organizers were forced to cancel Columbia Heights Day. The good news is that the DC State Fair has only been postponed and entries for DC State Fair have been reopened.
Columbia Heights Day and the DC State Fair are on today — rain or shine. Head uphill to C-Heights to celebrate the neighborhood festival featuring live music, vendors, a petting zoo (if that’s your thing?), and lots and lots of food trucks. Last year, my friend was crowned “King of Columbia Heights” and we stole his scepter later in the night. Good times, good times. Follow @ColHeightsDay for more info. Location for both events is 11th and Kenyon Streets NW on the Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field.
- For something indoors, check out the Demont “Peekaso” Pinder Solo Exhibition at Lamont Bishop (1314 9th Street NW).
- At night , it’s a pretty fair toss up between two reliably awesome dance parties: Bliss at U Street Music Hall (1115A U Street NW), or On and On at Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW).
Sunday, August 28
- Artjamz also wraps up its summer residency at the Corcoran this weekend, so stop by and check it out. Plus, museums are always a good rainy day activity.
- While you’re inside, purchase a discounted Deals For Deeds ticket to next Sunday’s Local 16 Pig Roast (Sunday, September 4). $10 supports a good cause and gets you food and two drinks.
There you have it. What are YOU doing this weekend, Borderstan? Let us know what we missed, and stay dry out there.
We here in Borderstan recognize a good thing when we see one — even if it happens to be outside our neighborhood.
That’s why we’re recommending you get dig out your dusty home-ec skills this fall and head over to neighboring Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights for two exciting events, Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair and the DC State Fair. Even better, enter one of the categories — can you bake a great pie, preserve peaches, make pickles, take photographs, make really cool bike accessories? There are lots of categories.
Entry deadline for Crafty Food Awards contest is Thursday, September 1… entries for the DC State Fair must be submitted by Thursday, August 25.
From Alejandra Owens. Catcher her on Twitter @frijolita.
It’s RAMMY Season – Vote With Your Gut
Remember when we told you that a bunch of Borderstan restaurants were nominated for RAMMYs? Well this year, public votes will determine the outcome of four categories — Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gathering Place, Power Spot and the Your Favorite Restaurant, a “write-in” category. So go “Eat the Vote” from April 28 to May 5. According the RAMMY website there will be, “creative events full of food and cocktail specials and energetic fun.” Yeah.
Two Endorsements for Weaver in April 26 Special Election
With just days to go before the April 26 special election for the At-Large DC City Council seat, the Washington City Paper and Greater Greater Washington have endorsed candidate Bryan Weaver. Earlier this month The Washington Post endorsed candidate Patrick Mara; the lone Republican in the field of nine candidates. Borderstan profiled candidates Bryan Weaver, Patrick Mara and Josh Lopez. All polling locations will be open from 7 am to 8 pm next Tuesday.
Editor’s note: Be sure to take the 5-minute Borderstan Reader Survey for a chance to win $250 in groceries from Safeway. We’re closing the survey this Sunday, Nov. 21, at 11:59 pm. The winner will be notified Monday morning — just in time for Thanksgiving food shopping! Thanks!
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From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time
*tear* It’s a sad weekend, guys. Last market of the season for the 14th & U Farmers Market. After this Saturday, the market will close until spring. Hours are 9 am to 1 pm.
Silver lining: those of us who ordered our turkeys (I told you!) get to pick them up on Saturday. Personally, I’ll be rocking the granny cart to lug my 15-pound birdy of love home.
Silver lining part II: the DC State Fair will be holding a bake sale in an effort to raise funds so they can become an official non-profit.
The DC Food Bloggers will be selling:
Bakalava, Cookies, Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream Frosting, Apple Spice Cupcakes filled and topped with a Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Pie Bars, Pumpkin Spice Balls Covered in White Chocolate, Double Decker Pumpkin Bread (Pumpkin bread stuffed with cream cheese filling), Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, mini pumpkin pies, holiday cookies–oatmeal coconut-cranberry, brownies, Rice Krispy Treats, Ginger Snap Cookies, Apple Pies, and more.
Oh. That sounds terrrrrrible! So, if you don’t want to worry about dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, you can pick up some good stuff this weekend!
Also, I have it on good authority there will be hot apple cider for free tomorrow! Bring the kiddos! Bring the pups! It’s going to be a beautiful Saturday.
Other Thanksgiving items you can grab: bread cubes for stuffing, cheeses and jams for hors d’evours, brussel sprouts, lettuce mixes and plenty of eggs for all your baking needs.
Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? Need some help, got questions? Shoot me a tweet or post your question in the comments here! I’ll help as much as I can!
PS – Still looking for a desert for Thursday? Try my Goat Cheese Cheesecake.
Beautiful summer weather is predicted for Saturday–a great day to live in the city and spend it outdoors. One option is Columbia Heights Day. This neighborhood festival to the north runs from 10 am to 6 pm at 11th and Kenyon Streets NW (Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field).
On foot, how far is 11th and Kenyon… from say… 14th and U? Google Maps says it is 1.1 miles–an easy walk or bike ride. It’s three blocks from Columbia Heights Metro–two blocks east and one block north.
What You’ll Find
The organizers of Columbia Heights Day are promising a multitude of activities, including bands, a cupcake-eating contest, a dog show and a King and Queen Contest.
- Bands on stage throughout the day.
- 80-plus businesses and community groups.
- Dog show at 10:30 am.
- A kids’ stage and a petting zoo.
- Taste of Columbia Heights with local eateries plus popular food trucks.
- Specials at restaurants and bars.
- Cupcake-eating contest.
- First-ever “DC State Fair” with prizes for best homemade pie or cupcake, homegrown tomato and more.
- A King and Queen of Columbia Heights competition (really?).