Fall Festival Delights Crowds on Barracks Row

Performances, Games, Sights and Sounds Add to Excitement on Eighth Street

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Children pet a llama at the petting zoo on the 400 block of Eighth Street SE.

Pleasantly shaded morning skies burst into afternoon sunshine over Saturday’s Barracks Row Fall Festival, held Sept. 28, drawing crowds to Capitol Hill’s autumn celebration.

Community organizations, local businesses, vendors, performers and District agencies gathered on Eighth Street between E and I Streets SE to celebrate the changing season with the community.

Families lined up to visit the animals at the petting zoo, this year including some muppet-like silkie chickens as well as llamas, goats and donkeys. Across the street, the Residences at Eastern Market offered face-painting and sophisticated balloon art together with small bottles of sunscreen and water that were nearly as popular and very necessary.

Bubbles invited children to play in front of kid’s club Elemeno (709 Eighth St. SE), where tots beat the heat splashing in water tables as their parents lounged at street-side tables. Over in front of Miracle Theatre (535 Eighth St. SE) kids tried their hand at the hula hoops.

At Belga Cafe (514 Eighth St. SE), Chef Bart Vandaele invited guests to sample items from the new menu, unveiled in honor of the restaurant’s 15th Anniversary, also inviting them in to see the recent refresh to the restaurant’s interior. Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D) visited with neighbors.

Councilmember Elissa Silverman (At-Large) was also represented at the festival. Also spotted were commissioners from local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B, including Kelly Waud (6B07), Corey Holman (6B06) and Chair Chander Jayaraman (6B08).

Performances from skateboard company DC Wheels, the Capitol Hill Chorale, Noland the Magician, the DC Roller Girls, all-women Afro-Brazilian band Batalá and the Dupont Brass entertained the crowds, as across from the main stage children danced as they waited in line for Big Red, the inflatable firetruck slide manned by personnel from DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DC FEMS).

As the afternoon wore down and the Great Zucchini warmed the crowd up one last time from the main stage, the patios of the Barracks Row restaurants filled with festival-goers ready for dinner and eager to keep the festival atmosphere going down with the sun.