The construction that had crowded parts of 17th Street NW since December is gone. Accordingly, it's time to celebrate. This Saturday's 17th Street Festival does just that. It's meant to celebrate the renovations of the 17th Street Street-scape Project and raise awareness about local businesses.
''It definitely is a celebration that the machines are gone and the street looks great,'' says festival chair Lee Granados, who grew up in the neighborhood.
Those heading to the festivities can expect specials from restaurants and businesses, an auction tent, a beer garden sponsored by JR.'s, music, and art for sale from more than 50 local artists.
''There's something for everyone,'' Granados says. ''We have a Kid's Zone, we have a Pet's Zone and we have two blocks of amazing artists coming in who are going to sell their work.
''The other two blocks that we're closing off are actually for nonprofit groups [and] small businesses that exist in the apartment buildings that people don't necessarily know about.''
Another 17th Street resident, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Jack Jacobson, who is gay, is helping organize the event.
''I moved to 17th Street six years ago, and haven't looked back,'' he says. ''It's a great neighborhood. It's got everything that I could ever want and I want to make it an even better community.''
Local band Djesben is set to take the stage by Church Street at 2 p.m. And singer/songwriter Tom Goss will close the festival after following a 5:20 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 17th Street Festival runs 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, between P and Riggs Streets NW. For more information, visit 17thstreetfestival.org.