Fiesta DC, October 1, 2006

During the summer of 2006, sponsors of the DC Latino Family Fiesta came to us to inquire about holding their annual event in Mount Pleasant. In 2005 it was at Cardozo High School, and prior to that, it was held down on the National Mall. Now they proposed bringing it back to Mount Pleasant, close to the Latino community of the District. We made them welcome, and the event took place on October 1, drawing thousands of people to Mount Pleasant Street on a fine fall afternoon.

I spent a full afternoon at this event, walking the length of Mount Pleasant Street repeatedly, each time discovering something new. It's important that the business establishments of Mount Pleasant participate in this festival, in contrast to other events on Mount Pleasant Street that have merely shut down our commercial establishments for the day. A good number of them did take part in the event, and one restaurant in particular, La Paz, must have benefited greatly, as people lined up to purchase lunches at their booth.

It was a great success, and I hope to see this Fiesta make Mount Pleasant its permanent home. 

The parade was the highlight of the day. With booths lining both sides of Mount Pleasant Street, and thousands of people on the street between the booths, it was hard to make a clear path for the parade. As you can see, this parade was "up close and personal" for the audience.

parade, up close
  The violins of our mariachi band.

Mariachi violins
Demons making their way down the street, inches from the spectators.

demons in parade
 This devil had to be careful with his whip, or he was going to nip a spectator.

red devil

more exotic costumes
Some of the costumes were quite fantastic.

exotic costume
Our local folks got into the act, too. Seated on the far right, with drum, is our very own neighborhood dentist, Oswald Cameron.

African drummers
Some of our neighborhood businesses participated, too. This huge line is for food from the booth operated by La Paz Restaurant. They did a spectacular business, all day long.

Food lineup at La Paz
Here are Mount Pleasant's mariachis, on the stage at the north end of Mount Pleasant Street.

mariachi band on stage
And here's our very own Franko, on the stage at Irving and Mount Pleasant.

Franko, on the south stage
Oh my.

Exotic dancer
We worry a lot about the effects of such events on nearby residents. These residents seem to be enjoying the show, from a choice location.

audience, high in building

It was a glorious day, and I hope we can do it again in 2007!