Community street party celebrates 15th anniversary of Eastern Market reopening

In 2007, a fire seriously damaged D.C.’s Eastern Market. Two years later, the historic landmark reopened to much fanfare. This weekend, the community is coming out again in a big way to remember that moment.

The “Strength in Neighbors” street party on Saturday and Sunday features a daytime lineup of local bands including Rock Creek Kings, Crush Fun Brass and Capitol Hill Chorale. On both mornings, family-friendly entertainer, Kidsinger Jim, will be performing and (obviously) singing for the kids.

Judy Thomas, program manager for the nonprofit Eastern Market Main Street, which is organizing the event, said this will be the biggest celebration of the reopening yet, thanks to a grant from Events DC.

The weekend street party will also include activities like face painting, balloon twisting and oversized games. There will also be an hour and a half tour of the market, the oldest in the District.

In November, Eastern Market celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Thomas said that while there are some shaded areas outdoors to keep cool in this weekend, as well as the indoor area inside the Market’s North Hall, visitors should come prepared for the hot weather and the midday sun.

Eastern Market Main Street is also currently finishing production of a short film spotlighting the experiences of vendors impacted by the fire and their recollections of the rebuilding efforts. Thomas said it will be available on YouTube in the coming weeks.

She said after the fire, the community rallied for what she calls the “heart of Capitol Hill” and continues to do so.

“Eastern Market is part of Capitol Hill, (and) it is essentially what functions as a town center,” she said. “We get lots of people from out of town on the weekends, so it’s always really fun to talk to new people. But it’s also a meeting place for people live here, and it’s one of those (places) where it makes it feel like a small town.”

The Strength in Neighbors festivities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this weekend.

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Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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