Tag Archives: DC State Fair

Thanks for a great Fair!

Cross-posted from DC State Fair

Thank you to everyone who came out today to celebrate DC talent at the DC State Fair in the heart of the Barracks Row Fall Festival. And congratulations to the winners of all 19 contests!

Want to relive the day or catch up on the events? Our fourth annual Fair is all over social media — both in words and pictures. Take your pick:

A special thank you goes out to our contest coordinators, judges, and volunteers. You made it all possible!

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DC State Fair contests open: Think of this as my White House video announcement

Okay, it's a public library panel, not a national broadcast. But you get the idea. Photo by Stuart Levy

Okay, it’s a public library panel, not a national stage. But you get the idea. And note the DC State Fair t-shirt. Photo by Stuart Levy.

Pundits have used a lot more red ink lately, marking Xes on the days when President Obama doesn’t hold a press conference. One hundred and fourteen days here, 101 there. Only a Russian-protected leaker and a red line in Syria could staunch the scribbles, bringing Obama officially before the press an astonishing two times  in August. Otherwise, it’s X, X, and X.

What Obama does instead is push out constant social media blips and almost daily White House videos.

So think of this as my trendy White House video-type announcement about a matter of great interest to the public:

The DC State Fair contests are now open.

The media haven’t caught wind of it yet, as far as I know. Yet news of favorites like the Pie Contest, Honey Contest and Homebrew Contest has zipped around D.C.

Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and check them out.

And to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah today, shana tova! May your year be filled not only with luscious desserts and homemade beer but also the sweetness of peace and inspiration.

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Cyberspace and the community

What a week.

Thanks to cyberspace, my dear DC State Fair just garnered overwhelming community support on our Kickstarter campaign.

I also have the Internet to thank for both the topic and mode of publication for my latest story on Elevation DC, “Cyberspace connects DC with the businesses next door.

The 50th anniversary March on Washington that I plan to join on Saturday came together largely online. As I write this, buses and vans of participants are no doubt coming together all over the country through a frenzy of emails. Continue reading

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Pollan’s epiphany, community, and seedling swaps

Last month, Michael Pollan released his seventh food book, Cooked, and I wrote about it for The Jewish Daily Forward. The book is based on the epiphany that many of his tortured foodie questions had the same answer: Cook. This simple, inherantly communal idea embodies a theme that has been in my life a lot lately.

Pollan’s book is an homage and philosophical journey to home cooking. Much of Pollan’s research, however, did not take place in his house in the Bay Area. Instead, he entered the far-flung realms of barbecue pit men, artisanal  bakers, and fermentos  — communities that run thick with tradition and passion.

That theme of deep community continued as I attended the Do Good Summit on May 3 to see the likes of Our Black Year author Maggie Anderson, local B Corp founder Raj Aggarwal, and DC Brau‘s Jeff Hancock. As I wandered the brand new, sunny corridors of the Anacostia Arts Center, I received a tweet:

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 7.57.55 AM

Of course. Soupergirl, one of my favorite local businesses, had saved a loaf of challah and was going to make sure I got it. I’d come in a couple of days before to request it, without even giving my name. That request went onto a sticky note, which turned into a Twitter ping, which found me as I went about my day.  I’d like to see Safeway do that!

At that time, I was gearing up for the DC State Fair Seedling Swap. It took place two days later. While the Do Good Summit was the inaugural conference of the new art gallery and community space,  the crowd at the swap packed northeast DC’s Center for Green Urbanism for its last event before it moved out. The rush of community concern over the closing touched my heart just as much as the love of green things percolating through the rooms. The Center is currently searching for a new home.

Right now, those tomato and marigold and peanut seedlings are growing on front stoops and window sills and raised beds around the District. But the frost is coming tonight. I hope we can keep this all going.

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Final winner spotlight: “The Farmer”

Finally, in this series of kids’ poetry, I’ve posted Sophia Diggs-Galligan’s “The Farmer.” You can find her poem and a video of the writer’s delivery (and impressive composure given what was going on) over at the DC State Fair.

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The next winner spotlight: “In My Garden”

Next in the procession of kids’ poetry, I’ve posted Rachel Epstein-Shuman’s “In My Garden.” Catch both her poem and a video of the writer’s delivery over at the DC State Fair.

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Kids’ Poetry Contest spotlight: “Everybody Knows About Carrots”

Baby Organic Carrots from Garden 10-6-09IMG_6718
This year, I had the pleasure of launching the DC State Fair Kids’ Poetry Contest. With help from the organization Kid Power DC,  submissions rolled in from pint-sized poets living all over the District. I just posted the poem “Everybody Knows About Carrots,” the first in a series of spotlights, on the DC State Fair website. It took second place in the 4th and 5th grade category. Check it out and I think you’ll see why it’s a winner.


 Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo

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A day at the DC State Fair


Pies waiting to be judged at the DC State Fair. By Rhea.

This past Saturday, I went to the DC State Fair. As one of the organizers. I have never had a hand in such a big, frenetic event. I now have greater respect for:

  • Festival and fair organizers
  • Conference organizers
  • Rally, demonstration, and march organizers
  • My first-year students

First-year students? Yes. I had been baffled by their confusion as I taught classes this semester, but now I understand that combination of prismed attention and heart-pounding possibility in which they swim. That feeling like a bakery rack so full of goodies it threatens to tip over.

It was a day to run in all directions at once, to socialize with more friends in six hours than I’ve been able to meet up with in months, and to feel thrilling things abuzz. In short, it was a day at the fair. From inside the fair.

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Kids and community

Dinner plateOne of my current projects is organizing the DC State Fair. Work toward the September 22 event sometimes feels like a mad dash to network with as many local businesses and organizations as possible, including Kid Power DC.

This week, in the midst of preparations, I had a chance to sit, listen, and warm my heart, thanks to an invitation to the Kid Power Harvest Dinner. In a recent post on the DC State Fair website, I write about the creative and tasty event. Check out “Kid Power brings delights big and small.”

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Image for the Day: From trending to touching


Welcome to the DC State Fair… Seedling Swap, that is. Yes, the florescent grow lights, online buzz, and mass emails somehow culminated yesterday in about three dozen humans sitting shoulder to shoulder, touching leaves. Squinting and sweating and smiling in the sun.

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Filed under DC, Image for the day