You might get the summertime blues on the Pike this weekend.
The 16th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival kicks off at 1:00 p.m. Saturday on South Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike. The free event runs through 8:00 p.m. and features acclaimed acts like southern blues rocker Tinsley Ellis, along with Columbia Pike’s own blues and soul band, The Curbfeelers.
Even if blues music isn’t your thing, the street fair offers a variety of other entertainment options. From kids’ activities like face painting and the “Guitars Not Guns” booth, to around 50 market and craft vendors, to a variety of food vendors, everybody should be able to find something to keep busy.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the event, which organizers say helps to celebrate the Pike’s diversity.
“The Pike is a very bluesy place,” says Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Executive Director Takis Karantonis. “This is the place where you find diversity. You will see all types of people coming in.”
Karantonis says the festival will be an opportunity to show off the transformation Columbia Pike has undergone in the past several years. He points out the addition of another large apartment complex and the long-awaited opening of a new Giant food store next week. He says such developments bring back essential functionality to the neighborhood.
“This reflects the ‘new Pike,’ the urban environment in our area,” Karantonis said. “It’s a milestone in a long development over many years, and that’s something good to celebrate.”
CPRO is still looking for volunteers who want to help out at the neighborhood event. If you’re interested in lending a hand, contact CPRO at (703) 892-2776 or email [email protected] There will also be a booth at the event for donations to help cover the costs of the festival.