• Celebrations,  Events,  Parades

    Pride and Joy

    The contrast is shocking: the elation of Saturday afternoon’s festivities in Dupont Circle and the anguish of the news from Orlando on Sunday morning. And yet, that should not take away from the overwhelming joy of the Pride Parade. Always a happy occasion, revelers had one more thing to celebrate this year. This was the first Pride Parade that took place after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June of 2015. Here, DC Focused photographers tried to capture some of that sense of happiness. Featured image © 2016 Victoria Pickering.                                      

  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals

    20+ Cultures in the Spotlight at Fiesta Asia

    Between 2000 and 2010, the DC region’s Asian population grew by 60 percent. “Chinese are most prevalent in the District and Montgomery County, particularly in Rockville and Potomac,” reported The Washington Post in 2011. “Filipinos are the largest group in Prince George’s and Charles counties. Indians are flocking to Loudoun and Fairfax counties and have become the largest and fastest-growing group of Asians in the area. Koreans are the largest group in Centreville, where 26 percent of the population is Asian.” Cultures from these countries and many more — 20-plus in all — were celebrated at the 11th annual Fiesta Asia Street Festival, which took place on Pennsylvania Avenue on…

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  • Celebrations,  Festivals,  Music

    Let the beat funk you up — music festival is big part of parade’s fun

    The Funk Parade is sort of a misnomer. While a raucous parade down U Street is certainly the eponymous moment of the day, the day-long event is as much free music festival as it is parade. The bands played at 12 stages and performance areas during the day and 15 venues into the night — and DC Focused photographers were at most of them. Be sure to check out our Music Project for bonus coverage. Featured image © 2016 Jeffrey Morris. Chelsey Green © Clif Burns The Ron Holloway Band © Zack Lewkowicz Reesa Renee © Sean Kennedy Lucky So & Sos © Rob Cannon Nappy Riddem © Joe Newman Funk Ark © Zack…

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  • Arts,  Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Music,  Parades

    On this day, it was the District of Funk

    U Street was all about the funk on Saturday — music, dancing in the street, drum lines and tens of thousands of people turning out for the all-day party and music fest known as the Funk Parade. The festival of funk took over the U Street corridor, as old and new DC came together to celebrate the city’s cultural heritage. The Mayor of Funk Town was even there throwing beads to cheering constituents, walking just a few hundred yards ahead of parade participants carrying a gigantic, inflatable joint. The parade slogan, after all, was “roll your funk.” Spread along the corridor from the Howard Theater to 14th Street, the festival included…

  • Celebrations,  Festivals,  Parades

    Are you ready for the funk? Annual U Street parade and festival returns

    Although the Funk Parade is just in its third year, it has already become one the District’s marquee cultural events. The all-day celebration pays homage to the U Street corridor’s rich musical and cultural heritage. This year, the DC Focused community is proud to be part of the event as the official photographers of the parade and musical acts. So, it’s fitting that we look at some of our favorite images from last year’s Funk Parade and talk about things to consider if you’re planning to photograph this  year’s event. All images are part of the DC Focused flickr pool. 1. Jeffrey Morris | Work the angles   Jeffrey got low on this photo, which produces…

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  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Portraits

    Picturing Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri

      Each year, at the end of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Washingtonians get a chance to celebrate Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri. Now in its 56th year, the Sakura Matsuri Festival offers up a mix of martial arts demonstrations, dance and musical performances, saki and sushi stands, and, of course, hundreds of cosplayers taking on the personas of their favorite characters. A gathering like this is a “target-rich” environment for a photographer. Everyone is dressed in fabulous fashion and is eager to pose for you. “I’ll let you in on a little secret,” one reveler told me. “Cosplayers actually want to have their photos taken. They just like to be…

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  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals

    Light City in Charm City

    Last week, Charm City was transformed into Light City, an international light festival spread out on multiple piers along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The crowds, which numbered nearly 400,000 people, experienced interactive light shows, musical performances, faeries on stilts, a neon peacock, glowing paper boats, and other attractions, all reflected in the harbor waters. A more somber display was dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Light City ended on Sunday night, but if you missed it, we have you covered. Victoria and I were on hand for all of the festivities and here is some of what we saw.                      …

  • Celebrations,  Misc.,  Parades

    Discovering America

    When we came to America, a long time ago, we prayed and we placed our flag at the shore. Some of us came in search of adventures, some in search of dreams. Lots of us were running away from nightmares. We brought our religion, we brought our culture, we brought our traditions. And some of the natives received us well, others resisted; but still, we were able to make it and we prevailed. We are still exploring the place, conquering it, and making it our new home. We are the immigrants, and every day, every moment, we are discovering America. All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can…

  • Celebrations,  Parades

    A look back at last week’s Fiesta DC — a celebration of Latino roots

      As it happens every year, Constitution Avenue, home of classic buildings and civic architecture was transformed recently into a colorful display of song and dance. The Parade of the Nations of Fiesta DC, which was held a week ago, is a celebration of the diversity of cultures and rhythms that are part of Latin America. We Latinos were there to say that we are part of this nation but don’t forget our roots — they are our contribution to this great country. All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can see more of his work on his flickr page and on PabloRawPhoto.com. You can follow him on twitter @pablorawphoto. [divider…

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  • Celebrations,  Festivals

    Jousting through Summer

    Looking for a family friendly event that’s only an hour away from Washington? From August to October, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is probably the easiest way to spend an entire day without a dull moment. From the moment you walk up to the gate, there are people dressed up in elaborate “period” pieces from the most authentic to the most outlandish. There are hundreds of activities for kids and adults. Shops adorn the paths between activities with intricately designed costumes, swords, and jewelry. Multiple stages throughout the festival showcase performances of all types, from the deathtifying to singing and dancing. While styled around medieval and renaissance themes, the festival never takes itself too seriously and ends up being…

  • Celebrations,  Fourth of July

    Scenes from DC’s Fourth of July Celebration

      There’s nothing like the Fourth of July in DC to remind us what we hold dearest: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of the three-day weekend. We hope you enjoyed your Independence Day. Featured Image, Party On, Uncle Sam by Geoff Livingston, is part of the DC Focused flickr pool.  [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] Light Show by Michael T. Ruhl [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]

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