All posts by pickering

Concert on the Avenue

Tuesday nights during the summer, the Navy Band performs at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a series they call “Concerts on the Avenue.” One of the highlights of their performances is the fifty-state flag ceremony that opens the concert.

The flag bearers are in two lines, marching together until they split to go around the perimeter circle of the Memorial.

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In addition to the state flags, there is the traditional presentation of the U.S. flag marching up the center aisle.

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The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed but also formal and inspirational. The flag bearers manage to keep all elements of their uniforms perfect despite soaring heat.

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Phife is Living!

Words Beats & Life held a big festival yesterday at Marvin Gaye Park in Anacostia. It was in honor of Phife Dawg, who died in March. There was a drum circle, two stages, sports, chess sets and a chess tournament, and mural painting.

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

This year’s Folklife Festival featured the Basque culture, including demonstrations of dancing, singing, sports, and boat-building.

The dancing included traditional dancing, contemporary dance, and the characters used in the dancing:

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Joaldunak Procession

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Basque dancing.

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Some of the dancers were from a young California dance troupe, here waiting to go on stage:

Basque dancing.

Basque dancing.

The rural sports demonstrated included an anvil lift.  The object was to do 100 lifts, touching a 10-kilo anvil to the base and then the top plate. The winner was a man doing it solo, in 1 minute 41 seconds. The women did it in teams of two, trading off after each 25 lifts, and were a few seconds slower than the man.

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There was a sandbag run, carrying a 40 kilo sandbag.

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The sawing contest was very interesting since it required strength and speed but also finesse – they had to cut 6 slices that were no wider than 3 cm each, which they managed to accomplish in just under 3 minutes.

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There were several craftsmen demonstrating boat-building techniques.  In the 16th century, the Basques were considered the best whalers, using a small boat called a txalupa.  A model of a txalupa was brought to the festival in a partially-finished state, and was worked on during the festival.

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A Capitol Fourth

We thought we’d secured a great view from the top steps of the Supreme Court, but the weather kept the fireworks so low that nothing was visible. So we walked to the north side of the Capitol, and were barely able to see the fireworks against the Washington Monument. These images have the bright light from the Capitol concert on the top, and also show the American flag at the Capitol, and are taken through the rain spots on the lens.

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Union Station brings out its huge flags for several holidays. This photo is taken right after the fireworks, as we went back to the Union Station Metro.

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Rehoboth fireworks

It was cold and there was light rain before the fireworks started, but it was still a great show to watch while sitting in the sand.

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Towards the end, a young woman stood up and was trying to position her glow stick to make it appear that the fireworks came out of it. The crowd was not happy that she was blocking the view, although it made for a couple of interesting photos.

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