No weekend plans yet? D.C. Funk Parade's free Funk music performances, arts, and parades is a chance to let it all hang out.

Organizers are gearing up for this year’s DC Funk Parade set to take place on the U street strip Saturday, May 6.  A long list of music and dance performances on 20 different stages promises to be a funky good time.  This year’s festival is the third D.C. funk parade; last year saw a large turnout and 2017’s parade is certain to draw even larger crowds.  D.C. Funk Parade is a free street festival for all ages and is divided up into three separate celebrations: the day fair runs from noon until 7 P.M., the one hour parade starts at 3 P.M. and the evening musical performances start at 7 P.M.   Of the musical performances, attendees of the festival will want to checkout the Grammy nominated Carolyn Malachi, rising R&B artist Aaron Abernathy, veteran funk band Clothes of Funk and D.C.’s soulful duo Boomscat, as well as numerous other musical acts that are certain to have partygoers moving and grooving. The Musical Headliners also are worth checking out. D.C.’s Backyard Band, Sun Ra Arkestra and Sinkane are on the bill this year. The Fair, Parade and Festival take place along on music history-rich U Street. It's a vibrant celebration of arts and music and drew 25,000 D.C. area participants in 2014 and more than 70,000 for the second parade in 2016. The festival organizers are expecting more than 75,000 participants and attendees this year. 120 non musical performances and art and tech activations are also planned and are certain to provide everyone in attendance with at least one thing to do.  If you plan to attend you will want to download The Funk Parade’s smartphone app where you can find maps, stage locations and event times.  The app will also allow partygoers to explore the different artists that will be performing, as well as a playlist on which you can discover and listen to more than 60 tracks of the scheduled performers.   The abundant list of activities planned includes a drum building workshop and drum circles, a Go-Go class, Tilt Brush Virtual Reality, dance parties and a series of classes conducted by Knowledge Commons and The Academy of Funk. Mothers will have the chance to participate in the Mother Muffin Eating Competition while CosPlayers can show off their latest costume creations in the Costume Lounge.  During the parade portion of the D.C. Funk Parade, marching bands, dancers , beat boxers and other creative artist types will come together to close out the daytime activities. I personally have yet to experience The Washington D.C. Funk Parade, but it sounds a bit like Mardi Gras on a smaller scale and with more of the music and creativity and less of the rowdiness.  The festival’s intention is to bring D.C. community members of all different types together to celebrate the historical significance and importance of U Street.  As most people know, Duke Ellington and Marvin Gaye were D.C. natives who helped to shape the musical culture of the U street strip and turn it into D.C.’s heart of live music.  This is one event you don't want to miss. Thinking of going? Checkout the schedule and lineup on funkparade.com or download the app.  If you wish to contribute to the festival, the Funk Parade is raising funds via Indiegogo to help support this one of a kind fair.

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