Congress Heights Civic Association Holds its 30th Annual Congress Heights Day

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Despite the dreary weather pre­diction and overcast skies, the Con­gress Heights Civic Association put on its 30thCongress Heights Day on Saturday, May 14. As the rains lifted and the skies brightened on Saturday morning, the Con­gress Heights community was bustling with activity. The boom of drums and children laughing were heard throughout the com­munity as local high school bands gath­ered and began to tune their instruments. Commuters parked their cars along Ala­bama Avenue to watch the renowned Ballou Majestic Knights warm up and young girls mimicked the rhythmic moves of the dance troupes. Dancers, baton twirlers, and cheerleaders alike stretched their limbs to warm up for the parade march. Mr. Nate Howard was busy with the line-up for what we learned was his 30thyear of coordinating the day’s activi­ties. Mr. Howard should be applauded for his dedication and commitment to this community activity.

As the first rays of sunlight breached the cloudy skies, those assembled at Malcolm X elementary school began their slow march down the parade route led by Civic Association President – Phil Pan­nell proudly carrying the Congress Heights Day banner. Mr. Pannell was followed by the Grand Marshall, Mr. Phinis Jones, a 42 year resident of the Congress Heights commu­nity and business owner. Mr. Jones was selected as the Grand Mar­shall as a result of his latest business venture The Capi­tal News News­paper which he proudly distributed along the parade route. The parade route beginning at Malcolm X School meandered along Alabama Avenue, SE towards Martin L. King, Jr. turning briefly on 6th Street to cross Malcolm X Avenue and exited on Martin L. King finally ending up at its final destination – the newly reno­vated Old Congress Heights School.

At the parade conclusion, onlook­ers were entertained with a battle of the bands. The two ward high schools – Bal­lou Sr. High and Anacostia – were joined by Garfield, Terrell, and Friendship Public Charter School along with hosts of other local groups and even one out-of-town group, the Christian Warriors. After the bands faced off, the crowds were encour­aged to visit various groups that were po­sitioned on the Imagine SE Public Charter School parking lot to partake a vast array of activities from a moon bounce spon­sored by Coca-Cola to cotton candy/ popcorn station sponsored by Allen Cha­pel AME Church. Information booths were also available and included HIV testing on-site. As the events culminated, as if on cue, light rain showers returned and fami­lies slowly made their way to cars, but only after a wonderful Congress Heights Day.

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