Bartolomeo, media director for the Sunlight Foundation, is a board member for Columbia Heights Day. The event will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Harriet Tubman Elementary Field, three blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro. More than 12,000 people are expected for this community festival featuring live music, food trucks, and more than 60 local businesses and nonprofits.
Where are you from, and how'd you get to D.C.?
I'm originally from Pittsburgh but have been a District resident for 10 years. I moved to Columbia Heights when it was still in transition. Target hadn't opened, all those restaurants on 11th Street hadn't opened, but the neighborhood had heart and cheap housing. I started out as volunteer for the Columbia Heights Day for a number of years and have served on the board for the past two years.
What is Columbia Heights Day?
It's a celebration of the neighborhood -- a one-day festival that has something for everybody, especially families. There's a KidsZone activity area with a petting zoo, dance acts, face painting, a moon bounce. It's very neighborhoody. We have about 12,000 people show up, but it really feels like a neighborhood festival.
What makes Columbia Heights special?
It's a very diverse neighborhood, something to do all hours of the day. It really understands who it is.
I understand there will be a cupcake eating contest?
That's been a Columbia Heights tradition since the first festival in 2007, before cupcakes were popular. It's whoever can eat five cupcakes in 60 seconds. Winner gets neighborhood bragging rights, maybe a gift card from a neighborhood business or a neighborhood T-shirt.
What's on the T-shirts?
They say Columbia Heights. We always sell T-shirts. Everyone likes to wear their neighborhood pride around.