As the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival fast approaches, preparations are underway along the waterfront to entertain the thousands of people that are expected on Saturday. As mentioned previously, the festival will last from 1pm to 8:30pm with a full schedule of events, followed by the fireworks show. Over at the Gangplank Marina, E dock is being converted to a commercial dock so cruise boats like DC Harbor Cruises can take tourists along the Potomac River (above photo).
Over at 7th Street Landing, DC Harbor Cruises has taken over District Doghouse's old kiosk, which won't be coming back this season. Eventually, the cruise operator will move to another kiosk under construction on the other side of 7th Street Landing to serve the E dock. The new food provider that will be moving to District Doghouse's kiosk will be the BBQ operation that is currently on the grounds of St. Augustine's. Last week I tweeted about the mural of The Wharf being installed in front of the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team's construction trailer next to 7th Street Landing. In addition, this year's Cherry Blast will take place at the former Zanzibar on the Waterfront building from 8pm-12am. According to the Going Out Gurus:
This year, the party is down on the Southwest waterfront - at the old Zanzibar - where the entertainment includes performance art, burlesque and graffiti, plus music from quirky, hook-filled Brooklyn indie band Bear Hands, the Beach Boys-influenced synth-pop group ANR and a number of DJs. Check out murals while snacking at food trucks. And Zanzibar’s deck offers a perfect spot to watch the official Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks. The $10 admission includes one free drink, but no tickets will be sold at the door, so get yours in advance.
Volunteers from the Southwest Library Playground Project (SWLPP) will be set up at the Gangplank Marina park pavilion to do face painting and sell water, which has been donated by Deer Park. The face painting will be free, but donations will be accepted to go towards the construction of a new playground next to the Southwest Library. Half of the proceeds from water sales at several stations throughout the festival will go towards relief efforts in Japan and the other half will go towards the SWLPP.
As Barbara Ehrlich, one of the organizers of the festival from the Washington Waterfront Association, told me this afternoon, this year's Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival will be the biggest event staged by the group (in collaboration with the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team) and will serve as a dry run for next year. That is when the National Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the gifting of the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin from the people of Japan to DC.