Jun 25, 2009: Eastern Market Grand Reopning

WASHINGTON, DC --A ceremonial ribbon- cutting ceremony with DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, at 10:30 tomorrow morning, Friday, June 26, will be followed by a day-long celebration Saturday, June 27, and special events at The Flea Market at Eastern Market on Sunday, June 28.

The whirlwind weekend activity is planned as merchants displaced by an April 2007 fire reopen tomorrow in the fully restored historic market at 7th and C Streets SE on Capitol Hill. The merchants are expected to resume a six-day a week schedule, with Monday closings.

Seventh Street SE will be closed for a community block party scheduled between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday. Included in the day-long activities will be live entertainment from a stage at the North Carolina Avenue SE entrance, children's activities such as face-painting and magicians, and guided tours of the market every half hour--all in addition to the regular weekly outdoor farmer and art markets.

A FREE COUPON for Food at the Flea
"To celebrate the Grand Reopening, we've decided to give away 1,000 free coupons good for $1 off any food or beverage purchase at our new food court," promised Tom Rall, who manages The Flea Market at Eastern Market, which on Sundays now occupies only the Hine Junior High School playground across 7th Street from the market building.

"We'll actually be giving away the coupons for the next three weeks," Rall explained. "We'll be handing them out in the morning from my booth just to the right of the pedestrian entrance. Just say hello and ask.

"At Noon I'll personally randomly give away whatever is left of the daily allotment to customers coming through the gate," Rall promised, noting that he has relocated his popular sales stand from his previous 26-year location under the Farmer's Line shed outside Eastern Market.

A seller of antique maps, prints and photography as well as contemporary art pottery from the Campbell Studios of Pennsylvania Potter Bill Campbell, Rall had also managed all non-food Sunday exhibitors, both inside and outside Eastern Market, for the previous 25 years prior to 2009.

ENTERTAINMENT AND MORE New Food Options Announced
Michael Berman, communications director for The Flea Market at Eastern Market, also announced the beginning of a weekly afternoon entertainment series on the Hine lot and new food options there.

The entertainment will be in addition to Eastern Market Music, presented by The Capitol Hill Community Foundation weekly in Spring and Fall series outside of Port City Java at Seventh and North Carolina SE. "We thought we could both supplement the foundation series, which ends for the summer this week, and also provide more onsite amenities for our customers," Berman said.

Kicking off the performance schedule Sunday will be Ian Walters, who specializes in a Soul sound on his electric piano along with Tom Cox on bass and Andrew Guterman on drums.. The Hudson River Drifters, fronted by bluesman J. P. Reali will perform with acoustic guitar on Sunday, July 5. Both will do Noon to 1:30 and 2 to 3:30 p.m. sets.

Coming to the food court, in addition to the businesses we announced last week, are Pretzel Twist and Hondo Coffee. Pretzel Twist, besides its fresh namesake product, will also offer fresh juice drinks, including icy blender mixes, and owner Brett Bond promises to also introduce omelets to the mix.

Hondo Coffee owner Arrondo Holmes offers estate coffee "grown under the warm sun and gentle rains in the Mountains of the Copan District in the heart of the historic Mayan lands of Mira Sol, Honduras." The farm-direct coffee is roasted daily in Virginia and is sold at several area farmers markets.
In praising the additions to the Flea Market under Berman's direction, Rall said, "we are committed to providing the best service to our exhibitor and the best experience for our customers. We are already a diverse and colorful family of exhibitors. These enhancements can only improve the mix."