The Hyattsville Arts Festival kicks off this Saturday at 11 a.m. Here's what you need to know:
Where is it?
The festival will be held downtown at the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Jefferson Street.
What is it?
It's a celebration of the local and regional arts community organized by the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation. This is the fifth year of the event. Last year's arts festival drew close to 2,500 people to downtown Hyattsville, according to organizers.
Who will be there?
More than 50 local and regional artists, designers, and vendors will be set up to sell their wares. The artists range from jewelers to interior designers to painters to photographers and more. Chances are, if you have a favorite medium, it's represented in the festival. A full list of exhibitors can be found here.
There will also be live music and dance throughout the event. A list of performers can be found here.
How can I get there?
If you're coming from out of town, and you'd like to really explore Hyattsville, I highly suggest taking public transit or a bicycle (or both at once).
Fetival organizers have helpfully provided an exhaustive list of rail and bus options far too thorough to fully encapsulate here. But all you really need to know is that the West Hyattsville Metro Station is the closest rail option.
From there, it's an easy bicycle ride or moderate walk of 1.6 miles through some of Hyattsville's most picturesque, historic and diverse neighborhoods. Rolling from the West Hyattsville Metro station, take Hamilton Street east to 38th Avenue. From here you can hang a left on 38th Avenue which becomes Jefferson Street and leads directly to the festival. Be warned: this route is a bit hilly.
You can also continue east on Hamilton Street to Gallatin Street, following it through a half-block dogleg to the north at 42nd Avenue, to Baltimore Avenue. From there, head north on Baltimore Avenue for two blocks to the festival on Jefferson Street.
Both routes take you past some excellent South American restaurants (Acapulco Spirit and Emirita's) and show off the Hyattsville Historic District's stock of late 19th, early 20th century residential and business architecture.
If you live along the Anacostia and Sligo creeks trails, riding the bike to Hyattsville is a suprisingly easy option. This route is all trails and local roads:
Take the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia trail to Riverdale Road. From there, head west. Cross the train tracks in downtown Riverdale Park and hang the immediate left at Rhode Island Avenue. Take Rhode Island to Cleveland Avenue then left around the traffic circle to Harrison Avenue to Madison Street and then a left on 45th Avenue, which leads right to the festival.
There are two bicycle racks located at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Baltimore Avenue.
But I'm driving. Where can I park?
You have a lot of options.
Motorists attending the festival can park behind the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville in two lots located one block to the east of Baltimore Avenue. Jefferson Street will be closed for the festival east of Baltimore Avenue, so you'll need to use Kennedy Street and 45th Place to access the lots.
There are also municipal parking lots located on Jefferson, Hamilton, Gallatin and Farragut streets, each within four blocks of the festival.
On street parking is also available nearby on Kennedy, Longfellow and Hamilton Streets.
Also note, on street parking is legal (though not yet clearly marked and not too-widely taken advantage of) along Baltimore Avenue between Madison and Hamilton streets during non-rush-hours and weekends. If you've yet to take advantage of the new Route 1 on-street parking option, Saturday seems like a good time to start.
(And you didn't hear this from me–because I'm typing, not speaking–but you'll likely find no problem using the DeMatha Catholic High School parking lots near the intersection of Madison Street and Baltimore Avenue, a few blocks to the north of the festival. Don't take my word for it. Take this guy's.)
When do I have to leave?
Well, the festival only goes until 5 p.m. After that, you might like to stroll down Baltimore Avenue for a brew at Franklin's or a pupusa at Pike El Chalateco. Where you go from there is up to you.