On June 23, 2021, Mayor Muriel Bowser hosted the Experience DC Launch in front of Ben’s Chili Bowl on historic U Street in the heart of Washington, DC. to announce to the world that DC is OPEN! Experience DC is a $5 Million marketing effort and DC’s latest tourist campaign. With this campaign, Mayor Bowser wants the city and the nation to know that DC is open for business. More than 70% of DC residents are vaccinated. The city is starting to resemble itself. Tourists are returning, the national mall is populated with joggers, cyclists, sightseers, recent graduates taking cap and gown photos, recently engaged couples taking engagement photoshoots, and more.
Residents were encouraged to pre-register for the event, however, it was open to all. The Mayor’s staff passed out T-shirts, water, and Experience DC signs to attendees.
City Officials, event attendees, local business owners, and the press all awaited Mayor Bowser’s arrival. She arrived in style atop an open roof Big Bus. Mayor Bowser welcomed everyone to DC and announced that DC is open for business.
Ben’s Chili Bowl provided free Half-Smokes and chips to attendees. The owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Virginia Ali was in attendance. She thanked the crowd for continued support throughout the pandemic and is excited for summer 2021.
While I was recording footage for Bacon & Bellini, I was approached and interviewed by the Washington Post. I am featured in their article about the event “
I spoke with many officials, city employees, and attendees. Commissioner Gilliard from the State Rehabilitation Council and Doctor Edward T. Buford, a dentist, whose practice is next door to Ben’s Next Door at 1209 U Street were excited. They attended to support DC is Open and DC statehood efforts.
This was a wonderful event. Everyone in attendance left with a sense of optimism and hope for an exciting summer in DC.
View video footage from this event in the first installment of my new series, “Bacon & Bellini: Behind the Scenes”.
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