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Live on Penn Hosts Weekly Concerts

Historic Pennsylvania Avenue will fill with music again this Saturday during the second festival in the 10-week series Live on Penn. The day-long celebration of American spirit and heritage is part of a series aimed at recognizing the benefits of a city teeming with diversity.

Live on Penn, a series of family festivals, highlights the diversity spread throughout the D.C. area.

“D.C. is a city rich with ethnicity representing so many different types of cultures,” said Howard Kitrosser, director of marketing for the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District. “We wanted to reach out and touch each culture as well as expose others to those cultures.”

Beginning with “Americana,” the festivals’ themes will include Latin, Caribbean, Irish and African influences. Each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., a downtown stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest will fill with people enjoying interactive displays and theme-inspired vendors to the music of steel drum and guitars.

“We’re trying to show the true nature of each theme,” Kitrosser said, “from food to culture to movement. We have hip-hop to modern rock to jam bands, a cosmopolitan music festival with no focus on one genre.”

During the day, the activities are family-oriented and designed to follow the specific theme of the week. At night, local bands accompany national headlining bands, including Collective Soul, Cowboy Mouth and Everclear.

Kitrosser said the purpose for this “great entertainment festival for the city of D.C.” could be summed up in three reasons: “It’s offering great music to D.C. for a charitable $3 donation, it gets charity involved as we raise awareness and dollars for our partner, Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, and finally, it revitalizes downtown D.C. on the weekends as it adds to the renaissance of the nation’s capital.”

Partial proceeds of the concert series benefit the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the opportunities of inner-city D.C. high school students.

Live on Penn is one of the many activities scheduled by the Downtown D.C.’s Business Improvement District in its marketing campaign “Summer in the City.”

The series continues July 12 with the Asian festival featuring the Violent Femmes.

For a complete schedule of festivals and concerts, see schedules.html.

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