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Earth Day celebration at Broccoli City Festival draws large crowd

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The second Broccoli City Festival took place Saturday, April 19, 2014, on the eastern campus of St. Elizabeth’s in Southeast Washington, D.C.

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The half-day of music to celebrate Earth Day attracted a mostly young and polite crowd. Many came to see friends who had brought businesses, like Juice Love and Karybean Kinks, to the open market.

But most, like Malik Hodges, a D.C. rapper, came for the music. The list of scheduled performers included Harlem rapper Cam’ron.

“It is good to get people together to celebrate the environment and personal health and choices people make,” Darryl Perkins, the event coordinator, said.

The open market under the new Gateway Pavilion teamed with people. Others, including Davis Brody Bond, watched the stage from the Pavilion roof.

Bond, whose architecture firm designed the Pavilion, explained with pride how the structure directs water to a 10,000 gallon cistern near a bioswale, which collects the overflow.

As the music blared from the stage, hundreds of people drank beer and ate food from plastic take-out containers. In striking contrast to the design of the Pavilion and nearby bioswale, two large garbage bins overflowed with cans and other refuse.

During the late afternoon, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray took the microphone and in a hoarse voice tried to rally the crowd to acknowledge the city’s Sustainable D.C. initiative.

Saturday’s event drew 5,000 people, about 500 more than last year, Perkins said.

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