Photo Essay: The D.C. Department of Funk hosts third annual Funk Parade

By Julia Lerner

The “D.C. Department of Funk” did not let the rain dampen their spirits as they prepared for the annual Funk Parade. The parade drew almost 70,000 people to the annual event and stretched all the way from the Howard Theatre to the Lincoln Theatre on U street.

Attendees had the opportunity to visit six stages throughout the day, with live performances from local artists and food vendors. Later in the evening, bars across U Street opened up for more free performances and Funk Parade After Parties.

The parade opened with Batalá, an international all-female drum group. The D.C. branch has more than 80 members and is completely free to join, despite differences of race, religion, income, sexual orientation or musical experience. The group, known for their samba-reggae music, danced and sang while drumming in the parade. Following Batalá was an appearance by the Most Worship Prince Hall Grand Lodge, a masonic group, Muriel Bowser, the mayor of D.C. and a number of school marching bands and roller skating groups.

Stay tuned for the next Funk Parade in May, 2018!

Featured Photo Credit: Dancers came from the Soka Tribe, a group that does Carnival-style dance and fitness classes around the United States. (Julia Lerner/Writer’s Bloc)

Julia Lerner is a sophomore journalism major and may be reached at

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