Things to Do

Eastern Market Is 150 Years Old—and It’s Ready to Celebrate

The Capitol Hill institution will mark its sesquicentennial with a "Novemberfest" and other festivities.

Eastern Market. Photograph courtesy of Evy Mages .

Capitol Hill’s beloved Eastern Market turns 150 years old this year, and it plans to celebrate its anniversary with a lineup of festivities November 10 through 12.

First designed in 1873 by prolific DC architect Adolf Cluss—he’s also responsible for the Arts and Industries Building and the Franklin School (now home to Planet Word)—and then revitalized after a fire in 2007, the bustling marketplace has been a neighborhood lynchpin, with 12 indoor vendors and hundreds of outdoor vendors, many of whom are longtime merchants there. The anniversary weekend intends to honor them while it celebrates the market’s history. Here’s what’s planned:

Friday, November 10  

Kick off the anniversary celebration at 6 PM with Novemberfest. Located in the market’s North Hall, the fundraiser will feature a performance by local band Rock Creek Kinds from 7 to 9, as well as food vendors and limited-edition anniversary kolsch on tap from Atlas Brew Works. Tickets are $28.52, with proceeds going to the nonprofit Eastern Market Main Street. Each ticket also comes with a $10 food and beverage ticket. Learn more here.

Saturday, November 11, and Sunday, November 12

The more general anniversary celebrations will take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Activities include neighborhood walking tours at 10 AM and 3 PM, an evening Ghost Tour at 7, an educational “living history” presentation from an Adolf Cluss impersonator throughout the day, portraits from silhouette artist Lauren Muney, a scavenger hunt for the kids, and of course shopping at the various indoor and outdoor vendors. Those interested can head here for more information.        

Just Sunday, November 12

From 1 PM to 4 PM there will be a High Wheel Exhibition—those are the Victorian-era “penny-farthing” bikes—presented by the Wheelmen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to antique cycling. 

Malcolm Ferguson
Editorial Fellow