DC is home to gardeners, cooks, bakers, photographers, artists–and yet we didn’t have a state fair to celebrate the home-grown talents of the District. In 2010, that all changed: The first-ever DC State Fair was held on August 28 of that year at the Columbia Heights Day festival. DC State Fair is returning this year for another successful celebration of DC community talent! Click here to learn more about this year’s event, being held at Barracks Row Fall Festival on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.
The DC State Fair Board of Directors
A resident of the District since 2003, Rhea Yablon Kennedy has indulged her passion for food by working as a cook and private chef, growing vegetables, and writing about it for regional and national publications. She has also been involved with the sustainable food and environmental justice organizations DC Food for All and Etz Chayim DC. Kennedy teaches English and general studies at Gallaudet University, where she is excited to introduce a course on sustainable food in DC in spring 2012. She also looks forward to returning to her plot at the Blair Road Community Garden. Find her writing clips, thoughts on writing, and the occasional weeding metaphor at rheakennedy.com.
Nicole Donnelly is originally from New Jersey, but her time in DC (and the surrounding area) is quickly approaching the number of years she lived in her home state. She taught herself to can in 2000 in order to accommodate her obsessive tendency to cram her freezer full of tomato sauce every tomato season. At the request of friends, she used this new-found skill to produce pickles and jams to rave reviews. In 2010 she solidified her knowledge and obtained certification as a Master Food Preserver through the Cooperative Extension System. She has shared her passion for pickling through teaching others how to can, volunteering with the DC State Fair, and appearing on the Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss pickling. When not preserving food, Nicole can be found knitting, cooking, or riding her bike. She shares the details of these passions in her blogs Gin and Pickles and Pedal ‘n Purl. In order to finance her hobbies, Nicole spends her days preserving data as Computer Forensics and Electronic Discovery Consultant for an international consulting firm.
Julie Moeller loves the DC State Fair, especially after walking home from the 2010 event with the Blue Ribbon for best pie. A Chicago native, Julie arrived in DC almost 20 years ago to work on Capitol Hill. Neither she, nor the rural Massachusetts native she met here, thought they would live in the area long. Both quickly fell in love with all the area has to offer and are proud Washingtonians – along with their three terrific kids. Until recently, Julie served a national nonprofit as a VP of government affairs. She left her full-time position to attend to young children and work as a consultant. She and her husband tend bees, harvest veggies from a community garden on Capitol Hill, and keep a square-foot garden in a back alley plot. Long train commutes to New Jersey for work drove Julie to learn knitting, and she’s recently taken up sewing. Julie is a self-taught baker who shows affection through food – and she is lucky to have many friends to feed.
A Native Washingtonian, Natonne became interested in growing her own food after several food scares of the mid-2000s (spinach, tomatoes, etc.). She decided the best way to learn was to become a Master Gardener, which she did in 2009. For the past two years, Natonne has grown a variety of fruits and vegetables in her backyard. She brings a smile to the faces of her neighbors by sharing her harvest. Natonne works at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Greenbelt). Besides gardening, Natonne is passionate about genealogy and is the editor of a genealogical newsletter. She is also an occasional co-host of the blogtalkradio program, Research at the National Archives & Beyond.
“I see DC State Fair as the future of green, sustainable community building: bringing the best qualities of suburban and rural community to the urban fabric of Washington, DC,” David Manuel says. Manuel is an avid cyclist and cycling advocate, an outspoken vegetarian, and a committed technologist. He graduated from the University of South Carolina, magna cum laude, in 2006 and is currently pursuing his Masters in Accountancy at George Washington University. He is the Director of Operations for PFLAG National, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit he has worked for since 2005 serving the GLBT community, their families, and allies through support, education, and advocacy.