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There’s no better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon in Washington DC than by relaxing and strolling through Meridian Hill park. The park is located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC, though it’s a short walk away from both the U street and Adams Morgan areas. The main attraction is the Drum Circle, a group of drum enthusiasts who gather every Sunday afternoon.
Historically the drummers started gathering after the slaves were emancipated in DC in 1862 and they “drummed and danced to give thanks to God for answering their lifelong prayers to be free” (read more here). Over the years attendance has been growing and though the group originally consisted solely of African Americans, now people of all backgrounds join in.
The experience is incredible – you can feel the energy in the air as the drummers passionately bang away on instruments of all shapes and sizes. You can admire in their peaceful rhythmic trance and watch the dancers as they move along to the beat. Interested in joining in? Email [email protected] for an application to register your drum.
As you venture past the drummers you reach an open, grassy square where you’ll find people playing frisbee, having a picnic, doing yoga in the park and most intriguing – slacklining (in case you aren’t familiar with this, it’s the act of walking along a tight rope that has been tied to two trees). If you’re lucky you might also see some acrobats practicing their moves.
In the summer you’ll also get to see the waterfall that runs through the center of the park, and with everything green and in full bloom you can’t go wrong with people watching and lounging in the park.
Not nearly as well known as the National Mall, Meridian Hill Park is a great way to slow down and take in the atmosphere of Washington DC.
Meridian Hill Park is located between 15th and 16th St and Euclid St and W St NW DC. The nearest metro is Columbia Heights (.6 miles away, a 10 minute walk) or the U Street metro (.7 miles away a 12-13 minute walk)
Drum Circle gathers on Sunday afternoons.