Sculpture Garden Fountain Running

5 Jul

Food, wine, and fun at Jazz is a weekly tradition. Photo by TeddieN.

Jazz in the Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite summer DC traditions. The fact that we can lounge on the National Mall sipping wine, munching on snacks, enjoying live music, and kicking back after a long week for free is remarkable. If you have never attended, I recommend joining us next Friday especially after what happened this week – fountain running and crazy announcements. That’s right, fountain running. I think it’s primed to be a new DC sport.

The crowd at Jazz is tame for a bunch of 20-somethings averaging a bottle of wine per person. At the end of the day, people respect the park and privilege to picnic for an evening.

But this week, Jazz took a turn toward mayhem with the introduction of fountain running. I firmly believe fountain running started because of the pre-event announcement telling everyone not to get in the fountain. You can “dip your toes in,” but you can not, under any circumstances, get in the fountain. Thanks for letting us know Sculpture Garden. You just gave all of us a grand idea!

Honestly, traipsing through the fountain has NEVER crossed my mind. EVER. One, the park is crowded. I don’t want to fight my way up to the water. Two, it’s probably gross. Who knows what sort of creatures live in there. Three, what if I get my clothes all wet? Yuck.

I’ve never seen anyone  get in the fountain in the four years I’ve attended Jazz. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened. I’m just saying it has never been a “problem.” Not this week (which seems ironic considering it wasn’t even hot).

This week, about half a dozen couples charged across the fountain at the conclusion of Jazz to the delight  of everyone in the park. I don’t know who started it since I was on the outskirts of the fountain, but once the the first couple took the plunge everyone followed suit.

With the crowd chanting and cheering, pair after pair charged across to the other side, some more successfully than others. I witnessed a number of trips, falls, and flops during the excursion, which only egged on the crowd more. And, it wasn’t just young adults breaking the rules. A mother even ran through with her child in tow.

Of course, the fountain running was not appreciated by the park and the announcement to vacant quickly followed. But this wasn’t any announcement. Oh no. This was the announcement of all announcements. Why?

1. The girl making the announcement threw her voice in the hopes we would take her more seriously.

2. She kept telling us to exit immediately in her crazy voice. Over, and over, and over, and over.

3. She even tried to convince us to leave by telling us to put on our shoes.

4. Two of the exits were closed, but we needed to EXIT IMMEDIATELY.

5. No one bothered to move for at least 30 minutes.

The announcement was so great, I even have a little audio clip for you to experience a taste of the evening. You’re welcome!

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