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Step Fest at Kingman and Heritage Islands

  • Kingman and Heritage Islands - 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)
Dem Raider Boyz Step Fest 2017.jpg

Join Step Afrika! and DC’s most exciting step teams and African dance companies for the second annual Step Fest on Kingman and Heritage Islands. Step Fest brings the local community together to celebrate DC’s artistic and cultural heritage and enjoy the natural environment.

The program begins with a unique percussive journey to the Islands, starting from all of DC’s 4 quadrants. On the Islands, Step Afrika! and African drummers, dancers and stilt walkers showcase the connections between stepping and African dance with individual and collaborative performances.

Step Fest encourages audience participation with creative activities for all ages and opportunities to learn about and make connections between the arts, the environment and DC’s African American history and culture.

Tickets to Step Fest are FREE. Online registration is suggested. Registration will open late-June at

Step Afrika! Step Fest 2017_6.jpg

Step Fest engages DC residents with the City’s percussive heritage and culture and brings together long-time and new residents to enjoy the rebirth of one of DC’s least known natural treasures, Kingman and Heritage Islands.

Step Afrika! began the event in 2017 with the intention of creating a program that “gently folded” complementary performances into the natural environments on the Islands. The Company curated an afternoon of performances by stepping and African dance companies that used the Islands natural “stages” and clearings to showcase the connections between African American and African dance.

For the second year of Step Fest, Step Afrika! is delighted to be returning to the Islands and to celebrate the progress that has been made over the past year with new signage, additional picnic spaces, connecting trails, replanting of indigenous plants and clearing and bridging the Heritage Island trail.

In honor of these achievements, Step Afrika!’s will continue its environmental ethic; Step Fest performances will not use sound amplification, electricity of any kind or bring any vehicle traffic on to the Islands. Step Fest will allow DC residents to experience the natural synergy between the arts and nature and breakdown barriers between artists, audiences and the environment.

Step Fest will feature performances by Step Afrika! with 2 to 3 African dance companies and the DC area’s national champion high school step teams, Dem Raider Boyz and Lady Raiders.

The event also includes fun and educational activities that are accessible and enjoyable for residents of all ages such as:

  • A scavenger hunt for young residents to explore the Islands and learn about their flora, fauna and ecology. The Hunt will use new signage created and installed by Living Classrooms on the Islands.
  • A drum-making workshop and petting zoo, which introduces residents to different types of drums, their traditional uses and meanings and gives people the chance to make and decorate their own drums to participate in the performances by Step Afrika! and others.
  • A musical nature walk around the Heritage Island trail, where residents learn about the Island’s habitat and native plants and animals and stop to make music together that complements the natural world.
  • River tours and environmental activities that encourage resident to take care of the Anacostia and its tidal wetlands for future generations.
Earlier Event: August 25
Anacostia Bike Clinic
Later Event: August 25
Moon Bathing & Hikes