Organizers expect as many as 200,000 people to descend on H Street NE Saturday for the annual H Street Festival, which has grown from a modest community gathering to one of the largest street festivals in the city. H Street is closed from Fourth to 14th streets, allowing for all manner of attractions: There's a margarita garden at Eighth Street; Gallery on O's display of artwork by local high school and college students at 13th Street; a parade of art cars; burrito- and pie-eating contests at 10th Street; and free yoga and zumba classes at Ninth Street.
But among the sea of vendors, food tents and sidewalk beer gardens -- never mind the crowds see above -- it can be easy to miss something cool. Here's are some can't-miss H Street entertainment options.
Oktoberfest at Biergarten Haus
Begins at 11 a.m. 1355 H St. NE. www.biergartenhaus.com.
Munich's Oktoberfest kicks off on Saturday, so Biergarten Haus will officially tap eight different German Oktoberfest beers. Some, including Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr, are harder to find. The beer garden will be open, but crowded; there will be extra room at the bar in the middle of the street where you'll find a selection of brats and beers.
Smith Food and Beverage pop-up
Noon to 7 p.m. 1207 H St. NE. smithfoodandbev.splashthat.com.
One of the joys of H Street Festival is seeing what's going to pop up in the AutoZone parking lot next to Smith Commons. This year, it's the Smith Department of Food and Beverage, a sobriquet that doesn't begin to describe the fierceness of the music taking the stage. Hosted by the Grammy-nominated singer and MC Kokayi, the lineup includes the Dupont Brass band, the neo-soul/neo-go-go Black Alley Band, and DJ Money, who serves as Wale's tour DJ. As for "food and beverages," there's plenty of craft beer, a Red Bull stand, and a kitchen slinging burgers, Austin-style pork tacos and vegetarian spring rolls. Buy an entree before 1:30 p.m. and get a free beer.
Noon to 7 p.m. 12th and H Streets. Facebook page.
The Jambulance -- an former ambulance outfitted with a bass-heavy soundsystem – will be parked near the intersection of 12th and H Streets, with DJs taking turns on it all day long. The set not to miss is a tag-team between Fort Knox Five's Steve Raskin and Qdup from 4 to 5 p.m. They'll be paying tribute to their friend and colleague DJ Jon H, who passed away last month. Others on this bill include DJ Vanniety Kills (6 p.m.), DJ Madscience (3 p.m.) and the Brothers Brau (1 p.m.).
Mariachis and DJs at Impala
Noon to 9 p.m. 1358 H St. NE. www.impala-dc.com.
It's supposed to be a beautiful day, which is a perfect excuse to hang out in Impala Cantina's tucked-away courtyard. Beginning at noon, a mariachi band will perform through the day, supplemented by DJs Sonny Cheeba (of the D.C. "tropicaliente" band Empressarios) and Avervge. Snack on taco and food specials, and sip $5 beers and $7 margaritas.
Brodown Throwdown at Rock and Roll Hotel
Noon to 3 a.m. 1353 H St. NE. www.rockandrollhoteldc.com.
The fourth installment of this H Street Festival Party features non-stop music over three floors. The concert hall has a new band taking the stage at the top of every hour between 1 and 10 p.m., including Justin Jones, the Effects, Shark Week and Collider. Hotel regulars run the second-floor DJ booth, with James Nasty, Mathias and the Lothario among the highlights. On the rooftop, Will Eastman of Blisspop and the U Street Music Hall is the headliner, with cohorts Ozker, Philco and Baronhawk working alongside him. No matter what level you find yourself on, there are drink specials.
The Lodge at RedRocks
Noon to 3 a.m. 1348 H St. NE. Facebook page.
Redrocks has given its second-floor an extensive makeover, combining the front dining room and the rear lounge and DJ area into one open space with a 40-foot bar. Get an early look at the H Street Festival starring the Chicago production duo Hood Internet and Rashad Smith, who serves as Erykah Badu's tour DJ and has remixed Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J and En Vogue, among others. They'll be on late; a solid lineup of locals, including Dirty Hands, Sharkey and Jahsonic, leads off.