Dupont Circle: National Park Service is not a fan of events
- You need a permit to do that, miss. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
The National Park Service has taken a few lumps over the National Mall recently. First, it refused to consider placing Capital Bikeshare stations there. Then the City Paper poked holes in Tourmobile's exclusive contract with NPS over transportation on the Mall. And last week, visiting soccer champs FC Barcelona were kicked off the grass by a Park Police officer.
Now Greater Greater Washington has the story of Dupont Festival, a community group that wanted to organize a World Cup watch party but went through bureaucratic hell instead. As it turns out, the NPS has a long list of requirements and excessively high fees for anyone who wishes to organize a get-together on one of its properties.
Dupont Festival had to fork over $2,000 for a permit, which wasn't sent over until the day of the game. They had to hire Park Police officers, who sat in their cars while the D.C. police, working pro bono, handled crowd control. After the event, organizers were charged more than $3,000 to replace flowers even though the group had found volunteers to fix the flowerbed.
On the plus side, now we know the National Park Service isn't only annoying people on the Mall. No, they're annoying people everywhere.
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