Crowd Celebrates Arrival of Holidays at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Last Night
by Larry Janezich
Posted November 20, 2021
Some 800 Capitol Hill residents turned out on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Saturday night for the annual lighting of the Capitol Hill Holiday Tree. The gathering far exceeded numbers seen in previous years and included Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Council Member Charles Allen, and Council Member at Large Elissa Silverman.
Kathy Didden, representing the family of George Didden, III – the community benefactor and founding president of the Capitol Hill BID in whose honor the tree was planted in 2007 – threw the switch which lit the tree as darkness fell across the Plaza at 6:00pm.
In 2007, days before the tree’s dedication ceremony, Didden fell ill and in light of his precarious position, the BID decided to install a larger tree (nick-named “Big George”) in his honor on the NE Quadrant near what is now the children’s playground. On December 7 of that year, the tree was illuminated for the first time to welcome the holidays. That tree succumbed to disease in 2019. There are plans to replace it as part of the redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza; in the meantime, this year the return of the holiday season was marked by lighting of the original tree (known as “Little George”) – now 30 feet tall – near the entrance to the Metro on the NW Quadrant. This year’s ceremony included the re-naming of “Little George” which will hence forth be known by Didden’s nickname, “Sonny.”