Loose Lips

D.C. Emancipation Day, Starring Vincent Orange

It's hard to think of something more worthy of notice than the end of slavery in the District. That hasn't kept Emancipation Day, the April city holiday celebrating the occasion, from facing practically nonexistent crowds. Blame it on the fact that the private sector doesn't recognize the holiday, meaning that many people who could be in the streets are in their offices instead.

Emancipation Day does have one big fan, though: At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange. In an attempt to drum up more interest in next year's festivities, Orange's office has been mailing out the above video, along with a letter encouraging people to actually participate next time around. LL already knew that Emancipation Day was Orange's pet project, but only when he saw the video did he grasp quite how much Emancipation Day, as promoted by Vincent Orange, is also about Vincent Orange.

Orange and his staff didn't respond to requests for comment about the mailing or the video, which is narrated by the councilmember. The DVD cost the city $2,500, according to a budget obtained by LL.

The whole video's worth a watch (you paid for it!), but LL recommends the end, in which Orange's face is illuminated by fireworks:

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 1.26.02 PM

But that's not all. Orange's office also included a glossy, equally Orange-centric 28-page booklet in the mailing. Here's the Oranges at breakfast:

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.45.25 PM

Here's Orange and wife Gwen Orange with Grammy-winning singer Kirk Franklin, whose total hotel, appearance, limo, food, and beverage costs this year ran the city $78,253.33:

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.45.59 PM

Orange leading the parade:

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.45.52 PM Orange's wife with Dick Gregory (appearance cost: $2,000):

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.45.42 PM

And, on the last page, Orange watching over it all:

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.46.13 PM

Looks like a fun time, if you're Vincent Orange. And residents can expect even more in the future: In May, Orange landed an additional $100,000 for the event, bringing its total budget to $350,000.

Video via Studio202DC

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