For some, Ben's Chili Bowl may not be the most well known of DC's attractions, but to many, it is an institution and a landmark. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the day Ben's Chili Bowl first opened its doors on U Street. As part of the Ben's Chili Bowl 50th Anniversary Celebration (and really, chili this good should be celebrated), there are a number of events taking place around U Street.
On Thursday, August 21, Bill Cosby (the only person who eats for free at Ben's) will host a tribute to Ben's at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street. Starting at 8 p.m., the event will feature a performance by Roberta Flack and many others. Tickets are free, but you can only get your hands on some by visiting Ben's this week and hoping to be one of the random patrons lucky enough to receive a pair.
If you can't get tickets to Thursday's event, Friday, August 22 will see U Street playing host to the Ben's Chili Bowl Block Party. Opening with a press conference at 10:30 a.m. featuring Mayor Fenty, city council members, and special guests Ben and Virginia Ali, the party will feature music, kids activities, Rita's water ice, and of course lots of chili dogs and chili half-smokes!
The festivities wrap up on Sunday, August 24 with a free concert at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW). The concert goes from 2 - 10 p.m. and will feature performances from EU featuring Sugar Bear, Trouble Funk, Wes Felton and Friends, Mambo Sauce, Lady Pcoq & Poem-Cees, V. Rich and Pancake Mountain.
More information about the events can be found on Ben's Chili Bowl's website. With all of these activities going on, there's no excuse not to let your diet slip for a day and go enjoy a chili dog or some chili cheese fries and help a DC landmark celebrate 50 years of success!