D.C. is hot, but parasols may soon be hotter, due to a new sharing program in Georgetown aimed at keeping the neighborhood's visitors cool as they stroll between boutiques and restaurants.
The Georgetown Parasol Share pilot program allows shoppers to pick up a parasol at one of 48 participating businesses, use it as they wander the neighborhood and then return it at any other participating location. The parasol share area will span across M Street, Wisconsin Avenue, K Street and some side streets.
"This has been a really fun and creative idea for our organization to develop, and to bring our community of both local, homegrown merchants and national retailers together," Joe Sternlied, the CEO of Georgetown BID, said in a statement.
The program kicked off Friday and will last through the end of August. Each red, white and blue parasol is branded with the phrase "Shop Georgetown and Stay Cool."
Here are three other things you should know about the program before picking up a parasol.
1) It's free!
The parasols come at no cost to users. Just be sure to return it to another parasol hosting location when you're ready. Use the Georgetown BID website to find the complete list of participating businesses.
2) These are parasols, not umbrellas, which is a pretty important distinction.
Parasols are like a life-size version of the colorful pop-ups you use to decorate summer cocktails. They're lightweight, so you can toss one over your shoulder for easy protection from the sun. They are also smaller than most umbrellas, so you won't have to worry about using them in the neighborhood's crowded walkways.
3) There's a hashtag, so you can share your pleasant pedestrian experience with all.
Georgetown's historic row houses, glistening waterfront and charming canal already make the area an ideal Instagram location. Pose with your parasol at any of your favorite Georgetown stops, and post the pictures on social media with #GeorgetownParasolShare. You can also tag Georgetown BID in your Instagram posts with @officialgeorgetowndc.