"When your asked to Dj for the Mayor!!! Happy Birthday @mayor_bowser," a caption on an Instagram post issued by user Jeffrey Mercer Friday night states, accompanied by pictures of Bowser and Chappelle attending a party. Bowser's birthday is on Monday.
“We couldn’t be more excited that Dave Chappelle is coming home to reopen the Anthem and to appear at the Kennedy Center as yet another statement that DC is Open,” said John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
“From Thievery Corporation and The Backyard Band reopening the Entertainment & Sports Arena to Tiesto and Shaq spinning at Echostage and The Eagles & Marc Anthony queued up at Capital One Arena, DC isn’t missing a beat on establishing itself as a capital of live entertainment and nightlife.”
Bowser announced a mask mandate in the city on Thursday, explaining that all residents would be asked to mask up starting Saturday at 5 a.m.
Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the pictures or whether the mask mandate was put into effect Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday on Friday.
Bowser had further praised that Chappelle, a D.C. native, would be in the city this weekend, including at a show at the Anthem on Friday.
"DC is open and we are so proud to welcome home Dave Chappelle," Bowser announced in a press release on Friday. "Washingtonians have waited months to be able to enjoy shows like this one again, and it makes it even sweeter to be able to reopen one of our favorite venues with a performance from one of the world’s most beloved comedians and a DC native, Dave Chappelle."
In the meantime, her Twitter account posted messages on Friday promoting people to mask up and "stay in this together," and further directing citizens to vaccination and testing sites.
Bowser was previously denounced for breaking her own coronavirus limitations in November to attend President Biden's election triumph speech in Delaware, which was considered a "high risk" coronavirus state at the time. Her staff, though, defended the trip and explained it was "essential travel."
Chappelle, who attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, will further host a screening of his untitled documentary film at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.
Fueled by the murder of George Floyd and unable to perform across the nation, the film follows Chappelle as he provides the community he now calls home with two things desperately needed in difficult times – economic and comic relief.