COMMUNITY • BY SAMANTHA BORTNIKER
Two new festivals and a market are in Takoma Park’s future.
This May residents will be able to wonder from porch to porch, set-up lawn chairs and listen to music performed by local bands.
A new antiques and collectibles market featuring local vendors will liven up an upcoming spring or summer day.
Organized games, arts and crafts, and entertainment will provide the community a chance to come together and celebrate its cultural diversity.
Takoma Park is hosting three new events for spring and summer 2013 calendar: Takoma Porch, Grant Avenue Market and Celebrate Takoma Festival.
In addition to established city events such as Art Hop, Independence Day Parade, and the House and Garden Tour, the new events will provide residents new experiences and opportunities to engage in the community.
The event coordinators are excited; the three new events, plus the annual Jazz, Takoma Park Folk, Street and Takoma Foundation Beer Tasting Festivals, and others will serve residents’ interests and make Takoma Park an entertainment and shopping destination.
Takoma Porch is a proposed new event on May 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. where local bands and musicians will be performing on residents’ porches. People can bring lawn chairs, walk from band to band and enjoy the free music.
Mary Ann Ryan, the director and organizer of this event saw Somerville Porchfest in Massachusetts. “I thought, ‘wow Takoma Park is made for something like this,’” said Ryan.
“Our goal right now is roughly 20 porches and to have about 40 bands…mostly musicians from Takoma Park,” said Ryan. All of the bands and porches will be within three or four streets so event-goers can have a map and set list and walk around. Each band will play two sets during the event.
In order to raise publicity and get volunteers, Ryan is distributing flyers in March for residents who want to volunteer a porch or a local band and or musician. She has received great feedback and has discussed her plans with city staff.
“There’s a park right on Westmoreland Avenue– we want to have a big picnic there as an end thing,” said Ryan, who still needs to confirm this with the recreation department.
There is currently a Facebook page, but Ryan is working on fundraising to make a website, t-shirts, and art supplies to have a poster-decorating party with kids, along with bags for cleanup.
She recently started a fundraising effort on Indiegogo.com.
Grant Avenue Market
The Grant Avenue Market will be a collectibles and antiques market where vendors will set up along half a block of Grant Avenue on Sunday, May 12, June 9, and July 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We received money from the city of Takoma Park,” said Co-Executive Director of the Old Takoma Business Association, Laura Barclay. The goal of this programming money is to attract people to the junction area of Takoma Park, and Barclay thought an antiques and collectibles market would be of interest to people.
The organizers of the Fenton Street Market, a weekly market in Silver Spring, were contracted to help plan the Grant Avenue Market in Takoma Park. Megan Moriarty, the co-owner and manager of the Fenton Street Market said, “We are responsible for finding the vendors, the layout and the marketing. The Grant Avenue Market will be more tailored to Takoma Park.”
Vendors will be local and from the D.C. and Silver Spring area. A list will be released closer to the event, but Barclay was excited to mention that a big name, Ruff and Ready Furnishings, located on 14th St. in D.C., had already signed up as a vendor.
“Sundays are a busy day in Takoma Park with the Farmer’s Market and other shops and markets in Old Takoma, so this provides people with another activity and makes Takoma Park a destination,” said Barclay. Along with the Farmer’s and Grant Avenue Market, there will be entertainment providing a combination of music, food and beverages. Based on the excited feedback Barclay’s received, the hope and expectation is that the Grant Avenue Market will give people a reason to come out and explore the junction area of Takoma Park.
Celebrate Takoma Festival
The recreation department is putting together the Celebrate Takoma Festival on Sunday May 19, from1 to 5 p.m. at Takoma-Piney Branch Neighborhood Park, behind Piney Branch Elementary School.
“It is our inaugural family festival to celebrate the cultural diversity of Takoma Park,” said the Recreation Assistant Director, Debby Huffman.
The festival will be filled with merchandise and community vendors, entertainers, games and crafts for kids from around the world. Huffman says the recreation department also wants to include residents to showcase games that have been passed down through generations.
“The need was brought to us from the community and being that Takoma Park is such a culturally diverse city we wanted to highlight that,” said Huffman.
Huffman said they are still seeking vendors and entertainers and if interested to call 301-891-7290 or email email@example.com. The city-sponsored event will be held rain or shine.