Celebrate!

Photo by Jay Keller.

IMAGE: The first Celebrate Takoma, 2013. Photo by Ed Keller.

Takoma Park, celebrated for its diversity and activism, celebrates itself this Saturday, May 14, 4 – 7 p.m. The third annual Celebrate Takoma Festival features entertainment, food, arts, crafts, games and the Takoma Foundation Azalea Awards.

Activities reflect both a local and international flavor. Performers include the Piny Branch Elementary Dancers, the Thomas Young Ethiopian Dancers, the Panquility Steel Band and the Community Band,

Food vendors will serve Thai, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian dishes as well as pizza and vegan fare.

Community groups and institutions will have booths. They include: CHEER, City of Takoma Park Sustainability Office, Holy Cross Hospital, Takoma Park Community Band, Takoma Park Independence Day Committee, Toastmasters.

Photo by Jay Keller.

The 2013 Azalea Volunteer award went to Cherwanda Oliver. Photo by Ed Keller.

The eleventh annual Azelea Awards will be presented by the Takoma Foundation, a non-profit organization which raises funds for community grants. There are around ten awards, each in a category: educator, coach, business-person, volunteer, arts leader, school activist, Takoma spirit and “Tak-tivist,” green activist, mentor and neighborhood activist.

This year the festival will be held in the Piney Branch Elementary School. The decision to hold it inside the school rather than outdoors on Maple Avenue was made Friday afternoon due to the weather forecast. While the “no parking” signs are still being enforced, Maple Avenue and Grant Avenue will now be open for normal traffic.

Festival goers are encouraged to walk rather than drive. Parking will be limited. Buses will not be loading or boarding on Maple Avenue from the 7500-7600 block.