Published on: Sunday, May 1, 2016 Takoma Park Newsletter

Celebrate Takoma Moves to Maple Avenue

The Celebrate Takoma festival will be back for a fourth year, but with a few changes. The festival is moving from its usual Sunday afternoon time to the early Saturday evening (4 – 7 p.m.) of May 14. It is also moving from the field behind Piney Branch Elementary to the block on Maple Avenue in front of the school with the aim of making the festival more of a street party. The festival will feature music, dance, ethnic food, games, children’s crafts (including chalk drawing on the pavement), booths from community groups, an expository display of town history and the annual presentation of the Azalea Awards.

For the first time, children and the young-at-heart will be treated to free ice cream.

After a prelude performance by the Takoma Park Community Band, the steel pan band Panquility will kick off the event with the shake-shake-shake percussion sounds familiar to fans who dance yearly to their music in the Independence Day parade. The Proverbs band will bring the event to a close with their rollicking blues-beats of reggae. In between will be performances by Ethiopian dancers, a flamenco dancer and an Indie blues singer.

The Azalea Awards will be presented to volunteers and activists who have been selected as the year’s best at improving life in the Greater Takoma community. Under the auspices of the Takoma Foundation, nominees are recommended and then voted on by the public at large.

In a town known for musical and cultural events, Celebrate Takoma was started in 2013 by the Recreation Department and the Recreation Committee with a vision that harks back to old-fashioned town celebrations. “The idea is to throw a party for everyone who lives here, the whole wonderful mix of people,” said Howard Kohn, a Recreation Committee member.

This article appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.