Feast your eyes on this festival
The 38th annual Takoma Park Folk Festival was a feast for the senses. Upon arriving on convenient shuttles from Takoma metro station or the Montgomery College, festival goers were immediately surrounded by the aromas of the various cuisines available for tasting.
Some opted for refreshing all-natural smoothies or fresh-squeezed lemonade. Others enjoyed a full meal of teriyaki chicken kebabs with a side of lo mein, or perhaps, they chose the vegetarian African fare provided by Suya To Go. For dessert, the choices included funnel cake, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Italian custard shakes.
After enjoying their meals and community conversation in one of the designated outdoor eating areas, festival goers may have ventured inside to hear the lively music performances of the Aloha Boys or the Devil’s Tailors. While en route they couldn’t miss the energetic movement of the DC Morris Dancers as they entertained the crowd gathering near the entrance to Piney Branch Middle School.
If you were wondering what to do next, helpful volunteers were nearby to offer suggestions or directions to your next destination. In the vendor area, the eye-catching clothing, jewelry, and other crafts required closer inspection. Unique scents like citrus winter and orange lavender oatmeal drew attendees to Aburi Botanicals where soaps, oils, and other products were on display.
Tie Die Maker Steven Homberg made the trip from North Carolina to attend his fourth Takoma Park Folk Festival. He boasted that his clothing was softer to the touch than most. Perhaps his shirts, skirts, and dresses were as soft as the array of quilted eyeglass cases, cosmetic bags, and satchels available from I Sew Totes. In the booth across the way was Designs by Salone Starr showcasing African fashions and accessories inspired by the designer’s homeland of Sierra Leone.
For those a little winded from shopping, there was more food available for snacking. Perhaps they stopped at Dances with Loaves for a cherry almond scone, or they visited Cheryl’s Kitchen where a 30-year Takoma Park Resident featured her maple frosted walnuts, pecans and cashews at the festival for the first time.
After shopping and dining, festival goers could learn more about their community by visiting the tables of the many civic organizations represented at the event. Among them were the Village of Takoma Park, which provides transportation to senior residents through Village Rides, We Are Takoma, EducationFirst, OurSpace Acupuncture and Montgomery Blair High School. And if you hadn’t registered to vote, City Clerk Jessie Carpenter and a member of the board of elections were on hand at the Vote Takoma booth to help you complete the necessary forms in time for the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
There was so much to enjoy, and everywhere you looked families, friends, volunteers, and performers were doing just that. If you attended this year’s Takoma Park Folk Festival, you got an eyeful, an earful and a mouthful of the very best that the City has to offer.
This article appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.