Since the early 1980’s the City has blocked off several streets in its Olde Towne community for a rousing street festival. Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne is now marking its 30th anniversary with more activities, diversions and amusements than ever. It all happens on Sunday, September 18 from Noon to 5 p.m. in and around the intersection of Summit and Diamond Avenues. Come out for a day of music, food, arts, crafts, and amusements and join thousands of area residents in celebrating all that is great about Gaithersburg.
Enjoy the amazing abilities of Gaithersburg’s young people in the Gaithersburg Top Talent Music and Dance Competition. Five talented individuals and groups and three dancers/troupes will be competing for prize money and studio rehearsal time in this dynamic competition. You’ll have a chance to vote for your favorite group, and you just might be witnessing some future superstars!
Your taste buds can explore the world without leaving your own backyard at the Taste of Gaithersburg. Enjoy delectable samples from more than a dozen unique, local restaurants, including Jamaican, Filipino, Middle Eastern and American fare. New this year is the Festival Beer Garden, featuring craft brewed beers from Growler’s of Gaithersburg.
The Festival kicks off with a very special tradition as dozens of local residents take an oath to become naturalized United States citizens. This moving, patriotic ceremony will be followed by the announcement of Gaithersburg’s Distinguished Citizen, Outstanding Organization and Distinguished Friend, presented each year by the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council.
Pat McGee headlines the entertainment at our Uptown Stage near the Train Station. He’ll be performing at 3:15 p.m., following an opening act, Attraction Band, which will be performing from Noon to 2 p.m. At other locations in the festival you’ll enjoy martial arts demonstrations, step teams and dance troupes, the island sounds of a steel drum band, and Andean pipe music from South America.
Our educational Green Zone is full of environmental information and family fun. Enjoy performances by Flumpa and Friends Live! and demonstrations with real boa constrictors, iguanas, turtles, and more. You can also explore the undersea world at a touch tank, learn interesting facts about wild animals, discover the world of science with hands-on experiments, and learn from local vendors how you can help the environment by going green.
Take a ride through our historic neighborhood on a wagon drawn by Belgian draft horses. Climb a rock wall. Test your skills in an inflatable obstacle course. Or try your hand at all kinds of carnival games. $5 buys you a wristband that allows you unlimited access to all fee-based amusements within the festival. But please note that while there is a fee for some amusements, most of the activities within the festival are absolutely free.
Youngsters of all ages are in for a special treat with activities galore, including face painting, balloon sculptures, puppet making, a juggling school, pony rides, and a petting farm. Stop by the Gaithersburg Community Museum in the middle of the Festival to explore interactive displays about Gaithersburg’s history and marvel at a unique N gauge model railroad display. Also keep your eye out for amazing Art Cars, strolling entertainers, hula hoop demonstrations, clowns, a Unicycle Lady, and other costumed characters.
Scattered throughout the festival you’ll find local and international artisans, crafters and importers selling unique jewelry, textiles, and one-of-a-kind hand crafted treasures. There will also be dozens of vendors offering information and resources for Montgomery County residents. And in celebration of our 30th festival birthday, we’ll be giving away special prizes. Stop by the giant inflatable birthday cake to enter for your chance to win.
Free shuttle service is available to and from satellite parking at Lakeforest Shopping Center. A bike valet parking service will be available near City Hall off of South Summit Avenue. Limited free parking is also available at the public garage on the corner of South Summit and Olde Towne Avenues. Additional parking is available at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, less than a quarter mile from the festival area. Please note that no alcohol, skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, or pets are allowed at the event.
Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne is sponsored by MIX 107.3 FM, 105.9 FM The Edge and Washington Parent, and is also supported by GEICO. For a complete festival schedule visit the City’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/celebrate or call 301-258-6350.