Come out for a day of music, food, arts, crafts, and amusements at the 31st Annual Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne street festival taking place on Sunday, September 16. The festival is open from Noon to 5 p.m. and takes place in and around the intersection of Diamond and Summit Avenues. Admission is free.
It all starts 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.
Blue collar rock ‘n roll legends The Smithereens are headlining this year’s event, with a concert from 2 to 4 p.m. at the City Hall Concert Pavilion. Festival goers will also enjoy live performances by the Bobby Lewis Blues Band and the Academy of Rock’s Youth and Adult Bands on the Victor Litz Stage at East Diamond Avenue.
Want some great street food without leaving your own backyard? Head over to the festival’s Food Feast where your taste buds can explore the world as you sample amazing fare from unique food trucks and carts. From tasty BBQ chicken and ribs to yummy crab cakes, you’ll have a hard time saving room for dessert. Speaking of which, there will be authentic Belgian waffles, soft serve ice cream, snowballs, and more to choose from.
The Festival Microbrew Beer Garden is also making a return this year. Relax with your favorite craft brewed beer from Growlers Brew Pub and enjoy music by Phil & Elizabeth of the Lloyd Dobler Effect throughout the day.
This year Celebrate Gaithersburg is divided into Zones, each with its own entertainment stage and unique appeal. The Green Zone is full of environmental information and resources, a lively marketplace, and family fun. You’ll enjoy performances by Billy B. the Natural Science Song & Dance Man 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.
Explore fitness and health opportunities in the Healthy Choices Zone. You’ll learn how to get and stay in shape with Beginner to Advanced Step, Piloxing, and Zumba demonstrations. Enjoy energizing performances by DJ Sweet Pea, Boomtown Hoops, and Impact Performing Arts.
You’ll find culturally diverse crafts and entertainment when you visit the Global Zone. Experience a variety of international performances including Bolivian folkloric dance by Tinkus Tiataco, Chinese Modern Dance by Impact Performing Arts, and Irish dancing by The Duffy School of Irish Dance. Demonstrations include swing, country western, salsa, and merengue dancing.
Youngsters of all ages will enjoy the Kids Zone, featuring a wide variety of lively children’s activities. Have fun “Under the Big Top” complete with center ring performances, clown faces, magic tricks, balloon animals, juggling school, and carnival games. Kids will enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, moon bounces, obstacle courses, a beach ball pit, and a climbing wall.
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 don’t forget to stop by the Gaithersburg Community Museum in the middle of the festival to explore interactive displays about Gaithersburg’s history, tour a real caboose, and marvel at model railroad trains from the BANTRAK T Trak Division.
Free shuttle service is available to and from satellite parking at Lakeforest Shopping Center. 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, Washington Parent, Crown, Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg, and Whole Foods – Kentlands. It is also supported by Ameritech Construction, Clark Chiropractic Center, the Gaithersburg – Germantown Chamber of Commerce, ING Financial Partners, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Metro Computer Support, Montgomery Magazine, Montgomery Village Title, Scuderi Auto Body CARSTAR, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and Washington Adventist University. For a complete festival schedule visit the City’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/celebrate or call 301-258-6350.