Experience and Enjoy College Park Tour Combines Community, Fun
The monthly event will be held at New York Deli.
The concept of the Experience and Enjoy College Park Tour is pretty straightforward – it is, after all, summarized entirely in the title.
Put another way, the tour is a monthly occurrence designed to encourage residents to patronize local businesses while getting to know one another, said Councilman Marcus Afzali, who co-founded the event. Wednesday evening marks the fourth iteration of the tour, which will be held at New York Deli from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"It's a good way of getting people together," he said. "There's no needless planning or organizing. Everything about it is informal."
Afzali borrowed the idea from the Prince George's County Young Democrats, who have their own version of the event under the name The Prince George's County Economic Recovery Tour.
Unwieldy title aside, Afzali, who is a member of the organization, liked the simplicity of the idea.
"They were meeting once a month anyway, so we figured they might as well support local businesses," he said. "The goal is to try to change the mind-sets of people and get them to go somewhere local."
Each tour features a different guest speaker, usually a prominent member of the community. Past speakers have included College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows and County Councilman Eric Olson (D-District 3). Tonight's speaker will be the recently appointed University of Maryland police chief David Mitchell, who will be the first non-elected official to speak at the tour.
Jane Hopkins, a lifelong College Park resident and tour regular, said she enjoys the opportunity to check out some of College Park's independently owned businesses. Hopkins suggested New York Deli, located in North College Park, for Wednesday's event in order to ensure that businesses located away from the bustle of downtown were also included.
"Even if you're married, even if you have kids, sometimes you just want to get out of the house and go somewhere," she said.
Hopkins also points out that one doesn't necessarily need to purchase anything to enjoy the experience.
"Some people say that they want to support College Park, but can't afford it," she said. "But you don't have to buy anything. The point is to meet new people, and experience an establishment you may not have gone to before."
People in College Park need not leave the city's borders to experience something new, Afzali said. People tend to go to Washington, D.C., or Silver Spring when they want to go out, without realizing that there are a number of options in College Park itself.
"We have a lot of unique establishments right here in the city," he said.
The Experience and Enjoy College Park Tour will be held Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at New York Deli, located at 4926 Edgewood Road.