What started as two community members blogging about how to unify our diverse city turned into an event that brought together about 1,000 people in its first year.
And now the second is set for Saturday, where dozens of organizations and vendors will have their own booths and demonstrations.
“We have different cultures,” one of the bloggers, said. “That’s the bottom line and it’s very important to bring them together in one place.”
College Park is indeed diverse, and becoming more diverse, as 2010 census data show. Consider also the combination of permanent residents and students in the city.
While Kabir was writing about the need to pull together these groups, resident was blogging about the lack of a true College Park event, beyond .
When Councilman (Dist. 1) contacted Smith and Kabir about their blogging, they formed a small group of planners, and the brainstorming began.
“We decided the best way to do this would be to invite community organizations together to have sort of a festival,” Wojahn said. “A way to show residents every aspect of our community, from the university, from the different neighborhoods, to show what they have to offer.”
It was so successful last year they hired an event planner to help organize this year’s College Park Day.
About 90 exhibitors, vendors and entertainers will participate on Saturday, according to the program list. (The current list of participants accompanies this post, but Wojahn notes it’s subject to change.)
Music and dance entertainment, activities — like roller skating, tennis, rock wall climbing and a quidditch demonstration — are also scheduled throughout the day, and green living seminars will be ongoing.
Smith said he is expecting about 1,000 people again this year, but he’s hoping for more.
He sees the day as a way to make College Park a better place to live.
There are many issues the city faces that will only be solved with time, he said, like development and U.S. Route 1 congestion.
“I could scream and yell about traffic” and nothing would be fixed, he said.
But pulling the community together, well, that’s a different story.
“The smaller things, I think people can do,” Smith said. “ to make College Park a more exciting place to live.”
- Where: , 5051 Pierce Ave, College Park
- When: Saturday, Oct. 22, 1-5 p.m.
- Parking: Parking will be available at the event, and parking restrictions will be lifted between 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday. However, organizers encourage attendees to use one of two free shuttle services that day.
- One shuttle leaves from the 94th Aero Squadron Lot, 5240 Paint Branch Pkwy. near the College Park-University of Maryland metro stop. The second leaves from the Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Campus Drive. Both shuttle services are expected to stop every 15 to 20 minutes between 12:45 and 5:15 p.m., depending on traffic.