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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Save the date: The Taste of Annandale is happening Oct. 1

Taste of Annandale posters have been deployed at local swimming pools.
Plans for the 2016 Taste of Annandale are well under way. The second annual Taste of Annandale, a family-friendly community festival, will happen on Saturday, Oct. 1, 10-6 p.m., along Tom Davis Drive in the heart of Annandale.

The festival features booths set up by local restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. There will also be all-day live entertainment, a 5K Race, a special area set aside for children’s activities, and a chili cook-off. There is no charge to attend.

The Taste of Annandale is organized by the Annandale Roundtable, a group of private/public stakeholders and community residents. Revenue generated by the event will benefit a fund to support youth-led projects in Annandale.

The organizers hope the festival will encourage community engagement, celebrate Annandale’s diversity, and shine a spotlight on local restaurants. 

The first Taste of Annandale, held in June 2015, was a huge success, attracting thousands of people of all ages. For more information and news articles about that event, visit the 2015 Taste of Annandale page on the Annandale Blog.

The 2016 event has two main sponsors so far, the Annandale Rotary Club and Annandale United Methodist Church.

About two dozen food vendors participated last year, and the organizers expect at least that many will take part in the 2016 Taste of Annandale. Although several are planning to participate, two have so far made an official commitment: Dama, the Ethiopian restaurant that opened last November at 6669 Little River Turnpike in Annandale, and the El Fuego food truck, which brought Peruvian specialties to last year’s festival. 

The stage at the Taste of Annandale will be busy all day long with non-stop entertainment. The following acts have already been confirmed: the “7” Step Hand Dance Academy; the Alice-Gu-Zheng Ensemble, playing traditional Chinese music; the Natananjali School of Dance, performing traditional dances from India; No Part of Nothin,’ a bluegrass band; the Blue Book Value Band; Space Junk Jammers; Swell, specializing in swing and 80s tunes remixed; and Master Lees Hapmudo martial arts studio.

Like last year’s event, the 2016 Taste of Annandale will open with a 5K. There will be some changes, however. Runtime Fitness will provide official timing, and there will be awards for the winners.

The 5K Race will start at 8 a.m. in the Juke Box Diner parking lot on Columbia Pike. Runners will be able to register online or on the day of the race before 7:45 a.m. Registration is $30 and includes a T-shirt and refreshments. Participants can park at Annandale United Methodist Church or Kmart.

The route is expected to head along Columbia Pike, through Mason District Park, then to Alpine Drive, Roberts Avenue, Little River Turnpike, Evergreen Lane, and back to Columbia Pike.

Awards will be presented at the Taste of Annandale stage to the top three male and female overall winners and to the fastest runners in several age categories (9 and under, 10-14, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and up).

The Taste of Annandale 5K Race is sponsored by AUMC and the Mason District Police Station.

The ACCA Child Development Center, at 7200 Columbia Pike, will host children’s activities on its playground during the Taste of Annandale. The activities and schedule haven’t been determined yet, but Isabel Ballivian, the center’s executive director, expects to have face painting, book distribution, a puppet show, music performances, crafts, a bubble machine, and costumed characters. 

The Mason Police District and Annandale Volunteer Fire Department will again face off in a chili cook-off at the Taste of Annandale, most likely in the afternoon, with the public voting for their favorite. The police won last year. Lets see if the firefighters can out-cook them this time.  

For more information, visit the Taste of Annandale website and Facebook page.

To learn more about participating in the 2016 Taste of Annandale, including sponsorship and vendor opportunities and to order a yard sign or poster, contact Camilo Quila, 571-645-8345,

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