On the first Saturday in May, Kentlands Day will once again be celebrated by the community. This 8th annual event on May 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will offer attractions that attendees have enjoyed in previous years—the Classic Car Show, entertainment on the Main Stage from groups like Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, Taste of Kentlands with local restaurants like Potomac Village Deli and Potomac Pizza, Thai Tanium and Nalley Fresh, a Biergarten hosted by Wine Harvest, and the Children’s Carnival with kids’ activities like an elephant ride, inflatables, and a rock wall run by local Boy Scouts.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Jennifer Matheson, event organizer for the Market Square Merchants Board of Trade. “It will be a great time for the community to get together with local merchants and support ‘Shop Small and Local.’”
Matheson said vendor participation should meet or exceed what it was last year, when 100 businesses were represented. Attendance, too, is expected to be near last year’s 25,000 turnout. Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical and Criswell Automotive return as sponsors. Adventist/Shady Grove will offer a first aid station again this year.
A People’s Choice Award category has been added to the car show competition, Matheson said, and winners will receive large trophies and plaques. Typically, 40 to 50 historic cars are featured in the show.
Also new this year, the parade will stage in the Whole Foods parking lot and transgress down Center Point Way at 10 a.m., ending at the main festivities area near Potomac Village Deli. This route change from previous years that eliminates portions of Main Street was done to cut down on the number of street barricades and parade monitors needed, said Denise Kayser, City of Gaithersburg cultural arts director.
Also unlike past years, the 8th Annual Kentlands Day is no longer a public-private partnership with the City of Gaithersburg. Kayser said that the city felt the event was self-sufficient and no longer needed much outside help, but the city will continue to support the event by lending equipment like street barricades for the parade, a sound system and bank shot basketball. “Kentlands Day has grown up,” Kayser said. “They’re doing a great job, and it’s a very strong event.”
Parade grand marshals are John Schlichting and Ailene Renzi. “They are just completing two years as the Kentlands 25th Anniversary co-chairs (K25),” parade organizer and Kentlands Community Foundation (KCF) Director Carrie Dietz said, “and we would love to recognize their tremendous efforts on a day that celebrates the whole Kentlands Community.” Schlichting and Renzi will lead the parade that includes scouting troops, dance troops, live musicians and fire trucks.
Each year, the KCF is one of the beneficiaries of Kentlands Day. “The KCF is excited for the wonderful opportunity to be a part of Kentlands Day, a day that showcases our great community, and we are grateful to be a beneficiary of the event,” Dietz said. “The KCF uses its generous donation to support on-going foundation programs such as the Kentlands Film Society, KidServe, GO GREEN, Kentlands Acoustic Jam and many more.”
The KCF is looking for volunteers to help make the day a success. If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Carrie Dietz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit kentlandsday.com for more information.