The World of Montgomery Festival returns to Wheaton in a few weeks—but with new life breathed into it. In addition to the ethnic food, music and dance performances from years past, the free festival will highlight the cultures of four large immigrant populations in Montgomery County.
The festival will take place Sunday, Oct. 21, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the large parking lot at the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Reedie Drive in Wheaton.
The county has partnered with the Kid International Discovery Museum to create an International Village, with four large tents representing China, India, El Salvador and Ethiopia. Children at the family-friendly festival can get a "passport" stamped at each tent for participating in different activities, such as a scavenger hunt.
Bruce Adams, director of the county's Office of Community Partnership, called KID Museum's involvement "a huge gamechanger" for the festival.
"We see it as our community debut," said Cara Lesser, co-founder of KID Museum. Although the museum does not yet have a physical space to call home, Lesser said the organization is considering various locations in Montgomery County, including Wheaton.
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The World of Montgomery Festival began in 2008 and returned in 2009, but lack of funding resulted in no 2010 festival. In 2011, the festival came back, featuring a health fair and projects coordinated by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center.
This year, the Gaithersburg-based Manna Food Center and Habitat for Humanity, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be at the festival, encouraging Montgomery County residents to volunteer and give back to the community. But there will not be the rows of exhibitor booths seen in years past.
Sponsorship for the festival comes from the Fund for Montgomery, which is independent of the county and overseen by The Community Foundation for Montgomery County, a nonprofit.
See photo galleries on Patch from the 2011 World of Montgomery Festival:
- Irish Music and Dancing
- Indonesian Dancers
- Venezuelan Drummers