The 29th Annual Mason District Park Festival, one of our community’s oldest (and free) family events, will be held this Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale.
The festival was created in 1980 by the newly-formed Friends of Mason District Park, whose mission was to get more people into the new park and, hopefully, raise enough money to buy a weed-whacker so that park staff could better maintain the pathways in the facility. That early mission was accomplished: the Festival was so successful that, in addition to the weed-whacker, the Friends were able to buy a John Deere tractor for larger maintenance chores. Their longtime partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority has made the Festival a Mason District tradition for more than a generation.
Saturday’s Festival will feature a “green” theme in addition to arts and crafts vendors, public safety displays, and community booths. A new partnership with Cox Communications and the Discovery Channel will bring an environmental focus. Fairfax Water, the county’s Solid Waste and Recycling Division, Urban Forestry, Stormwater and Wastewater Management, and Hidden Oaks Nature Center are just a few of the groups that will have activities and displays at the park. The Annandale Lions Club will have a food concession, and the Lions Sight and Hearing Van will provide health screenings. Children’s rides, and a free hayride also are featured.
Live entertainment on the Showmobile stage includes Russikye Misikanti at 10 a.m.; Karma from Tibet at 11; Rocknoceros (children’s show) at 12:15 p.m.; Not So Modern Jazz Quartet at 1:15; Bob Brown Puppets (children’s show) at 2:15; and Sangre Boliviana at 3:15. Admission to the Festival and parking are free. All proceeds support Mason District Park and its programs throughout the year.
The arts are alive and thriving in Mason District! Last week, I was delighted to participate in the ribbon-cutting and Grand Opening of The Center Dance Company at 3443 Carlin Springs Road in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. Center Dance moved from its previous locations in Arlington to a spacious venue with plenty of parking right here in Mason District. The Center Dance Company is dedicated to educating and mentoring dancers in a positive and nurturing environment, preserving the traditions of classical ballet. In addition, the Center offers a wide range of recreational dance classes for all ages. More information can be obtained by calling 703/778-3008 or log on to www.CenterDanceCompany.org.
If the visual arts is your preference, you may be interested in the Columbia Institute of Fine Arts, a ministry of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church. Under the instruction of Miss Ashby Foote, a recent graduate of Mississippi’s Delta State University, adults and children can enroll in drawing, painting, and art history classes through the Institute. Ashby now resides in Mason District, and is an accomplished young artist whose welcoming manner and warm smile is sure to make even an unsure artist feel comfortable and appreciated. For further information, call 703/534-2508, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.