Taste of Annandale: a day of festivities to celebrate diversity


Aseal Saed, Co-Editor in Chief

Live music and dance, children’s programming, and a chili cook-off, are only some of the biggest attractions of the event.

Every year, since 2015, the Annandale community has come together for the Taste of Annandale Festival. The event is back for another year on Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tom Davis Drive.

The free festival, organized by local community leaders in Annandale, aims to offer visitors a variety of food, entertainment, and music to highlight and celebrate the diversity of Annandale.

“We want to bring the community together to celebrate how great the diversity of Annandale is,” editor of tje Annandale Blog and Taste of Annandale board member Elie Ashford said.

It is hoped that engagement in the community increases as well as more attraction for the local restaurants and businesses who will be present.

A lot of major members of the community are invitited to the event including Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, Supervisor Penelope Gross and Congressman Gerry Connolly.

A variety of groups from the AHS community will be there as well including principal Tim Thomas aand the AHS Culinary Arts Department.

“We would love to have the Annandale community involved especialy for the 5K,” Ashford said.

A variety of entertainment groups will be in attendence including Moncara in Flight which offers an aerial performance; Alice Gu-Zheng Ensemble which performs Chinese zither music, a Han Couture Fashion Show presented by the Chinese Culture Institute.
Food vendors like Baja Bistro, Peruvian Brothers, Honey Pig, and several more will be in attendance.

With the variety of activities offered for the festival, the organizers are looking for student volunteers, who will be given community service hours for their work.
This will be the third Taste of Annandale, which has grown in support from the previous 2015 and 2016 events.
The idea for the Taste of Annandale evolved from the “Dialogues on Diversity,” a series of community forums at Annandale High School in 2010 and 2011 which sought to promote communication among long-time Annandale residents and newcomers from other countries.
In 2012, a group of Annandale stakeholders, including representatives from the police, business community and local organizations, decided to keep the conversation going through an informal group called the Annandale Roundtable.

They decided to focus on a youth initiative that would be developed and implemented by students at Annandale High School and agreed to host a community festival, the Taste of Annandale, in 2015, to raise funds for it.

“All of the entertainment and food we offer is a great opportunity for the community to try new restaurants and open themselves to new diversity,” Ashford said.