Our day at the lefty “county fair”

Hubby and I sept a couple of pleasant hours at the Takoma Park Folk Festival today. Inside-the-Beltway types know Takoma Park, Maryland — just over the D.C. line — is a wealthy suburb that takes crunchy-granola liberalism to the nth degree. (Someone explained it this way: it was founded by Seventh-Day Adventists and their vegetarianism attracted the lefty types. I don’t know if that’s true, but work with the image.) It’s rather fun listening to music at several small, well-managed venues while taking in the sights, smells and tastes. (I’ll admit I wanted to go to meet members of the D.C. Ubuntu community, and did.)

At one point, I imagined I was at an outdoor General Assembly — again, not necessarily a bad thing — and started taking notes of what I saw.

Takomaspark (Flickr) has some pictures of one of the acts.

  • While I didn’t see any any hamburgers or hotdogs for sale, you could have gotten falafel at no fewer than three stands. One stand sold raw food, including kush, which I’d never heard of.
  • While the Ron Paul campaign table staffers seemed serene, the one Republican Party table staffer looked a bit, well, out of it. (Obama and Clinton backers worked the crowd; no other campaigns in evidence.)
  • I’ve never seen a female troupe of Morris dancers before.
  • There was an interesting religious mix in the exhibits, including a couple of synagogues, the Bahais, the Quakers (FGC), Eckankar and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. No Unitarian Universalists.
  • Witness the secularists, the secular-Humanistic synagogue and Ethical Culture exhibiting. That’s market segmentation.
  • There were only two Christian churches exhibiting: one had a rainbow flag and the other seemed be giving away compact florescent bulbs.
  • There was a booth for attachment parenting; I still don’t know what that is.
  • You could buy lots of local pottery and hideous fish-lure earrings. Plus t-shirts praising peace in English, Arabic and Hebrew (you’ve seen them) or another, in Spanish, extolling the People’s Republic of Takoma Park. Seriously.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I helped start this Festival 30 years ago. It could be called The Festival of Takoma Park Folk. Takoma Park is a very diverse musical town with seven stages cranking out a vast variety of music genres. Professional sound engineers and pro gear at every stage. Takoma Park runs three major festivals per year. The Takoma Park Jazz Fest in early June. The above mentioned Takoma Park Folk Festival. And, on October 7th,2007 The Takoma Park StreetFestival (www.takomafestival.com) Remember: What Happens in Takoma Park,Gets Debated in Takoma Park! See you downtown at the Street Festival. Whirled Peas, David

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