More than 20,000 people are expected to stream into Kentlands Market Square Saturday for the sixth annual Kentlands Day, a celebration that unites families, businesses, nonprofit organizations and community groups for one day of neighborhood fun.
Beginning at 10 a.m., a parade full of local marching band students, boy scout troops, elected officials and other groups will kick off the event. The parade route will start near the Main Street Farmers’ Market, run down Main Street, up Market Street West and then onto Center Point Way to the Market Square area.
The entire event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kentlands Market Square, 105 Market St., Gaithersburg.
A business fair and the “Taste of Kentlands” will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing about 115 local businesses and restaurants to showcase their services and goods. Twelve food vendors from the Kentlands and Gaithersburg area, like Chick-fil-A and Potomac Pizza, will be selling some of their items.
“We really focus on highlighting local businesses, giving people the opportunity to meet the local businesses and hopefully patronize them,” said Andrew Ross, one of the event organizers.
Throughout the event, children will be performing on the main stage. Karate troops, dance companies, and other kid-friendly organizations will have the chance to entertain the crowd.
“We want to highlight what kids are doing in the community,” Ross said.
This year will mark the first time that the event has sold beer, Ross said. Proceeds from the beer sales will be donated to Ride Allegheny, a group of cyclists who participate in a four-day, 320-mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Gaithersburg, raising money for Operation Second Chance, which provides services for veterans recovering from injuries.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a summer job fair and music festival for high school students is scheduled to take place. The festival will be a “quasi Battle of the Bands” event, according to Ross, and will feature five local high school rock bands. Listeners will be encouraged to vote for whichever band they think is best and make a monetary donation.
Half of the money donated will be given to the winning band, and the other half will go to KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) Greater D.C., which provides recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities.
“It’s a way to hopefully engage the high school crowd who, in the past, haven’t had much to do during Kentlands Day,” Ross said.
While most of the money taken in from booth sales is used to cover the cost of the event itself, Ross said a donation will be given to the Kentlands Community Foundation, a neighborhood nonprofit that supports local arts and cultural programs and provides volunteer and community outreach opportunities.