‘The Taste’: 15 things you need to know

Come out and celebrate with the community at the third annual Taste of Annandale. This festival, which is amounting to a huge block party, is Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., on Tom Davis Drive.

Monarca in Flight

The event features food from local restaurants and food trucks, live entertainment, a 5K race, a full schedule of children’s programming, and some extra features. It’s free, and it’s dog friendly, as well as family friendly.

Here are 15 things you need to know.

(1) Where: Tom Davis Drive will be blocked off for the event. That’s the street between Columbia Pike and John Marr Drive in the center of Annandale.

(2) When: The Taste of Annandale opens at 10 a.m. It’s happening rain or shine. Opening remarks by elected officials are scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

(3) Parking: These parking lots have been designated for parking for the Taste of Annandale: Giant (7137 Columbia Pike), Kmart (4251 John Marr Drive), the ACCA Child Development Center (7200 Columbia Pike), Union Baptist Church (7100 Columbia Pike), and Annandale United Methodist Church (6935 Columbia Pike).

The trophy for the chili cook-off

(4) Food: Bring your appetite, because the Taste of Annandale will have restaurants and food trucks offering the cuisines of Korea, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, Vietnam, Hawaii, Latin America, and Thailand – plus American barbecue.

(5) Entertainment: Live music and dance will be presented on the Taste of Annandale stage all day long, featuring a range of acts, including aerial dance, a rock band, swing dancing, martial arts, a ukulele group, South Pacific dance, Chinese zither music, traditional fashions from China, and more.

(6) 5K Race: The Taste of Annandale 5K Race starts at 10 a.m. in the Kmart parking lot at 4251 John Marr Drive. Runners will head down Columbia Pike, go through Mason District Park, and return to Kmart. The race is certified by USA Track & Field. You can register, Oct. 13, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Mason District Government Center or on site before the race 8:45-9:45 a.m.

(7) Road closures: During the 5K, one lane of Columbia Pike, between John Marr Drive and the entrance to Mason District Park, will be closed from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tom Davis Drive will be closed to traffic during the Taste of Annandale but businesses along that road will still be open and accessible.

(8) Children’s program: The ACCA Child Development Center is presenting a full day of entertainment and activities for children, including a “Dino Babies” show from Dinorock Productions, science shows, music and dancing with a DJ, stories, Paw Patrol characters, free book giveaways, crafts, games, and more.

(9) Pet contest: Chico’s Natural Pet Market, one of the sponsors of the Taste of Annandale, is hosting a best-dressed pet contest at 2:30 p.m. The categories are overall best-dressed pet, most creative, and pet/owner look-alikes. Chico’s is offering great prizes.

Tamure Ataata

(10) Chili cook-off: The chili cook-off pits officers from the Mason Police District against personnel from the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department. The crowd will pick the winner. The firefighters won last year, so the police are motivated to take back the trophy.

(11) Best restaurants: The winners of the best restaurants in Annandale competition, the Annies Awards, sponsored by the Annandale Blog will be announced at about 4 p.m.

(12) Sponsors: The Title Sponsors of the Taste of Annandale are BB&T Bank, Bill Page Toyota, and Page Chevrolet. Click here for the full list of sponsors. A variety of vendors, including local businesses and nonprofits, will be on hand, too.

(13) Volunteers: We have more volunteers than we need at this point. If you would like to volunteer at the Annandale Blog table, sign up here.

(14) Why: The Taste of Annandale is aimed at encouraging community engagement, celebrating Annandale’s diversity, and shining a spotlight on local restaurants and businesses. The event is hosted by the Annandale Roundtable, an informal gathering of people from the local business community, Fairfax County government, law enforcement, faith institutions, and nonprofits. Funds raised by the event will support a project benefiting Annandale youths.

(15) Contact: Visit the Taste of Annandale website for more information, or contact Taste of Annandale Committee Chair Bob Kahane, bkahane@cox.net, or Annandale Blog editor Ellie Ashford, ashford.annandale@gmail.com.

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