Entertainment lineup reflects region’s diverse cultures

The entertainment lineup for the Taste of Annandale includes music, dance, martial arts, and fashion.

The schedule is still being tweaked, but preliminary plans for the portable stage call for the Blue Book Value Band to kick things off at 10 a.m.

The versatile band, co-founded by lead vocalist Karen Book, mixes it up with rock, blues, swing and covers plus a few original songs.

Kofi Dennis

The Annandale High School Band will perform at 11:45 a.m., then at 12:25 p.m., the Shannon Dunne Dance troupe will rip up the stage with three types of Irish dance: a traditional form called sean-nos, step dancing, and old-style step dancing.

Another high-energy performance follows at 12:55, Chinese martial arts presented by the NOVA Wushu Academy.

The Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe will perform traditional dances with beautiful costumes at 1:10 p.m.

At 1:25, Kofi Dennis, a drummer and educator from Ghana, will get the crowd going with Djembe drumming and call and response. Dennis has performed at Wolf Trap, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and all over the region.

Next up, at 2:15, is Rung’s Kung Fu, and at 2:30, Helen Yamada and family will present traditional dances from Okinawa.

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce will present a Peacock Dance at 2:25, followed by a Han Fashion Show featuring beautiful, traditional styles from China.

Grupo Candeias

Grupo Candeias will perform capoeira, a combination of sport and dance from Brazil, at 3:20. The final act of the day will be the “7” Step Hand Dance Academy, demonstrating a unique style of swing dancing that originated in D.C.

Those performances aren’t the only things happening on the Taste of Annandale stage. Awards will be presented to the winners of the Taste of Annandale 5K Race at 11 a.m.

At 11:15, there will be brief remarks from some of our elected leaders. Among those expected to appear are Rep. Gerry Connolly, Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill, and Mason Police District Commander Brooke Wright.

The winner of the chili cook-off will be announced and will be presented with a huge trophy at 1:50 p.m. The chili contest pits the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department against the Mason Police District. Everyone who attends the Taste of Annandale will have a chance to try the chili and vote for their favorite.

The best-dressed pet contest will take over the stage at 2 p.m. There are three categories: best overall costume, most creative costume, and best-dressed duo or group (consisting of one or more pets and one or more people).

While all the entertainment is happening on the Taste of Annandale main stage, children will have their own entertainment at the ACCA Child Development Centeracross Columbia Pike. The children’s program includes a puppet show from Dinorock Productions, Mr. Gabe and the Circle Time All-Stars, costumed characters, and more.

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