The fifth annual Taste of Annandale, a family-friendly street festival, Oct. 5, 2019, is aimed at encouraging community engagement, celebrating Annandale’s diversity, and shining a spotlight on local restaurants and businesses.
The Taste of Annandale is a project of the Annandale Roundtable Inc., a group of stakeholders from local businesses and nonprofits.
Members of the Taste of Annandale Planning Committee include Bob Kahane (chair) of the Annandale Rotary Club; Ellie Ashford, editor of the Annandale Blog; Eduardo Azcarate of the Fairfax County Police Department; Nancy Hall; Peter Huyn, owner of the Spinal Health Group; Annandale businessman Steve Lee; Norma Lopez, of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services; and David Roach. Maria Isabel Ballivian, executive director of the ACCA Child Development Center, is in charge of organizing the children’s activities.
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 facilitated by the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services with support from the Fairfax County Police Department. Those sessions 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 department, business community, and local organizations, decided to keep the conversation going through an informal group called the Annandale Roundtable, which was later incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.
That group explored ways to improve civic engagement and develop leadership among Annandale’s diverse population. They decided to focus on a youth initiative and launched the first Taste of Annandale in 2015 to raise funds for it.
Proceeds from the Taste of Annandale will support the Re-Imagining Community initiative, in which high school students use art and poetry for community engagement. This program is a partnership of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Mason District Police Station, and the George Mason University School of Art.
Visit the Taste of Annandale Facebook page for updates on festival activities.