Takoma Park Street Festival sunny amid gray skies -- Gazette.Net







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Despite the gloomy and sometimes rainy weather Sunday, attendees of the 2012 Takoma Park Street Festival bundled up in rain slickers and jackets and bustled about from Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park to Carroll Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

“We dodged the storm and ended up with a great turnout,” Laura Barclay, co-executive director of the Old Takoma Business Association, told The Gazette in an email.

The festival provided the opportunity for business owners to sell merchandise, community groups to inform, musicians to jam and attendees to enjoy all of the above.

Chris Aument of Washington, D.C., said his 18-month-old son James, suited up in a rain slicker and boots and splashing in puddles, was enjoying himself.

“He gets to run around, which is always good,” Aument said.

Aument said his family bought capes at Creative Capes, which turned kids into super heros with the help of brightly colored accessories.

They already had enjoyed lo mein and fried plantains and were going to hit up some other food trucks, Aument said.

Mara Berman of Colesville and Holly Range of Germantown offered their skills as psychic readers in the city where they said they had many friends.

Berman said the pair had appeared at the fair for more than 20 years, since “back when it was a small street festival.”

“I tune into people’s auras, and I get the images in colors,” said Berman, who further explained they use cards as well to sharpen what they see.

Kent Murray, executive director of the Institute of Musical Traditions based in Takoma Park, was ready to meet and inform people about the institute’s folk, traditional and family concerts it holds around the county.

“We don’t actually usually get a chance to talk to them [people who attend the shows],” Murray said.

Elisa Rodero of Columbia, owner of Hennamorphosis, created works of henna body art on festival-goers, including floral designs, dragons and astrological symbols.

“I learned how to do it for my wedding,” said Rodero, who sported her own elaborate design on one of her hands.

Phil Wiggins of Takoma Park performed Piedmont blues in a duo with guitarist Rick Franklin, “one of my favorite collaborations.”

Wiggins showcased his skills on the harmonica, which he said he has played for about 35 to 40 years and is “like another voice for me.”

“For me, I’ve had the good fortune to travel all over the world playing, but there’s something about playing so close to home,” he said. “That’s what I enjoy about [the festival] is playing for my neighbors.”

Kevin Perese and Megan Gallagher, both of Takoma Park, attended the festival with 5-year-old kids Eleanor and Ian, who both had stars painted on their hands.

Perese and Gallagher said they had stopped in various stalls, checked out some art work, got some yogurt, ran into friends and listened to Celtic music.

“I was happy to see that the Takoma Park Police Department actually had stickers that have their emergency number on them, which isn’t 911,” Gallagher said.

Sunyatta Amen of Takoma Park was handing out samples of her Washington, D.C., shop SiTea’s tea dubbed “Love Potion #10,” a recipe from her grandmother that includes cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and “magic, lots of magic.”

“People are very receptive and a lot of folks said, ’We didn’t even know you guys were down the street!’” Amen said, adding, “It’s great to meet our neighbors.”