2018 Montgomery County Agricultural Fair Coming Soon

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I love the County Fair!

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair opens Aug. 10 and runs through Aug. 18.

From the animals to the rides and carnival games, it’s one of my favorite times of year. And don’t get me started on the food, such as these nachos from the Big Cheese Booth. Okay, what the heck, since we are on the topic of food, besides nachos, I also love the grilled cheese sandwich from the Big Cheese Booth. Some of my other favorite foods include funnel cakes, and ice cream from the Ice Cream Parlor, which is located next to Old MacDonald’s Barn.

Speaking of Old MacDonald’s Barn, this is a barn where visitors can see up close and in person, and learn about, a wide variety of animals, including horses, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, Alpaca, Llama, an Ox, and a Donkey.

At the Moo-Ternity Ward and Milking Parlor visitors can milk cows and, if you are lucky, even watch a cow giving birth. Below is a picture I took several years ago of a recently born baby cow. I forget if it was a boy or a girl.

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Additionally, let’s not forget another exciting aspect about the fair. The Fair offers many exciting contests where everyone can enter and show their skills! There are the more traditional farm animal shows and food awards. Then, there is a cheese-carving contest, a toilet seat decorating contest, a twitter and Instagram scavenger hunt, a Facebook selfie contest, a Christmas tree judging, and home brew and wine contests.

The fair schedule can be found here, a map of the fairgrounds can be found here, and tickets may be bought here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 National Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 28, 2018 was Memorial Day, when all of us pause to remember and honor the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces to defend our way of life. The nation’s largest single event on the holiday is the National Memorial Day Parade down Constitution Avenue NW in Washington D.C. I volunteered for the parade for the second year in a row. This year I was a photographer. You can check out some of my pictures below:

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2018 Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend was recently held at my alma mater, St. Andrews University (formerly St. Andrews Presbyterian College) and this year I was able to attend. I haven’t been able to go back to visit my alma mater since Alumni Weekend 2014, so it was nice to go back and spend time with my classmates, beloved faculty, and see the changes that have taken place.

William Henry Belk Center:

 

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Katherine MacKay Belk Bell Tower

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One of the new barn cats:

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Community Garden:

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Community Garden:

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Montgomery County Executive debate held at Olney Theatre Center

LRM_EXPORT_20180306_225213.jpgThe candidates for Montgomery County executive faced off in a two hour debate on Monday, March 5, 2018 in Olney, MD.

Participating in the debate were Democratic candidates Roger Berliner, David Blair, Marc Elrich, Rose Krasnow, George Leventhal, and Republican Robin Ficker. Democratic candidate William “Bill” Frick  could not attend due to commitments in Annapolis.

The debate was hosted by the Greater Olney Civic Association. Debate moderator was past GOCA President Barbara Falcigno. About 225 people attended the event.

The Amazon bid for a new headquarters and the county’s economic development dominated the discussion during the debate.

“We need to grow our economy, not increase taxes,” Berliner said. “I was very much a part of the Amazon bid and I am a firm believer in our Amazon bid. I believe we have a decent shot at getting Amazon. If we don’t get it, from my perspective it illuminates our path forward. The economy of the future is an innovation economy and so what our county needs to do is position itself for an innovation economy.”

“It would be wonderful to land Amazon, not only for all the high paying jobs, but also because it would bring millennials to our county,” Krasnow said. “Right now the fastest growing population is people over the age of 65. But, in order to land them we really need people to sit down with them and talk business. If they sense they’re not liked they won’t come here.”

“I love HQ2 because it’s going to bring in 50,000 jobs, $100,000 a piece, it’s going to bring in people who have visions for the future, upward mobile, because that’s where the county is going under my administration, it’s going up,” Ficker said. “Amazon is a wonderful company and it belongs in the number one county.”

The discussion on Amazon also included what would happen if Amazon chose somewhere else.

“If we don’t get them, to use a baseball analogy, I would want to invest in the “farm teams” so we can get the next Amazon,” Blair said.

The candidates were asked to provide a few specific areas of where they would increase revenue and where they would cut costs and if they would increase taxes if they were elected county executive.

“I would go through the budget from the bottom up,” Blair said. “I would not increase taxes. We need to start creating jobs here. We need to start expanding the economy. I say that for a couple of reasons. One, we have 10 million sq. feet of unoccupied commercial real estate today. That is a staggering amount. What Rose said is absolutely right. Small businesses will be the success of Montgomery County. We need to do a better job of buying local. We should be supporting our local businesses.”

Other things mentioned at the debate included:

Blair said Ride On costs $120 million to operate but only takes in $20 million. He’d offer the bus service for free, or replace the large buses for smaller, less expensive ones.

Berliner touted his efforts to hold Pepco accountable.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 26th, 2018.

Olney Chick-fil-A Grand Opening

Equipped with tents, blankets, pillows, multiple layers of clothing, and crossword puzzles and books to stay entertained, Matt Bernhard and Ian Robinson, had everything they needed to camp through a chilly December night.

But the Olney, MD residents weren’t camping at an ordinary campground. Instead, they, along with many others are in the parking lot of the new Chick-fil-A in Olney, MD as part of the fast food chain’s First 100 initiative, which promises the first 100 people 52 free meals. The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m tomorrow, Thursday, December 7, 2017. It is located at 18115 Georgia Ave.

Matt and Ian arrived at 5:15 a.m today and were the 17th and 18th people in line.

“I am doing this for the experience,” Matt said.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the low 30’s tonight.

Franchise owner Erik Amik is supporting two organizations as part of his grand opening celebration. The First 100 campers are assembling 10,000 meals to be donated to Nourish Now. The restaurant is also collecting non-perishable food items in support of the Manna Food Center.

Spirit of Autumn

Today I had the opportunity to visit ARTECHOUSE newly opened exhibit “Spirit of Autumn”.

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The drawing room

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This is a room in the back of the exhibit where visitors can color in a leaf or two with markers. Once you are done designing your leaf, it is scanned and readied for projection onto the walls of the main gallery area.

Autumn Dance Room

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The gallery floor and wall fill with swirling gushes of fall colors through your gestures and moves. I made this light on the wall by pointing.

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The exhibit is open through Nov. 5. TICKETS: $8-20.

 

 

 

 

2017 Maryland Renaissance Festival

Yesterday I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. From the moment you drive onto the grounds, there are people dressed up in elaborate “period pieces” from the most authentic to the most outlandish. There are hundreds of activities for kids and adults. Shops adorn the paths between activities with intricately designed costumes, swords, and jewelry. Multiple stages throughout the festival showcase performances of all types, including singing and dancing.

Please enjoy this brief look into my day:

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Laps For Lexi

“Each day 42 families in the United States will receive the devastating news that their child or teen has cancer.” – https://childrenscancer.org/

Yesterday, Saturday, September 30, 2017 I attended the 8th annual Laps For Lexi event held at the Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, MD.

Laps For Lexi is a non-profit organization. It was created in memory of 8-year-old Lexi Speight and the proceeds raised at the event go to support the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center as well as the Lexi Speight Scholarship fund at Sandy Spring Friends School.

I didn’t know Lexi or any of her friends or family, but cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart. My dad is a cancer survivor. Most recently he battled prostate cancer.

Here are some photos I took of the event:

One of the participants.

T Wiz and the Washington Wizards Cheerleaders pose with a horse.

I did have the honor of meeting some friend’s and classmates of Lexi’s. Here are two of them. They were in elementary school with Lexi.

Welcome Sign.

To learn more about Laps For Lexi visit the website here: http://lapsforlexi.org

To learn more about the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center  visit the website here: https://childrensnational.org/departments/center-for-cancer-and-blood-disorders/oncology

 

Hive

Earlier this week, on Wednesday night, July 12, 2017, I was allowed early access to Studio Gang and the National Building Museum’s summer spectacle, Hive. You should definitely put this on your summer bucket list and see what the buzz is all about.

In the summer of recent years, the National Building Museum has brought some sort of spectacle to DC and this year looks to be no exception. An enormous installation by Studio Gang, Hive  is “composed of more than 3,000 wound paper tubes, a construction material that is recyclable, lightweight, and renewable. The tubes vary in size from several inches to 10 feet high and will be interlocked to create three dynamic interconnected, domed chambers. Reaching 60 feet tall, the installation’s tallest dome features an oculus over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and vivid magenta interior, creating a spectacular visual contrast with the Museum’s historic nineteenth-century interior and colossal Corinthian columns.
The form of Hive references familiar structures such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, and vernacular Musgum mud huts in Cameroon, and the curvature of a spider’s web. The tall yet intimate forms allow visitors to inhabit the installation at the ground level, and experience it from the Museum’s upper-floor balconies, providing a variety of exciting perspectives.” – nbm website.
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Hive runs through September 4, 2017. Visit the National Building Museum website for information about Hive-related activities for all ages, including Late Nights, Ward Days, unique experiences with local creatives, concerts, and lectures.