Friday, May 21, 2010

Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring offers wares not found at big-box stores - Washington Post

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scenario One:

"Cool necklace! Where did you get it?"

"Ann Taylor Loft in Silver Spring."

Scenario Two:

"Cool necklace! Where did you get it?"

"The Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring."

If the idea of being a hip consumer, one who supports artisans and independent businesses, appeals, then this weekend go shopping where you can be sure to walk away with something you won't see anyone else in the neighborhood wearing.

The new Fenton Street Market is just a few blocks from downtown Silver Spring and yet miles and miles from the brand-name stores that line the city's walking mall. On a recent Saturday, onetime graduate school English majors Heather Rellihan and Kelley Squazzo sold their casual and fun handbags, cutely called "Pocketful of Posy," Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave sold her "wearable art," bags, accessories and shirts made from reclaimed material, and Layla Niebrugge sold silver jewelry with a nature theme. Hand-painted note cards, antique tables, leather baseball hats, old LPs, a crocheted poncho: Unique is the word for this market.

Variety is another word. Every week, about half of the 50 to 60 vendors are new. Prices run from a couple of dollars to a couple of hundred dollars.

Don't miss the food. You might have to wait in line for a homemade doughnut or crepe, but do it. Sweet or savory, the crepes are fresh and the doughnuts sweet. (Ask for chocolate sauce on your doughnut for a supreme sugar rush.)

If that's not enough, the market features a different local band every week to complete the community feeling.

This is the first full season for the market, which was started by Silver Spring resident Hannah McCann in the vacant parking lot that is slated to become a Marriott Hotel. This week, architects will be at the market to discuss the future of Silver Spring. Bring your ideas along with your wallet.

Continue your corporation-free day and buy a non-Starbucks cup of joe at Highland Origin Coffee across the street from the market. Or for something a little different, and a lot refreshing, try Highland's Italian cream soda, flavored any way you want.

-- Moira E. McLaughlin

Where is it? The corner of Silver Spring Avenue and Fenton Street, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. every Saturday. Free neighborhood parking is available around the market.

How much? Free -- until you buy something of course!

What else? Want to eat local as well as wear local? Walk to the Silver Spring mall for fresh produce. The Silver Spring Farmers Market runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue. For another opportunity to check out (and buy) unique crafts, stop by Handmade Mart from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday also on Ellsworth between Fenton and Georgia.

Schedule of Performances - Silver Spring Blues Festival 2010

Harmonica Workshop 3pm - 4pm
Choo Choo Charlie teaches anyone to play!
Bring your harmonica (Key of C) to learn techniques and songs.

Under the Big Top 2pm - 6pm
Musical Instrument Petting Zoo by Dale Music

On the Fountain Stage*
Choo Choo Charlie Williams and Baltimore Red Jones – acoustic Delta, Piedmont, Ragtime, and Texas style blues featuring harmonica and guitar

Jonny Grave - acoustic blues from the Heartland, steeped in the traditions of R.L. Burnside, Fred McDowell and others.

Andy Poxon Band – get up and go with this 15-year-old who's writing his own blues songs and has a blues groove of his own!

Daryl Davis Band – a Montgomery County local performing nationally with legendary greats such as Chuck Berry – featuring festival MC / WPFW89.3fm "Don't Forget the Blues" Friday host, Ida Campbell.

DC Blues Society Band - DCBS brings you Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner and more entertainment coming from the local blues scene!

Mary Shaver and the Smokin' Polecats – Muddy Waters style with a female touch – featuring Pete Ragusa (Nighthawks drummer for 35 years).

The Nighthawks – world renowned and legendary blues group – WAMMIE winners of Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) best duo/group and best recording for 2009's "American Landscape," in the Blues/Traditional R&B category. Get your signed award-winning CD at the festival!

* Schedule Subject to Change

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great Performers at Silver Spring Blues Festival in Downtown Silver Spring, May 22

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. is pleased to announce this exciting line-up of performers for the Silver Spring Blues Festival to be held Saturday, May 22, 2010 in downtown Silver Spring.

Come see some of the best blues in the DC area!

The Nighthawks
Silver Spring's Jonny Grave
Choo Choo Charlie Williams
The Andy Poxon Band
The Daryl Davis Band featuring Ida Campbell
The DC Blues Society Band
Mary Shaver and the Smokin' Polecats

Performances will be held at the Silver Fountain on Ellsworth Drive, between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The festival venue is close to Metro, and parking is free in area garages!

For festival information, visit

Friday, May 7, 2010

Silver Spring Civic Building & Veterans Plaza - Grand Opening Conversation

Message from the Silver Spring Regional Center--

The date for the opening is set for Thursday, July 8th, coinciding with our first of six summer concerts (starting at 7pm.) Our opening of the facility will also include honoring our veterans and the dedication of Veterans Plaza.

But we need your ideas; and we need you!

Please come help us plan this unforgettable evening:

TUESDAY, MAY 11, 7:00 p.m.

Round House Theatre Education Center in the Orange Room
925 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD (parking available at the Wayne Avenue Garage)

Come ready to share what you'd like to see for the opening; and come ready to offer how you'd like to help... We are counting on you!

Many of you have already provided wonderful advice and guidance in the various sessions and meetings we've had recently... And to you we say "thanks!"

Also, if you feel you can't wait till next Tuesday, we welcome your comments and ideas on our blog: