A Music Festival With a Political Forum

Here’s an opportunity to hear great music and listen to state and local politicians speak. It’s the Takoma Park Folk Festival, which is taking place this Sunday on the grounds of Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd. Scores of politicians have turned up at the folk festival through its 40 years. Some set up information tables. Many wander through the crowds and press the flesh. Nothing was more memorable than seeing Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey, then running for governor for a second time, greeting festival-goers in the left-wing bastion back in 1997.   This year, festival organizers are trying something different. While 50 different acts will be performing at six separate stages throughout the day, weather permitting, politicians will also get their moment in the sun (or rain, as the case may be). From 1-3 p.m., candidates will be able to address onlookers for 10 minutes each at an event the festival is calling a Political Forum. If the weather holds, it will take place on the school’s outdoor basketball court, near to where several vendors set up. If the weather is nasty, the action will move inside the school.  In addition, about 15 candidates have signed up for information tables and will be onsite all day, beginning at 11 a.m.

“We have registered a great assortment of political parties — Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Greens so far,” said Karen Elrich, the organizer of the Political Forum. For more information about the Takoma Park Folk Festival’s performance agenda, crafts show, food vendors and political and community tables, go to www.tpff.org. The festival is free and family friendly and there’s plenty of offsite parking nearby. 

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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