Live music, cool cars, carnival games and a parade on River Road — the telltale signs of Potomac Day will be on display a week earlier than usual this year. Typically held the last weekend of October, this year’s 27th annual Potomac Day will be Oct. 20.
The new date is likely to carry on in future years, said Jennifer Matheson, the Potomac Day Coordinator.
"We wanted to try to accommodate the Potomac Hunt Club," Matheson said. "They have been unavailable to us because they always have their big event the last weekend of October."
The annual celebration will once again feature a parade, rides and games for children, display stalls for local businesses, and a classic car show. The day will start with a 5K run.
"It’s the last of a dying breed of community day," said Adam Greenberg, the president of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. "It’s our way of giving back to the community to show appreciation."
"We kick off the day with a five [kilometer] run, the Potomac Day Fun Run," said Matheson. "Then we have the parade and while the parade is pretty much underway the Children’s Festival and a Business Fair start."
The 5K run will start in the Bank of America parking lot, and participants can register on the day of the event for $30, or they can register through the Potomac Chamber or Commerce's Web site (www.potomacchamber.org) ahead of time for $25.
The Children’s Festival and Business Fair will be held in the Potomac Promenade parking lot in Potomac Village, said Matheson. This year’s Children’s Festival will feature inflatable rides, a rock-climbing wall, pumpkin painting, scarecrow-making, a balloon artist, and carnival games. All of the children’s events are free of charge.
The business fair will have stalls from such local groups as Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, BB&T Bank, Little Gym, Cingular, AT&T, the Bahai community, the Montgomery County Department of Solid Waste, and Eddie Ayre Jewelry, among others, said Matheson. All of the business stalls will be covered by a tent.
Area restaurants will also offer samples of their food for sale.
"It’s kind of like a mini-taste of Potomac as well," said Goldberg.
The parade will feature the Potomac Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Youth of the Year, and Businessperson of the Year.
The Potomac Almanac will serve as Grand Marshal of the parade in celebration of its 50th Anniversary.
The classic car show has been held in years past but will be even bigger this year, said Goldberg. The show will feature 25 to 30 classic cars from area residents.
"This year we’ve really got a pumped-up car show that’s going to be at the Semmes Building [in Potomac Promenade]," said Matheson. "It’s going to be phenomenal."
Awards for the car show will be given out and all are free to enter, though the slots are filling up, said Goldberg.
"The biggest difference this year will be the car show," Goldberg said.
The key thing that people should know about this year’s Potomac Day, Matheson said, is that while the date has changed it will be the same old fun and games.
Elie Cain helps to organize the parade each year and said that seeing everyone enjoying themselves is the best part for her.
"When you work hard on something its nice to know that people do enjoy it," Cain said.
"Seeing all of the families that come out and enjoy Potomac Day [is the best part], just seeing the kids faces," Matheson said. "Everyone has a blast, it’s really neat to see it all come together."