At an April fiesta in Vernon Park, attendees thought they were kicking off a six-month countdown to the founding of Germantown’s 330th anniversary party. But as Oct. 6 fast approaches, no grand “Germantown Day” celebration is scheduled.
So, what happened?
While the first event was a success — it was also designed to spur interest in the central Germantown park — follow-up efforts fell to the proverbial wayside.
When NewsWorks inquired about the event this week, Friends of Vernon Park members, from whom the birthday idea emanated, blamed it on lack of funding and the nature of volunteer events.
Why it didn’t happen
The countdown day, which featured dancing, bundled-up preschoolers on April 6, was a volunteer event which took many hours of planning.
“We were pretty consistent that we wanted there to be a big celebration in October,” said YahNe Ndgo of the Friends of Vernon Park group, “but that we would not be doing it ourselves as we were too small an organization.”
Looking forward to October, a lack of funding loomed; an unnamed neighborhood group was rumored to be kicking in money for “Germantown Day,” but when that didn’t happen, efforts stalled.
Baker, who serves as the group’s co-program-and-events coordinator, said things didn’t go as planned from a messaging standpoint.
“We wanted to bring attention with the Countdown Day in hopes that other local organizations would be inspired to have events on the anniversary weekend,” she said this week. “We, as a group, don’t feel that it was a total failure because it has created a lot of other positive things.”
An event-heavy weekend anyway
Despite the lack of a 330th birthday party, Germantown won’t be a boring place next weekend.
Following those festivities — which NewsWorks will preview and cover next week — Grumblethorpe will host an Oktoberfest celebration from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. That will feature live music and grilled sausages, homemade potato salad and coleslaw, not to mention three varieties of keg beer.
To commemoriate the 330th anniversary, both a Historic Germantown gift basket and a beautiful lithograph of a map of Germany from 1851 will be raffled off at the event. So, Germantown’s birthday won’t go forgotten.