30 July 2022
Pulling up to the Mt. Airy Church of Christ and God, it was impossible not to be impressed by the event location. The gorgeous church towered over the parking lot, providing a little bit of shade for the guests who would later come visit. Along with the church itself, Stephanye and I were also greeted by the vendors setting up, who were going around catching up with old friends or making new ones. Before the event even started, the sense of community and unity in the air was impossible to miss.
With the DJ blasting music on the speakers and hot dogs grilling on the open barbecue, the party had officially started. Slowly but surely people began to arrive, many of whom were members of Mt. Airy Church. Some were familiar with Historic Germantown sites having grown up in the area, while others had never heard of it until that day. Stephanye and I listened to the stories of the neighbors— those who had just moved there recently, those who had found their way back to the neighborhood years later, and those who had never left.
What struck me as I talked with all these people was that, regardless of their preexisting knowledge of our sites, there was a clear desire to learn, explore, and connect. Many of the seniors who stopped by stressed the importance of their grandchildren visiting these sites and learning this neighborhood’s history, while other visitors made sure to grab a flyer for an upcoming event they were were most interested in experiencing. After Stephanye gave a short speech on the stage about our work here at Historic Germantown, we had even more people come over to see what we were all about.
This event, and the other ones just like it, are a perfect representation of the Germantown neighborhood. In these spaces, community members come together to share food, music, art, knowledge, and overall good vibes. Combined, these things all contribute to the larger, rich culture that makes Germantown such an incredible place to be.
Nideen Froukh, Community Engagement Intern 2022