Taste of Old Town North to celebrate neighborhood’s past, present, future

(Photo by Aleksandra Kochurova)

By Cody Mello-Klein | cmelloklein@alextimes.com

The annual Taste of Old Town North will return on Sept. 19 and will celebrate the neighborhood and its place as Alexandria’s arts and cultural district, according to a news release.

The event will take place at Montgomery Park from 4 to 8 p.m. and will feature close to 20 neighborhood restaurants including Lost Dog Cafe, Thanida Thai and T.J. Stone’s. The event will also include a three-hour jam session with three bands and will take place during the neighborhood’s weekly Thursday farmers’ and artisans’ market, Margaret Townsend, president of the Old Town North Community Partnership, said.

“People can sample and see and taste and just get a feel for the vibe of this neighborhood,” Townsend said.

Taste of Old Town North will also feature demos from local wellness businesses and dance studios, including Swan Ballet and Local Motion.

The event is a celebration of Old Town North’s place as the city’s arts and cultural hub, a tradition that goes all the way back to the Old Town North roller rink, where Janis Joplin and, in his only hometown appearance, Jim Morrison and The Doors performed in the 60s, Townsend said.

Nonprofits including Hungry Free Alexandria, Carpenter’s Shelter and ALIVE! Family Assistance Program will also have a presence at the celebration as a means of educating residents about the issues that affect their community.

“There’s that tendency to think of Alexandria as affluent, but if you’re in the area you know that, it’s sad but it’s really true, one in five Alexandrians face food insecurity and we’re very committed to being a part of alleviating that,” Townsend said.

As part of that commitment, residents will be able to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at the farmers’ market.