George Washington helps kick off Montgomery Village’s 50th Anniversary

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by Mike Conroy

On Sunday, February 28, hundreds of Village residents came to Lake Marion Community Center to help kick off Montgomery Village’s 50th Anniversary year-long celebration. Among the celebration activities and attendees was Washington Nationals mascot George Washington, who took photos with families, raced children and entertained the audience with his antics. Towering over the crowd at a staggering 12 feet, George was hard to miss!

Representatives from the homes corporations and condominium associations in the Village gathered to form a “Living Community Timeline” that depicted the order in which and year that each association was established. This horseshoe of 25 individuals represented the residents and volunteers of the community, and really gave a sense of how long it took to totally realize the Kettler Brothers’ vision for total build out in Montgomery Village.

Residents also enjoyed the cake and ice cream treats, arts and crafts area and the free photo booth. Many memories and smiles were captured with the quick snaps inside the booth, with George occasionally peeking over the top for a “photo bomb.” No matter what props were used to make a special 50th Anniversary memory, visitors were all smiles and laughter when they came out of the booth.

Many Village youth also participated in the Montgomery Village Memory Mural, drawing a special Village memory on the display boards. This interactive element will be on display at the Annual Art, Craft and Photography Show, scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13. See this and other Village memorabilia submitted by residents.

Montgomery Village Photo Trivia, in the shape of several large “50s” were posted for visitors to reminisce and answer questions. Residents of all ages enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane or finding out about the Village’s past through these photos from the last 50 years. Pictures of the old Montgomery Village movie theater and July 4th parades gone by were big hits, often sparking conversation about the early days in the Village.

State, county and local elected officials were also in attendance, lending their support and gratitude to Montgomery Village as a great neighbor for the last 50 years, and stressing the importance of the legacy of Montgomery Village. Senator Nancy King and Delegates Charles Barkley and Kirill Reznik; County Executive Isiah Leggett; Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen and Councilmembers Sidney Katz, George Leventhal and Craig Rice; and City of Gaithersburg City Councilmembers Neil Harris and Robert Wu all took part in congratulating Montgomery Village through Proclamations and Resolutions.

Tom Kettler, son of the late Clarence Kettler, whose vision created Montgomery Village, and some original Village residents were also in attendance. They commented that the event was nice and was a good time to reconnect with some old friends, but also to see new families enjoying the Village as well. Kettler noted, “It’s great with my office right up the road; I get to drive through the Village every day and see what my dad and uncles worked so hard to accomplish. This is still a great and special place to live.”

Upcoming Celebration Events
Residents are invited to participate in 50th Anniversary Celebration events all year long. The next opportunity is to enter commemorative Village items or artwork for display at the Annual Art, Craft and Photography Show, scheduled from
1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13 at North Creek Community Center (NCCC), 20125 Arrowhead Road. Registration for the show is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 10 also at NCCC. There is no fee to register artwork or memorabilia in the 50th Anniversary category; this category will not be judged.

A Montgomery Village keychain will be given away to those who attend the MVF Annual Meeting, scheduled for 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at NCCC. At this meeting, the MVF Board President gives an account of Foundation highlights from the previous year, 2015 financials will be presented and community service awards will be given to those who have supported the community in the past year.

And in late April, an Arbor Day Celebration will be held at the North Creek Nature Center. Read upcoming issues of the Village News and check for details of this great family event!