A Year in the Grove
Washington Grove stands out in the Washington DC area for its community spirit. As a historic town, we have many traditions dating back generations. The many walking paths, parks, and communal areas also foster and nourish the Town’s strong sense of community.
There are opportunities to participate in Town life throughout the year, including winter lectures and concerts in McCathran Hall, the Washington Grove Film Society, a lake clean up, woods clean up, Arbor Day activities, A Woman’s Club sponsored Egg Hunt and Flower Show in the spring, the annual Woman’s Club Yard Sale and other fun and interesting things to do with your friends and neighbors.
Annual Egg Hunt
Elections for mayor, and usually two vacant Town Council seats are held the second Saturday of May each year. Residents registered to vote in Montgomery County come to McCathran Hall between 4 PM and 7PM to cast their vote. Results are announced at the Town Meeting later that evening.
Annual Town Meeting—Second Saturday in May
Day-to-day business of Washington Grove is carried out by the elected Mayor and Town Council, and by the various volunteer committees. However, every year a general Town Meeting of all interested citizens is held in McCathran Hall on the evening of the second Saturday in May.
The Mayor gives a state of the Town speech, the committees report, the proposed budget is put up for approval, and any major directional changes of the Town are discussed. It is also an opportunity for citizens to air any issues they wish to bring up, and often involves heated debates.
The meeting guides the Mayor and Town Council in understanding the views of the citizens. The participants in the Town Meeting, using certain procedures, have the power to overturn decisions made by the Council and Mayor. Citizens can, furthermore, call a special Town Meeting at any time if they collect 25 signatures on a petition.
Flower Show—Late May
Lake Clean Up
Washington Grove’s two woods are maintained largely by Town volunteers. In Spring, Grovers turn out to remove trash and to plant new trees.
Music Weekend—Third Weekend in June
Music Weekend is the third weekend in June. Friday night is usually an event/concert in McCathran Hall. Saturday morning, there is usually a children’s recital in McCathran Hall. Saturday night, there is usually an outdoor concert at the Gazebo, with many people coming early with a picnic basket and a blanket. This is a very relaxed concert with children dancing between the blankets and lawn chairs, or chasing fireflies on the outskirts. The final event on the weekend is the Baroque Breakfast on Sunday morning, also at the Gazebo. Each family brings a dish to share, and again, a blanket or lawn chairs. Local and guest musicians play baroque music while everyone shares brunch and socializes and, enjoys the music.
The fourth of July features a marching parade, lead by our own Muskrat Band, with all the children and many of the adults in costume. Princesses, firefighters, patriots and countless other strange creatures collect near the ball field in Woodward Park. The parade begins with the flag raising in the park at noon. The parade winds its way through Town ending up at McCathran Hall, where speeches are made, awards given, the bell is rung and the Town 4th of July song is sung. There is often another event that day, either a hot dog picnic immediately following the parade or a potluck supper in Woodward Park in the late afternoon.
Swimming lessons are offered at Maple Lake to the children living in Town at no charge. A paid instructor groups the children by age and skill. The lessons last for the entire month of July.
Summer In The Parks
This program consists of one (1) camp; children 4 – 11 years of age. It is staffed by paid teachers, who lead activities such as crafts, nature study, plays, and games. The programs meet in McCathran Hall for the entire month of July. A fee is paid by the parents but most of the cost is supplemented by the Town.
Tennis lessons are offered for both children and adults during the month of July for a fee. Information appears in the Town Bulletin.
Labor Day Weekend
This is three days of athletic events for residents of all ages and physical fitness. Saturday morning, children, men and women compete in field events such as softball throw, soccer kick, obstacle course and three-legged race. Saturday and Sunday, there are bike and foot races for all ages. The most challenging race of the weekend is the triathlon, which includes inner-tubing across Maple Lake, biking five miles, and running two miles. Monday evening, there is a potluck supper, with winners announced and awards given. The Supergrove Award goes to the participant who performed best overall for the weekend.
This fun event is usually scheduled on a Saturday night in October. Music lovers will really enjoy this outdoor fall blues concert and potluck dinner at the Gazebo. This new tradition is advertised in the Town Bulletin.
Children’s Halloween Parade & Party—Late OctoberWashington Grove is particularly suited to trick-or-treating with the quaint houses closely spaced and facing walkways. The walkways usually have more ghosts and ghouls than the streets. Often, there is a Halloween Party in McCathran Hall. This is advertised in the Town Bulletin.
Holiday Program—Mid December
A Holiday Program is scheduled on a weekend evening in mid-December. Entirely written and staged by homegrown Grove talent, it usually features extravagant sets, enthusiastic and diverse musical and dance performances loosely woven into a Grove-related theme. Look to the Town Bulletin for details about this event.
The Recreation Committee often sponsors a caroling party at Christmas time as well with refreshments back at McCathran Hall.