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Day 118: Bethesda's in Bloom – Celebrate at the Azalea Festival

Landon Azalea Festival

As you drive around Bethesda’s neighborhoods lately, you can’t help but notice the bright red, pink, purple and white blooms bursting forth outside almost every home.  The azaleas are in full glory right now, and what better way to enjoy them than to attend the Azalea Festival at Landon School.  This year marks the 58th Festival at the school which is located at 6101 Wilson Ln.  The festival will be held today, April 29th through May 1st from 10 AM – 5 PM daily.  All monies raised at the event will support student financial aid and faculty enrichment, helping one in six boys to attend the school.

The Azalea Festival is much more than just a plant sale, although that is certainly the backbone of the event.  There will be over 50 vendors offering delicious food, home decor, collectibles, jewelry, antiques and more.  One of the pleasures of the festival (other than the fact that it’s free to attend and free to park!) is the tour of the world-class Perkins Garden with over 15,000 azalea blooms.  There are fun activities for kids too with inflatables, a dunk tank, face painting and games.  Music performances will provide a lively background and culminate on Saturday at 5 PM with the Azalea Festival Pops by the Landon Symphonette.  There is a fee for the music events.

Azaleas in full bloom

The Landon School for boys grades 3-12 is an independent, non-sectarian private institution that began in 1929 just before the stock market crash.  Tough timing!  The founder, Paul Landon Banfield, and his wife began the school, originally on Embassy Row in D.C. at 2131 Massachusetts Ave.  They started with 23 students – half of whom were expelled within the first year for failing to meet the demanding standards they set.  In 1934, the school moved to its present location on Wilson Lane in Bethesda.  The principles of the school emphasize character development with a focus upon perseverance, teamwork, honor and fair play, according to the school’s website.  Landon School is one of 57 private schools in Bethesda.

So come on out and support the education of young boys and enjoy the splendor of spring at the 58th Azalea Festival at Landon School.  The weather should be perfect this weekend to allow us to fully appreciate the fleeting days of spring here in Bethesda.       ~Amy

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