Mt. Airy’s Supper Sessions return to crowds hungry for summer fun


In a summer marked by the return of pre-pandemic festivities, the Go Mt. Airy Supper Sessions are set to transform the community’s busy commercial strip into an outdoor dining wonderland.

The Germantown Avenue event, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m., offers attendees the chance to sample cuisine from restaurants on the avenue, nearby neighborhood eateries, and guest vendors who will set up shop in the 7100 block of Germantown Avenue, between Mt. Airy and Mt Pleasant Avenues, which will be closed to traffic. The event’s rain date is Wednesday, Aug. 24.

“Mt. Airy has such a strong sense of community and it’s important to continue those traditions now that it is safe to do so,” said Philip Dawson, executive director of the Mt. Airy CDC, which hosts the event.

August’s Supper Session is the second of three planned for the summer.  The CDC hosted the first of this year’s suppers on July 13, the first since the 2019 event, before the pandemic. The last Supper Session for the year is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, with a rain date of Sept. 21.

About 2,000 people attended the July event, said Dawson, who expects a similar turnout for upcoming Supper Sessions scheduled for Wednesday and in September.

When visitors attend the event, they will see a commercial strip that has been changed by the pandemic, Dawson said. Some businesses have closed down, others have moved in, he said. Supper Sessions will give attendees a chance to get reacquainted with a commercial district doing business at a time when resident’s day-to-day shopping, dining, and activity habitats have changed, Dawson continued.

Attendees can expect tasty fare from brick-and-mortar eateries on the avenue, nearby restaurants and visiting vendors who will offer Mexican, Korean, vegan, Italian, Indian, Southern, and barbecue dishes. Local brews, beverage spirits, juices and desserts are also on the menu.

This year’s event will not include servers who at past Supper Sessions had brought food to guests dining at tables set up along the avenue. Instead, the event will be similar to a street festival where guests will purchase and pick up food from restaurants and vendors and then sit down at communal tables and dine.

Booths featuring flowers, pet supplies, clothing accessories, along with medical, voting, entertainment and financial information will also be set up along the avenue. Local disc jockey DJ Kappa Doc will provide music and a storytime and other activities for children also will be offered.

Supper Sessions began in the middle 2010s but in a different incarnation.  Mt. Airy hosted one of the city’s popular Night Market food truck festivals, which later evolved into a Mt. Airy-hosted Street Fare food festival, drawing thousands to the neighborhood. But the events, with all the visiting vendor dining choices, didn’t necessarily benefit the avenue’s brick-and-mortar restaurants. Local business owners including P.J. McMenamin collaborated with organizers to tinker with the formula, eventually resulting in Supper Sessions.

The three-session series, which costs about $5,000 to put on, is co-sponsored by Elfant Pontz Properties,  Edward Jones financial advisors and Acme which will be offering COVID booster shots on Wednesday and flu shots in September.

Free parking is available in the lot behind the Sedgwick Theater  at 7137 Germantown Ave., which can be accessed via Chew Avenue.

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