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Damascus Placemaking Festival

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Damascus is a unique area within Montgomery County, with a rural character and a tight-knit “small town” of a community worth preserving. Yet even one of the county’s best places to live has room for improvement—most notably in the Main Street area, where business owners and other local stakeholders have long clamored for revitalization efforts toward making it a more walkable, human-scaled, and easily identifiable town center.

Montgomery Planning is leading an initiative to reimagine a segment of the Damascus Main Street as a vibrant community space through a festival this October. Over the course of 6 months Montgomery Planning will work with Damascus residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to plan a community festival that incorporates cost-effective temporary interventions to improve the Main Street core of Damascus and help strengthen community ties to local businesses. The event will help cultivate a shared vision for shaping the future of Main Street and Damascus that embraces the community’s agrarian past and small-town character while addressing the needs of the future.

Thank you for completing the community questionnaire!

In June, community members were asked to complete a survey to provide input on how to activate Main Street this fall. The survey was open June 3–28, and received 279 responses. Stay tuned for a summary report of what we heard.

What is placemaking?

Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of the community. Strengthening the connection between community and the places they share. Placemaking refers to a collaborative process that shapes our public realm in order to maximize value.  This concept goes beyond just promoting better urban design principles, placemaking facilitates creative thinking, capitalizes on community assets, and contributes to the community’s health, happiness, and well-being. More than livable; these places are loved.

Put simply, it makes people feel good about where they live, work or play. It involves the action of looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, When the people come together, they experience and the community’s needs and aspirations. A community’s vision is then derived thorough their interactions with each other within the place. Public art is one of many tools used to tap into creative brainstorming and invoke conversation.

Kickoff meeting, June 3, 2024

Project Timeline

  • Kickoff and Community Questionnaire
    June 2024 
  • Outreach and Planning
    Summer 2024 
  • Community Led Design and Build
    Fall 2024
  • Placemaking Festival
    October 19-20, 2024