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This is the fourth year that a maker event took place in Greenbelt, Maryland. (It used to be known as the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire until this year, when the organizers decided against renewing the license with Make magazine, which holds the rights to the name “Maker Faire”. One of the reasons I heard is that the organizers of this event has always insisted on it being a non-commercial, non-profit community event which is the opposite of most Maker Faire events, which tend to have all kinds of corporate sponsorships.) After sitting out last year, I decided to return as a participating vendor with my own table.

Makerspace 125 is the main spearheader of this event. This is what it looked like on that day all decked out in balloons and hoops wrapped with yarn.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Someone draped the nearby Mother and Child statue with long strings of beads.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Here is my vending area at this year’s event.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

A few days earlier I created a video slideshow of my sketchbook drawings I made over the years (I only admitted the ones that depicted partial or full nudity because this festival is an all-ages family-friendly event). I made a little brochure explaining about myself. I also offered free Oreo cookies.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

This section shows the comic book coasters I made by cutting up the comic book collection that my ex-husband left behind. (I attempted to sell them but comic books are worth squat these days, especially if they were published after 1985.) I first debuted them at the 2015 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and I still had a few left mainly because I haven’t worked as many art shows and craft fairs in recent years as before the economic meltdown of 2008.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Last, but not least, here is my Barbie doll section.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

The one in the front is the Barbie that I customized into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (which I also documented in my four-part DIY video series).

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

The three other dolls in the back are ones I originally found in thrift stores and I converted them into fairy dolls.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Since this event took place the day before Easter Sunday, there were plenty of eggs on display this year.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Here are my photos of the rest of the festival. The day started off cloudy and cool but then the sun came out and it got progressively hotter until I took off my hooded sweatshirt and just walked around in a t-shirt instead. The cream in the middle of the Oreo cookies I was giving away started to ooze from the middle of each cookie. (I ultimately had to put the entire pack in the refrigerator when I returned home.)

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt #Maker Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 15, 2017.

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

Greenbelt Maker Festival 2017

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

2017 Greenbelt Maker Festival

Even though the weather was ideal, the event drew a smaller crowd this year than in previous years. I have a feeling that the fact that this event was scheduled on the day before Easter had something to do with it. I only made a total of $25 in sales throughout the entire six-hour event. I was sort of disappointed because I really wanted to get rid of some excess crafts that have been stored in my home for the past few years while earning extra money. Oh well. At least I got to see a lot of my friends at this event so that’s something.

I also shot a short video of some parts of the festival, which you can view below.

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On July 4 I went to a party at a friend’s place whose house directly overlooks Greenbelt Lake, where the city of Greenbelt, Maryland has its annual Fourth of July fireworks. The party started in the afternoon and the original plan was that we would all head outside and see the fireworks from my friend’s place. It was a great plan.

Except it rained on July 4. The party went on as scheduled but we all got word via the Internet that the official Greenbelt Fourth of July fireworks would be postponed until the following evening. Instead we watched a broadcast of the Fourth of July celebrations from Washington, DC, which featured fireworks that briefly became a controversy when footage showed the people attending the pre-fireworks concert wearing rain ponchos while the stage was wet and the sky was cloudy yet the fireworks themselves showed them being launched in clear pristine skies. (It turned out that someone at Maryland Public Television decided to show recorded fireworks footage from a previous year instead of live broadcasting this year’s fireworks because they were launched in thick clouds.)

Having the city of Greenbelt postponed the fireworks for the following evening prompted the cancellation of a scheduled late afternoon pre-fireworks performance of patriotic music by a local orchestra because the members of that orchestra are all volunteers who have day jobs. Since July 5 was a workday many of them couldn’t abruptly take leave from their jobs to arrive by 2 or 3 in the afternoon so they could set up and perform. But a community drumming circle that was scheduled to perform after that orchestra was not only able to go on as scheduled but it even took over the outdoor stage that was originally reserved for the orchestra.

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Basically people were free to join and leave the drumming circle as they saw fit. (The organizers of that drumming circle provided drums and percussion instruments for those who didn’t bring their own drum.) I even joined in at one point, while I played on my small Ron Jon’s Surf Shop bongo that I brought with me from home. I shot a video of the entire Fourth of July festivities, which you can watch below.

Here are the rest of the still photos I took at that event, starting with a gathering of people late in the afternoon just before sunset.

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I took a telephoto shot of the area where the fireworks would be launched from.

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There was this vendor who was going around selling all kinds of glow-in-the-dark toys for kids to the crowd. The police showed up and started to grill the vendor. I saw the vendor show this pink slip to the police but apparently it wasn’t what the police wanted to see and he left soon afterwards. I have a feeling that he just showed up selling his wares without formally applying for permission to sell his stuff but I don’t know for sure. I was near the action but I wasn’t within earshot (plus there were other people talking all around me) so I can’t say for sure what was going on.

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I took a few gorgeous sunset photos.

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The rest of the pictures are ones that I shot of the fireworks. I didn’t take as many firework shots as previous years because I’ve already taken numerous fireworks photos and I decided to just enjoy the spectacle for a change. I did take a few token shots because just a few days before someone had posted this article on Medium.com saying that you shouldn’t use a smartphone to take pictures of fireworks because they never turn out well. I wrote another post rebutting that assertion while providing evidence (mainly firework pictures I’ve taken with my smartphone in the past). So I took these firework photos with my smartphone in order to provide recent examples of, yes, it’s possible to take excellent photos with a smartphone.

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American Flag

I spent part of the Mother’s Day weekend at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival. Earlier this month I made an allusion to showing off a new product that I modeled on behalf of a new startup. Basically the startup’s first product is a jumpsuit that’s been pretreated with Sawyer Permethrin so one can go hiking, camping, gardening, and other types of outdoor activities without worrying about being bitten by ticks and mosquitos (both of which carry nasty diseases like Lyme and Zika). I posted a selfie while wearing one of those suits. I was also given packaged suits to carry around with me to sell as I walked around the festival ground.

I didn’t sell any suits. Most of the people I spoke with said that they weren’t into camping or money was tight. But the suit I was wearing did get people to open up to me about Lyme disease because they mentioned that they have a friend or relative who’s struggling with this devastating illness. I even had a longtime friend admit to me that she currently has Lyme disease. I knew that she had health issues, which have affected her mobility, but they never got specific as to the cause until she saw me wear that jumpsuit with a sign affixed to the back saying “Ask Me About Permethrin-Treated Disposable Jumpsuit.”

I wore the suit on the first day of the festival while I walked around taking pictures.

Festival Ad Poster

 

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Like I wrote earlier I didn’t make any sales on those permethrin-treated jumpsuits. What was worse was that I saw The Backstabbing Couple From Hell (a.k.a. my ex-husband and his mentally ill second wife who used to be a friend of mine until I found out she wasn’t such a good friend). I left the festival about an hour before closing time because I grew tired of seeing them walking around acting all happy. (I have no idea if they are really happy or not and I don’t care.)

The following day I was scheduled to be a substitute teacher for the English language classes my church offers to recent immigrants on Sunday afternoons. I ended up skipping Sunday morning service so I could check out some of Greenbelt Green Man Festival. I didn’t wear the jumpsuit on the second day because I was only there about an hour and a half at the most and I went straight to church for the English classes. I took a few photos of the second day of the festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Greenbelt Green Man Festival

I bought just two items at this weekend’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival. One was a pendant made from recycled dominos that features an image of Edgar Allan Poe.

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The other was a t-shirt featuring an image of Jesus riding on the back of a dinosaur.

What I Bought at This Year's Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Anyway that’s it for this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

UPDATE (June 25, 2016): You can read about why I’m no longer involved with that startup for whom I was selling those jumpsuits at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival right here.

In the past I’ve written blog posts about the art that one can find all over the place in Takoma Park, Maryland (with my most recent post on this topic that I wrote on March 21, 2016). Here are a few more recent examples of the permanent art that one can see on the streets of Takoma Park.

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Over a week ago I attended the annual weekend-long Takoma Park Art Hop.

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I knew that it was a special event when I saw that someone had placed a child-sized mitten on the head of the memorial for Roscoe the Rooster (you can read more about this unusual memorial here).

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The Art Hop was a mix of local businesses holding sidewalk sales while other businesses (such as restaurants and galleries) hosting art made my Takoma Park residents (with a number of the artists actually available to talk with and even buy something from them).

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There were a couple of places where people of all ages were allowed to create their own art for free.

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The Art Hop formally closed with a drumming circle that took place at this gazebo located in a small urban park right in the center of town. In addition to drummers there were also dancers and people playing with hula hoops. There were extra percussion instruments in case anyone who passed by wanted to join in this circle.

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I even shot a short video of this drumming circle.

I had a very full weekend. Friday (September 26) I went to Crofton where I helped my support group for the preparation of its fall yard sale. (Duties included sorting items, determining how to display them, and setting prices.) The following morning and early afternoon, I returned to Crofton where I helped with running the yard sale itself. I was among the volunteers who took the money of the people who were willing to buy used stuff for very cheap prices. It was a pretty easy task even though my feet grew sore at times.

One fringe benefit of volunteering is that I get a chance to take pictures of donated items that could belong in a museum. I did it before this past spring and last fall. This time proved no different. I donated some collectibles that could be in a museum. For this post I opted to focus on donations made by others. Some of the photos were taken the day before the yard sale while others were taken at the yard sale itself.

First up is this purple jack o’lantern trick or treat bucket. On the surface it didn’t look too unusual since the local stores have started to sell jack o’lantern trick or treat buckets (including purple ones) because Halloween is going to arrive within the next few weeks. The below photo looks like the bucket has been placed next to a cloth doll body.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

But when I picked up the bucket by the handle, I discovered that the cloth doll body is attached to that bucket. It gives new meaning to the term “pumpkin head.”

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

There was a small basket full of cassette tapes, all of which were priced very cheaply.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

I don’t even know what the hell that item in the next photograph is.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

I saw this animal that looked like a plushie. On the surface, it looks like a pink elephant.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

But then I noticed this very long monkey-like tail on this elephant.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

When I picked it up, its body felt hard. It felt similar to a Furby. I turned it upside down and saw that it has a battery compartment like a Furby.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

Come to think of it, the eyes of this pink elephant looks similar to a circa-1998 Furby’s.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

I tried to read the tag to see what kind of product it is. The only thing I could figure out is that it was made in China and it was distributed by a company called Trendmasters. After doing a Wikipedia search, I found that Trendmasters is a now-defunct toy company that went out of business over 10 years ago.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

I found an Olympus Pearlcorder 5702 Microcassette Recorder. Too bad no one donated the micro cassette tapes that this device required. Anyway, I have a microphone feature on my smartphone so I could make audio recordings without having to deal with tape.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

And then there is this bulky Dell computer monitor, which is incredibly heavy to carry. These days people tend to use thinner flat-screen monitors that are easier to carry.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

Here is a Polaroid JoyCam, which brought back memories of when my father used a Polaroid camera when I was a very young child. This particular camera is notable for being one of the last Instant products that Polaroid manufactured.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

I found a few old vacuum tubes.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

There were plenty of products that could still be used by people, such as these two dolls. Yes, I got silly and posed them for this photograph.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 27, 2014

Even with all the items that really belongs in a museum, the yard sale turned out really well. A few days after the yard sale I got an e-mail announcing that it raised $1,300 for the organization, which is a good thing.

The Changing Focus Yard Sale is usually held concurrently with the Festival on the Green, which is held next door on the grounds of the Crofton Country Club. At one point I managed to sneak away from my duty to check out this festival. I saw a lot of nice handcrafted items on sale. It was only too bad that money was too tight for me to buy anything from the booths.

Festival on the Green

Festival on the Green

Festival on the Green

Festival on the Green

Festival on the Green

You know that 2014 is a mid-term election year when you see a bunch of campaign signs on display.

Festival on the Green

I only stayed at the festival long enough to buy myself some lunch to eat then I returned to the yard sale. I stayed until after the yard sale ended at 2 p.m. where I did some of the packing of the leftover items that would be picked up by a truck that would deliver them to a thrift shop as part of its inventory. I left the event and I went to the second major event that was being held that day.

The Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival was held for the second year in a row. A few friends of mine had started this event last year and had even initiated a campaign on Kickstarter in order to raise some much needed funds. Last year it was held at the same time as the Utopia Film Festival and it also rained on top of it. The organizers decided to move the festival up by a few weeks and it was very warm and sunny as well. Before I left for the Crofton event, I packed my small bongo and a folding chair and I was glad I did so because it was very crowded. Here is a photo of my small bongo (which I purchased at Ron Jon Surf Shop in Florida back in 2011) that I took back in July.

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That event was so well attended that I had a hard time finding parking. It was very crowded as people brought drums and other percussion instruments to play around with the drumming acts that performed on stage and there are people who were dancing (both with and without hula hoops). There were also more vendors selling handcrafted items this year. There was a definite pagan vibe at this event that made the Crofton Festival on the Green seem straight-laced by comparison.

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, September 27, 2014

 

I was very exhausted by the time I decided to leave the festival. I slept very well that night. (LOL!)

Ramadan
I basically stayed home for the Fourth of July. With Washington, DC and so many other towns in my area putting on fireworks shows of their own I figured that the highways would be clogged with traffic so I decided to stay close to home. I was doing some web surfing and going through old things to see whether to keep them, donate them to charity, or try to sell them online then donate them to charity if I failed to sell.

I saw that the weather was sunny outside so I decided to go out for the heck of it. I found that the weather was warm, but not too hot, and the humidity was way down as well. Yesterday had to be the best Fourth of July in terms of weather in a long time. (Most other Fourth of July holidays tend to be very hot and humid.) I decided to take a stroll through Target where I found this display.

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This sign made it seem like there are now personalized bottles of Coca-Cola available in Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero. Sure enough, there are personalized bottles of soda that one could buy for himself, herself, or for someone else. While some of the bottles were marked “Friends” and “Family”, the vast majority of them had a person’s first name on the labels. I even found one that had my ex-husband’s first name on it. (If I was still married to him, I definitely would’ve bought that soda for him. I think he would’ve gotten a kick out of it.) Sadly, I didn’t find any sodas with my name on it. Oh well. 😦

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I also found boxes of Crayola crayons on sale that were pretty funky. Someone at Crayola had this idea to sell boxes of crayons with different color palettes based on princesses, pirates, mermaids, and more. (Who knew that pirates and mermaids needed their own special color palettes?) When I was growing up, the choices between boxes of 8 crayons, 16 crayons, 24 crayons, 48, crayons, 64 crayons, 96 crayons, and 120 crayons. Choosing boxes of crayons based on what kind of things you want to draw and color seems so confusing to me, especially since I tend not to stick to only one or two subject matters in my art.

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After that trip to Target, I went back home where I ate dinner until it was time for me to go to the fireworks show nearest to my home. I found out via Facebook that some of my friends were not only going to the one by the shores of Greenbelt Lake but they were participate in this big drumming circle that was starting around 5:30 p.m. I’ve tended to avoid the pre-fireworks events in the past because of the high heat and humidity and they took place while the sun was still up. This year I decided to arrive early because of the low heat and low humidity. However parking was a bit of a hassle so I ended up parking near one of the back entrances to the park (where there were fewer cars because most other people were busy competing for spaces in the very crowded front). The downside is that it was at least a 20 minute walk from my car to the area of the park where my friends were gathering for the drumming circle. Even though I brought along this tiny bongo that I have at home, I missed the drumming circle by the time I got there. But I managed to run into a lot of my friends so I spent time socializing with them while taking a few pictures of Greenbelt Lake in the late afternoon sun.

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There was this band that started its set with “The Star Spangled Banner” and it played a variety of marching band music (mainly written by John Phillip Sousa).

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The next picture is of my small bongo that I purchased during my last trip to Florida in early 2011.  The drum head should be a giveaway as to where I purchased it. 😉

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At first I thought I had brought my bongo with me for nothing but I wasn’t too annoyed since it is a very small bongo. (One of the photos in this post should give you an idea as to how small this bongo really is.) But when that other band finished its set, an impromptu drumming jam session broke out and I was able to play my small bongo while I also took some photos whenever I wanted to give my hands a break from bongo playing.

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I even shot a short video of the drumming jam session. The drumming went on continuously until the first few seconds after fireworks started.

I took a lot of photos of the fireworks show, which I managed to whittle down to the ones that are posted below. I really enjoyed the show this year.

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Last Sunday I was at my church shooting this video of a visiting drumming circle that was performing the Postulde part of the Sunday service (which usually signals the end of the weekly worship service) when, all of a sudden, various church members started to get up and spontaneously dance. (No, the dance wasn’t planned as part of the service at all. It just happened spontaneously.) The drumming circle were there as guest musicians who were performing at the church’s annual Earth Day Sunday service.

I shot this video of a musical anthem from my church’s annual Earth Day service last Sunday. The choir performed a song called "The Earth is Home" with assistance from a drumming circle (who were there as special guests on that occasion).

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