Rockville residents and leaders stepped out into the boiling July heat Tuesday night to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of Rockville Town Square.
The 12 acres that has become the center of Rockville was built as a public-private partnership by Federal Realty Investment Trust, Montgomery County and the City of Rockville. Then-Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo and then-County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) were instrumental in overcoming many obstacles to get it built, said County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).
Giammo sat on stage with Leggett, Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, state Sen. Jennie Forehand (D-Dist. 17), Federal Realty Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Region Chief Operating Officer Robin McBride and Rockville City Council members John Hall, Bridget Donnell Newton, Tom Moore and Mark Pierzchala.
“I’m eternally grateful to Larry Giammo for having brought life back to the center of Rockville,” Marcuccio said.
Rockville Town Square hosts the county’s flagship library, 21 restaurants and 22 retail merchants, banks, a spa and a gym, with more restaurants and merchants scheduled to open in the coming months. Some 640 apartments and condominiums are built above the stores and restaurants.
“It’s not just a shopping destination or a place to eat—it’s a community,” McBride said.
Marcuccio asked how many of the hundreds of people in the crowd had been at the grand opening. Many had.
“I can remember that day so well,” she said. “Like today, it was so hot.”
The Unicycle Lady Lisa Polinori of Baltimore led children to the foot of the stage, where dignitaries cut a large birthday cake. Then they handed out 500 cupcakes, which were gift wrapped in individual boxes and stacked to look like large presents.
Among those who have watched the transformation of the neighborhood was Doris Prather.
Prather, dining with her family outside Oro Pomodoro, has spent her whole life in Rockville. Her parents lived nearby on Carroll Street, which was the black neighborhood, she said.
“If I moved away, I wouldn’t know what was here,” she said. “It’s really a magnificent sight.”
The anniversary celebration continues Thursday with a free ice cream social and fountain play Thursday at 3 p.m. The Nighthawks will perform from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with a $5 wine tasting. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Friday will feature a daylong sidewalk sale and music by Dan Hass and the Beatles cover band Yellow Dubmarine starting at 6 p.m.
Saturday will feature an all-day celebration of the arts, sponsored by VisArts.