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Since its inception, the Takoma Park Folk Festival has been a community affair, organized by volunteers from the Takoma Park area. The Takoma Park Folk Festival continues to be an event by and for the community of Takoma Park, as well as the greater Washington, DC area, and its all-volunteer organizing committee and performers maintain the legacy of founder Sam Abbott, artist, activist, organizer, and Mayor (1980 to 1986).

That first year, 1978, a one-stage festival was held at Takoma Park Junior High School, and it raised about $1,100 to help keep the Takoma Theatre out of the hands of a developer. Since that time, the festival has grown in size and stature, but it has remained true to its roots as a celebration by and for Takoma Park residents.

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