For the Johnson family, this year’s Mount Airy Day was a breath of fresh air.
Never mind the stratus clouds, which gave the day a gray overcast, the annual event was something the clan anticipated ever since they saw the announcement banner along Germantown Avenue.
“I think community events like this are important to communities,” said Nicole Johnson, who grew up in Mount Airy and recently relocated back to Northwest Philadelphia. “I brought along my nieces and cousins because I wanted them to experience what I used to when I was growing up. I lived up near Cheltenham Avenue then and I looked forward to the flyer for Mount Airy Day being put in my door every spring.
“So, when I heard that they still have this I had to come,” she added. “This is such a wonderful way to find out about the shops, buy from local venders, and experience the talent. I just wish it was Mount Airy Day every weekend.”
For Pamela Rich-Wheeler of Mount Airy the day was a way for those who are part of her “Youth in Money Camp” to flex their entrepreneurial muscles. The prepubescent youngsters were on hand vending for Mount Airy Day.
“Basically even though they were selling they came out to have fun, too,” she said.
On hand was Christopher Moore, 13, of Germantown. He was showing local revelers a new concept for birthday parties. An avid lover of the sciences, he caters to doing science-themed parties.
For Noah Gansallo, a member of the Keystone Boy’s Choir and a Germantown student, fundraising was on his mind. Since he wants to go on the performing ensemble’s next world tour he was raising the resources by selling artwork. So, he had sculptures and other artifacts on hand.
Ten-year old Nailah Wheeler of Mount Airy sold a pair of sneakers that she originally purchased wholesale and a keychain. Bobby Hill, 10, of Northeast Philadelphia also had the entrepreneurial spirit as he sold his line of energy wristbands.
“For these students this is the start of a summer of being a part of the money camp,” Rich-Wheeler said. “We will have another event at Penn Charter at the end of June. We will also hold programs in July and August.”
Mary Stewart of Germantown had her arms full of merchandise. She bought novelty items from various venders.
“I always find an excuse to go shopping,” Stewart said. “What I like about Mount Airy Day is that it’s like investing in your own neighborhood because you’re buying from familiar faces. I think even if it’s cloudy today, it’s all sunshine for me.”