The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival brings a carnival atmosphere to the quiet Roosevelt Center and the bench gives comfortable seating for attendees who want to listen to live music from the stage. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival brings a carnival atmosphere to the quiet Roosevelt Center and the bench gives comfortable seating for attendees who want to listen to live music from the stage. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Recap

Thousands of attendees from across the region came to Greenbelt’s Roosevelt Center to participate in the festivities as part of the Labor Day Festival from Friday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 4. 

During the festival, a circus wheel and other carnival rides were erected, food vendors sold their wares to a hungry audience and live music was performed on stage each night. There was even a stand offering a wide variety of books for low prices in the Roosevelt Center, all to benefit the volunteer organizations who put the festival together.

Council member Ric Gordon said he saw about 1,000 attendees on Saturday and was looking forward to a chicken stick following his interview at the festival. Earlier that day, the politician was victorious during a pie-eating contest and had advice for future contestants.

“Go in hungry. Don’t eat that morning,” said Gordon about how he beat Mayor Emmett Jordan (D) in the almost seven-decade-long tradition of the pie-eating contest. “I ate one slice the fastest. We had our hands behind our back and had to see who was the quickest.” 

Catalyst Hot Dogs, another vendor present for the festival that operates out of Riverdale, offered Saturday’s attendees a  food deal. For $12, attendees could get two hot dogs, chips and a drink. In just one day, the vendor sold well over 200 hot dogs. 

The Roosevelt Democratic Club, a Greenbelt-based Democratic organization, raised additional funds by selling festival staples: funnel cakes and Boardwalk fries. 

The 67th Annual Labor Day Parade was held on Monday morning. 

University of Maryland Implements New COVID Policy

For the first time this year, the University of Maryland, College Park is implementing COVID-19 policies to reduce the spread as cases are increasing. 

The new COVID-19 policy reads, in part: “All students living on-campus will need to isolate at their permanent home or another off-campus location if they test positive.” 

According to the new policy, students can only return on day six if they meet a list of conditions, including: no fever for 24 hours, improving symptoms and a negative rapid test on day six. Even then, there’s another five days of masking and dining alone. Students can request a sick meal be delivered to their dorm room. 

Interviews with students have yielded a variety of responses. While some students understand the need for this new policy, some out of state students worry that isolation outside of their campus housing may force them to return home.

“My friend just had COVID last week. One of my friends, he tested positive yesterday, and he’s, like, ‘I’m going home.’ I just thought he was doing it to be safe, but I guess it was because he has to,” said UMD student Elizabeth Rand. 

“I’m only an hour and a half away, but even I thought to myself, class would kind of be inaccessible, and stuff like that, if I had to go home if I got COVID.”

Holt Streeter, Turner Appointed to County Leadership Roles

Barbara Holt Streeter was appointed as the County’s new Director of Strategic Partnerships on Sept. 5 and Samantha Howard was appointed as the Latino Affairs Liaison on Sept. 7. 

Holt Streeter previously served as the partnership officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), where she was responsible for establishing and maintaining effective partnerships within PGCPS. Her other service has included as an adjunct professor at Prince George’s Community College, manager of External Affairs and the Faith-Based and Community Outreach manager at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and as the Communications Director of the Office of Lieutenant Governor for the State of Maryland.

“I am honored for the opportunity to work with County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, an amazing leader whose passion, vision, and management have positioned us to be a stronger County,” said Holt Streeter. 

In her new role, Holt Streeter said her goal is to collaborate with her team: “to connect, collaborate, and cultivate strategic partnerships with our non-profit, faith, small business, and corporate partners.”

“We want to have a strong presence in Prince George’s County and provide resources, information, and opportunities for our partners because together, we are Prince George’s Proud,” Holt Streeter added enthusiastically.

Samanatha Howard, a native of Puerto Rico who moved to Prince George’s in 1989, previously served as the coordinator of Recruitment and Community Relations at Prince George’s Community College for more than 15 years where she reached out to underrepresented student populations and advocated to end out-of-state tuition for undocumented and DACA students. 

“It is with sincere enthusiasm that I step into the Latino Affairs Liaison role,” said Howard. “My passion for serving the Hispanic/Latino community and other underrepresented populations in Prince George’s County has driven me to remain focused and committed to the work. I am excited to start my next chapter in a role where I can leverage my experience and leadership for the benefit of my community.”

“We are excited to welcome Mrs. Samantha Howard as our new Latino Affairs Liaison,” said Alsobrooks. “With her background, knowledge, and expertise, we are confident that she will support our continued efforts to further connect with our county’s Hispanic/Latino community.” 

BSU President Breaux Reelected to CIAA Leadership

Bowie State University President Dr. Aminta Breaux was reelected to her second term as Chair of the Board of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the nation’s oldest historically black conference. Shaw University President Dr. Paulette Dilliard will serve as Vice Chair. The CIAA Board also voted unanimously to approve extending Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams Parker’s contract through June 2028. She is entering her 12th season as the leader of the 13-member conference.

During her first term, the CIAA moved its annual basketball tournament to Baltimore and it will continue there through 2026. 

“Following a successful basketball tournament in Baltimore, generating nearly $30 M in economic benefit to the Baltimore region, the CIAA is poised for greater achievements in this upcoming academic year, for our student-athletes, our member institutions, and the communities they serve,” said Dr. Breaux. “Our historic CIAA has proven year-over-year to be an economic benefit while providing a rich learning experience for students enrolled in our 13 HBCU member schools.”

Info on the 2024 CIAA tournament is available here.

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