Silver Spring is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland. The urbanized, oldest, and southernmost part of Silver Spring is a major business hub that lies at the north apex of Washington, D.C. The community has recently undergone a significant renaissance with the addition of major retail, residential, and office developments.
Downtown Silver Spring hosts several entertainment, musical, and ethnic festivals, the most notable of which are the Silverdocs documentary film festival held each June and hosted by Discovery Communications and the American Film Institute, as well as the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade for Montgomery County.
Downtown Silver Spring is also home to the Cultural Arts Center of Montgomery College. Dining in Silver Spring is also extremely varied, including American, African, Burmese, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican, Salvadoran, Jamaican, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Thai, Chinese, Indian, and fusion restaurants, as well as many national and regional chains.
Silver Spring is served by a county-wide public school system, Montgomery County Public Schools. Of the public high schools in the region, prior to 2010, Montgomery Blair High School was the only one within the census-designated place of Silver Spring. It is nationally recognized for its Communication Arts Program and its Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program, the latter of which perennially produces a large number of finalists and semi-finalists in such academic competitions as the Intel Science Talent Search.