Silver Spring is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located inside the Capital Beltway in Montgomery County, Maryland. It had a population of 76,716 according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown. Silver Spring consists of the following neighborhoods; Downtown Silver Spring, East Silver Spring, Woodside, Woodside Park, North Hills Sligo Park, Long Branch, Montgomery Knolls, Franklin Knolls, Indian Spring Terrace, Indian Spring Village, Clifton Park Village, New Hampshire Estates, and Oakview. 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. Silver Spring takes its name from a mica-flecked spring discovered there in 1840 by Francis Preston Blair, who subsequently bought much of the surrounding land. Acorn Park, tucked away in an area of south Silver Spring away from the main downtown area, is believed to be the site of the original spring.
At the beginning of the 21st century, downtown Silver Spring began to see the results of redevelopment. Several city blocks near City Place Mall were completely reconstructed to accommodate a new outdoor shopping plaza called “Downtown Silver Spring. Beginning in 2004, the downtown redevelopment was marketed locally with the “silver sprung” advertising campaign, which declared on buses and in print ads that Silver Spring had “sprung” and was ready for business.In June 2007, The New York Times noted that downtown was “enjoying a renaissance, a result of public involvement and private investment that is turning it into an arts and entertainment center.” 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 (Saturday before Thanksgiving) for Montgomery County. The Silver Spring Jazz Festival has become the biggest event of the year drawing 20,000 people to the free festival held on the second Saturday in September. Silver Spring is serviced by the Brunswick Line of the MARC Train, Metrorail Red Line, Metrobus, Ride On, and the free VanGo. The bus terminal at the Silver Spring Rail Station is the busiest in the entire Washington Metro Area and provides connections between several transit services, including those mentioned above. This transit facility serves nearly 60,000 passengers daily.