The Crystal City Diamond Derby will take place on Saturday, September 29 from 4:00-10:00 pm. The venue is the underground parking garage at 2345 Crystal Drive, which will be transformed into an urban cycling course.
Riders of all abilities can try out the courses, some casual and others competitive. The Kids’ Derby and D&Q River Ride are free, but there are fees to enter the Open Course Challenge, Team Competition and 4X Comps. Registration for the various events is available online. All participants must have their own bikes and helmets.
Spectators are welcome in the viewing areas, and can check out other activities such as the new cycling inspired fashion shows. There will also be street art, music and food and drinks. The evening will close with the presentation of awards, around 9:40 p.m.
Photo via diamond-derby.com. Disclosure: The Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Grateful Red (2727 Wilson Blvd) wine shop in Clarendon is holding its official grand opening celebration this weekend.
Wendy Buckley, who also owns Screwtop Wine Bar, opened the store a couple of months ago, but wanted to take some time to get established before holding a big bash. This Saturday, September 15, Grateful Red will officially hold its Grand Opening and Fall Wine Lovers Festival.
Visitors can sample more than 30 wines and craft beers, along with gourmet goodies and cheeses. Local business Cookies and Corks of Falls Church will be at the store to offer samples of their specialty wine pairing cookies. Customers will receive discounts off of wine purchases over $50. The store will soon kick off wine classes, and will offer more information and a sign-up on Saturday.
All of the store’s usual offerings will also be available including meats, cheeses, gifts like soaps and lotions, more than 120 beers and more than 50 wines for less than $12.
It is free to attend the event, which runs from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Ragnar Relay Washington DC takes place Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, starting at Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland and ending at National Harbor in Maryland. Runners are expected to make their way into Arlington on Saturday morning.
After entering Arlington via Chain Bridge Road, runners will encounter a baton exchange point at Taylor Elementary School (2600 N. Stuart Street). They’ll continue along the Custis Trail until they reach the Key Bridge Marriott (1401 Lee Highway), which is another exchange point. The race continues south on the Mount Vernon Trail past Reagan National Airport, and then participants exit into Crystal City. The final baton exchange point in Arlington will be set up at the Crystal City Water Park on Crystal Drive. After that, the race heads back to the Mount Vernon Trail and south into Alexandria. The full course map and information about each leg of the race can be viewed online. The Arlington legs are 31-34.
Race organizers ask local residents to be extra cautious of the runners on the side of the road, especially because the relay requires them to race at all hours of the day, including at night. Those who are running in the dark will be wearing reflective clothing and headlamps.
Police say they will not be closing roads due to how long the race is and how spread out the runners are by the time they get to Arlington.
There are several interesting volunteer opportunities available around Arlington in the coming weeks. Among them:
Dogtober Day — The annual Dogtober Day event will be held at Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive) on Saturday, October 6. Volunteers are needed from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to set up and break down, register participants, hand out prizes and help with dog games. For more information, contact Hadyn Kihm at 703-228-4724.
Language Teachers – Native Arabic speakers are wanted to lead a conversation group at the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street). The ideal candidates should be able to speak Arabic clearly and correctly, have an interest in meeting new people and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. Training will be provided. The sessions are tentatively scheduled for Saturdays from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., but could be changed to accommodate the group leader. Anyone interested can fill out the volunteer application online. Questions can be directed to Barbara Dean at 703-228-7688.
For more information about these or other opportunities, visit the Volunteer Arlington website.
The Board will consider a $573,000 contract to build a new “sprayground” at Virginia Highlands Park, at 1600 S. Hayes Street near Pentagon City. The park was originally scheduled to open this past Memorial Day, but the project has been beset by delays. According to the staff report, the project was finally put out for bid in May, only to have the bids from contractors all came in higher than expected.
The sprayground was redesigned in order to put it within budget. A new water re-circulation system, which should save 113,000 gallons of water per week, was put into place. The sprayground was also reduced in scale, and certain features like a steel fence and a designed rock structure were eliminated.
The Board will vote on whether to award a $521,000 contract contract with a $52,000 contingency to Southern Playground Corporation.
Planning for playground upgrades to the park began all the way back in 2004. Construction was finally set to get underway in 2008 — following a plan to enhance amenities at the park while removing an existing restroom — when the Nauck Civic Association request that all work on the project stop, so that the park could be redesigned in a way that would keep the restroom. In order to keep the project within budget, the county scaled down other planned amenities within the park.
On Saturday, the Board is scheduled to consider a $316,000 contract — $287,000 plus a $29,000 contingency — with Avon Corporation. The contract covers renovations to the playground and the bathroom, as well as accessible entrances, an accessible picnic area, benches and bicycle racks.
The station is looking for models for its annual Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Expo, to be held at the Washington Convention Center on Oct. 20. The event features The event features “multiple fashion shows, free beauty makeovers, book signings, and meet and greets with celebrities.”
The casting call for the expo will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 23, on the third floor of the mall.
“Models chosen to walk during this year’s FBL will get a chance to meet these accredited designers, have portfolio pictures taken, increase their exposure, and the chance to get scouted by New York modeling agencies,” DC50 noted in a press release. “Models will be chosen by Maggy Francois, LLC and Joel Cas Productions.”
APS Posts Pass Rates for State Test — Arlington Public School students passed the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests at rates above statewide averages, with one notable exception. Hispanic students in Arlington passed the English reading test at a rate 5 percentage points below their statewide peers. [Arlington Public Schools]
GOP Opposes Recreation Bond — Calling it a “boondoggle,” the Arlington County Republican Committee has voted overwhelmingly to oppose a $50.6 million bond that would help to build a new aquatics center at Long Bridge Park. At the same time, Republicans voted to support a $42.62 million school bond. The bond issues, along with bonds for Metro and for “community infrastructure,” will appear on the November ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Public Meeting for Housing Study — Arlington County is seeking public input for the first stage of a three-year affordable housing study. The county spends about $52 million, or 5 percent of its budget, on affordable housing. The affordable housing study public meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Wakefield High School cafeteria. [Arlington County]
ABBIE Award Nominations Starts — Nominations are being accepted for the ABBIES, the Arlington best business awards. The online nominations, in categories from Best Pizza to Best Place to Pamper Yourself to Best Community-Based Nonprofit, will run through Oct. 3. [Shop Arlington]
Disclosure: The ABBIES are an ARLnow.com advertiser.