The 10th annual “Light Up The Village” Christmas tree lighting event is still scheduled tonight in Shirlington despite the cold, wet weather.
Shirlington Village said the event will go on despite the inclement conditions via its Twitter account. The light-up ceremony is expected to feature live holiday music from The Lovejoy Group, photos with Santa, face painting, balloon twisting, strolling entertainment and horse and carriage rides (with a non-perishable donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center).
There will also be specials and promotions at Shirlington Village merchants, including free coffee or apple cider at Busboys and Poets, and free kids meals (with an adult entrée) at Capitol City Brewing Company.
The festivities are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The tree lighting will take place at 6:30, and photos with Santa will begin at the UPS Store at 6:45. The event is free and open to the public.
Tom and Jo Straub have prided themselves on their elaborate Christmas light display for years. Only recently have they started using it to raise money for a good cause.
The couple has transformed the front yard of their Leeway Overlee area house, located at 5612 24th Street N., into a “dancing” light show synchronized to 15 of their favorite Christmas songs.
The display contains some 10,000 LED lights, which blink and “dance” with the music. The tunes can be heard from speakers outside the house and via a low-power radio station they set up for people who’d rather stay in their cars with the windows up. The station can be found at 98.1 on the FM dial.
The lights have been on display since Thanksgiving night and will be on every night through New Years Day. The show runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Santa Claus (as played by Mr. Straub) is on hand from 6:00 to 8:00 on most nights.
Not only are the lights fun to watch, but they’re also helping to raise money for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. A small mailbox near the street collects cash donations for the AWLA, as well as donations of pet food, pet beds, toys and other pet supplies. Once a donation is made, the donor can reward themselves by hitting a button near the mailbox for a small bonus light show.
Last year was the couple’s first year collecting for the AWLA. Tom Straub said they collected $1,100 for the organization, and hopes to raise even more this year.
Straub said the display requires about 2,000 feet of extension cords and takes all year to plan. He said the outdoor speakers turn off at 8:00 and he hasn’t heard any serious complaints from neighbors this year. He has, however, received a complaint about his Santa-like beard, which he started growing in June 2011.
“The wife is fed up with it, so it’s coming off on the 24th,” he said.
The annual Optimist Club of Arlington Christmas tree sale begins Saturday.
The trees arrived on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo bank lot near the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road. Volunteers offloaded the trees from tractor trailers, sending the unmistakable holiday smell of fresh Christmas trees wafting across the immediate area.
The Optimist Club will offer the trees — 1,800 total, including white pines, Canaan furs and Fraser furs — for sale starting at noon on Saturday. From there on out, until Dec. 22, the lot will be open on weekend mornings starting at 10:00 a.m., on weekdays starting at 2:00 p.m., and on Fridays starting at noon. The lot will remain open until 9:00 p.m.
The tree prices range from $40 to $240. This year, for the first time, the club will take credit cards.
Last year, the tree sale raised $75,000, according to Optimist Club volunteer Greg Clough. The proceeds all benefit the local club, which sponsors “academic and sports activities designed to give Arlington’s youth a better chance to succeed in today’s world.”
Veterans Day Ceremony in Clarendon — Local VFW and American Legion posts jointly organized a Veterans Day ceremony at the Clarendon War Memorial on Sunday. At the annual remembrance ceremony a wreath was laid for Lance Cpl. Niall Coti-Sears, who was killed in Afghanistan this year. [MyFoxDC]
Reeves Farmhouse May Be Sold — The Arlington County Board is expected to decide whether to sell the historic Reeves farmhouse, at auction, for residential use. The county had been looking for ways to save the farmhouse for public use, but rejected a proposal to use it as a learning center, apparently due to the proposal not adequately providing for the high cost of needed repairs and renovations to the house. [WAMU]
Historic Status for Green Valley Pharmacy? -- Next month Arlington County Board members are scheduled to consider a proposal to designate the Green Valley Pharmacy a historic landmark business. The pharmacy opened in 1952 at 2415 Shirlington Road, in the neighborhood now known as Nauck. The county’s Historic Affairs and Landmarks Review Board supports the historic designation proposal. [Sun Gazette]
Shirlington Tree Lighting Two Weeks Away — Shirlington Village will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting event on Tuesday, Nov. 27. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
Everybody’s talking about Sandy, but another big arrival is coming to town soon: Santa.
Simon Malls says photos with Santa will begin two weeks from today, on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes Street).
The Jolly Old Elf will be available for photos at Pentagon City mall through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. He’ll also be present for a special holiday shopping night from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, and available for photos with pets (no exotic pets, please) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Nov. 25 through Dec. 2.
St. Nick’s arrival in Arlington is a bit earlier than last year. His appearances at Pentagon City mall last year started on Nov. 12, 2011. No word on when Santa will be coming to Ballston Common Mall, but last year his first appearance in Ballston was scheduled for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
This week’s Arlington Animal Watch blotter includes a belated but somewhat amusing holiday-related item from December.
A Westover resident got more than she bargained for when her Christmas tree came with an unwelcome visitor. From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington:
12/2/11 — 1400 block N. Kenilworth St. — A resident purchased a Christmas tree and when she brought it in the house, a wild animal, thought to be a squirrel came out of the tree. Animal control set a trap for the squirrel overnight, and the resident propped her front door open so the animal could exit. The animal did not go into the trap and is no longer in the home so it is believed it ran through the open door.
Arlington’s Christmas annual tree collection and recycling program has begun, and the county has created a short video (above) to help residents understand how the program works.
According to the video, Arlington County collects more than 9,000 Christmas trees every year. The trees are brought to the county’s Solid Waste Bureau and ground into mulch, which is then redistributed to residents who want to use the mulch in their yards and gardens.
This year’s Christmas tree collection runs from Jan. 3 to 17 on normal trash collection days. All stands, lights and decorations should be removed from the tree before it’s placed curbside. As the video explains, residents who don’t have curbside recycling service — such as those living in apartments — can call 703-228-6570 to schedule an appointment to drop off their trees at the Solid Waste Bureau.
Christmas trees will be collected from Jan. 3-17 on normal trash collection days. All stands, lights and decorations should be removed, since the trees will be ground into mulch.
“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 am on your regular trash collection day,” the county said on its trash collection website. “Residents that do not have curbside recycling service, such as those living in townhouses, apartments, or condominiums, may also bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the Christmas tree collection season. Please call 703.228.6570 to schedule an appointment between 8 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday.”
The Solid Waste Bureau is located at 4300 S. 29th Street.
Follow these safety tips from the Arlington County Fire Department to make sure your tree doesn’t become a fire hazard before your scheduled pickup or drop-off.
Now that Christmas has come and gone, and all the presents have been unwrapped, another holiday tradition is upon us: the rush back to stores to return unwanted or ill-fitting gifts.
The week after Christmas is traditionally a busy one for retailers as they start to take returns (and as shoppers who received gift cards start to cash them in).
Will you be making returns this week?
ARLnow.com wishes you and yours a very merry Christmas. Since it couldn’t be a white Christmas this year, we decided to remind everybody of what Arlington looks like under a foot or two of freshly-fallen snow. The photo above was taken on Feb. 6, 2010, during the famous “Snowmaggedon” snow storm.
ARLnow.com will return for regularly-scheduled news updates on Tuesday.
Truth is, we don’t know. But maybe you can help out.
Following a Christmas tradition, Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street South) has set up an elaborate holiday-themed model railroad and village in its enclosed patio area. Here are some photos we took of the railroad earlier this week.
Weekend Closure Times Revised — Some of the times of this weekend’s Christmas closures have been revised. Arlington County government offices will now close at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, while county libraries will close at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Arlington County]
Dem Caucus Date Revised — Democratic candidates for County Board are scrambling after the newly-chosen special election date forced the Arlington County Democratic Committee to move up its caucuses, which will choose the party’s nominee for Barbara Favola’s former County Board seat. Originally scheduled for Feb. 2 and 4, the caucus is now expected to be held on Jan. 19 and 21. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
As mentioned in our Morning Poll, your shopping days before Christmas are dwindling.
Maybe you need some help scrambling to pick up those last minute presents. If so, never fear, because Santa has apparently set up a mailbox on a utility pole in North Arlington, near George Mason Drive and 26th St. N.
We’re not sure how often elves are collecting the letters, but we’re told neighborhood children have been frequenting the mailbox.