74°Scattered Clouds

by Ethan Rothstein — August 22, 2014 at 11:15 am 796 0

Salsa dancing at Crystal City's Sip and Salsa event on SundayCrystal City’s annual wine, food and music festival is back for 2014.

Sip and Salsa, as the event is called, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. The event will fill the parking lot and courtyard of 220 20th Street S. with booths pouring Spanish, Argentinian and Portuguese wines, plus unlimited food pairings.

The event, hosted jointly by the Washington Wine Academy and the Crystal City Business Improvement District, will have live jazz and salsa dancing. Wine experts will also be giving talks and educating attendees about the varieties of wine they will be tasting.

Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door, and designated drivers can pay $10 to partake in all the food tastings.

Sip and Salsa is the marquee fall event in Crystal City’s “Vintage Crystal” series of wine-related events. Starting Friday, Aug. 29 and running every Friday through Sept. 26, Crystal City will also be hosting Wine in the Water Park. That event, which takes place from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the park near 1750 Crystal Drive, features live music and various types of wine and beer for purchase.

File photo. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm 643 0

The site of the Buckingham Community Festival (photo via Google Maps)The annual Buckingham Community Festival returns this Sunday, closing N. Pershing Drive to make room for daylong activities.

The festival, hosted by the BU-GATA Tenants Association, will feature live performances of folk music and dance, among other activities. It will be held on N. Pershing Drive between N. Glebe Road and Thomas Street from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

In addition to the music and dance, there will be food vendors and children’s activities, like a bounce house and games for the family.

It’s the 14th year of the festival, which is held as an opportunity for the heavily Latino community to come together and celebrate each other’s cultures. Many of the performances will be traditional folk music and dance from a variety of Latin countries.

Pershing Drive will close at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate the festival, and should re-open around 7:00 p.m. Parking in the area will be restricted.

Photo via Google Maps

by Ethan Rothstein — August 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1,390 0

Wags and Whiskers 2011 (courtesy photo)The annual Shirlington pet festival, Wags ‘n Whiskers, returns for its seventh year this Saturday.

This year’s festival’s hours are extended: the fun begins at 10:00 a.m. and goes until 4:00 p.m. along Campbell Avenue. The festival’s organizer, the Federal Realty Investment Trust, said more than 60 pet-centric vendors have signed up to participate, making it the biggest Wags ‘n Whiskers festival to date.

In addition to the vendors selling treats, food, toys and other goods, there will also be on-site adoption booths, pet portraits for $5, demonstrations, face-painting and balloon art. A complete list of vendors is available on the festival’s website.

Live music will be going on throughout the festivities, starting with Dan Haas at 10:00 a.m., followed by the Taylor Carson Duo at noon and the Morrison Brothers Band at 2:00 p.m.

The Arlington County Police Department will be closing roads around Shirlington on Saturday for the event. Starting at 5:30 a.m., Campbell Avenue will be closed from S. Quincy Street to the parking garage entrance in front of the Harris Teeter (4250 Campbell Ave.). S. Randolph Street will also be closed from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley south of Campbell Avenue. Street parking in the area will be restricted. The roads are expected to re-open by 7:00 p.m.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — August 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm 832 0

Rebirth Brass Band (photo via Rebirth Brass Band)The annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival returns next month, and will be headlined by New Orleans staple Rebirth Brass Band.

On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), four jazz bands will take the stage while attendees can enjoy a picnic, food and fashion trucks and beer and wine.

This year, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is hosting its 24th jazz festival, and once again it’s free to attend. Parking is available in the garage at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, and several streets around the park, including Lee Highway, will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Rebirth Brass Band formed in 1983 and has released 12 original albums. Its latest album, “The Rebirth of New Orleans,” won the 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music album. The band plays traditional New Orleans brass music, but blends in aspects of jazz, funk and hip-hop. They take the stage to close the festival at 5:30 p.m.

Opening the festival at 1:00 p.m. will be The Corey Wallace DUBtet, led by trombonist Corey Wallace. At 2:15 p.m., the Ghost Train Orchestra, a 10-piece jazz band that plays modern revivals of 1920s and 1930s-era jazz hits, will take the stage. Following them, at 3:45 p.m., North Indian-jazz fusion band Red Baraat will bring their eclectic blend of music influence for the festival’s penultimate performance.

Beer and wine will be provided by the Washington Wine Academy. Several food trucks will be parked at the festival, along with fashion trucks Street Boutique and The Thread Truck.

Photo via Rebirth Brass Band. Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — July 11, 2014 at 9:45 am 1,143 0

Columbia Pike is flooded by a downpour / heavy rain

Caucus Date Set for Treasurer, School Board — Arlington Democrats will hold a caucus the evening of Monday, Aug. 4 to determine the party’s nominees in the special elections to replace Treasurer Frank O’Leary and School Board member Noah Simon. The caucus will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. [InsideNova]

Comeback for Crumbs? — The Crumbs store in Clarendon and across the country closed this week, but could a comeback for the cupcake company be imminent? A group of investors is planning to provide financing for the bankrupt Crumbs Bakeshop Inc., and that could revive some of the company’s stores. [Washington Business Journal]

Clarendon Art Festival to Return — The “Arlington Festival of the Arts” will return for a second year in Clarendon. The art festival is scheduled to take over part of N. Highland Street for two days on the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 20. [ArtFestival.com]

Last Day for Cheaper Tickets to ARLive — After today, tickets to the upcoming ARLive Startup Smackdown will increase from $15 to $20. The event — which is being held after work on Tuesday, July 22 — will pit about 20 Arlington-based startups against each other in a bid to collect the biggest “investment” from attendees, who will be given play money to dole out to their favorites. Beer, wine and food are included in the price of admission. [nVite]

by ARLnow.com — June 16, 2014 at 11:10 am 1,444 0

The 19th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival was held Saturday afternoon.

The festival benefited from warm and sunny weather that seemed mild compared to the sweltering heat of past years.

On one end of the closed-off portion of Walter Reed Drive, community organizations, local restaurants and a variety of vendors were set up in booths, offering attendees meals, beers and various wares. On the other end, the festival stage hosted blues acts like Duffy Kane, Memphis Gold and the headliner, Ana Popovic.

Aside from the music, there was another type of public performance at the festival: live art creation on canvases that were then auctioned off.

by Ethan Rothstein — June 12, 2014 at 11:30 am 778 0

Columbia Pike Blues Festival 2012(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) The 19th Annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival is this Saturday, headlined by a Serbian blues guitarist who brings a different type of blues to the Pike.

The Blues Festival runs from 1:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of the Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive by the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. There will be plenty of food and beer, but as Takis Karantonis, the executive director of the event organizer, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, says, the food and drink are secondary to the music.

“We think the blues is the Pike’s music,” Karantonis told ARLnow.com yesterday. “It corresponds to the personality and flavor of the Pike. Our artists on Saturday, they’re such different personalities and they all converge on the platform of the blues.”

The headliner this year is Ana Popovic, who Karantonis describes as “more heavy-duty, modern blues” than previous artists at the Blues Festival, but one who comes with a national following, a point of emphasis in putting together the event.

Opening for Popovic will be Steve McWilliams and The Spectacles, Duffy Kane, Memphis Gold and Billy Thomson. Next to the stage will be the return of Art in Action, in which visitors can watch artists paint canvases that will be auctioned off during the festival.

Selling food at the festival will be Pike restaurants Mazagan, Cantina Mexicana, Rincome, the Salsa Room and Big Daddy’s Texas-style BBQ. Beer will be provided by Yuengling.

For the first time this year, there’s a second day to the festival, an event called “Little Bit A Blues” at the courtyard in front of Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike), on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. While it’s a mini-event this year, Karantonis plans to expand the festival into a full two-day event for next year.

Last year, Karantonis estimates that the festival drew between 7,000 and 8,000 people last year. Although he said “we don’t talk about the weather” in CPRO’s office, the forecast calls for sunny skies and low-80s temperatures.

Arlington County produced a video with tips on how to get to the Blues Festival via transit.

Disclosure: CPRO is an ARLnow.com advertiser. File photo.

by Ethan Rothstein — May 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm 1,428 0

Discover Cherrydale logo(Updated at 7:10 p.m.) Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood — along Lee Highway from I-66 to N. Quincy Street — is throwing a celebration this weekend to celebrate its businesses and the undergrounding of the utility lines in the area.

This Saturday, from noon to 5:00 p.m., businesses along the corridor will open their doors for “Discover Cherrydale,” featuring — among other things — scavenger hunts, talks and readings with local authors and there will be tours of Cherrydale Fire Station. There will also be an unveiling of a Capital Bikeshare station, a fencing demonstration from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and live music throughout.

The empty storefront at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Lincoln Street will be open to the public to observe displays from local artists — it’s also where the book talks will be held — and there will be a community Zumba class from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Cherrydale (photo via Google Maps)The whole day will be kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the heart of Cherrydale to celebrate the undergrounding of utility lines.

“This is the 14-year project to underground utilities along Lee Highway in Cherrydale,” Cherrydale Civic Association President Maureen Ross told ARLnow.com in an email. “It was a constant construction mess. Now it’s done.”

Among the artists performing will be early/traditional musician Tina Chancey, a violinist and guitar duo from the Maywood neighborhood named Kitchen Gorilla and Cherrydale resident Ken Sick. The event will be going on rain or shine, and free and open to the public

Photo (top) courtesy Discover Cherrydale. Photo (bottom) via Google Maps

by Ethan Rothstein — May 28, 2014 at 11:00 am 6,575 0

Testicle Festival 2012 in Virginia SquareThe 10th annual Testicle Festival, a celebration revolving around Rocky Mountain Oysters and the state of Montana, will be held this Saturday evening in Arlington’s Virginia Square neighborhood.

Running from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the American Legion Post 139 (3445 Washington Blvd), “Testy Fest” will feature all-you-can-eat fried bull testicles prepared by Frank McGraw, “Montana’s most famous ball chef,” according to the festival’s organizer, the Montana State Society.

Testicle Festival 2014 logoTickets for the festival are $25 online and $30 at the door. In addition to the “oysters,” beer and Crown Royal whiskey will be served and there will be live country music performed by the Wil Gravatt Band.

Attendees must be 21 years or older. The first 100 in the door will get a free Testicle Festival T-shirt with this year’s theme, “Nuttin’ Better.” T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

“You’d be NUTS to miss this!” organizers said of the event.

File photo (above)

by Ethan Rothstein — May 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm 3,747 0

Crowds at Taste of Arlington 2012This Sunday’s Taste of Arlington festival in Ballston will fill the streets with food from 46 local restaurants.

The annual event will be held from noon to 5:00 p.m. Packets of 10 food and beverage tickets for are still on sale for $35.

Responding to high demand in previous years, Taste of Arlington will have a larger beer and wine pavilion this year. Located on Wilson between N. Randolph and Quincy Streets, the pavilion is billed as having “seating and plenty of space to dance.”

Aside from eating and drinking, Taste of Arlington will feature a number of different activities and entertainment option.

Three bands well-known to many Arlington residents will be performing on the main stage: Jumpin’ Jupiter from noon to 1:00 p.m., Gonzo’s Nose from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., and Burnt Sienna from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

A “KidZone” will feature a rock climbing wall, face-painting, carnival games, Washington Wizards and Capitals inflatable games, a teen band, a puppet show, a magic show and a dance performance. KidZone food, drink and game tickets are $20.

A “Bark Park” will provide a space for festival goers and their dogs, complete with pet supply vendors and a Corona beer station. For $10, dog owners can enter their pooch in a “World Pup tournament,” which features a 70-foot race track and a doggy-sized soccer goal.

Before the festival kicks off, organizers will be holding a Girls on the Run 5K race, described as “Northern Virginia’s most family friendly 5K.” A number of roads in the area will be closed from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. to accommodate the race.

There will be other traffic impacts in Ballston as a result of the festival. Wilson Blvd between N. Glebe Road and Quincy Street will be closed from midnight to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate the booths, as will N. Stuart Street between Wilson and 9th Street N. Parking will also be restricted in the area.

The full list of breweries and restaurants that will be serving at Taste of Arlington, after the jump. (more…)

by Courtney Battle — March 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm 652 0

Artfest 2014 (photo courtesy of Arlington Artists Alliance)The Arlington Artists Alliance is organizing a week of art appreciation starting this Friday.

ArtFest 2014 will be held at Fort C.F. Smith Park (2411 24th Street N.) and will run from March 28 to April 4. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy an ongoing art show and attend workshops and demos, according to the organization’s website. This marks the 12th year the Artists Alliance will hold ArtFest, which is free and open to the public.

The Hendry House, a historic 20th century mansion on the park grounds, will host the art show throughout the week. In addition, artists such as Jackie Afram and Fran Simms will conduct workshops on painting with oil bars and watercolor.

An opening reception will kick off the week on Friday, March 28th from 6-8 p.m., at which visitors can meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 12, 2014 at 10:45 am 2,111 0

SpringFest 2014 PosterCapitol City Brewing Company plans to shut down the streets of Shirlington next month for an outdoor beer festival.

The event, the inaugural Springfest, is planned for Saturday, April 26 from noon to 7:00 p.m. Forty-five breweries, almost exclusively from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, are expected to pour their brews at booths. According to Capitol City Director of Brewing Operations Kristi Griner, the format will be the same as Capitol City’s annual Octoberfest, but the event will be smaller.

Partygoers can pay $30, which will give them a wristband and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $1 apiece, but must be bought at least five at a time. The event will likely shut down Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village, although specifics about road closures have not been determined.

In addition to the beer, Griner said she expects neighboring Shirlington restaurants, like Copperwood Tavern and Samuel Beckett’s to participate and offer food to the festival patrons. DJ Julius, who hosts Capitol City’s karaoke nights, will provide the music. The taps will be turned off at 6:00 p.m.

“We’re trying to do something to help stir up the first quarter,” Griner said. “But spring is here, and especially after this winter in particular, everybody is ready to get outside. It seemed like a good bookend to winter with our Oktoberfest.”

Capitol City’s annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest was most recently held in Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.

by ARLnow.com — March 6, 2014 at 9:55 am 2,241 0

GW Parkway traffic (Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA)

More Homes Awaiting the Wrecking Ball — Another 11 homes are set to be torn down in Arlington, after applying for demolition permits in February. The group Preservation Arlington says three are located in historic districts. “The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy, and materials,” the group writes. “Many had the potential for renovation and additions, or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials.” The group is currently seeking nominations for its annual “Most Endangered Historic Places” list. [Preservation Arlington]

Arlington Woman Turns 100 — Arlington resident Virginia Blake turned 100 last month. Blake, whose paternal grandmother lived to 111 years old, only moved out of her Military Road home and into a senior living facility last fall. [Sun Gazette]

Potomac Yard, Prior to Development — A photo from the 1990s shows the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard before apartment and office developments were built. [Twitter]

Teen Book Fest Comes to ArlingtonUpdated at 11:35 a.m. — The NoVaTeen Book Festival will take place at Washington-Lee High School on Saturday. NoVaTeen bills itself as “the first-ever festival celebrating Young Adult literature in the Northern Virginia/DC metro area.” [NoVaTeen Book Festival]

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

by Ethan Rothstein — August 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm 1,141 0

Becketts Celtic Festival posterOne day in mid-September, the streets of Shirlington will be filled with bagpipes, dancers, men in kilts and pints of Guinness.

“Beckett’s Celtic Festival” will be held from noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 in Shirlington. During the festival, Campbell Avenue will be closed between S. Randolph Street and the Harris Teeter.

The event is being organized by Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub. Owner Mark Kirwan said he saw a dearth of Irish events in the area, and took it upon himself to organize the festival.

“I think I’ve looked around and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Arlington that celebrates not just Irish but the Celtic heritage,” Kirwan said. “We just wanted to try to acknowledge the relationship that the Celtic nations have had with the USA. It’s nice to come out and put your kilt on and celebrate your history here.”

Kirwan said there will be a stage set up for bands brought over from Ireland to perform. The U.S. Marshal Pipe Band and several Irish dancing schools will put on displays of traditional Irish music and performance. Vendors will be set up in tents selling Celtic crafts, and classic Irish dishes — like Shepherd’s Pie, bangers and mash, corned beef sandwiches and Irish curry — will be served.

Kirwan said there will be a 40-foot Guinness “gig rig” trailer dispensing beer. Wine will also be sold.

“It’s going to be very much a family-oriented day out,” Kirwan said. The festival will be free for all to enter. “It should be a great day.”

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2013 at 9:45 am 1,259 0

Fireworks trailer on Columbia Pike

Instagram Has Video Filter Called ‘Clarendon’Updated at 2:25 p.m. –Yesterday, Facebook-owned photo app Instagram rolled out a feature that allows users to record video. As with photos, users can apply filters to the video. One of those filters is called “Clarendon,” but it turns out it was named after a street in San Francisco, not the Arlington neighborhood. [Instagram, All Things D]

Abingdon Book Bus Returns — After a successful summer of book distribution last year, the Abingdon Elementary book bus will return on July 9. The book bus is one of several summer reading initiatives for Arlington students this year. [Arlington Public Schools]

Road Closure For Art Festival — A road closure is planned for the inaugural Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon. N. Highland Street will be closed between Washington Blvd and N. Hartford Street. Wilson and Clarendon Blvds will remain open during the festival, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. [ArtFestival.com]

Pike Sculpture Honored – Echo, the sculpture on display at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike, has been honored as a “top 50″ public art project for 2013. The sculpture “provides a modern interpretation of Arlington’s significant contribution to the history of communication.” [Arlington County]

Disclosure: Art festival promoter Howard Alan Events is an ARLnow.com advertiser. Hat tips (Instagram item) to @reddusfoximus and @jeffchin21.

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