“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.”
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.
The “Shirlala Music Festival” will include 10 weeks of live music from various genres, plus wine tastings from Shirlington’s Cheesetique store. The festival is an outgrowth of the former Shirlington jazz festival.
The event is free and open to the public, but the wine tasting is $5. It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday, from June 13 to August 22 (except July 4).
This year’s musical lineup includes:
- June 13 — Jeff Carmella Band (Rock)
- June 20 — MARS 4-tet (Jazz)
- June 27 – King Teddy (Swing)
- July 11 — Dan Haas Trio (Pop Rock)
- July 18 – Lloyd Dobler Effect (80s & 90s Covers)
- July 25 — The Shack Band (Rock & Funk)
- August 1 — Ewabo (Steel Tropical Drums)
- August 8 — Taylor Carson (Acoustic Rock)
- August 15 — The Morrison Brothers (Southern Rock)
- August 22 — Beach Bumz (Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band)
On the weekend of June 22 and 23, national art show promoter Howard Alan Events will hold the inaugural “Arlington Festival of the Arts,” a “two-day juried outdoor gallery style art exhibit” featuring various works from “100 of the finest artists in the country.”
The festival is free and will take place each day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on N. Highland Street near the Clarendon Metro station.
“Festival patrons can expect to see bold and vibrant paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, life-size sculptures, photography, handcrafted jewelry and much more,” said a press release. “A food festival hosted by the Clarendon Alliance will be located adjacent to the Metro Station stop on Clarendon Boulevard and Highland Street. Admission to the art show is free and open to the public.”
Also in June, the Market Common Clarendon shopping center (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will kick off a summer-long acoustic music festival. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring picnic blankets or lawn chairs to the free concerts, in the Market Common Clarendon courtyard.
The concerts will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday nights. The scheduled artist lineup is as follows.
- June 6 — Lloyd Dobler Effect
- June 13 — Hand Painted Swinger
- June 20 — Josh Burgess
- June 27 — Willem Dicke
- July 4 — David Andrew Smith
- July 11 — Melodime
- July 18 — Levi Stephens
- July 25 — Jason Masi
- August 1 — FarAway Duo
- August 8 — Paul Pfau
- August 15 — Shane Gamble
- August 22 — Heather Renee
- August 29 — Kerry McCool
The event’s 2013 moniker: “A Royal Ball.”
Now in its 9th year, the Testicle Festival will again be held at the Arlington American Legion Post in Virginia Square (3445 N. Washington Blvd), from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Tickets are $25 online or $30 at the door. Attendees must be at least 21 year of age.
The price of admission will buy you “all the Rocky Mountain Oysters, beer and Crown Royal you can handle,” organizers say. Entertainment will be provided by the Will Gravatt Band, while the testicles will be fried by Frank McGraw, who’s billed as “Montana’s most famous ball chef.”
“Coming to us straight from the original Rocky Mountain Testy Fest at Rock Creek Lodge outside of Missoula, Frank’s tasty recipe has an authentic zest that helped set a record last year for most pounds consumed,” according to the Montana State Society website.
Arlington is celebrating Black History Month with dancing, food and art at the 21st Annual Feel the Heritage Festival next month. The event will take place at the Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper Street) from noon-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9.
Avon Dews will provide live music and the Soul in Motion Players will offer an African dance and drumming performance. Kids can enjoy face painting, balloon art and making art projects while adults check out the vendors.
Anyone interested in taking in the history of the High View Park neighborhood can join in a cultural walk starting at 2:30 p.m. The group will stop at significant locations along the route, where walkers will be encouraged to share memories about the neighborhood, its residents and its traditions.
There will be a raffle during the event and the winner will receive two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in Africa that Ethiopian Airlines flies. The $5 tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the event.
Rosslyn Jazz Fest to Be Held on Saturday — The annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival will be held at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. The musical lineup includes groups and artists like Afro Blue, Rene Marie, Don Byron and Joshua Redman. Some surrounding roadways will be closed for most of the day. Planned street closures for the event include westbound Lee Highway from Lynn Street to Fort Myer Drive, and one lane each on eastbound Lee Highway and North Lynn Street. [Rosslyn BID]
Duncan to Visit Arlington Traditional School — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will announce the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools in Arlington this morning. The announcement is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. at Arlington Traditional Elementary School (855 N. Edison Street). Duncan is expected to be joined by Rep. Jim Moran (D) and Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy. [Department of Education]
APS Still Processing Appeals — Arlington Public Schools has received 450 formal appeals from parents of children denied bus service this year. The school system is continuing to respond to those appeals “as rapidly as possible.” At a school board meeting last night, however, APS officials showed no sign of backing down from their controversial new busing policy, despite strong words from a dozen or so parents who spoke. [Sun Gazette, Arlington Mercury]
No West Nile Virus in Arlington — Updated at 9:30 a.m. — D.C. officials revealed this week that an elderly man has died from West Nile virus. So far this year, 21 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Maryland and five confirmed cases have been reported in Virginia. No cases have been reported in Arlington, a spokesman for the county’s Department of Human Services tells ARLnow.com.
Clarendon Day will run from 11:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on September 22, near the Clarendon Metro. Admission is free to attend the event, which will take place rain or shine.
The morning begins with the fourth annual 10K/5K/Kids Dash, which begins in front of Whitlow’s on Wilson (Kids Dash in front of Market Common) and takes runners on a course along the Orange Line corridor. Registration can be completed online.
This is the first year the event will include the “Clarendon Alliance Battle of the Bands.” The music lineup hasn’t yet been announced, but should be listed on the event website as the day grows near.
There will also be more activities for kids this year. From face painting to jugglers to climbing activities, the little ones should have plenty to keep them occupied.
More than a dozen local restaurants will serve up food and drinks, including Delhi Club, Lyon Hall, Northside Social, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza and District Taco. Dozens of other exhibitors will be set up to satisfy attendees’ shopping cravings.
There will be a number of street closures for Clarendon Day. Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd will be closed between Washington Blvd and Highland Street by 5:00 a.m. Wilson Blvd between Highland Street and Lynn Street will be closed from 8:00–9:30 a.m. to accommodate the race. Route 110 southbound will be closed from 8:00–10:30 a.m. Additional closures may be announced as the event approaches.
Vintage Crystal: A Taste of Wine and Jazz is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. The event will be held in the parking lot outside 220 20th Street S.
The $20 cost of admission will get you a tasting glass, sips of tequila and various types of Spanish and South American wine, and tapas dishes from local restaurants. There’s also a $10 food-only option.
In addition to the food and drink, the event also features salsa dancing lessons, Latin jazz, and wine tasting classes.
Crystal City is also hosting weekly “Wine in the Water Park” events, at the public “water” park at 1750 Crystal Drive. The events are held on Fridays, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., through Sept. 28.
Disclosure: Crystal City Business Improvement District is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Library May Set Summer Reading Record — Arlington Public Library is tantalizingly close to setting a new record for participation in its summer reading program. Last year a record 7,371 students participated in the program. This year the library is “just a handful away” from reaching that number. [Sun Gazette]
Road Closures for Buckingham Festival — The Arlington County Police Department will be assisting with traffic control for the Buckingham Festival this weekend. From about 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, N. Pershing Drive will be closed between N. Glebe Road and N. Thomas Street. [Arlington County Police]
Arlington Mag Taking ‘Best Of’ Votes — Arlington Magazine has started taking votes for its inaugural ‘Best of Arlington’ poll. Among the dozens of individual categories are Best Restaurant, Best Realtor, Best Dog Park and Best Cosmetic Surgeon. [Arlington Magazine]
Photo courtesy Peter Roof
The 22nd annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 8 at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).
This year’s event, co-sponsored by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) and the Arlington Cultural Affairs division, will run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. The festival will feature “Afro Blue,” the Howard University a cappella group that made the 2011 finals of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.”
From the press release:
Afro Blue was named be The Washington City Paper as 2011 Jazz Artist of the Year, received a WAMMIE for best A Cappella Group and best video (Nature Boy), and an honorable mention in the Critics Poll, a professional vocal group category by JAZZ TIMES.
Warrenton native Rene Marie will also perform:
Rene Marie, the award-winning, Warrenton, VA-born singer whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel, is a heroine to many. Given an ultimatum by an abusive husband, she began her professional career after 40, leaving a 23-year marriage. Since her debut recording, Renaissance, the singer has evolved into one of the most intriguing vocalists of our time. With her latest release Voice of My Beautiful County (Motema Music), listeners will hear her trademark vocals but will also be struck by the wide variety of songs that she interprets — from Motown to Tin Pan Alley to “America the Beautiful.” The CD is a celebration of America’s cultural diversity.
The lineup also includes clarinetist and saxophonist Don Byron and two-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist Joshua Redman.
Photo courtesy Rosslyn BID
Organizers say attendance was up significantly at this year’s Columbia Pike Blue Festival.
The annual street festival was held on Saturday, along S. Walter Reed Drive. Some 7,000 people attended this year, according to Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Executive Director Takis Karantonis. That’s up from about 5,000 people last year.
The festival’s food, drink and craft vendors were happy with the increased attendance, said Karantonis. The beer and wine vendors were especially pleased — they sold about 20 percent more than last year, according to Karantonis.
“All vendors sold significantly more,” he said. “They were all very satisfied with the Blues Fest.”
Karantonis said the Blues Festival is increasingly drawing more of a regional crowd, including attendees from all around Arlington — not just the Columbia Pike area. That should allow improvements to the festival next year, including healthier food options and a new “food court” made up exclusively of booths from local Columbia Pike restaurants.
Disclosure: CPRO is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) The 17th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival will be held this weekend.
The Blues Fest will feature performances from local and nationally-known blues musicians. There will also be numerous food, drink and craft vendors; kid’s activities; a raffle; and booths set up by local community groups.
Thousands are expected to attend the event, which will be held from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, on S. Walter Reed Drive near the intersection with Columbia Pike. Weather for the day is expected to be mostly sunny, with a high of 80 degrees.
Among the blues artists scheduled to perform are:
- 1:00 p.m. — Karl Stoll & The Danger Zone, a “high-energy houserockin’ blues band featuring veterans of the DC circuit.”
- 2:00 p.m. — Moondog Medicine Show, a “hard driving, funky blues band that hails from Western Maryland.”
- 3:30 p.m. — Danny Blew and the Blues Crew, a band that plays a “stylish blend of traditional Mississippi Delta and Chicago blues.”
- 5:00 p.m. — Chris Polk, who “describes his style as Texas, Memphis and Chicago blues style with a soul twist.”
- 6:30 p.m. — Peter Karp and Sue Foley, an acclaimed blues duo that tours nationally.
The Blues Festival will close several streets from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., according to Arlington County Police. The closures include Walter Reed Drive between Columbia Pike and S. 9th Street, S. 9th Road from S. Garfield Street to Walter Reed Drive, and S. 9th Street from S. Highland Street to Walter Reed Drive.
Disclosure: The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, organizer of the Columbia Pike Blues Festival, is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The Montana State Society’s Testicle Festival in Virginia Square was a rousing success this year.
Festival-goers consumed 110 pounds of bull and bison testicles, 84 liters of Crown Royal and 1,500 cans of beer this year, according to event organizer and Society president Jed Link. All three were records for the event, now in its eighth year.
Organizers estimate that nearly 600 people attended the Testicle Festival, which was held at the American Legion post at 3445 Washington Boulevard. Even though the event didn’t start until 6:00 on Saturday evening, Link said a line started to form at 4:30 p.m.
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Exotic food lovers should enjoy an event taking place at the Arlington American Legion (3445 N. Washington Blvd) in Virginia Square on Saturday, May 19. The Montana State Society’s Eighth Annual Testicle Festival, dubbed “Legends of the Ball,” will be testing visitors’ gag reflexes.
The event lets attendees sample unlimited amounts of bull testicles, also called Rocky Mountain oysters. Like last year, there will be all-you-can-drink beer and Crown Royal to wash it down.
In a press release, organizers touted the event as a “unique western tradition.”
“While in D.C. people celebrate spring by posting pictures of cherry blossoms on Facebook, Montanans have a pretty unique tradition of our own,” said Montana State Society President Jed Link. ”Spring is calving season out West, and that means something special in the pot come chow time.”
There will be live country music at the festival, which runs from 6:00-10:00 p.m. The first 200 people to arrive will also get a commemorative t-shirt.
Tickets can be purchased online for $25, or at the door for $30. Attendees must be at least 21.