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by Ethan Rothstein — September 22, 2014 at 10:00 am 3,197 0

2013 Clarendon Day 5K/10K race (Flickr pool photo by J Sonder)Clarendon’s biggest annual street festival, Clarendon Day, is back for its 17th iteration this Saturday, and with it comes the return of the D.C. Chili Cookoff.

This year’s festival goes from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the streets outside the Clarendon Metro station, at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Wilson and Clarendon Blvds. There will be 40 bands and musicians playing on five stages throughout the day, headlined by singer-songwriter Amber Rubarth at 2:45 p.m. on the main stage.

While music will fill the air all afternoon long, so will the smell of chili. The chili cookoff, sponsored by the International Chili Society, will see dozens of homemade chili chefs cooking up batches of red chili, chili verde, salsa and homestyle recipes, all competing for the chance to participate in the World Championship Chili Cookoff this October in Palm Springs, Calif. Chefs will be providing tastings of their chili, and those hankering for something else will be able to choose from more than a dozen local restaurants’ tents. 

Participants last year were disappointed by the long lines for beer, which often stretched dozens deep. This year, festival organizer Clarendon Alliance said “we have revised our event layout to allow for faster beverage service,” which includes two bars in different sections, with breweries participating in next month’s Courthouse Arts and Craft Beer Festival and wine.

Along Wilson Blvd, there will again be dozens of arts and crafts vendors and exhibitors, and by Clarendon Central Park there will be activity spaces for children. The festival itself is free to enter.

Roads in Clarendon will be closed all day Saturday to accommodate the festival. That includes starting at 5:00 a.m. on Wilson Blvd to N. Lynn Street to accommodate the annual Clarendon Day 5K/10K, which will also close southbound Route 110 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Wilson and Clarendon Blvds will close from Washington Blvd to N. Highland Street until the evening, as will Highland Street from 11th Street N. to just before N. Hancock Street.

Flickr pool photo by J Sonder

by Ethan Rothstein — September 16, 2014 at 11:00 am 3,106 0

Courthouse Arts & Craft Beer Festival flyerA new festival will bring craft beer, art vendors and music to the surface parking lot in Courthouse next month.

The Arts & Craft Beer Festival is planned for Sunday, Oct. 12 from noon to 7:00 p.m. in the lot along N. Courthouse Road, next to the Arlington County Justice Center. The festival will cost $10 for general admission and $35 for admission with 12 tasting tickets and a 5.5-ounce tasting glass. Beer tickets can be purchased online.

The festival will have two beer stations. Six Virginia breweries will serve their suds at the first station, called the Electric Stage Beer Pavilion: Lost Rhino, Williamsburg Alewerks, Wild Wolf, Crooked Run Brewing Company, Port City and Champion Brewing Company. These companies will offer two tastings apiece and compete in four categories. Awards will be given out for most-consumed beer, best dark beer, best “not so dark” beer and people’s choice brewery. The Electric Stage will feature eight musical acts throughout the day, including Derek Every and His Misanthropes, The Caribbean and The Raised By Wolves.

The other beer station, called the Acoustic Stage Beer Gardens, will feature national craft brewers not eligible for the competition, according to event organizer the Clarendon Alliance. The gardens will also be where artists perform on the acoustic and songwriter stages. Nine artists are performing on the acoustic stage, and 11 artists will grace the songwriter stage.

A total of 24 artists and vendors will sell their wares from tents.

These incredible Artist-Makers will create and sell everything from clothing to art, jewelry and items of wood, clay and whimsy. You will find things as yet undiscovered and collectible for the taking,” the event’s website says.

Once expenses for the festival are recouped, the Alliance said, proceeds will benefit Songwriters and Poets, which coordinated the music acts, Arlington Independent Media and the Clarendon Alliance. The Alliance hopes to make the festival an annual event on the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend.

by ARLnow.com — September 11, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,237 0

Flags on the Arlington County courthouse and detention facility buildings (photo courtesy Bill Ross)

APS To Use ‘Big Data’ to Prevent Dropouts — Arlington Public Schools held a contest this summer for “big data” companies to analyze its student performance data, and plans to use the newly-released results to predict which students are at risk of dropping out of school. The winning company, Deep Learning Analytics, found that APS should refine its data collecting techniques. In addition, it found that, along with attendance, behavior and coursework, socioeconomic standing is a predictive indicator for school dropouts. [Arlington Public Schools]

Military Jet to Land at DCA — The Scorpion, a new military fighter jet, will land at Reagan National Airport on Saturday. The jet — manufactured by Textron AirLand LLC — will stay in a DCA hangar for a week, for marketing purposes. [InsideNova]

County Launches New Blog — Arlington County has launched “Natural Arlington,” a new blog to discuss environmental issues in the county. Recent topics include a discussion of green frogs, the environmental issues with dog poop, and a post about the sale of native plants at local nurseries. [Natural Arlington]

Road Closure for Street Fair — Part of 9th Street S. will be closed in the area of Walter Reed Drive for the annual Prio Bangla Potho Mela street fair. The event is taking place Saturday morning. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Bill Ross

by Ethan Rothstein — August 22, 2014 at 11:15 am 807 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.

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