Hundreds of grade-schoolers flooded the sidewalks of Courthouse this morning, trick-or-treating for Halloween.
Key Elementary School students, along with teachers and parents, went up and down Clarendon and Wilson Blvd just after 9:00 a.m., collecting candy from tables local businesses like John Marshall Bank and the Bank of Georgetown.
At the same time, at Courthouse Plaza, a band made up of elementary schoolers in costumes — like North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman — played “Let’s Go Band” while workers from the office buildings walked by and snapped pictures with their cell phones.
Halloween is here and while children prepare to loot local homes of their sweets, adults may still be pondering what to do tonight.
Going out to a Halloween party? Accompanying your kids while trick-or-treating? Staying home to hand out candy?
Or, maybe, not doing anything festive at all.
Which option best describes your plans tonight?
Despite a full slate of Halloween activities last weekend, the actual holiday is this week, meaning coworkers in costumes and, of course, kids trick-or-treating.
“Moonset” is expected at 4:23 p.m., according to Weather.com, and if it takes too long to change into costume, parents could be caught in the rain thanks to a chance of showers at night.
Arlington officials and local organizations have a number of tips for staying safe Halloween night.
Police advise parents to instruct children to stay in the neighborhoods they know and to refuse any unwrapped candy. When children return home, parents should inspect candy for signs of tampering or foreign objects. Better yet, police say, parents should head out with their children on Halloween.
“We always recommend that parents accompany children, especially younger children,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Michael Watson. “We also recommend that children and parents have something that would be visible in the dark, like reflective vests, a flashlight or some sort of glow stick, so they can be seen by drivers.”
If it rains, the following advice from Arlington County, issued last year following Hurricane Sandy, could apply: ”Watch out for slip and trip hazards such as wet leaves and small branches on sidewalks and driveways.”
AAA, meanwhile, is advising drivers to use extra caution after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. There are about four times as many fatal child pedestrian collisions on Halloween compared to other days of the year.
“To prevent this from happening, area motorists need to be especially cautious between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Instead of cruising along hell-for-leather, drivers should slow down in areas with pedestrian traffic and watch for trick-or-treaters who may be crossing mid-block. Most pedestrian fatalities happen in mid-block settings, not in crosswalks.”
The automobile organization also had the following advice for parents of trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure an adult or responsible older youth supervises children under age 12.
- Teach your child to stop at well-lit houses and never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
- Establish a return time.
- Tell your child not to eat any treats until they return home.
- Review trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
SoberRide to Offer Free Halloween Cab Rides – The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering free taxi rides next Thursday on the night of Halloween. From 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., revelers can dial 1-800-200-TAXI, be picked up and taken to their destination free of charge, within a $30 fare. The service is offered in D.C. as well as the Maryland suburbs and other Northern Virginia municipalities. The service is being offered to prevent drunk driving, and WRAP says that 52 percent of traffic deaths on Halloween come from drunk drivers. [SoberRide]
Crystal City BID to Give Away Free Bike Lights — The Crystal City Business Improvement District will be giving away free bicycle lights this afternoon (Friday). The giveaway is taking place at the Crystal City exit of the Mount Vernon Trail from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. At the bike light giveaway last year, cyclists received front and tail “Bug Eye” lights. [Crystal City BID]
Road Closures for the Marine Corps Marathon — The Marine Corps Marathon is this Sunday, and many road around Arlington will be closed while runners participate. The closures will begin at 4:00 a.m. and many roads will not reopen until 4:30 p.m. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
There are a number of events happening around Arlington for the holiday this weekend. Among them:
Doorways’ Howl-o-ween Dog Walk for the Homeless
Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Doorways, a domestic violence shelter for women and their children, is hosting a dog-walking fundraiser at Big Walnut Park (1915 N. Harrison Street). While many similar shelters don’t allow pets, Doorways provides a place for both victims of domestic abuse and their pets. Visitors are encouraged to dress themselves and their pets in Halloween costumes, and dogs can compete for prizes. Registration is $30 for adults and $20 for children under 16, with proceeds going to Doorways.
FALLoween at Market Common Clarendon
Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Market Common Clarendon, at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, is hosting its own pet-friendly parade Saturday morning. There will be trick-or-treating, a mini pumpkin and a petting zoo. A pet and human costume parade will start at 11:00 a.m. and a “Princess vs. Superhero fitness contest” will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All events are free.
Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror
Saturday, Oct. 26, starting at 7:00 p.m.
Douglas Park will host its second annual haunted trail this Saturday evening Starting at 1620 S. Quincy Street, visitors will walk through Douglas Park and walk through trails where they’ll encounter goblins, swamp monsters and other ghouls and ghosts. There will also be a children’s area with milder fun. To experience the trail, visitors should bring canned food for donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
Elliot in the Morning’s Halloween Bash
Friday, Oct. 25, starting at 8:00 p.m.
Friday night at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd), DC101′s Elliot in the Morning show will host a costume party with a $3,000 cash prize going to the winner. Doors will open at 8:00 p.m. and the cover charge is $15 before 10:00 p.m. No costumes with stilts or weapons will be permitted. Sixty party-goers will be selected by judges in the crowd to be finalists by 10:30 p.m., and crowd applause will determine the winner among those 60.
Not So Silent Cinema Presents Nosferatu
Saturday, Oct. 26, starting at 8:00 p.m.
At Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) Saturday night, a klezmer quintet will play accompaniment to the 1922 silent movie classic “Nosferatu,” cinema’s first vampire flick. The movie will be shown at the Dome Theater. Tickets are $15.
HiBall Monster Bar Crawl
Friday, Oct. 25, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.
HiBall events is hosting a bar crawl Friday evening from Courthouse to Ballston, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Participating bars include Spider Kelly’s, World of Beer, Wilson Tavern, Whitlow’s on Wilson and The Front Page. Tickets are $15 and participating revelers can participate in a costume contest via Facebook, with the winner getting $200 and gift cards from participating restaurants.
Photo courtesy of Doorways
Arlington to Update Streetcar Analysis — Arlington County has hired a consulting firm to update its analysis of the transit capacity needed for Columbia Pike and the potential return on investment of the county’s planned Columbia Pike streetcar system. The new analysis, which should be complete by December, will take into account changes in population and employment since the original analysis was done. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Planning Halloween Film Fest — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is planning a Halloween film festival on Saturday, Oct. 19. The festival will feature a kid-friendly Halloween film, followed by something more adult-oriented. The BID is asking the public to vote on which films they would like to see. [Survey Monkey]
Va. Senator Defeats Journalist in Spelling Bee – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was declared the victor in a journalists vs. lawmakers spelling bee at the National Press Club last night. Sen. Kaine won with the spelling of “nonpareil,” against runner-up Rebecca Sinderbrand, of Rosslyn-based Politico. [Twitter]
Preservation Arlington Lauds Residential Redevelopment — Preservation Arlington is lauding the redevelopment of a residential property on the western end of Washington Blvd in Arlington. About 10 years ago, the 1940s-era colonial-style home at 6315 Washington Blvd was renovated, preserving its unique architecture, while two new homes were built on the large tract of land. Thanks to “foresight and good planning,” the project prevented the stately home from becoming “just another in-fill development site.” [Preservation Arlington]
The first incident started out as a mystery right out of a horror movie: several pools of blood were found this morning within a one block radius of Ray’s Hell Burger in the Rosslyn area.
One was found on the sidewalk along Wilson Boulevard, between N. Rhodes Street and N. Quinn Street.
Then, two more were reportedly found in the parking lot and elevator of an apartment building on the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. Also at the scene: a bloody CVS bag with shampoo and cat food in it, according to a witness.
At first, police were baffled by the blood — no one had called the night before to report any nefarious acts in the area. One nearby resident even told police he had been up all night with the window open and hadn’t heard a thing. Eventually, though, investigators located the source of the gore: a man who lived in the apartment building in which the blood was found.
The man — who’s in his late 20s, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck — had a broken nose and a pair of black eyes. He didn’t remember much from the night before, but confirmed that he had been out drinking at nearby Red Hot and Blue, then left the restaurant and took a Lunesta sleeping pill. It was at that point that his memory got fuzzy. Police believe he got into some sort of altercation, but robbery was likely not the motive — he still had all his money and credit cards with him.
Police photographed and collected samples at the blood pools and then called the fire department to hose them down. Because the man couldn’t remember what happened, police don’t have much to go on in terms of finding a suspect.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Sternbeck said.
In Ballston, meanwhile, Halloween revelry took a dark turn when an intoxicated man hopped behind the bar of a restaurant on the 600 block of N. Glebe Road (in Ballston Common Mall) around 11:30 last night.
A female bartender confronted the man, at which time he grabbed a bottle of Amaretto and swung it at her, according to police. The bartender sustained a cut to her leg and was taken to Virginia Hospital Center. The man, identified as 30-year-old Jorge Zunagua of Alexandria, was detained by security, arrested and charged with malicious wounding.
Elsewhere in Arlington, a couple of instances of mischief were reported. One house was egged and one of its windows was somehow broken as a result, according to Sternbeck. He was unable to say where in Arlington the house was located.
In Virginia Square, pranksters rearranged the numbers on a gas station sign to suggest that regular unleaded gasoline was $7.43 per gallon. A passerby informed the manager of the station (Japanese Auto Service) of the prank.
Photo (bottom) courtesy James Webster
Trick or Treating Tonight – So far, Arlington County has not placed any restrictions on trick or treating tonight in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. There’s no official trick or treating time in Arlington; children typically begin trick or treating shortly after sundown.
Halloween Safety Tips – WalkArlington has a number of helpful safety tips for parents whose children will be trick or treating tonight. Among them: Parents should make sure their trick-or-treaters are wearing bright colors or reflectors and have a costume that allows them to clearly see their surroundings. Parents should also review safety rules with children before they leave the house. [WalkArlington]
Reopening After Sandy — Arlington Public Schools will be open today, with the exception of Barcroft Elementary School, which is still without power. Arlington County government offices, libraries, courts, community centers, and nature centers will also be open, as will federal government offices.
SoberRide Still On — The SoberRide program, which provides a free cab ride (up to a $30 fare) for holiday revelers, is still on despite Sandy. It’s open to anyone in the greater D.C. area calling 1-800-200-TAXI between 10:00 tonight and 4:00 tomorrow morning. A planned SoberRide-related press event in Arlington, however, which was to unveil a new vehicle that would be used to discourage drunk driving, has been postponed until after Election Day (Nov. 6).
So far, the county is not putting any restrictions on trick or treating. County staff is urging parents, however, to use their best judgment to keep children out of harm’s way in neighborhoods particularly hard hit by the storm.
“We all hope that the weather will improve quickly and that we can all get back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Arlington County Director of Communications Diana Sun. “I sincerely hope that there are no disappointments for all the young people looking forward to tomorrow evening.”
Although crews are hard at work to repair downed power lines and clear fallen trees, there may still be debris scattered along sidewalks tomorrow. Parents should be cognizant of such hazards, especially as it gets dark. Other dangers to watch for include slippery leaves and unstable, rain-soaked ground.
Unfortunately for dog owners, the Dog Trick or Treat event planned for tonight in Shirlington has been cancelled. A representative for Dogma Bakery said there’s a possibility the event will be re-scheduled for Thursday and those interested should check the event’s Facebook page for updates.
Update on 10/29/12 — The press event has been postponed until after Election Day (Nov. 6) due to Hurricane Sandy.
Arlington County Police, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and Red Top Cab are preparing to reveal a secret weapon in the fight against drunk driving.
The weapon: a Ford Crown Victoria that’s half ACPD police car and half taxi. The vehicle — pictured here on the county property yard several weeks ago, in an unfinished state — will be parked strategically throughout the county and used to remind party-goers of two options for getting back home after a night of drinking: in the back of a taxi or, if they try to drive drunk, in the back of a police car.
The vehicle, which is still being retrofitted and decorated, will be officially unveiled just
before noon outside Arlington police headquarters on Wednesday (Halloween). The unveiling will coincide with WRAP’s SoberRide program, which will offer anyone 21 and over in the greater D.C. area a free taxi ride home from 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 to 6:00 a.m. the next day. The SoberRide phone number is 1-800-200-TAXI.
SoberRide operates on high-risk holidays: Halloween, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and Independence Day. Halloween is a particularly dangerous time to drive: 40 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths during Halloween are caused by drunk drivers, according to WRAP.
While the Halloween holiday isn’t until Wednesday, the anti-drunk driving message also applies this weekend, which is prime time for Halloween parties and bar crawls.
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so fans of the holiday have a number of opportunities to attend events over the next few days. There are numerous events for adults at the area bars and restaurants, but here is a list of some family friendly activities for participants of all ages:
- Halloween Harvest (5:15-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24) — Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO) is hosting a community gardening event. There will be face painting, a treasure hunt, pumpkin decorating and healthy snacks fresh from the garden. Attendees can learn more about community gardens at the free event, which will be held at Whitefield Commons (106 N. Thomas Street).
- Fire Pit of Horror (6:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Join Arlington’s WSC Avant Bard at the Lubber Run Park fire ring as performers bring classic horror tales to life. There will be readings of works by Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Costumes are optional, but encouraged. The event is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP online.
- Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror (7:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 27) — A haunted trail located at 1620 S. Quincy Street in the Douglas Park neighborhood. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable items for donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
- Trick or Treat with Shirlie (2:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — The Village at Shirlington is encouraging patrons to dress up in costumes while enjoying free treats at the restaurants and shops. Several of the businesses will have promotions, face painting, crafts and other activities. A list of all participating businesses can be found online. Entries for the pumpkin carving contest can be dropped off at the Hilton Garden Inn from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to One, Two Kangaroo Toys.
- FALLoween (10:00 a.m-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Market Common (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will hold its annual free event featuring a petting zoo, face painting, music and trick or treating at some of the businesses. A performance by Rocknocerous kicks off the event at 10:00 a.m. People and pets are invited to join in the costume parade at noon.
- Halloween Party (1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.) will host a special day for kids ages 3-11. Activities at the free event include carnival games, moon bounces, crafts, a costume parade and prizes.
- Ghostbusters Viewing (8:00-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Take in a showing of the classic movie “Ghostbusters” in the Dome Theater at Artisphere. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online.
A listing of some pet friendly Halloween activities can be found in a previous article.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Halloween is just over two weeks away. If you have kids, that means it’s probably time to start picking out their costume for the big day. If you have a dog (or dogs) — well, you should probably start picking out their costume, too.
At least three events are planned in Arlington for those who want to celebrate Halloween with their favorite four-legged friend.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families will hold its 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless. The event is being held at Big Walnut Park (1915 N. Harrison Street).
“Bring your dogs dressed in their ‘Howl-O-Ween’ finest for a mini-walk to support Doorways for Women and Families,” the organization said of the event. “All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Unleashed by Petco, Weber’s Pet Supermarket, Kissable Canine and Dogma Bakery! Treats (both canine and human) will be provided for all attendees!”
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., PetMAC in Virginia Square (822 N. Kenmore Street) will be holding a “Doggy Halloween Party.” The event will feature “treats (for our 2 and 4 legged friends) and other refreshments, games, photos, costume contests and special store discounts,” according to the pet store.
Also on Oct. 30, Dogma Bakery and Boutique (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) will be hosting its annual Dog Trick or Treat through Shirlington Village. The trick or treating will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Photo via Doorways for Women and Families
Some Arlington residents went all-out when it came to dressing up their homes for Halloween. Just before the kids started trick-or-treating last night, we stopped by two local streets that were said to have some of the best decorations around.
On the 700 block of N. Illinois Street in Bluemont, two homeowners were duking it out for the title of scariest house. One home was not only spook-ified on the outside, but the creepy decorations and frightful lighting continued well inside the front door as well.
The 700 block of N. Jackson Street in Ashton Heights was even more festive. One otherwise charming home was converted into a yard of horrors, with freshly-dug graves, cobwebs, leering ghouls and a menacing coffin. Just down the street, neighbors were out taking photos of the N. Jackson Street Cemetery — a house-turned-haunted-house featuring a real, rusted-out hearse, more freshly-dug graves and a small army of free-standing witches, ghosts and skeletons.
How do these compare to the best-decorated homes in your neighborhood?
Students from Abingdon, Arlington Science Focus, Campbell, Barrett, Barcroft and Key elementary schools went trick-or-treating at the White House on Saturday night. Students — including the two Key Elementary students pictured — were handed Halloween treats from none other than the President and Mrs. Obama themselves.
Photo courtesy Arlington Public Schools
Last week, the county’s WalkArlington program published a series of safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents and drivers alike.
For instance, drivers should anticipate children darting out from between parked cars, while kids should make sure their costume is visible to drivers.
The tips, from WalkArlington’s Pacer email newsletter, are below. Have a safe Halloween tonight!
Tips for Parents and Children
Do a costume check. Can the child walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow the children to see clearly what is around them.
Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use retro reflective materials. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and to help others see you.
Choose the safest routes to walk. Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic, if possible. Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic. Remind children to watch for cars turning into or pulling out of driveways.
Plan how to cross streets. Avoid crossing busy, high-speed, or multi-lane roads. Limit the number of street crossings. Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.
Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell kids: Always look for cars yourself – even when adults are also looking. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic and turning cars. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing. When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and double-check to see if cars are coming.
Walk, don’t run, across the street. Walk, don’t run, from house to house.
Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for lights on, well-lit driveways, and walkways or paths to the front door.
Reminders for Motorists
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where you might expect to see pedestrians trick-or-treating.
Watch for children in dark clothing. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and that they may not be able to see your vehicle.
Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.