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County Planning July 4 Celebration at Long Bridge Park

by ARLnow.com February 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm 3,615 28 Comments

Arlington County residents have a new place to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation announced today that it’s planning a day-long Independence Day celebration at the recently-opened Long Bridge Park near Crystal City.

“During the day the park will be programmed to do what it was created to do… hold fun sports events on the fields and creatively program the Esplanade with viewing, dining and shopping options,” parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said via email. “In the evening, there will be a more traditional old-time Fourth of July celebration with games for all ages, decorated bicycle parade, face painting, balloon art, and of course, amazing views of the Washington fireworks display.”

Arlington is currently seeking partnerships for the family-friendly event, including community groups and food and craft vendors.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

  • Glad to see it’ll be getting some use. Walked the length of the park last week and it was pretty barren.

    • PCity

      I mean, its also February. Drop by on weekends and you’ll see plenty of sports events (kids soccer mostly) going on.

      • cj

        Starting next month there will be Marymount soccer and lacrosse as well as Arlington league play for all ages.

        • Michael H.

          The lacrosse team has already been holding regular practices on the north field. (Before anyone here starts complaining, like they always do about everything, Marymount paid for the costs of that field, so they get priority use of it. However, when their teams are not using the field, it is open for general use like the other fields are.)

        • Michael H.

          DC United also held a soccer practice on the north field this winter. Apparently because conditions at RFK were not good that week.

    • Michael H.

      Huh? There are soccer games and lacrosse practices on the fields frequently, even though it’s still winter. In the early evenings, there are many people running along the paths. I also see people walking along the esplanade every time I’ve been there.

  • Clay

    On a normal July day that park will be unbearably hot, artificial turf, concrete, zero shade.

    • cj

      As the park matures, there will be more and more areas of shade from the trees lining the esplanade and planted throughout the lawns and grassy slopes. The artificial turf fields will also retain less heat than the notorious early generations of Astroturf. Finally, the park is frequently breezy. All in all, it will be no more unbearable than the Mall and other major outdoor recreation spaces in this area are in July. The problem is July, not the park.

    • Michael H.

      This is the DC area. It’s going to be hot no matter what. “Unbearably hot”? No.

    • Charlie

      Glas half full?

  • TG30a

    [Post deleted per comment policy]

    • wiseacre

      You got an A in spelling, didn’t you?

  • JimPB

    What about noise from planes landing and especially taking off from Washington National Airport?

    • Michael H.

      Some of the propeller plans can be somewhat loud as they pass overhead. But not all of them pass directly over the park. Many planes follow the Potomac River more closely. You can’t really hear those planes.

      As someone mentioned below, yes, this is not the ideal place for a chamber music quartet. But that’s not its purpose. It works well as a park and sports complex. The views are great. If you look over at the waterfowl sanctuary, you can see a large beaver lodge in the water. People have spotted bald eagles and herons in and around the park.

      The noise wouldn’t be that bad for an Independence Day celebration. It could be a minor issue if there were a music group playing. But the planes do not fly over non-stop. It’s a sporadic schedule.

      • Michael H.

        I meant “propeller planes”

  • Bob the Builder

    Just don’t plan on driving down Old JD to get there without also bringing an extra couple of tires, shocks and struts.

    • Michael H.

      Yeah, the road is still in very bad shape. They are supposed to be working on rebuilding it this year, but I don’t remember the exact timeframe. Maybe by summer or fall?

      The park is not that far from the Pentagon City or Crystal City Metro stations. If someone wants to drive on the road, they should slow down. They can avoid the worst of the potholes.

  • jeremy

    The noise isn’t very loud at all when you are at Long Bridge – you’ll see it on the MD-80s, but any of the newer Boeings or Airbus (plus the RJs) don’t make much noise at all, especially on arrival, if the planes are coming from the North.

    And when I was running in LBP a few weeks ago (one of the days when it was actually Winter), I saw two people there walking past midnight on a weeknight – that I thought was odd, but it’s good to see people using it, even in the cold months!

  • bemused bystander

    What about it? The roar of planes is music to some ears, as is the rumble of passing trains. Without those, I suppose you could better hear the traffic on 395. Nobody ever said this park would be quiet. An ideal venue for chamber music, it ain’t.

  • WeiQiang

    JimPB suggested that the road [formerly Old JD Hwy, now Long Bridge Drive] will be bad. That’s likely to be an understatement. An adjacent article (on the No-Tel Motel) in ArlNow refers to the schedule for building the Boeing HQ on LB Drive. Notwithstanding my belief that the County Board gave Boeing a sweeatheart deal on the nearby road improvements [by delaying Long-Bridge-Park-paid-for road improvements so that the citizens pay for much of what Boeing would normally be asked to pay], construction on the Boeing HQ will be in its nascent stages. As well, the County will not move forward quickly with planned [and paid-for] improvements to Long Bridge Drive in 2012. Therefore, Long Bridge Drive will be a double mess on July 4th.

    • cj

      Road improvements were delayed for many months because the utilities took so long relocating their conduits. Now that that’s finally done, the County is about to start rebuilding the road north of 6th Street, adjacent to the park. The target for this phase is this summer. In contrast, the section next to the Boeing site, between 6th and 10th, is likely to be a work zone for a while.

  • Civic Activist

    This has been a TOXIC WASTE SITE and only a part of it has been remediated. Why is the County inviting families to visit/picnic upon the unremediated part ??? Once again: “Mistakes Were Made”.

    • Bemused By Stander

      Keeps the population down ……

    • cj

      The part of the park that is complete and open, from 6th St north to the overlook and the current end of the esplanade, is on land that has been thoroughly remediated. The environmental plans were approved and the work reviewed and signed off on by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. It is really a great example of the transformation of an industrial brownfield into a green, healthy community resource.

      Similarly thorough and effective work will be done on the Twin Bridges site and adjacent areas as soon as that phase of the park moves forward. Meanwhile, that area is not open for public use.

    • Enough

      Stop, just stop. You’re argument/comment is Swiss cheese. Your handle says it all “activist”…how? Actively commenting on forums, sure. Actively pursuing a degree in remediation sciences, I highly doubt it.

      I hate to burst your bubble, but if you live in northern Virginia, or any major metropolitan area, you are surrounded by toxic waste. Lucky for you, there are people who get out of bed every morning, roll up their sleeves, and go to work dealing with stuff you couldn’t even imagine handling. They are professionals, not activists.

  • susan

    I will not attend. This site is subject to significant air pollution from aircraft, diesel locomotives, and the Pentagon’s power plant just across 395. The air quality on this site has never been tested, much less monitored.

    • ArLater

      You should probably also stay indoors on July 4th as well while you are at it. Those darn fireworks man, cant find any quality air that day!

    • Quoth the Raven

      Yes, it’s just filthy there, in that exact spot. Much dirtier than anywhere else. Unlike the air in the rest of the entire Northeast, which is so very clean! I would stay inside forever, if I were you.


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