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Ahead of the new year, a look back at 2021 in photos

ARLnow is ringing in the New Year with a look back at 2021 through our photo archives.

We compiled a slideshow to encapsulate this year and recall some of the stories and moments that made 2021 memorable.

This year, Arlingtonians celebrated local heroes, pushed for and saw cultural changes and said goodbye to venerable institutions — all against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic.

Olympic swimmer Torri Huske received a hero’s welcome home from Japan, while “superwoman” Mariflor Ventura received accolades for her local mutual aid efforts.

Arlington removed vestiges of Robert E. Lee’s legacy, renaming Route 29 Langston Blvd and replacing the county logo depicting his house with one that ARLnow readers helped bring about. Teens protested how public school administrators handle complaints of sexual assault while bus drivers demonstrated for better pay and treatment. Locals picked up free cannabis seeds after private use was legalized.

But 2021 was the end of an era for some beloved Arlington institutions: Inner Ear Studios, the recording studio for Minor Threat and Fugazi; Clarendon watering hole Whitlow’s on Wilson; the Highlander Motel; and a few (arguably) historic estates.

Amid all that, the pandemic continued to run its course. After a chaotic start, the county helped to administer the vaccine to tens of thousands of residents. Locals started eating out again, kids returned for in-person school, and there was optimism about a return to normalcy over the summer — until that faded with the Delta variant and, now, Omicron.

And we almost got a gondola — or, at least, that’s what some want to believe.

With that we’ll step aside for the long weekend and see you back here on Monday, in 2022. Happy New Year, Arlington!

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