Arlington, VA

An Arlington tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. scheduled for Sunday is planned to include original songs and spoken word performances.

The ceremony “Prayers of a King” is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 19, at Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street). Doors are scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. with the program running from 5-6:30 p.m. The ceremony will feature music, dance and spoken word performances that tell the story of desegregation in Arlington, the county said.

According to a press release:

At 8:45 a.m. on February 2, 1959, four young students from the Arlington’s Halls Hill neighborhood entered Stratford Junior High School and became the first students to desegregate a public school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 2020 MLK Tribute program focuses on their journey; when they learn they will be the first African Americans to integrate a school in Virginia and into their first day of school, while simultaneously following Dr. King’s fight for equality during the same time period.

Admission to the event is free, though guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Seating is given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Photo via Wakefield High School

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After years of study and community conversations, Arlington County is just about ready for its plans to reshape Lee Highway to step into the spotlight.

The plan, generally, involves gradually — through zoning and other policy changes — transforming the car-oriented strips of businesses along Lee Highway into clusters of mixed-use development. It’s a goal of increasing importance as Amazon moves in and puts a strain on the county’s supply of available homes.

Questions have arisen in the planning process about how to simultaneously protect small, local businesses long Lee Highway while redeveloping outdated strip malls that line the road. The process of new development might not only force those businesses to close or relocate, but new development could create higher rents for small businesses.

On Friday, Jan 31, Arlington officials are planning to answer questions from and hear feedback from residents and business owners, as the county hosts a workshop marking the end of the first phase of the planning process. The meeting is event to run from 6:30-8 p.m. at Washington-Liberty High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).

A second workshop is scheduled to be held Saturday, Feb. 1, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m, also at W-L.

“Come meet with us to learn more about progress and the information we’ve uncovered so far, and share new ideas,” the county said on its website. “Be a voice of your neighborhood as we learn more about community perspectives and priorities by geography.”

“All residents, businesses, community groups and stakeholders that live, work and play along Lee Highway are encouraged to attend,” the county noted.

Image via Arlington County 

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On Jan. 29, 2010, ARLnow.com launched with an inauspicious post that basically no one except the family and friends of the site’s owner read. It was followed by a post about 2-4 inches of snow in the forecast.

Ten years later, despite major challenges in the local news biz, this site is still around. A quarter million people read it each month. We have a dedicated, full-time team; a newly-formed alumni group; a long list of fantastic advertising clients (thank you for supporting local journalism!); and an office in a Ballston high-rise complete with a mini fridge stocked with Diet Coke and a granola bar drawer.

Yes, we’ve come a long way in the past 10 years. And we’re looking forward to the next 10.

To celebrate, ARLnow is pleased to invite everyone who lives or works in Arlington, or just is a fan of the site, to join us at Bronson Bierhall (4100 Fairfax Drive) on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 5-7 p.m. for a free happy hour event.

We’ll have local beer flights and a special Arlington cocktail available for purchase, local movers and shakers, and the entire ARLnow team on hand. Meet your neighbors, local notables, and maybe even an ARLnow commenter or two. Also: we’ll have 10th Anniversary cups for the first 100 people to arrive.

Please RSVP via Facebook so we can better estimate a guest count. See you there!

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While placing wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery may be a more festive volunteer activity, there’s still as much of a need for help removing the wreaths.

The cemetery is calling for volunteers to help “retire” the wreaths with dignity this weekend. The removal event is taking place Saturday starting at 8 a.m.

Due to stepped up security all volunteers will need to bring photo IDs.

More from the cemetery’s website:

Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will hold its annual removal of wreaths, known as “Wreaths Out,” Saturday, Jan. 11 beginning at 8 a.m.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to help remove the more than 245,000 wreaths placed Dec. 14 by approximately 35,000 volunteers. The high volume of volunteers may create traffic congestion and delays on nearby streets and at the cemetery’s entrances.

This is a special day where the wreaths placed at these hallowed grounds during the holiday season in remembrance and honor of our nation’s fallen service members and their families will be respectfully removed by volunteers. We encourage volunteers to use three entrances to access the cemetery which include Memorial Avenue, South gate and for DoD cardholders, the Old Post Chapel gate.

There will be no vehicular access permitted on cemetery grounds until 3 p.m. Family pass holders and volunteers with handicapped placards only will be permitted to park in the Arlington National Cemetery parking garage beginning at 7 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Volunteers must remain in their vehicles until the cemetery opens at 8 a.m. Ride share and taxi drivers using Memorial Avenue must drop off adjacent to the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop.

Tips for Volunteers:

  • Give vehicles and heavy equipment the right of way and let them pass in roadways.
  • Remove only WAA wreaths. Leave all other wreaths or decorations in place.
  • Place wreaths in dumpsters positioned throughout the cemetery and pack them tightly.
  • When dumpsters are filled, do not pile wreaths next to them. Carry wreaths to unfilled dumpsters.
  • Do not jump or climb on wreaths in dumpsters to compress them

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Arlington Agenda: Jan. 6-12

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, January 6

Trek Bicycles Arlington Clarendon: Yoga for Cyclists
Trek Bicycle Clarendon (2731 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Join a rotating list of local yoga instructors on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 as we work through poses to help our bodies build flexibility and strength for spring riding and racing. Non-cyclists also welcome — this practice is for anyone wanting to tend to their calves, glutes, backs and core in a supportive and inclusive atmosphere.

Tuesday, January 7

Women in Politics
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Rd.)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Danielle Higgins, doctoral student in Political Science at American University’s School of Public Affairs, will discuss attitudes towards women in U.S. politics and how they’ve changed over time.

Wednesday, January 8

Joint Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission & Alexandria Landlord-Tenant Relations Board Meeting*
Gunston Community Center (2700 S. Lang Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting to provide public comment and hear about 2019 accomplishments, 2020 plans, and how the two commissions will collaborate to address rental affordability, housing discrimination, and other critical areas for Arlington and Alexandria residents.

The Harvard Krokodiloes at Mount Olivet Church
Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

The Kroks are Harvard University’s oldest a cappella singing group, founded back in 1946. They are coming to DC as part of their 2020 Winter Tour in January.

Friday, January 10

10th Annual DC Tattoo Expo*
Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Richmond Highway)
Time: 1-7 p.m.

This expo in Crystal City, which runs through Sunday, will feature more than 400 tattoo artists, including stars of Ink Master and Tattoo Nightmares. It will also have live entertainment, contests and, as always, a nonstop party.

Art & Pizza Night for Kids (5-10 years)
Art House 7 (5537 Lee Highway)
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Drop your child off for a night of fun at our recently expanded Art House 7 studio. Then go have some fun of your own! Kids will do an art project led by 2 teenagers, have pizza and watch a video. There will be an adult to supervise.

Saturday, January 11

Level Up Comedy Fight Night
UFC Gym Arlington (1200 N. Herndon Street)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Join Level Up Comedy for the inaugural Comedy Fight Night – we will transform UFC Arlington into a comedy club where nationally touring comedians join the most talented local comedians to Level Up together on stage.

Sunday, January 12

Jewish Multiracial Network
Congregation Etz Hayim (2920 Arlington Boulevard)
Time: 10:15-11:45 a.m.

A representative of JMN will talk about the organization’s efforts and share ways to welcome all Jews into our communal spaces.

Photo (bottom) by Joe Pregadio on Unsplash

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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2020 is almost here, and if you’re spending the holidays in Arlington, there are plenty of local options for ringing in the new year.

Ticket prices vary per event, with several opting for no cover and others starting at up to $50 per person.

For families looking to celebrate but also go to bed well before midnight, the Columbia Pike Branch Library (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) is hosting a “Ring in the Noon Year” countdown from 11 a.m.-noon. There will be games, light snacks, and a countdown to noon.

Later in the night, there are a bunch of parties big and small planned across Arlington. For those looking to pay their respects to Clarendon Ballroom, its last night in operation will be for its New Years Eve Gala — fitting, given the venue opened on the same day twenty years ago.

In Ballston, parties are planned at Punch Bowl Social, Bisto 1521, and Rustico Ballston.

On Columbia Pike, The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant will celebrate with the local band Down Wilson,

In Crystal City, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, an all-out casino night is planned until 3 a.m. Close by, Freddie’s Beach Bar has two parties planned — a drag show on New Year’s Eve, and then a New Year’s Day champagne brunch the following morning. For a more relaxed vibe, McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant is offering a three-course dinner to ring in the new year for $30.

In Clarendon, in addition to the Clarendon Ballroom bash, several bars will be hosting parties including Bar Bao, Pamplona, Whitlow’s, The Renegade, Liberty Tavern, and Wilson Hardware. For a more low-key evening, Northside Social is offering a three-course dinner and wine pairing, with a live TV view of the ball dropping at midnight

A New Year’s Eve dinner similar to that at Northside Social is being held at Cheesetique in Shirlington.

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, December 16

Dementia-Friendly Arlington
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 2-3 p.m. 

This open, public discussion will touch on the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Make sure RSVP for an event reminder.

AWLA Holiday Affair Winter Fundraiser
Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Avenue) 
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is taking it back to the 194os at this party, with proceeds going towards the animal shelter.

Tuesday, December 17

Gunston Bubble Renovation Meeting
Gunston Community Center (2700 S. Lang Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

The Gunston Bubble athletic facility is being renovated and is in its design phase. Come learn more about the project and give feedback at this meeting.

Wednesday, December 18

Arlington Community Chorus Winter Concert
Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

The Arlington Community Chorus is presenting its winter concert, “Winter’s Glow.” The group will perform a variety of holiday favorites and admission is free.

Thursday, December 19

Virginia Tech MBA Programs Information Session*
Virginia Tech Ballston Campus (900 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 12-1 p.m.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s Ballston-based Executive MBA program at this information session, where officials will discuss curriculum, tuition, financial aid, and more.

Friday, December 20

The Sounds of Christmas 
The Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m. 

The Lyon Village-based GoGo Symphony will be performing, along with DC Strings. The event is free, but space is limited and advanced registration is required.

Saturday, December 21

Last Chance Holiday Bazaar
Lyon Village Community House (1920 N. Highland Street)
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 

This bazaar features wares from dozens of local artists, ranging from jewelry to scarves and candles, making it perfect for shopping for holiday gifts.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, December 9

First Time Home Buyer Seminar*
Keri Shull Team (1600 Wilson Blvd) 
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Learn about the possible mistakes that come with the first time you purchase a home at this seminar. Topics covered include how to avoid double-paying a rent and mortgage, and how to properly calculate a budget.

Capital Caring Health: Coping With Loss During the Holidays
Arlington Public Library, Columbia Pike (816 S. Walter Reed Drive)
Time: 4-5 p.m. 

This free support group service is available to all who are grieving during the holidays, helping individuals and families navigate emotions and support each other.

Wednesday, December 11

Holiday Shopping Mixer
Sheyla Boutique – Village at Shirlington (2800 S. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m. 

Join Sheyla’s Boutique for an evening of shopping and networking, with light bites and wine tastings available. The event, hosted in collaboration with District Beauty Guide, is free with an RSVP recommended.

Thursday, December 12

Marcey Road Park Renovation Final Design Concept Meeting
Madison Community Center (3829 N. Stafford Street)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Come see the final design concept for the Marcey Road Park Renovation Project, which will replace the basketball court, three tennis courts, parking, the picnic shelter, and more.

Friends of Urban Ag: What Our Region Grows 
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Join the Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture for its winter meeting, including an interactive presentation on the region’s agriculture, as well as general food production, demand, and economic contributions.

Friday, December 13

She Kills Monsters
Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m. 

Wakefield High School theater presents “She Kills Monsters,” the story of a young girl and her journey to self-discovery after the death of her teenage sister. The ticketed event is $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Guided Beer Tasting and Entrepreneur Event
Three Whistles (2719 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 6-10 p.m.

Come hear the story of the beginnings and growth of local Old Ox Brewery, and experience a tasting of brewed favorites including a “Keg Nog” beer and a beer/gelato paring.

Saturday, December 14

National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!*
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The NCE will be performing holiday classics such as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukah Festival.” A group of young violinists ages 11 to 17 will perform festive film music by Shostakovich, followed by a wine and cheese reception.

GRUMP Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Crystal City Shops (2100 Crystal Drive) 
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

GRUMP is back for its ninth year, where you can shop from over fifty local arts and makers selling everything from handmade toys and letterpress cards. In addition, there will be creative workshops and yetis present for photo ops.

Sunday, December 15

Breakfast with Santa, The Nutcracker
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City (1250 S. Hayes Street)
Time: Breakfast from 8:30-10:30 a.m., The Nutcracker from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City will host two festive events that day. In the morning, enjoy a ticketed breakfast with Santa, and then in the afternoon a performance of the classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Ballston Quarter will be hosting a festive, day-long “Holiday Kick Off” event this Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m..

Across all four levels of the mall, there will be family-friendly holiday activities — “from holiday movies, to crafts (for all ages), to photo ops, and of course a special appearance from Santa.”

Beginning on the lower level in Quarter Market and outside plaza, there will be a snowman ice sculpture and photo booth, along with face painting, glitter tattoos, and a hot chocolate bar from District Doughnut.

On level M1, there will be a “Ballston Quarter Gingerbread House” for take-home photo ops. In addition, children can write letters to Santa and leave it in the “Ballston Quarter mailbox for special delivery,” per the event website.

On M2, crafting opportunities include making holiday ornaments with local art studio Art House 7 along with special Ballston greeting cards.

Starting a 11 a.m., there will be a pajama party at the Regal Cinemas with a free movie screening of the animated Disney movie, The Polar Express, as well as train rides around the M3 level of the mall until 5 p.m. (Seats for the movie are reserved, so advanced tickets are required).

Continue Saturday’s festivities into the evening at Ballston Exchange (4201 Wilson Blvd), where the Ballston Business Improvement District has begun pop-up weekly holiday movie nights.

“Each movie will be held in our pop-up theater in Ballston Exchange, so bring your own chair, and blanket to complete your experience,” the BID said. “DIRT, Shake Shack, CAVA, We The Pizza, Philz Coffee will have food and drink specials prior to showtime for moviegoers. Guests will also enjoy free popcorn, candy, and drinks in the theater. For the adults in the family, Movie Night is BYOB!”

The movie schedule is:

  • December 7: A Christmas Story (PG)
  • December 14: The Polar Express (G)
  • December 21: Elf (PG)
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If fighting horrific traffic and crowds to see the National Christmas Tree Lighting tonight in D.C. isn’t your thing, there’s an Arlington alternative to consider.

The Village at Shirlington will be hosting its annual Light Up the Village event tonight, from 6-8:30 p.m. along Campbell Avenue.

The event will feature a tree lighting hosted by NBC 4’s Adam Tuss. Also on the agenda: “holiday musical performances by Signature Theatre and Bishop O’Connell High School, plus horse and carriage rides with a donation to Arlington Food Assistance Center, photos with Santa, merchant specials, and so much more.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • 6 p.m. — Musical performance by Signature Theatre’s cast of Motown Christmas
  • 6:30 p.m. — Tree lighting hosted by Adam Tuss
  • 6:40 p.m. — Horse and carriage rides
  • 7 p.m.    Photos with Santa (located inside Hardwood Artisans)

The event will also necessitate a number of road closures and parking restrictions. From Arlington County Police:

The annual Light Up the Village at Shirlington is being held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 6:00 PM until 8:30 PM.  Set up will begin at approximately 12:00 PM and cleanup should be completed by 9:00 PM.

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways to all vehicular traffic to accommodate the event:

  • Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter to S. Randolph Street — closed beginning at 12 PM
  • Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street — closed beginning at 4 PM
  • S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind the businesses on the south side of Campbell Avenue — closed beginning at 4 PM

Additionally, vehicles will not be allowed to enter or exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave after 4 PM. Harris Teeter customers can access the parking garage via the alternate entrance behind the store.

Traffic is expected to be impacted in and around the immediate area. Motorists are advised to allot extra travel time and seek alternate routes to reduce road congestion. Attendees are encouraged to utilize multimodal and public transportation options to reduce vehicular congestion.

Street parking in the area will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, December 3

Information Session
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 8-9 a.m.

Interested parents, educational advocates, and additional members of the Arlington community are welcomed for this information session and tour of The Sycamore School. Parking will be validated.

Thursday, December 5

Workshop: Make Felted Holiday Ornaments (Adults)
Art House 7 (5537 Lee Highway)
Time: 7-9 p.m. 

Adults are encouraged to attend this workshop on the art of needle felting. Art House 7 will supply wool and felting needs, and participants will leave with a Christmas ornament. Advanced sign up required.

Friday, December 6

Avant Bard Presents: Happenstance Theater
Theatre on the Run (3700 S. Four Mile Drive)
Time: 7:30-8:45 p.m.

The Avant Bard Theatre will put on “Happenstance Theater,” a dark comedy about refugees escaping a dystopia and balancing life at the end of the world. Ticketed performances run Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Arlington Chamber Annual Meeting 
Sheraton Pentagon City (900 S. Orme Street)
Time: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s 95th annual meeting will celebrate the Chamber’s achievements in 2019, while looking ahead to the future. Registration includes lunch, parking and program, which closes December 3 with spaces limited.

Miracle on 23rd Street
Melwood (750 23rd Street S.)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The time-honored tradition returns to Crystal City, with the lighting of the Christmas tree, photos available with Santa, face painting, hot cocoa, poinsettia sales, and a canned good drive benefiting AFAC. Festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m.

She Kills Monsters
Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Wakefield High School theater presents “She Kills Monsters,” the story of a young girl and her journey to self-discovery after the death of her teenage sister. The ticketed event is $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Saturday, December 7

Virginia for Pete Buttigieg — Info Session and Holiday Party*
The Chatham (4501 Arlington Blvd)
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The 8th Congressional District of Pete for Virginia invites area supporters to learn how to volunteer with the team, hoping to earn Pete Buttigieg the Virginia Democratic presidential primary next year.

Gifts That Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair 
Arlington Science Focus School (1501 N. Lincoln Street)
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

At this 9th annual alternative gift fair, shoppers purchase donated nonprofit services for the community. Representatives from eighteen featured nonprofits will be available, and shoppers can purchase their services for those in need via donations.

Winter Wonderland Annual Holiday Event
Penrose Square Apartments (2501 9th Road S.)
Time: 12-3 p.m. 

This year, the apartment community invites its Arlington neighbors for a day of holiday festivities including food trucks, a moon bounce, a live band, and a ballet performance from dancers at the Cuppett Performing Arts Center.

Pet Santa Photos
Dogma Bakery (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

For its 10th year, Dogma is hosting a pet photography fundraiser in order to rase money for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Vindicated Pit Bull Rescue. $25 for each sitting, plus a digital photo.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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