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Shirlington-based Signature Theatre has announced a slew of new shows and events as part of a season-long tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

Earlier this week, the well-known local theater on Campbell Avenue released its show schedule for the upcoming season. It will feature a season-long tribute to the American musical icon Stephen Sondheim, who died last November.

The theater has produced 31 Sondheim productions in its history, more than any other theater in North America, per a press release from Signature.

So Many Possibilities: A Season of Sondheim” will include three all-new productions from Signature of Sondheim classics: “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and “Pacific Overtures,” a rarely-produced musical due to the need for specific casting and production demands.

The addition of three more shows will bring the total of Sondheim shows performed at Signature to 34, a press release notes.

As the American theater that has produced and championed more of Sondheim’s work than any other, Signature Theatre is proud to present So Many Possibilities in honor of his memory and in celebration of his unparalleled contribution to the American musical theater canon,” Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner said.

Along with three new fully produced musicals, there will also be a number of other events celebrating the lyricist. That includes book signings, sing-alongs, and a collective effort to sing (or speak) every lyric of every Sondheim song called “Sharing Sondheim.”

Signature Theatre opened in Shirlington nearly three decades ago, converting an old auto garage into a theater. In 2007, the theater moved about a quarter of a mile away into a $16 million space that was built in partnership with the county. Signature won the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2009.

Signature Theatre’s show and event schedule through July 2023, from the press release, is below.

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Arlington’s own chainsaw art competitor has completed his latest carving.

Local chainsaw artist Andrew Mallon recently unveiled his newest work of art on the front lawn of a home in the Ashton Heights neighborhood.

The work, near the intersection of Pershing Drive and N. Monroe Street, is entitled “Sunshine and Moonlight — The Oak at Pershing and Monroe.” It depicts a rising sun and moon with an Art Deco motif.

It came out to be sort of a stately, subdued representation,” Jim Roberts, who commissioned Mallon to do the piece for his home that he’s lived in for 44 years, told ARLnow. “It’s just a beautiful piece of artwork.”

Mallon can currently be seen on the Discovery reality TV competition show “A Cut Above,” going against some of the world’s best chainsaw artists. He has made it through the first five weeks and even won a wood bug carving event that aired earlier in October. The next episode airs on Sunday. The entire competition series is 12 weeks, so more than half of the episodes remain.

While Mallon is chainsawing wood every week for a national audience, this particular project was extra special for him. That’s because he grew up in the Ashton Heights neighborhood and has known the Roberts family for decades.

“We knew him when he was a seven or eight-year-old and on the [Fort Myer] swim team with our girls. At the time, he sorta viewed Andrew as family,” said Roberts. “This was our opportunity to give him a chance to show off his artwork.”

The idea came when Roberts and his wife, Marilyn, had a 12-foot oak tree in the front yard of their house that needed to be taken down due to safety reasons. While they regretted needing to take the tree down, they also saw it as an opportunity.

They contacted Mallon and collaborated with him to come up with the concept of “Sunshine and Moonlight.” For the artist, as well, this project held additional meaning.

“It’s always a pleasure doing for people I know. Any time, I get to be back in my hometown neighborhood, it’s just a blessing,” Mallon told ARLnow. “To be able to fill that neighborhood with my work where I grew up and used to run around and play, it really means a lot to me.”

“Sunshine and Moonlight” in Ashton Heights (photo courtesy of Jim Roberts)

It took him about five days of work to complete the carving and, for a lot of it, he had an audience. People came “dozens at a time,” said Roberts, to watch the artist work. Both Mallon and Roberts didn’t mind it, though. It gave the homeowner a chance to meet and catch up with neighbors, while Mallon says he’s used to it and “really enjoys” a crowd.

“It brought the neighborhood together,” said Roberts.

Roberts loved watching the artist work as well, particularly when he got into carving the sun’s and moon’s details. But he did worry about the noise and mess.

“It was extremely loud and I had to apologize to my neighbors,” he said. “But they understood and appreciated [the artwork].”

There was also a lot of sawdust and the couple had to hire a landscaper to remove “hundreds of pounds” of sawdust and wood.

But the final product came out great, according to everyone. Roberts calls the work a “masterpiece” and a “tribute to the neighborhood.” Mallon said he thought it turned out “spectacular.”

As for Mallon’s run on “A Cut Above,” he can’t share much due to the show still being in the middle of the competition series. He did say that one of the biggest challenges was quickly coming up with something unique and creative for each competition. When he’s working on an individual project, there’s often more time to work through a design and not the added pressure of needing to finish in a set period of time.

Also, being away from home was tough. He has young children and most of his work is in the region, so it’s rare he has to be away from home for long. Mallon does recommend to keep watching the show because it “has some twists to it.”

Roberts hopes that “Sunshine and Moonlight” become an Ashton Heights landmark and part of his legacy — as well as Mallon’s.

Said Roberts, “We wanted it to be something that he could be proud of and something that he would want all of his neighbors, former neighbors, and everybody to see.”

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A local chainsaw artist made his buzzy debut on a new reality TV show last night.

Ashton Heights native Andrew Mallon is a contestant on the Discovery competition show “A Cut Above,” in which some of the best chainsaw wood carvers in the world compete against one another.

“The competition will test contestants’ artistry, stamina, and carving skills. Each week, the carvers will compete in Quick and Master Carve challenges while racing against the clock in hopes of avoiding elimination,” reads a description of the show. “At the end of the grueling twelve-week competition, the artist who out-carves the rest will win a cash prize and be named ‘A Cut Above.'”

The show debuted last night at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel and, yes, Mallon did make it to the next round, so he will continue to carve in the weeks ahead.

Mallon was contacted to be on the show a few years ago, pre-Covid, by the show’s producers, he told ARLnow. They shot the show earlier this year.

Mallon is known locally for his playful tree carving in Oak Grove Park near Washington-Liberty High School as well as carvings at a number of private residences in Arlington. That includes a bear, an owl, a dragon, and a scene from Greek mythology. He first started carving about a decade ago while working as a carpenter and remodeling houses in Arlington.

“And I just started whittling on pencils. From there, I learned [how] to do it,” Mallon told ARLnow. “Then, I started whittling on some pieces of wood. But I thought that it took too long and… really wanted to do it faster. And I saw some people on tv doing it with a chainsaw and thought ‘Hey, I could do that.'”

A majority of his work is commissioned by private citizens, including many Arlington residents, who have trees that may have fallen or died in their yards. He calls these “stump jobs” and they typically take about four days to complete.

Like a lot of wood carvers, Mallon often finds himself creating “critters” that live in the area like foxes, raccoons, owls, and hawks.

“You’d be surprised by how much detail I can get with a chainsaw,” he said. “I can put hair on a horse and fur on a bear.”

Recently, he’s been doing more “abstract” carvings — a style that has been more in vogue locally.

“I take it to another level where I carve it really far with a chainsaw and then I come back with a sander and sand it really smooth. It makes a lot of my pieces really elegant,” he said. “Most of what I use are large trees… it just lends itself to a beautiful product.”

For those who want to see the newly-minted television star in action, Mallon is currently working on a carving at a private residence near the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Monroe Street in his home neighborhood of Ashton Heights. He says folks are welcome to stop by to watch him work. Mallon is also in the midst of planning a potential new sculpture in Lyon Park.

For those who may want to take up the art of chainsaw wood carving, Mallon’s advice is to “just go for it.”

“Chainsaw is just another tool in the hand,” he said. “Just learn the rules of the tool and… give it a shot.”

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The legendary Inner Ear Studio has reopened in the founder’s Arlington Heights basement.

Last week, the recording studio’s founder Don Zientara spoke at length to the Embracing Arlington Arts podcast about what’s been happening since the studio moved from its home of three decades on S. Oakland Street last year.

The biggest change is that the studio is now back in Zientara’s basement in Arlington Heights where Inner Ear started in 1979.

“It isn’t gone, it’s still thriving,” he told host Janet Kopenhaver. “I’m back in my basement and realizing I can’t fit everything in here.”

He was able to bring over some of his favorite microphones, but much of his old equipment had to be sold or given away. Zientara said that he gave it to people that he “thought could use it the best.”

Much of the art, band posters, prints, drawings, and ephemera that lined the walls at Inner Ear Studio are now at D.C.’s Lost Origins Gallery. It’s set to be on a display soon as part of an exhibit about the famed recording studio.

“They took a lot… they were cutting walls out,” Zientara said. “Some posters there that I thought ‘Come on, this is going to go down with the ship,’ but they were cutting and sometimes took pieces of drywall.”

Zientara told Kopenhaver that he harbors no ill will towards Arlington County for making the studio vacate the building on S. Oakland Street it had called home since 1990.

In 2021, Arlington County purchased the building for more than $3 million, with the intention of demolishing it to make way for an arts and industry district.

As Arlington Cultural Affairs director Michelle Isabelle-Stark told the Washington Post at the time, the county saw this as saving the property from being bought by a private developer. The plan for the new district has some Green Valley community members concerned, though.

“There was no sense in trying to argue with anyone,” Zientara said about the move. “It was fine. A lot of businesses don’t last 32 years. I’m good with [it].”

Inner Ear Studio is famed for being the recording studio where many of the region’s well-known punk bands recorded. That includes Fugazi, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and, one of the biggest acts in rock, the Foo Fighters. Some called it “the Abbey Road of Arlington.”

Zientara said that the reason a lot of the indie punk bands came to his small Arlington studio was that they were often rejected from the more polished, bigger recording studios.

“I had equipment that was, let’s say, less than ideal. I had a space that was less than ideal,” he explained last week. “[The] bands were not welcomed at a lot of the studios, but I could record them.”

While the studio is now smaller than in its heyday, Zientara described the situation as going back to his roots.

While he could have fully retired or taught at one of the region’s universities — he said he had offers on the table — Zientara is currently in what he calls “semi-retirement.” That means he’s working when he wants and with who he wants.

In fact, when ARLnow reached him this morning for a brief conversation, he said that D.C. punk music icon Ian MacKaye was coming by the studio today to “mix some things.”

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When Diana Gamerman was little, she wanted to do exactly what her older sister did.

The Arlington resident has a studio in Alexandria called DianaArt, where she sells her work, but it’s on Nextdoor where she have been gaining a degree of local fame.

Gamerman has been painting professionally since she was 22 years old, she told ARLnow. While she owes her initial interest in art to her sister, the now 80-year-old has continued her passion, specializing in watercolor, oil painting and sculpture work. Her work has even been featured in the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

“[I’ve] done it all,” Gamerman joyfully said.

Gamerman’s inspiration comes from everyday life experiences. What she chooses to paint is influenced by things she likes — if she sees a beautiful landscape, she’ll create art from it. She also takes her inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud, a California artist who specialized in landscapes and cars.

She said watercolor is more convenient to use but she opts for oil pastel when the weather is good — “don’t have to worry about things flying away.”

One painting, of her music teacher, took three years to complete, she said.

Gamerman posts to Nextdoor, the social media website for neighbors, photos of her paintings, which are most often pictures of homes in the neighborhood. From time to time, she posts sketches of people sitting at Compass Coffee or pictures of her sculptures.

The posts have become something of a fixture of the local social network.

One post she made on Nextdoor, of a home in her neighborhood, garnered hundreds of likes and dozens of comments on her talent. Her feed shows dozens of paintings of “what is happening” in her neighborhood, at a development project, at her studio, at a coffee shop.

In another painting, vivid yellows and oranges mesh together to show scenes of workers at a construction site and another with workers doing road work.

“I can show you what is happening in my neighborhood because I love [to] paint the work men because they wear such bright colors,” she wrote with the post.

She called Nextdoor a “wonderful” platform where she can share her work and people reach out to her to commission paintings. Her posts are a way to make extra money and enjoy her time — another hobby of sorts, in addition to playing the banjo and mandolin, she said.

The site is also a place to find a sense of community that transcends the local and national controversies that prompt less neighborly discussions.

“Everybody makes nice comments on Nextdoor,” Gamerman said.

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Morning Notes

Bon Air Park azaleas (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “WATCH THIS! I thought I saw a crash in the distance. Nope. An I-395S driver stopped in the left lane for 30 secs to cross 4 lanes to get to the right hand Boundary Channel exit!” [Twitter]

Drug Take-Back Day Tomorrow — “If you have expired or unused prescription drugs taking up space in your medicine cabinet, Arlington County residents will have an opportunity to safely get rid of them this weekend. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday.” [Patch]

Civic Association to Celebrate Anniversary — “The John M. Langston Citizens Association has set a weekend’s worth of activities to celebrate its 85th anniversary, running May 13-15. The association represents residents in the communities of Halls Hill and High View Park, straddling what long was known as Lee Highway but has been renamed Langston Boulevard.” [Sun Gazette]

AHC Honors Volunteers — “Providing services where residents live is AHC’s secret sauce. Volunteers are the key ingredient. This Volunteer Month, AHC is celebrating the nearly 350 individuals and groups who generously contribute their time and talents annually through our education and social services programs.” [AHC Inc.]

Art Truck Marks Five Years — “Not long after I began working for Arlington County, Arlington Arts launched the Arlington Art Truck: a bold new project to take curated and interactive visual art experiences out into the community to where people congregate. Five years in, the program has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.” [Arlington County]

Rep. Beyer Interviewed — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “has cast over 2,100 proxy votes for his colleagues in the last 2 years, by *far* the most of any lawmakers. I spoke w/ him about what that’s like, how it could change, and how he’s cast more votes to impeach Trump (6) than anyone else.” [Business Insider, Twitter]

Va. Requires Digital School Floor Plans — “Every second counts for first responders when it comes to saving lives and now a new Virginia law aims to help those heroes navigate better as they respond to emergencies at schools. Public schools will be required to digitally keep an up-to-date and accurate floor plan for each building.” [Fox 5]

It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 63 and low of 40. Sunrise at 6:14 am and sunset at 8:00 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Morning Notes

American flag seen in a yard near East Falls Church (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Revamped Clarendon Restaurant Reopens — “With a new menu that offers Mexican food for all, Buena Vida Gastro Lounge is reopening its newly renovated restaurant in Clarendon this week, serving lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends. Buena Vida, at 2900 Wilson Blvd., also has a new executive chef, Jaime Garciá Pelayo Bribiesca, and a new décor created by CORE architecture+design.” [Patch, Instagram]

Group Wants More from Amazon — “While Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) welcomes a new Amazon presence at PenPlace, we urge county leaders to strike a fair deal in this site plan review. As structured now, Arlington would trade world record bonus density — more buildable space — for unequal community benefits from Amazon.” [Press Release]

Art Exhibit Opening at GMU in Va. Sq. — “A new exhibition of art commissioned by the British Council to interpret an academic and policy report by a professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government will be unveiled April 29 at Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus). The event is open to the public and features a keynote address from the ambassador from Tanzania and a panel discussion with representatives from international development, public diplomacy, and art agencies.” [George Mason University]

It’s 4/20 — Clear throughout the day. High of 60 and low of 39. Sunrise at 6:26 am and sunset at 7:51 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Arlington Festival Of The Arts crowd shot from 2016 (Courtesy Howard Alan Events)

If you like the arts, 5Ks or family- and earth-friendly events, Arlington is the place to be this weekend.

Three separate events in the county will make it bit harder to get around by car.

The Arlington Festival of the Arts will take pace on Saturday and Sunday (April 23-24), shutting down several roads in the Clarendon area. The outdoor event offers art for display and sale over several blocks, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The Arlington County Police Department announced the following road closures for the event.

The following roads will be closed from approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24:

  • N. Highland Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be allowed to access the public parking garage to 3033 Wilson Blvd.
  • N. Hartford Street will be closed from N. Highland Street to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be able to access the parking garage for 1210 N. Highland Street.
  • The alleyway between N. Herndon Street and N. Hartford Street will be closed at N. Hartford Street

Meanwhile, starting at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the Bunny Hop 5k Race will close streets in the Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. and involves the following road closures, according to ACPD.

The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 7th Street N. and 5th Street N.

From approximately 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 2nd Road N. and 5th Street N.
  • N. Pershing Drive, between N. Piedmont Street and N. Edgewood Street
  • N. Fillmore Street, between 3rd Street N. and Pershing Drive
  • N. Garfield Street, between Pershing Drive and 3rd Street N.
  • 4th Street N., between N. Fillmore Street and N. Garfield Street
  • 2nd Road N., between N. Irving Street and the Columbia Gardens Cemetery

A portion of the course winds through the Columbia Gardens Cemetery.  The Cemetery will be closed to vehicular traffic and have a delayed opening at 10:00 a.m.

Finally, on Sunday, the 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will be held off Langston Blvd in front of the Lee Heights Shops. The event will include various family activities, live music, sidewalk sales, food and drink specials, and its own art market.

“Let’s come together as a community to celebrate the beauty and promise of our local environment and the planet,” says the website for the Earth Day event. “Every year, communities worldwide uplift Earth Day to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It reminds us all to do what we can, in ways small and significant, restore, conserve and protect our environment.”

From ACPD:

The 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2022 and will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The following roadways will be closed from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the festival:

  • Cherry Hill Road, between N. Woodstock Street and N. Woodrow Street
  • Northbound N. Woodrow Street, between 20th Road N. and Cherry Hill Road will be restricted to local traffic only

Additional Information

Community members should expect to see an increased police presence in the area around these events, and motorists are urged to follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic. Additional closures not mentioned above may be implemented at police discretion in the interest of public safety.

Residents of the affected neighborhood areas will be escorted through the road closures to minimize the impacts on the community, only when safe to do so. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No parking” signs, as street parking in the area around these events will be limited. 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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There are few people who know more about how Columbia Pike has changed in recent years than Lloyd Wolf, director of the Columbia Pike Documentary Project.

Since 2007, Wolf and a team of photographers, interviewers and community activists have spoken with hundreds of residents and taken thousands of pictures of South Arlington’s main thoroughfare.

As part of the project, they’ve kept a running blog, published books, and conceived numerous exhibits all aimed at discovering what makes Columbia Pike so special.

Wolf and his team of now-five include Dewey Tron, Xang Mimi Ho, Lara Ajami and Sushmita Mazumdar. They have documented a Bangladeshi-American car parade, a Thanksgiving dinner for new Ethiopian immigrants, a local Piedmont blues style guitarist along with dozens more celebratory moments and personal stories.

“The Pike is this nexus of immigration and diversity. And people are basically getting along and we thought ‘This is something we really should examine in-depth,'” Wolf tells ARLnow about how the project got started more than a decade ago.

Columbia Pike has a well-earned reputation for being among one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. It’s estimated that there are people from more than 130 countries speaking at least a hundred languages living on or in the Columbia Pike corridor. Famously, the Pike and its corresponding 22204 ZIP code has gotten the nickname for being the “world in a ZIP code.”

Wolf says one of the most gratifying aspects of the project for him is the ability to listen and learn about cultures and communities from around the world; the traditions, the rituals, the successes, and the challenges. Plus, his team is made up of people whose backgrounds include being Syrian, Vietnamese, Laotian and Japanese.

To Wolf, this perfectly encapsulates what makes Columbia Pike so special.

“If we weren’t doing this project, maybe we wouldn’t have a chance to meet. I have this line ‘This is what peace looks like,'” he says. “To the Pike, people come. It’s not perfect, but by and large, the groups interact well.”

This is a testament to the Arlington community as a whole. In a county where diversity is valued, appreciated, and celebrated, Wolf notes, differences don’t divide but unite.

“I’ve heard immigrants say that ‘I don’t feel different here because everyone is different,'” he says.

However, like much of Arlington, it’s no secret that Columbia Pike is physically changing, with a number of major development projects set to be completed in the near future.

And, recently, Wolf has set out to explore how these changes might impact the communities he’s spent years documenting.

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Arlington Chorale is presenting “Through Troubled Times” this weekend, a performance that was originally slated for two years ago prior to Covid-related shutdowns.

On Saturday (March 19) at Westover Baptist Church, the 56-year-old local chorus group will be finally performing a show that was initially scheduled for March 14, 2020. The show was canceled two days before it was set to happen due to the increasing number of Covid cases in the county.

“These works are the last pieces we rehearsed together before everything shut down in 2020 — we had to cancel the concert two days before,” Arlington Chorale’s artistic director Ingrid Lestrud tells ARLnow. “I think we all have memories of rehearsing this music in pre-pandemic times before masks and social distancing.”

“Through Troubled Times” features “dark dramatic moments and soaring beautiful melodies,” according to a press release, and will be highlighted by a performance of a two-century-old work that holds a “message of finding hope in turbulent times strongly [that] resonates with audiences today.”

In addition, Arlington Public Schools student Ava Yi, 13, will conduct the chorus in a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” She won a virtual auction last spring that helped raise money for the group.

“Our shared human experiences over the last two years during the pandemic certainly adds a new perspective to this repertoire,” Arlington Chorale board president and soprano Ellen Keating said in a statement.

This will be only the group’s second concert back in front of a live audience since pausing performances two years ago.

The 60-member local, nonprofit chorus was first established in 1966. It’s a mixed-voice group, meaning both women and men sing together. Over the years, it has performed at a number of significant regional events including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2018 at Nationals Park.

Lestrud says the last two years have made rehearsing and keeping members difficult, but this year’s auditions renewed her optimism.

“I was blown away by all the audition requests I received! Most of our new members are in their 20s, and our singers range in age from 19-84,” she says. “It’s truly an intergenerational group that values inclusivity and diversity.”

With almost half of the 60-member group new and shows upcoming in May and June, Lestrud is confident the chorus’s future is bright.

“Most of the singers sang in choirs throughout high school and college, and they’re looking for a group where they can sing high quality choral music and be challenged to create something beautiful together,” she says. “Many of our members have recently moved to the area, and they joined the Arlington Chorale in order to meet people and become a part of our community.”

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Snow falls on the Christmas tree in front of 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, in 2020 (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

The holiday spirit is alive and well in Arlington, with a number of markets and events planned over the next couple of weeks.

First up is Rosslyn’s holiday market, set for this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 10-11) at 1800 N. Lynn Street. Friday night will feature a celebration for the dogs of Rosslyn, including giveaways for the pups as well as a chance for your canine to take photos with Santa Claus. Saturday will feature a family-friendly performance at Synetic Theater and photos with Santa Claus.

There will also be food, free hot chocolate, and a dozen vendors.

After that, the first annual Ballston Holiday Wreath Market is taking place next Friday and Saturday (Dec. 17-18) at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Stuart Street.

Organized by the Ballston BID, the two-day event will include a pop-up outdoor bar, live music from the Arlington Children’s Chorus, a cello performance from local TikTok personality Andrew Savoia, a light art projection from Robin Bell, Santa Claus selfies, and holiday wreaths for sale.

Proceeds from the wreath sales will go towards local nonprofits including Bridges to Independence, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Culpepper Garden, Doorways for Women and Families, and The Sycamore School. Wreaths can be ordered in advance online for pick-up at the market.

Arlington County Police Department’s toy-collecting cruiser will also be there on Saturday, ready to receive wrapped gifts that will be donated to area kids.

Performing at 5 p.m. on Friday, 25-year-old Ballston resident Andrew Savoia became gained social media notability last year with his cello covers of modern pop songs. Washingtonian described his music as “Cardi B meets Beethoven.”

Robin Bell’s light art show will be projected onto the Ballston Macy’s storefront, described as a “celebration of holidays around the world.” Bell is known for sometimes politically charged and profound art projections. He previously projected a beach scene in Ballston in 2020. Bell’s holiday illumination will be displayed from 7-9 p.m. each night.

The outdoor bar will include warm beverages, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot chocolate, a “mistletoe spice cocktail,” beer, and wine. The hope is that the Ballston Wreath Market will become an annual Arlington tradition, a spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The National Landing BID, meanwhile, is hosting two events over the next couple of weekends, including a holiday market and a peppermint mocha latte competition.

The latte competition is taking place this Sunday morning (Dec. 12), starting at 11 a.m., outside of 2121 Crystal Drive. It will feature seasonal drinks from Commonwealth Joe, The Freshman, and Origin Coffee Lab & Kitchen. Attendees will be able to sample minty creations from each neighborhood coffee shop and vote on their favorite. The event is free.

The next weekend, on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 17-18), the BID is holding a holiday market outside of 2121 Crystal Drive, with an assortment of live music, shopping, and food.

Friday night’s market will feature music from Laygod, a self-described “cult-fiction rock n roll band,” and Nicaraguan musician Pedro Night. Playing Saturday’s market is Jerel Crockett. More than 25 vendors are expected to offer their wares.

In addition to the events, there are a number of light displays in Crystal City. At Long Bridge Park, more than 6,000 white and blue lights are twinkling along the nearly-mile walk along Long Bridge Park Esplanade overlooking the Potomac River. At Gateway Green, the former location of Summer House at 101 12th Street S., “an immersive winter lights art installation” is ongoing through the holiday season.

Can’t get enough Christmas? Other local holiday events can be found in our Arlington event calendar.

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