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by Chris Teale August 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The Arlington County Police Department has gotten national and international attention after a video of its officers performing a synchronized swimming routine went viral.

The video, to advertise the third annual Police, Fire and Sheriff Block Party on August 26, has put the department in the spotlight, with the likes of ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight showing it to a national audience.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said all four major networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX — all reached out to ask for permission to use the video, with ABC’s national Facebook post receiving more than 1.8 million views.

There have also been attempts to recreate the routine, too, from local news anchors in Texas, while police departments even further afield in places like Australia and the United Kingdom have given the video international exposure.

In a radio interview with WFTL in South Florida, Sgt. Damon Washington, one of the officers who throws themselves in the pool in full uniform to perform, said the department never planned to go viral. Instead, he said, they just wanted to engage local people in their work.

“In all honesty, we didn’t do this to go viral,” Washington said. “Me and our guys really care about the community we serve. It’s one of our initiatives, and one of the [Police Chief Jay Farr’s] initiatives is community engagement.”

Washington said the department gave the pool video, and the series of other light-hearted videos promoting the block party, its full support.

The department released another video today (below) to advertise the block party. This time, officers and firefighters are shown enjoying themselves while washing cars. Attendees can get a voucher for a free car wash after taking a distracted driving course, one of the many activities at the block party.

“We’re a very talented group up here in Arlington County,” Washington said.

The block party will take place on August 26 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). The event is free and will be geared towards families.

by Katherine Berko August 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

After weeks of anticipation ahead of its August 26 block party, the Arlington County Police Department on Thursday, August 10 released its video of officers synchronized swimming to advertise the festivities.

The video begins with officers looking at hundreds of bottles of water, wondering if it will be enough to quench the thirst of attendees. Then the video cuts to show five officers removing some of their bulkier equipment before diving into the pool — it was filmed at the Dorchester Towers apartments along Columbia Pike — to perform a synchronized swimming routine.

The video is one of several created to promote the third annual Police, Fire and Sheriff Block Party. Another released on August 2 shows an officer and a child demonstrating the ninja obstacle course, one of several activities at the event.

The block party will take place on August 26 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). The event is free and will be geared towards families.

Activities scheduled throughout the day include: “Behind the Badge,” an interactive activity that will simulate police scenarios for residents; a training on police tactics to get a taste of what it’s like being an officer; VIN etching; demonstrations from police K-9s and motorcycle officers; a distracted driving course; a “helicopter and vehicle expo” and more.

by Brooke Giles August 1, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

The Arlington County Police Department will hold National Night Out activities in neighborhoods across the county this evening (August 1).

Police will take part in a number of activities with local residents, including block parties, cookouts, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

National Night Out aims to better relationships between the police and the communities they patrol. Many police departments around the country participate.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships with those we protect and serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust.” said spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Events such as National Night Out are important because they provide us with another opportunity to interact with our community, hear about any public safety concerns they have and continue to use effective problem-solving methods to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses.”

Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cathcart Springs townhomes (4600 4th Road N.) from 6:30-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Villages (3000 block of S. Abingdon Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Association (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 6-8:30 p.m.

by Brooke Giles July 21, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Arlington’s police, fire and sheriff’s departments are gearing up for their third annual block party, hosted this year on Saturday, August 26 at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road).

The free block party is an effort the connect the community with police officers. One of the highlights of the event will be “Behind the Badge,” an activity that will give attendees the chance to simulate real-world police scenarios.

It includes brief training on police tactics and will allow participants to play the role of a police officer in two scenarios.

The event will also offer free vehicle VIN etching, demonstrations from police K-9s and motorcycle officers, a distracted driving course, free food and drink and more.

“It’s an opportunity for public safety to give back to our community and also for the community to enjoy entertainment while getting to know the men and women who serve and protect Arlington County,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

To get the word out about the block party, the department is creating promotional videos that show another side of Arlington’s men and women in blue. An anonymous tipster spotted the filming of one such video in progress last week.

“Yesterday, I saw five or six ACPD officers filming some kind of video in the large swimming pool at the Dorchester Towers apartment complex off of Columbia Pike,” said the tipster. “Someone was filming the officers in what looked like full uniform — doing things like cannonballing into the pool and doing synchronized swimming routines!”

Savage said ACPD is filming “some creative videos” for the block party, and that those videos will be released closer to the event. She shared one still image from the filming, above.

Photo via Arlington County Police Department

by Heather Mongilio September 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm 3,137 0

4000 Wilson Blvd, the future home of Pepita, Kapnos Taverna and Yona

Restaurant entrepreneur and Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella is throwing a “block party” to celebrate the opening of his three Ballston restaurants.

The event will be held at the patio at The View apartment building (4000 Wilson Blvd) on Sept. 12 from 1-4 p.m.

For $65, guests will enjoy food from Isabella’s three Arlington-based restaurants — PepitaKapnos Taverna and Yona, which opens in the fall — while listening to live jazz.

“The event is going to be a big party. It is a great way to experience food from all three of Mike Isabella’s Ballston restaurants, including forthcoming Yona, with live entertainment from the jazz duo The Potash Twins and DJ Toast,” said Madeline Harrington, a public relations rep for the restaurants.

Guests will be able to sample food from each restaurant at the event. There will be crispy cauliflower and barbecue goat tacos and Mexican corn on the cob from Pepita. From Kapnos Taverna, guests will be able to try spit roasted pork, falafel and classic Greek spreads. Yona, Isabella’s newest restaurant, will provide pork and kimchi dumplings, Japanese curry potato croquettes and Korean fried chicken.

“[There will be] great food, great drinks and lively music,” Harrington said. “A great way to say goodbye to the summer.”

Isabella’s first Arlington venture, Kapnos Taverna, opened last January. Pepita opened in the same building at the end of July, and new restaurant Yona is expected to open in late fall, she said.

Yona will be a Japanese noodles and small plates restaurant with new and traditional takes on ramen and other Asian dishes, she said.

“Mike loves the neighborhood. Both Kapnos Taverna and Pepita have been a huge success, and each concept is set up so that it doesn’t compete with the others other,” Harrington said. “Yona will be something fresh and new for Ballston, so it made sense [for him to open another restaurant].”

by Ethan Rothstein February 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1,228 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras paradeThe annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras parade is back this year after a snow-induced hiatus in 2014.

The parade is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17, on N. Barton Street. About 40 floats and parade participants have already signed up to take part in the hourlong event, which will run up Wilson Blvd to N. Irving Street.

A snowstorm on Mardi Gras forced the Clarendon Alliance — which organizes the event — to push it back to St. Patrick’s Day. Yet another storm that March forced the 16th annual parade to be canceled altogether.

“Normally it’s a rain or shine type deal,” Clarendon Alliance Executive Director Matt Hussmann said. “But the snow banks were so big on the sidewalks, nobody could watch the parade.”

This year, if the weather cooperates, Hussmann said the “family-friendly” parade should continue to be the biggest and best-attended Mardi Gras parade in the D.C. area. The Ballou High School marching band is back, the Louisiana State University alumni group will again have a big presence, and beads and candy will again be flying around.

“The parade’s got a great feel to it,” Hussmann said. “It’s really a local event. The people in the parade are businesses people go to. Everybody’s yelling and waving and dressed up and they’ve got costumes. The floats are really creative. There’s a lot of music, they’re throwing beads and candy. It’s just home-grown fun.”

Before the parade, Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery will be hosting a “Bayou Gras Block Party.” The New Orleans-themed bakery, at 1515 N. Courthouse Road, is offering $30 tickets for three cajun dishes — like jambalaya and chicken and sausage gumbo — $20 tickets for Mardi Gras-themed cocktails and $15 tickets for three pours of Abita Amber Ale. Children under 12 years old will get a free mac and cheese.

The block party will run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets can be bought online or at Bayou Bakery.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein March 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras paradeToday is Mardi Gras, and although the ice and snow has forced the postponement of the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, another street festival is going on as planned.

Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road), the Cajun-themed coffee shop and restaurant by New Orleans-native chef David Guas, is hosting its Bayou Gras Block Party this evening, starting at 5:00 p.m. in front of the store.

Northbound N. Courthouse Road is shut down to make room for a large heated tent between Clarendon Blvd and 15th Street N., and is expected to remain closed until the party ends at 10:00 p.m.

The block party will include a choice of three cajun dishes for a $30 ticket, three cocktails for a $25 ticket and/or three beers from Louisiana brewery Abita for $15. There will also be free oysters available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

File photo

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