The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival and Zero Prostate Cancer 5k Run/Walk are set to take place this Saturday, prompting some road closures in Arlington.
For the Blues Festival, Arlington County police are set to close off parts of S. Walter Reed Drive and two other roads for the day. For the 5K, the police will close a substantial stretch of Army Navy Drive, as well as parts of S. Joyce Street in the morning, according to a traffic alert from the county.
S. Walter Reed Drive is scheduled to be closed 9th Street S. to Columbia Pike, while 9th Street S. will close from S. Highland Street to Walter Reed Drive and 9th Road S. will closed from S. Garfield Street to Walter Reed. The roads are expected to be closed between approximately 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
The Blues Festival is set to return fully in-person after three years, as we previously reported. The festival is scheduled to take place between 1-8:30 p.m.
Contemporary Americana roots and soul singer Shemekia Copeland is set to headline the festival, followed by other blues, R&B and funk performers such as Eric Scott, Robbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18, Shakin’ Woods and Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark, according to the event’s website.
Interactive art exhibits and activities, a children play area and artisan vendors are expected during the festival as well.
Other than the music festival on Saturday, other events are planned over the weekend to celebrate the Blues Festival’s 25th anniversary, according to the event’s website.
Live music shows are scheduled at different locations, such as the Columbia Pike Farmers Market and local restaurants, on Friday and Sunday. A heritage walk celebrating Black history is also scheduled on Sunday. And the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse is hosting a free screening of The Blues Brothers on Sunday afternoon.
For the 5K, Army Navy Drive is set to be closed between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S. from 7:30-11 a.m. S. Joyce Street is set to be closed from 15th Street S. to Army Navy Drive between 6-11 a.m.
The event is a fundraiser to support the nonprofit ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer. Participants are to meet at the Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) courtyard at 1101 S. Joyce Street.
The Columbia Pike Blues Festival is back to being fully in-person for the first time in three years.
The mainstay Arlington music festival, which is put on by the Columbia Pike Partnership in partnership with the county, will take place on Saturday, June 18 from 1-8:30 p.m.
All of the performances are set for the Pike’s main stage, unlike the last two iterations of the festival. While neither was officially canceled, the events were completely or partially virtual due to the pandemic.
This year’s version will feature headliner Shemekia Copeland — the Blues Foundation’s 2021 “Entertainer of the Year” — as well as Eric Scott, D.C.-based Robbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18, local band Shakin’ Woods, and Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark.
Local vendors and restaurants will provide food and drinks, plus there will be beer from New District Brewery and a wine list curated by the Pike’s Rincome Thai.
There will be a “Kids Zone” and an “art alley” along 9th Road S. featuring the Arlington Art Truck and work from the Columbia Pike Documentary Project.
2022 is being marketed as the festival’s 25th anniversary due to the format changes over the last two years. The first Columbia Pike Blues Festival was held in 1995.
Beyond Saturday’s day-long festival, a number of other events are being planned over the weekend to celebrate the event’s quarter century anniversary.
On Friday, there’s set to be a special blues festival performance at William Jeffrey’s Tavern. For Sunday morning, a Juneteenth history walk led by the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington is being planned. There will also be live music at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market and at Café Sazón on Sunday morning.
To finish the weekend, there will be a free screening of the 1980 musical-comedy “The Blues Brothers” at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.
The Columbia Pike Blues Festival is the largest blues festival in the D.C region, according to its website. It often prompts some neighborhood road closures. Upwards of 7,000 people have attended past festivals.
Juneteenth Rally in Courthouse Today — “Please join the Arlington Black Employees Council for a 2020 Juneteenth Peace Rally on Friday, 11a-12p, outside at the Bozman Gov’t Center. The event will include a George Floyd tribute and recognition of victims of violence.” [Twitter]
Police Investigating Columbia Pike Robbery — “At approximately 1:24 a.m. on June 17, an officer was flagged down by the victim stating they had just been robbed. The investigation determined that the victim had exited a business when two unknown suspects approached him. One of the suspects struck the victim with an object appearing to be a firearm, causing him to fall to the ground. The suspects searched the victim’s person and fled the scene without taking anything from the victim.” [Arlington County]
ACPD Helps the Homeless During Pandemic — “In April, Arlington launched a homeless outreach coalition to help identify unsheltered individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and connect them with available resources and services. The coalition is comprised of stakeholders from the Police Department, Department of Human Services, and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN). ” [Instagram]
Coronavirus Signage in Rosslyn — “The Rosslyn Business Improvement District decked out the neighborhood with a variety of light-hearted messages as part of an awareness campaign launched this week to encourage social distancing as the region loosens stay-at-home restrictions imposed to fight the spread of Covid-19. Through the messages — which are stamped to the sides of trash cans, in the windows of office buildings and on public benches — the BID hopes to remind people not to let their guard down.” [Washington Business Journal]
Backyard Blues Fest on Saturday — “CPRO is planning an alternative Backyard Blues Festival on June 20 from 5-7 p.m. Arlington community radio station WERA 96.7 FM will play a curated selection of blues while various local restaurants will offer special discounts on food and drinks, which can then be enjoyed in one’s backyard or patio with the radio cranked up.” [ARLnow]
Nearby: Falls Church Closes for Juneteenth — “In keeping with Governor Northam’s declaration designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, the City of Falls Church will also observe the holiday. City of Falls Church Government administrative offices will be closed. Employees who staff essential programs and services will work as scheduled.” [City of Falls Church]
The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival returns tomorrow (Saturday) with live music and several road closures.
The festival will run from 1-8:30 p.m. at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. This year’s music lineup includes soul and blues artists Sugary Rayford, Thornetta Davis, Hardway Connection, Lauren Calve Band, and Funky Miracle.
Arlington County Police announced that some streets adjacent to the Pike will close between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.
Road closures include:
- Walter Reed Drive between Columbia Pike and 9th Street S.
- 9th. Road S. between S. Garfield Street and Walter Reed Drive
- 9th Street between S. Highland Street to Walter Reed Drive
This year, organizers are partnering with Shirlington-area New District Brewing Company to serve craft beer. Several food vendors, including Carol’s Concessions, Caspi, Mac’s Donuts, Sloppy Mama’s Barbecue, and Rebellion on the Pike, will also be serving meals during the festival, per the event’s website.
Photo (1) via Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, (2) via Arlington County
(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) The 24th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival is hitting the streets again this June.
The free blues festival will be held on Saturday, June 15 from 1-8:30 p.m. at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.
The event is organized by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO).
This year, the CPRO is partnering with Shirlington-area New District Brewing Company, which will serve up craft beer during the event, per an organizer’s announcement.
CPRO board president John Snyder said the organization is “delighted” to partner with New District Brewing this year.
“We love to get together with neighbors and local businesses — New District is both — and we love their beer!” Snyder said in a statement.
Thousands have attended the festival in previous years, which closes nearby roads from around 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. that day.
Details on the performance line-up, activities, and road closures are yet not available on the festival’s website.
Photo courtesy of the Columbia Pike Documentary Project
The blues will return to Arlington as the 21st annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival will be held on Saturday from 1-8:30 p.m.
The festival will feature a mix of local and nationally recognized blues talent throughout the day. Admission is free.
Here is the list of acts scheduled to perform:
- Little Bit A Blues @ 1:00 p.m.
- Bobby Thompson Project ft. Ron Holloway @ 2:00 p.m.
- Bosley @ 3:30 p.m
- Davina and the Vagabonds @ 5:00 p.m.
- Jesse Dee @ 6:30 p.m.
Along with the music, the festival will also have have local food vendors. Some of the cuisines on offer include Moroccan, Nigerian, Mexican, Caribbean.
Here is a list of vendors:
- Mazagan Restaurant — Modern Moroccan cuisine
- Cantina Mexicana — Mexican and Tex-Mex
- Suya To Go — Nigerian
- BubbleTeaLicious — Bubble teas, shave ice, ice cream
- Mac’s Donuts — Fresh-made donuts and lemonade
- Carol’s Concessions — Caribbean and American festival fare
- Sloppy Mama’s BBQ — Barbecue and all the sides
Arts and crafts vendors and other local businesses will also represented.
The festival will take place at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. There will also be street closures for the event.
Here is a the list of street closures according to Arlington County:
- Walter Reed Drive will be closed from Columbia Pike to 9th Street S. Vehicles can use 7th Street to Highland Street as a detour.
- 9th Road will be closed from S. Garfield Street to Walter Reed Drive.
- 9th Street will be closed from S. Highland Street to Walter Reed Drive.
Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation with many ART and Metrobus lines serving the area. The weather forecast for the festival is sunny with a high of 82 degrees.
The 19th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival was held Saturday afternoon.
The festival benefited from warm and sunny weather that seemed mild compared to the sweltering heat of past years.
On one end of the closed-off portion of Walter Reed Drive, community organizations, local restaurants and a variety of vendors were set up in booths, offering attendees meals, beers and various wares. On the other end, the festival stage hosted blues acts like Duffy Kane, Memphis Gold and the headliner, Ana Popovic.
Aside from the music, there was another type of public performance at the festival: live art creation on canvases that were then auctioned off.
(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) The 19th Annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival is this Saturday, headlined by a Serbian blues guitarist who brings a different type of blues to the Pike.
The Blues Festival runs from 1:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of the Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive by the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. There will be plenty of food and beer, but as Takis Karantonis, the executive director of the event organizer, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, says, the food and drink are secondary to the music.
“We think the blues is the Pike’s music,” Karantonis told ARLnow.com yesterday. “It corresponds to the personality and flavor of the Pike. Our artists on Saturday, they’re such different personalities and they all converge on the platform of the blues.”
The headliner this year is Ana Popovic, who Karantonis describes as “more heavy-duty, modern blues” than previous artists at the Blues Festival, but one who comes with a national following, a point of emphasis in putting together the event.
Opening for Popovic will be Steve McWilliams and The Spectacles, Duffy Kane, Memphis Gold and Billy Thomson. Next to the stage will be the return of Art in Action, in which visitors can watch artists paint canvases that will be auctioned off during the festival.
Selling food at the festival will be Pike restaurants Mazagan, Cantina Mexicana, Rincome, the Salsa Room and Big Daddy’s Texas-style BBQ. Beer will be provided by Yuengling.
For the first time this year, there’s a second day to the festival, an event called “Little Bit A Blues” at the courtyard in front of Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike), on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. While it’s a mini-event this year, Karantonis plans to expand the festival into a full two-day event for next year.
Last year, Karantonis estimates that the festival drew between 7,000 and 8,000 people last year. Although he said “we don’t talk about the weather” in CPRO’s office, the forecast calls for sunny skies and low-80s temperatures.
Arlington County produced a video with tips on how to get to the Blues Festival via transit.
Disclosure: CPRO is an ARLnow.com advertiser. File photo.