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The Military Children 2024 World Expo digital billboard in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (staff photo by Savannah Taffe)

The Military Children World Expo 2024 is coming to Pentagon City to honor and celebrate the resilience of military children.

The event — scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at the Pentagon City mall (1100 S. Hayes Street) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — is free to the public and promises a lineup of family-friendly activities, such as face painting, art and sculpture exhibitions, musical performances, contests, workshops and scavenger hunts, per the expo’s website.

The theme of the event, hosted by the D.C.-based nonprofit Military Six Children’s Foundation, is “Resilience — The Unstoppable Power,” a reference to the challenges faced by children of military members.

The expo’s website highlights the roughly 1.7 million military children across all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Nearly half of these children are dependents of active-duty service members, with the remainder being children of guard or reserve units. Children of veterans or individuals over 18 are not included in the figure.

Notably, about a third of military children are under five.

“The Expo on April 27 will be a testament to their shared experiences and a celebration of their collective identity. It’s a place where stories of courage and adaptation are shared, where every handshake and smile is a testament to their shared journey,” per the website.

The United States Marine Band, which performs for the President and Marine Corps, will perform on the main stage starting at 1 p.m., followed by a panel discussion of advocates with the military community at 2 p.m.

Additionally, the expo will function as a resource for military families, offering workshops focused on caregiving and advocating for their children during transitions to new schools, among others.

Beyond spotlighting the unique challenges military children face, the expo also celebrates National Military Caregivers month and Military Appreciation month, both recognized in May.

Arlington, England (photo courtesy Mark Murawski)

A local group of woodwind musicians will perform at a literary festival next weekend in the English village of Arlington.

The Arlington Wind Quintet will travel to what’s described as “the most beautiful village in England” to perform at the Bibury Literary Festival from April 19-21. The five-person ensemble will perform early 20th-century classical music by British and Russian composers such as Vaughan Williams, Holst, Prokofiev, and other symphonists from the Edwardian era.

In a celebration of British literature, the event will spotlight a diverse group of writers, musical performances, and discussions on written memoirs and biographies, according to the website.

The wind quintet will return to Arlington and reprise their UK performances during a free one-hour concert scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).

The link between Arlington County and Arlington, England, is believed to have originated from Arlington House in what is now Arlington National Cemetery. Built by the Custis family in the early 1800s, the mansion was named after their ancestral home in Arlington, England. John Parke Custis, who acquired the Arlington estate in Virginia in 1778, bestowed this name in homage to his family’s roots.

Mark Murawski helped establish the connection between the two localities last year after sharing his research with the Arlington Heights Civic Association and Bibury Parish Council, the governing body of the English village.

Both bodies approved an official relationship in 2023, and Murawski was also named the civic association’s Friendship Community delegate.

Shortly after, villagers from Arlington, England, invited a few Arlingtonians, including Murawski, across the Atlantic to celebrate King Charles’s coronation.

While Murawski’s research suggests a historical link to Arlington, England, some argue the county is named after Harry Bennett, the 1st Earl of Arlington.

Lunar New Year celebration at the Pentagon City mall (courtesy of Fashion Centre at Pentagon City)

You can celebrate the Year of the Dragon this month at a handful of Lunar New Year celebrations across Arlington.

In East and Central Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year heralds the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. This year, it falls on Saturday, Feb. 10.

For the Chinese New Year specifically, celebrations will run through Saturday, Feb. 24.

There are a few places and organizations in Arlington joining in the festivities, offering everything from ceremonial teas to limited-edition ice cream flavors to lion dances to dragon parades.

Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

1. Central Place Plaza

1800 N. Lynn Street, Rosslyn

Celebrate the approach of the Lunar New Year on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 5-7 p.m. at Central Place Plaza where attendees can experience a lion dance performance by Hung Ci Lion Dance Troupe, drink ceremonial tea provided by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, eat fortune cookies and more. This event is free and family-friendly.

The Hung Ci Lion Dance Troupe performance, a Lunar New Year tradition, starts at 6 p.m. Before the performance, grab your Rosslyn-inspired fortune and enjoy ceremonial tea. Tae-Gu Kimchi will also be on-site selling its handcrafted Napa cabbage kimchi.

Long Branch Nature Center (file photo)

2. Long Branch Nature Center

625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Glencarlyn 

Visit the Long Branch Nature Center on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 3-4:30 p.m. to celebrate Lunar New Year. Meet live animals, make Lunar New Year crafts and take a short hike with paper popper “firecrackers” to chase away the New Year’s beast, Nian.

Reservations are required.

Lunar New Year celebration at the Pentagon City mall (courtesy of Fashion Centre at Pentagon City)

3. Pentagon City mall

1100 S. Hayes Street, Pentagon City

Ring in the Year of the Dragon with festivities at the mall on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 1-4 p.m. This celebration is in the food court of Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, located on the at the Metro level, and will include lion dances, dragon parades and musical dance performances.

This public event is in partnership with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Ice Cream Jubilee in Ballston Quarter (file photo)

4. Ice Cream Jubilee

4238 Wilson Blvd, Ballston

Lunar New Year flavors are back at Ice Cream Jubilee in Ballston Quarter and include red bean almond cookie, strawberry matcha latte, mango sticky rice and a vegan mango sorbet. The flavors are available as scoops, tasting flights and pints for shipping.

Know of any other Lunar New Year celebrations or businesses marking the occasion? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Black History Month event at Arlington Public Library in 2023 (Courtesy of Daniel Rosenbaum)

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Black History Month starts today and events are planned throughout the month in Arlington to honor the history and achievements of African Americans past and the present.

As Black History Month, February pays “tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society,” according to the Library of Congress.

Arlington Public Library will kick off a month of programming this Saturday (Feb. 3) at 1:30 p.m. with a presentation by Maryland-based oyster farmer Imani Black on the Black history of Chesapeake Bay aquaculture. The event is taking place at the Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.).

Black comes from a 200-year lineage of watermen and today runs a nonprofit called Minorities In Aquaculture that supports underrepresented populations in aquaculture.

On Monday (Feb. 5), local nonprofit Coalition for Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) will host a panel discussion about the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies curriculum course. The new course is set to launch this year after coming under scrutiny from conservative critics, including former GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

“African-American history is one of struggle and triumph, and its impact and importance to how it has shaped this country presently has a rightful place to be taught in this nation, as Black History is American History,” said CEO founder and board member Zakiya Worthey, in a press release. “Therefore, history must always be protected for our children and future generations.”

Attendees can register online for the discussion, to be held at Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) from 6-8 p.m.

Later this month, the Charles Drew Community Center will host the county’s annual “Feel the Heritage” festival. Held from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, the festival showcases Arlington’s historical African American neighborhoods and will have live entertainment, food and tables and digital art displays from local vendors and artists.

The Dept. of Parks and Recreation has also organized a month-long Black History Month-themed scavenger hunt featuring “Sam Sandiego,” “a fun-loving spy who wants to help you discover the hidden gems in Arlington,” per a county webpage. Clues will be posted on Facebook and YouTube.

Read More

A local Arlington bookstore, One More Page, will celebrate its 13th anniversary next Friday.

People can stop by the East Falls Church bookstore at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. to enjoy cake and refreshments and have the chance to win prizes. The event was originally scheduled for today but moved back a week due to the snow.

The anniversary celebration will highlight the overall goal of One More Page, which is to provide a place for the community to come together to share a love of reading and books, owner Eileen McGervey tells ARLnow.

“We are dedicated to being a part of the community, providing excellent customer service, and being a place of discovery and welcome,” she said.

She credited the community, meanwhile, for helping the independent bookstore turn the page on financial hardships last year.

“After a challenging start to last year, we closed 2023 on a promising note with revenue up and expenses reduced, thanks to aggressive cost-cutting,” said McGervey.

The bookstore also has some breathing room after holding a fundraiser last year, which surpassed its $35,000 goal and paid for needed repairs inside.

“We wouldn’t exist without community support — everyday,” McGervey said. “We appreciate that readers make the conscious choice to come to the store, attend events and book clubs, and share their book conversations with us.”

This year, One More Page will be adding even more “authorless events” that partner with local organizations and businesses, McGervey said.

“We’ve enjoyed adding events where we work with other businesses, like the Boozy Book Fairs and the [Small Business Saturday] Passport program, and we know customers do, too,” she said.

Before the anniversary party, One More Page will host another fundraiser. On Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 4-7 p.m., the Manga Library Fundraiser will raise money to help stock a library of Japanese comics for Ashlawn Elementary School and Swanson Middle School students.

A week later, One More Page will host its very first puzzle exchange on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

February will see a trio events, including two book talks and and its signature “Boozy Book Fair.”

  • Cozy Boozy Book Fair at Audacious Aleworks (110 E. Fairfax Street) on Feb. 7 from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Author talk with Will Mountain Cox about his book “Roundabout” on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.
  • Author talk with April Asher about her book “Not Your Crush’s Cauldron” on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

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