Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner, and Arlington County government will take some time off to observe the holidays.
Government offices, courts and libraries will be closed on Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26 for Christmas and on Monday, January 1, 2018 for New Year’s Day.
Courts closed today (Friday) at noon, and will also be closed on Tuesday, January 2. Libraries will be closed December 24-26 and on December 31 and January 1.
Community centers will be closed on December 25, 31 and January 1. The following community centers are open on December 26:
- Langston-Brown: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Madison: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Carver: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Thomas Jefferson: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Arlington Mill: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Metered parking will not be enforced on December 25, 26 or January 1, and there will be no trash and recycling services on December 25 or January 1. Weekly services shift to the next day of the week, Tuesday through Saturday.
And for those riding Metrorail, most lines will run on a regular weekend schedule, except the Red Line, where Metro’s leak-mitigation project continues.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Metrorail system will open at 8 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Trains will operate on a Sunday schedule both days. There is no scheduled track work.
For those already looking forward to the end of the holidays, Arlington County’s Christmas tree collection program begins in early January.
The program goes through the first two weeks in January, from January 2-12.
“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands and plastic bags,” a blurb on the program reads. “The trees are later ground into wood mulch for garden use.”
Anyone who does not have a curbside recycling service can bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the collection season.
If you’ve procrastinated on picking up a Christmas tree for your home, you’re in luck: at least one lot in Arlington is now giving trees away for free.
The Arlington South Lions Club, which this year moved its lot from the under-construction Food Lion site along Columbia Pike to American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square, is trying to make sure its trees don’t go to waste.
“Since there are still many trees and only three days until Christmas, the Arlington South Lions Club will give a tree for FREE to anyone who wants one and stops by at 3445 Washington Blvd today, 4-7 p.m. and tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Peter Golkin, who has been helping with the sale, tells ARLnow. “Financial donations to the Lions Club will gladly be accepted but are not necessary.”
As of Dec. 18, the Lions Club said it still had over 500 Fraser Fir trees still waiting for a home.
Photo courtesy Peter Golkin
New Renderings of Crystal City Development — Property owner JBG Smith “has unveiled never-before-seen concept images of its planned 50,000-square-foot Alamo Drafthouse Cinema fronting Crystal Drive, a yet-unnamed specialty grocer and the future look of an office building it plans to convert to multifamily. The images were presented to Arlington County’s Site Plan Review Committee earlier this month.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pentagon City Mall Holiday Hours — Arlington’s biggest shopping mall, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Christmas Eve (Sunday) for last-minute shoppers. The mall will be closed on Christmas and open from 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. on Boxing Day (Tuesday).
Aurora Highlands Chimney Fire — Thankfully happening prior to Santa’s arrival, a smoky fire broke out in the chimney of a home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood last night. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before they could potentially spread. [Twitter]
Photo courtesy Peter Golkin
Dog and Owner Help Foil Purse Snatching — Mazel was a very good boy. The miniature bull terrier and his owner chased down a purse thief in Clarendon Tuesday evening, retrieving the purse and all of its contents. The thief remains at large but the purse owner is very grateful to get her belongings back prior to a planned vacation. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Woman Plows Into Falls Church Store — A 41-year-old woman from Arlington drove her car through the sliding doors of a Falls Church Rite Aid store this past weekend, damaging shopping carts and an interior wall. She was arrested and charged with DUI. [Falls Church News-Press]
Planet Money Looks at I-66 Tolling — NPR’s popular Planet Money podcast took a look at the sky-high tolls now in effect during certain times on I-66. There is “a beautiful, econ 101 logic behind a toll that spikes when demand spikes,” the podcast explains. [NPR]
White Christmas Looks Unlikely — The odds are low that the Washington area ends its recent draught of white Christmases next week. However, some snow on Christmas Day appears to be a possibility. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Jim Webster
Board Votes for Housing Conservation District — The Arlington County Board on Saturday voted 4-1 in favor of the creation of Housing Conservations Districts, which will make it more difficult for property owners to convert multifamily buildings into single-family homes. The Board says there is an urgent need to preserve market-rate affordable apartments, though critics charged that the Board rushed a decision that will restrict the rights of private property owners. [Washington Post]
Volunteers Place 245K Wreaths at ANC — “The weather was chilly but that didn’t stop huge crowds from heading to Arlington National Cemetery to help out with the annual wreath laying Saturday. Traffic was jammed and sidewalks were packed with long lines of volunteers.” [WTOP, Twitter]
Doctor Charged With Spiking Drink with Abortion Pill — A doctor who had recently moved to Arlington was arrested in May and charged with spiking his pregnant girlfriend’s drink with an abortion pill, which then caused her to lose the baby. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County jail, awaiting trial. [Fox News]
Bridging the Biking Gender Gap in Arlington — “Despite overall growth in the number of people biking to work, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed by cities, organizations, and employers for more women to bike more often.” [BikeArlington]
Children Visit Incarcerated Parents — Children of inmates at the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse were able to visit and play with their incarcerated parents during the jail’s annual holiday party. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Phil
Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn will be alive with holiday cheer tomorrow (Thursday) for the Rosslyn Carols! Holiday Concert.
Hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District for the first time at the public plaza at 1800 N. Lynn Street, the event will include a lunchtime concert, then in the evening a DJ, games and food and drink.
A choir from H-B Woodlawn will lead the singing of Christmas carols from 6:15 p.m., then local band The Woodshedders will play a live concert from 7 p.m.
And throughout the day, attendees can have free photographs taken in a life-size snow globe.
The full list of festivities on offer is below:
- Noon-10 p.m.: Free photo-ops in the life-size snow globe.
- Noon-2 p.m.: Holiday lunchtime concert.
- 4:30 p.m.: Festivities start on the plaza with a DJ, holiday games, drinks and food for purchase.
- 6:15 p.m.: Holiday caroling from H-B Woodlawn
- 7:00 p.m.: Live concert featuring The Woodshedders
A local Girl Scout Troop will send more than 400 pounds of care packages to female military members deployed overseas in time for the holidays.
Girl Scout Troop 6802 collected items like coffee, noodles, personal hygiene products, protein bars and magazines to ship to women based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also included are toys to give to local Afghan children and a personalized note.
The four, all eighth graders, loaded up their packages yesterday (Tuesday) at one of their houses in Cherrydale, ready to be sent abroad.
The Troop members are at the Cadette level of Girl Scouts, and used this project to earn their Silver Awards, which encourage Cadettes to help those in the community and beyond.
Troop member Clara Grimmelbein said she was inspired to help plan the project by a personal connection to the military. She was joined in collecting items by Adriana Sheppard, Victoria Jones and Emily Rotter, who took donations from other troops, friends and family.
“My brother is in college and we always send care packages to him,” she said. “My cheer coach, she’s in the military and she recently got out so I got the idea to send care packages to them. They really need it, because they’re really close to the fighting. Not that other people in the military don’t need it, but they’re close to combat.”
Sending the packages proved to be a challenge, though. Finally, after reaching out to friends and neighbors, they connected with Mike Taylor, global head of Dept. of Defense shipping for DHL and a Boy Scout troop leader in Baltimore. He agreed to have the packages all sent for free.
“We put our feelers out to see who could get all these packages delivered, and DHL stepped up,” Sheree Jones, one of the Troop members’ mothers, said.
In a brief appearance over FaceTime during his travels in Asia, Taylor congratulated the Girl Scouts on their efforts.
“You’ve really stepped up to help servicewomen deployed overseas, and you’re doing great work,” he told them.
A home in the Penrose neighborhood has gotten in the holiday spirit by letting people pick up a sweater from its front gate.
The house, at the intersection of S. Fillmore Street and 2nd Street S., has a sign in English and Spanish offering a sweater for anyone who is cold.
“Are you cold? This sweater is for you,” the sign reads. “It is free. Pass it on when you don’t need it any more. Leave hanger and pins.”
A reader emailed to say that it appeared the offer has been taken up by passersby “a few times” since they started it a few weeks ago.
And on the home’s porch, a chalkboard offers passers by the chance to write what they are thankful for. Responses so far were “the internet,” “my daughters” and “flowers.”
There was no answer at the door of the house when an ARLnow reporter knocked on Monday morning.
Planning for Transportation Changes in Rosslyn — “Local officials are now partnering with developers to make more improvements to help convince the next big corporate tenant to pick Rosslyn.” [Bisnow]
Teavana to Remain Open — Set to close next year, the Teavana store at Pentagon City mall is now expected to remain open thanks to a judge’s ruling against parent company Starbucks. [Washington Business Journal]
Lopez’s Detention Center Work Criticized — “Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, a Democrat who has represented a Hispanic-heavy South Arlington district since 2012, was paid more than $5,000 a year in 2014 and more than $10,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 by Immigration Centers of America (ICA), which operates a detention center in Farmville, Va. , according to his state financial disclosure reports.” [Washington Post]
Holiday Events for Incarcerated Parents — Today and tomorrow, the Arlington County jail will be hosting a pair of “special events to allow incarcerated mothers and fathers to visit with their children during the winter holidays.” [Arlington County]
ACPD Show Goes On Despite Snow — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Operation Santa” performance, featuring cops donning costumes and dancing for children in the community, went on Saturday despite the snowy weather. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The stars of the Arlington County Police Department’s viral synchronized swimming video will again be showing off their acting skills.
This coming Saturday, December 9, ACPD’s “Operation Santa” will visit at least 10 neighborhoods throughout December, spreading holiday cheer to children and adults in the community. Among the stops is the parking lot at Nottingham Elementary School (5900 Little Falls Road) at 11 a.m.
A blurb on the event said it “features many popular characters including, Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch and others. This event will offer members of the public an opportunity to experience the show, get to know the officers who make it happen each year and take photos with the characters and officers following the performance.”
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the same officers who starred in the swimming video will don costumes for the performances, which are free to attend. Members of ACPD’s Community Policing District Teams work with neighborhoods to designate dates, time and locations and help promote to the children in the community.
“It is an opportunity for the Department to give back to the community, spread holiday cheer, share an important message about the holidays and give the community another opportunity to get to know the men and women of the Arlington County Police Department,” Savage said.
Savage said the officers involved are all currently working nights, so were not available for additional comment.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 2, 2017
RIP Bill Bozman — “He was ‘one of the community’s greats,’ in the words of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and while the death of William Bozman was not unexpected, it still created a ripple of emotional outpouring from several generations of Arlington civic leaders who had relied on him for counsel and good humor.” [InsideNova]
Library Director’s Annual Xmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released the 2017 version of her annual holiday music playlist. [Arlington Public Library]
ARL Sticker Opportunity — If you missed out on the the first batch of free ARL stickers, there is another opportunity to get your hands on some. We’ll be bringing the stickers to Thursday’s Speakeasy Evening With Dr. Rixey, which is happening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the The Rixey apartments in Ballston (1008 N. Glebe Road). Register for the free event, which features local art, live jazz, gin cocktails and great rooftop views, here.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Frost Fest begins at 5 p.m. at the ice rink at Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street. The event will include an on-ice firework display with Santa Claus, music from a DJ, live entertainment from local artists and ice sculptures.
Attendees can also sample foods from some nearby restaurants, pick up holiday shopping specials and win a $1,000 Pentagon Row shopping spree giveaway.
Pentagon Row’s 6,840-square-foot outdoor ice rink is now open, and will be open on all holidays. Admission costs $8 for those aged 12 and under); and $9 for those aged 13 and older. Skate rental costs $4.
The rink’s hours will be as follows:
- Mondays to Thursdays: Noon to 10 p.m.
- Fridays: Noon to 11 p.m.
- Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Sundays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The annual Christmas tree lighting at The Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will take place on Thursday evening.
It begins at 6 p.m. with a Signature Theatre holiday production featuring the cast of The Holiday Follies, with the tree to be lit at 6:30 p.m.
That will be followed by pictures with Santa in Hardwood Artisans (2800 S. Randolph Street) and a performance by the Bishop O’Connell High School Choir at 7 p.m.
The evening will also feature horse and carriage rides, strolling entertainment and live music, as well as specials at local shops and restaurants including Cheesetique, Busboys & Poets and Le Village Marche.
Per the Arlington County Police Department, the following roads will be closed to accommodate the event:
- Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter driveway to S. Randolph Street (12:00-4:00 PM)
- Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street (4:00-10:00 PM)
- S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant, roughly the 3000 block (4:00-10:00 PM)
Vehicles will be allowed to exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave. until 4:00 PM, then must use the alternative entrance accessed from Arlington Mill Drive. Drivers are warned that traffic in the area may be congested throughout the event and alternative modes of transportation are recommended.
Street parking in the area will be restricted and drivers 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 Communication Center at 703-558-2222.
All areas within the lines on the included map will be closed to vehicular traffic during the actual event (4:00-9:00 PM).
With the Thanksgiving holiday over, a number of local Christmas tree sales are now underway.
The Arlington Optimist Club’s tree sale at the Well Fargo bank parking lot on the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road began last Friday (November 24).
The schedule for the sales will be as follows:
- Monday to Thursday: 2 to 8 p.m.
- Friday: Noon to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Clarendon United Methodist Church (607 N. Irving Street) started its tree sale on Saturday (November 25). All proceeds go towards Rise Against Hunger (formally Stop Hunger Now), the Arlington Food Assistance Center and other ministries that help those in need.
The hours of the sales are as follows:
- Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sundays: Noon to 6 p.m.
- Weeknights: 6-9 p.m.
The South Arlington Lions Club’s sale was forced to move this year from the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive due to development at the site.
Now, the sale is located at American Legion Post 139 (3445 Washington Blvd) in Virginia Square, and began last Friday too.
And Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands is hosting a tree sale by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus. When an ARLnow reporter dropped by the church on Monday afternoon, trees were in the church’s front yard, but there are no details available online about hours.
Other usual Christmas tree sale locations include Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (3901 N. Cathedral Lane), the Dominion Hills shopping center (6000 Wilson Blvd) and the Unleashed by Petco parking lot (5400 Lee Highway).