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UPDATE: The Clarendon Alliance Cancels Mardi Gras Ball, Jester Jaunt

Update on 2/6/18: The Clarendon Alliance has issued an update to their plans. Citing “a large Mardi Gras ball with major sponsors” in Union Market and a Mardi Gras parade planned for the same time at Washington’s District Wharf development, the Mardi Gras Ball and the Jester Jaunt have been cancelled. The parade will still go on as scheduled.

“They’ve got marketing dollars and fireworks,” said Matt Hussman, The Clarendon Alliance’s executive director. “It’s a different market than it used to be. But I wish the Wharf and Union Market the best of luck [with their own Mardi Gras activities].”

According to Hussman, approximately 60% of previous years’ Mardi Gras Ball tickets were sold either the day before or day of the event. He cited the difficulty in prepaying for beer and food expenses without knowing the exact number of participants as a major consideration in the decision. Another factor was the quantity of ball attendees: Hussman noted that the vast majority of ball ticket holders were Batalá Washington performers or Louisiana State University alumni. Both groups, he said, would be parading at the Wharf instead of in Clarendon.

Currently there are approximately 20 registered parade floats or groups, and registration is still open for additional marchers. 

Earlier: Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras procession of dressed-up dogs, cyclists, floats, and revelers is quickly approaching, and registration for several events has opened.

The festivities will kick off on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard at N. Barton Street, following along Wilson Boulevard before ending at by The Liberty Tavern at N. Irving Street.

Parade registration fees range from $50 for a nonprofit or community organization to $250 for a business outside of the Clarendon-Courthouse corridor. Revelers can also preorder a box of 720 beaded necklaces for $75.

Though few want it to rain on their parade, last year’s Mardi Gras procession went on despite the downpour.

The following street closures have been reported for the parade and fun run:

  • Wilson Boulevard, from Veitch Street to Barton Street, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Boulevard, from Barton Street to Irving Street, will be closed from 6:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Photos (as marked) courtesy of Jason Dixson Photography

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First ‘Mom Prom’ in Northern Virginia Aims to Celebrate Women

When Jessica Winesett became a mom 16 months ago, she quickly learned how hard it was for moms to have “the night off.” The experience led the Alexandria resident to organize Northern Virginia’s first-ever “Mom Prom.”

Set for Saturday, March 24 from 7-11 p.m., the ladies-only event at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) will raise funds for the Greater DC Diaper Bank and Second Story for Young Mothers.

Winesett said she was inspired to launch the event after hearing about mom proms in Richmond, now in its seventh year, and Hampton Roads, now in its third year.

“Since becoming a mom, I have such passion for moms now. When we take care of our moms, we take care of our society,” she said, “In my eyes, the initiative has already been a success because I see the community coming together and giving together. This is a feel-good event where women who are and aren’t mothers are welcome for a fun night out.”

Only women 21 years and above are allowed because alcohol will be served at the event. Tickets are available online. The offer for $45 early bird tickets ends on Saturday. Prices increase to $50 afterward.

The first 100 women to arrive will receive a door prize and awards for the “most glamorous” and “most outrageous” outfit will be given. A prom queen or mom of the year will be crowned from submitted nominations.

An after-party open to the public is scheduled after the prom ends at 11 p.m.

Flyer via ProMOmenade

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Morning Notes

Christmas tree sale at the Catholic church on 23rd Street S. in Aurora Highlands

Clarendon Ballroom Battles Alt-Right Blitz — After beating up on Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation earlier this month, the alt-right faction seeking to hold inauguration rallies and parties in Arlington has focused its attention on the Clarendon Ballroom. The Ballroom, one alt-right leader alleges, turned away their planned “DeploraBall” due to political pressure. The Ballroom, however, says the organizers never actually signed a contract. Since then, the Ballroom has been receiving “hundreds of slanderous, dangerous, vulgar and threatening posts and tweets,” along with threatening phone calls. [NBC Washington, Washington Post]

Library Director’s Christmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released her annual “mix tape of seasonal favorites” on the library blog. This year’s list is a Spotify playlist that starts with Diana Krall’s rendition of “Let It Snow” and concludes, on a unique-to-2016 note, with “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies. [Arlington Public Library]

Six Fired by Metro in EFC Derailment — Following an investigation, Metro has fired six track inspectors and supervisors and demoted several others in the wake of July’s East Falls Church train derailment. Additional firings are in the works. [WJLA]

Arlington Community Foundation Grants — The Arlington Community Foundation has approved grants to 26 local nonprofits and school, totally nearly $100,000. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Window washers in Ballston

W-L Student Aces ACT Exam — Washington-Lee High School rising senior Benjamin Brooks has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. Of the two million people who take the exam each year, only 1,600 achieve a top score. [InsideNova]

Speakeasy Moves to Alexandria — The Room 19 speakeasy that was formerly in the now-closed Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (which is now becoming Ambar) is relocating to Alexandria. Room 19 will have its soft opening in the Carlyle Club at 2050 Ballenger Ave tomorrow, a spokesman said. It will be open Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. [Facebook]

Juror Questionnaires Are Being Mailed — Residents of Arlington and Falls Church will be receiving questionnaires as part of Arlington’s annual juror qualification process. About 35,000 questionnaires are being mailed out. [Arlington County]

Live Podcast Taping Coming to Arlington — Local media personalities Sarah Fraser and Samy K will be hosting a live taping of their popular Hey Frase podcast at Clarendon Ballroom next month. Tickets to the show start at $25. [Eventbrite]

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Mardi Gras Revelers to Parade Through Clarendon This Evening

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras parade

Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.

After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”

“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”

Except maybe traffic.

Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:

  • Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom will host the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band and serve traditional Louisiana food, with wine, beer and punch, as part of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Iota Club (2832 Wilson Blvd), meanwhile, will be hosting its own Mardi Gras celebration starting at 8:00 p.m. The free event features a rock-blues band and $3 gumbo shots.

Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography

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Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade Planned for Early February

Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade 2016Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.

This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.

Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.

The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.

Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

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Arlington’s Got Talent Returns Next Week

Arlington's Got Talent flyerArlington’s Got Talent, the annual talent show for D.C.-area performers hosted by Leadership Arlington, is back for another year on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

The show is $30 in advance and $40 at the door at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd). It all starts at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour before the eight performers who were chosen take the stage.

The performers on Wednesday night, selected from 23 submissions, will be:

  • Maryland-based rapper Nik Martin
  • Pop, funk and R&B singer Travis Tucker
  • Singer Alyssa Gurley
  • A capella group Euphonism
  • Yorktown High School student Aastha Paneru, performing Nepalese dance
  • Former U.S. Marine and standup comedian Cerrome Russell
  • Crooner and Marine Corps reservist Teague
  • Guitarist Bau Bau

The winner of the talent show gets $500, and the rest of the proceeds from the night go to Leadership Arlington’s scholarship fund

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Arlington’s Got Talent Accepting Audition Tapes

Arlington's Got Talent flyerArlington’s Got Talent, the annual talent show hosted by Leadership Arlington, is now accepting applications to perform.

Applicants need to “like” the event’s Facebook page, fill out an online application and submit a video link along with it. Competitors have to be at least 13 years old, audition videos must be no more than three minutes long — performances during the competition can be up to five minutes — and be free of “nudity or obscene language/gestures.” The deadline for applying is Sept. 11.

The competition itself will be on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd), with a social starting at 6:30 p.m. before the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Last year’s show had more than 200 people in attendance, Leadership Arlington said in a press release. Tickets for the show are $30 online and $40 at the door. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be a cash bar.

This is the third annual Arlington’s Got Talent, and competitors across the D.C. area are allowed to participate. The first ever winner, Margot McDonald, toured Europe and played at Artisphere and the Lubber Run Amphiteatre this summer.

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Morning Notes

50 gun salute ready at Arlington National Cemetery (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Tips for Staying Cool — The temperature today and tomorrow (Tuesday) is expected to reach the mid-to-upper 90s. To help beat the heat, Arlington County has a list of “hot weather tips for staying cool,” including tips and resources for people and pets. [Arlington County]

Arlington Man Found Dead in D.C. — Arlington resident Michael Hrizuk, 57, was found dead on the ground near Wisconsin Avenue NW in the Glover Park neighborhood last month. The Metropolitan Police Department has not yet determined the manner and cause of Hrizuk’s death and is continuing to investigate the incident. [WUSA 9]

Arlington Hailed as ‘Suburb of the Future’ — Arlington has been transformed from a “sleepy suburb” into a “mid-size city” but has managed to reduce the volume of traffic on main streets, according to an article entitled “The Suburb of the Future is Here.” Says Brookings Institution fellow Christopher Leinberger: “Arlington is the most important suburban place in the country… If you don’t understand Arlington, you don’t understand the future of the country.” [Salon]

O.A.R. to Play Clarendon Ballroom — Rock band O.A.R., which hails from Rockville but has enjoyed national success, will play a private acoustic show at the Clarendon Ballroom on July 17. Tickets to the performance are only available via an ongoing, on-air contest on radio stations 94.7 Fresh FM and 106.7 The Fan. The band recently released its eighth studio album, The Rockville LP. [94.7 Fresh FM]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Sports Junkies to Host Summer Dress Party

Clarendon Ballroom Summer Dress PartyClarendon Ballroom will again be the site of the annual Summer Dress Party tonight.

The Sports Junkies — the four hosts of 106.7 The Fan’s morning sports talk show — will host the event at the Clarendon bar, 3185 Wilson Blvd, Friday night, starting at 7:00 p.m. There will be no cover charge at the door until 10:00 p.m.

The party is being held on the rooftop, and women, encouraged to dress in “summer’s finest,” will be eligible to win prizes from retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom’s and MAC Cosmetics.

This is the sixth year of the Summer Dress Party, and the second time Clarendon Ballroom has hosted.

Photo via CBS Local

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Rooftop Restaurants Prepare to Open for Season

While some local outdoor cafes have been open for business already due to a smattering of warm days like today, the popular rooftop decks in the area remain closed.

The good news is they’re preparing to open soon. The bad news is you’ll have to wait a few more weeks.

Here is the current list of seasonal openings for Arlington’s popular rooftop establishments:

  • Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill — April 1.
  • Whitlow’s — Although the website says the opening will be March 8, an employee told us it will actually be St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
  • Clarendon Ballroom — There is no firm date. Management will decide after the threat of frost has passed, which could be anytime from March through the beginning of May.
  • Eventide — Late April is when regularly scheduled evenings will begin. However, the rooftop will be ready starting March 15 and may open on especially warm evenings.
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