A festival to showcase Latin American music, folk dance, art and food is coming to Rosslyn next month.
The ¡Viva Cultura! Festival is scheduled for Saturday, August 13, at Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd), which is a five-minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro station. The event is set to begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Centro de Apoyo Familiar is organizing the family-friendly event and plans to provide live music, dance performances, exhibitions and food, according to the festival’s website. Folk dance groups representing countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico are expected to perform their traditional dances in traditional costumes as well.
As for the exhibition, Centro de Apoyo Familiar plans to have artisans from the Caribbean as well as Central and South America offering handcrafted items. Exhibitors include a Colombian handmade jewelry store and organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens. The deadline for becoming an exhibitor is Sunday, July 31, according to the online registration form.
An art exhibition for Latino artists in Arlington is also set. However, registration for it has yet to open, according to the event’s website.
The event will feature a number of activities catered to kids, including face painting, clowns, musical chairs and other games, according to the website. Food trucks selling cuisines from different countries are also expected. Registration for food vendors is still open.
CAF is a nonprofit working in D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia to provide housing counseling to low-income Latino and immigrant families, according to its website.
Now in its 30th year, the festival is set to again be held at Gateway Park, at 1300 Lee Highway, between 1-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.
The event is free to attend but registration is encouraged due to the park’s capacity limit. Registration is set to open on the festival’s Eventbrite page on Monday, Aug. 1 at noon, according to the event’s website.
Music magazine Billboard ranked headliner Cimafunk as one of 10 Latin Artists to Watch in 2019. The musician described his band’s style as a “mix of funk with Cuban music and African rhythms,” according to his website.
The festival this year is set to have “an emphasis on international influences” and the musicians it invited “blend African, Afro-American, and Latino traditions, rhythms and movement with conventional jazz expression,” according to the event’s news release.
The rest of the lineup includes:
- Harlem-based Mwenso and the Shakes, a jazz and blues band made of up immigrants from all around the world
- Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, a soul-and-jazz fusion band from Seattle originally
- Groove Orchestra, a jazz ensemble headed by D.C. multi-instrumentalist Samuel Prather.
Rosslyn Business Improvement District, the organizer of the event, has planned to include food trucks at the event, according to the news release. The BID is also planning on arranging lawn games and merchandise sales, as well as having community organizations set up tables at the venue, President Mary-Claire Burick told ARLnow.
Prior to the festival, Rosslyn is also set to host a week of jazz events like pop-up concerts, Burick said. More information on that will be released later this summer. The jazz festival was held last year, for the first time since before the pandemic., but this year’s event promises to be more full featured.
“As the gateway to the D.C. region, we’re proud to bring back this event to the neighborhood in a way that’s bigger than ever before,” Burick said.
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.
One of the first of several Pride Month events in Arlington is happening this coming Thursday (June 9) in Crystal City.
Rock the Lot with Pride is a “Pride Month kick-off celebration” organized by The National Landing Business Improvement District, at 2611 S. Clark Street, a parking lot behind the Hyatt Regency hotel, between 4-8 p.m., according to the event’s webpage.
There will be food, drinks and merchandise giveaways at Rock the Lot with Pride, according to the website. The Kona Ice and Curbside Kitchen trucks are set to provide food for the event, while mobile cocktail bar Toastworthy is expected to bring its Tequila Truck to the event.
Rock the Lot with Pride is free and open to the public. Registration is now available online. Toastworthy plans to give the first 100 participants a free cocktail, according to the event’s webpage. DJ Chan Don, a disc jockey based in D.C., is set to play live music for the event.
Arlington is also getting its first Pride festival, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, at Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd) between noon and 7 p.m.
The event, hosted by the Polished Kreative, is free and open to all ages, with the theme “Moving Forward Together.” Attendees will be able to enjoy games, food and drinks, live music and entertainment at the festival, according to its website. There will also be a designated area for pets and kids with games, face painting and other activities, according to an Instagram post.
Deejay JL and DJ Swoosh are set to perform at the festival, according to another Instagram post. Sponsors for the event include the Kitchen Shaman 9, a private chef, a local bar Quinn’s On The Corner, D.C.-based pet care firm Puppy Luv Pet Services and others.
Other events around Arlington include:
Documentary and talk on the Lavender Scare
The Arlington Arts Center is set to hold a virtual talk between artist Alexander D’Agostino and historian David K. Johnson about the history of the Lavender Scare, a purge of government employees due to their sexuality during the Cold War, on Wednesday (June 8) at 6 p.m.
The center also plans to make the documentary “The Lavender Scare” available for virtual screening between Wednesday and Tuesday, June 14.
Family Pride Day
The Arlington Art Center organized Family Pride Day on Saturday (June 11) beginning at 10:30 a.m. It is free to the public, according to the event’s webpage. Art-making activities and readings from the Drag Queen Story Hour, where drag queens read stories to children, are set to take place.
Virtual talk with Alex Myers
The Arlington Public Library is set to host a virtual talk with transgender advocate and writer Alex Myers on Monday, June 13, between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. It is open to people over 12. Those interested need to register for the event.
Pride Month for county employees
On Wednesday, June 15, OUTstanding, a LGBTQ+ employee resource group aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in the Arlington County government, is set to host a Pride Month Proclamation and Celebration event for county employees to “celebrate living, working and thriving,” according to the event’s poster. The event is scheduled between noon and 1:30 p.m. in Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. It is open to the public and no registration is needed.
Book club discussion
The library’s book club is also set to host a discussion session on books with LGBTQ+ themes and its June selection, “Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing” by Lauren Hough. The event is scheduled for Monday, June 27, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. It is set to be held at the Campbell Room in the Shirlington branch library, at 4200 Campbell Avenue. It is only open to adults and registration is required.
On Sunday, June 19, the festival celebrating insects that light up summer nights is back for the first time since 2019. Last year, a smaller firefly “prowl” (essentially, a nature walk) was held due to the pandemic.
This year there will be firefly arts and crafts, bug bingo, storytelling, a nature walk, and flashlight games. All are encouraged to go on a firefly hunt, catching and releasing the twinkling bugs.
Naturalists will also be on hand to explain how to best attract fireflies and ways to maintain backyard habitats to encourage insect visitors.
“Fireflies are fascinating and inspire a sense of nostalgia for many adults,” saud the press release. “The festival is an opportunity to introduce the next generation of citizens to the wonders of the night sky and the value of natural spaces.”
The event is sponsored by the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. Registration began last week.
In general, fireflies are not lighting up the night sky as they used to.
“There are fewer, like a lot of insects,” says Rita Peralta, Outreach Manager at the Long Branch Nature Center and in charge of putting on the festival. “It’s largely referred to as an insect apocalypse. Like a lot of animals, it’s due to, mostly, habitat loss.”
But on warm Arlington summer nights, fireflies can be found across the county. The best place to see their nightly light show is near undistributed mature trees, in areas that have little light pollution.
That’s why Fort C.F. Smith Park in the Woodmont neighborhood is a great spot for the festival, says Peralta, because of its tree canopy and open meadows.
There are about 2,000 different firefly species in the world, with anywhere from 24 to 36 species calling our region home. Their ability to light up is part of their mating process, but one local species uses the light as a way to attract a meal.
“One local firefly species — the Femme Fatale or Photuris genus — is predatory,” noted the release. “The female will send a false signal to a male of another species to attract him and will then eat him when he arrives to mate.”
The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. and runs for two hours. Admission is $7 and tickets can also be purchased at the event, in addition to online. Heavy rains will cancel the event and there’s no rain date.
As of today, more than 100 people have already registered online, according to the county’s website.
Photo by Bruce Marlin via Wikimedia Commons
The third annual Ballston Quarterfest Crawl is back this weekend with a full line-up of music, art, entertainment, and drinks.
The free event is set to happen this Saturday (May 21) from noon to 8 p.m. It’s set to follow a similar format as last year, with the crawl aspect allowing attendees to spread out across the neighborhood. A number of the local restaurants are also hosting live music and specials all day.
Many of the performances, though, are set to take place at the main event hub outside of Ballston Quarter at 4238 Wilson Blvd.
The lineup for the main event hub:
- 12-7 p.m. DJ Ricky
- 12:30-1 p.m. Official Event Kickoff
- 1-4 p.m. Encanto Sisters
- 3-5 p.m. Intern John and the HOT 99.5 Street Team
- 6-8 p.m. Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Show
There will also be performances at various neighborhood businesses :
- 1-2:30 p.m. Uncle Jesse at World of Beer
- 2:30-4 p.m. Kara and Matty D. at Ballston Local
- 4-5:30 p.m. The Crista Trio at SER
- 5:30-7 p.m. Ache Harvest at Salt Line
“We are thrilled to celebrate our neighborhood and some of our finest restaurants with live music, great food and the community we know and love here in Ballston,” Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone said in a press release. “This event is the unofficial kickoff to summer and a lively celebration for our community and our neighbors.”
There won’t be any Ballston Quarterfest related road closures, organizers and the Arlington County Police Department confirmed to ARLnow.
“The crawl is organized in an easily-walkable path from Ballston Quarter to our pop-up concerts and back,” an event spokesperson says.
That path follows Wilson Blvd and, then, up N. Glebe Road, according to the provided map.
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.
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.
Arlington is getting its own pride festival in two months.
The event is free and for all ages and will run from noon to 7 p.m., according to a press release It’s set to feature games, live entertainment, DJs and “surprise guests.” There will also be a dog park area and kids play section, notes the release.
The festival’s theme is “Moving Forward Together.”
“The Arlington Pride Festival will inspire our community to collaborate in new ways, ensuring all LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families and friends feel empowered, and supported,” organizers wrote.
The announcement of the festival was first posted on Instagram earlier this month. More details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, a website for the event notes.
An Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation official confirmed to ARLnow that event organizers have completed all the needed paperwork to hold the festival at Gateway Park.
“At this time, the Special Event application is pending, which is common this far out of the process,” parks department spokesperson Martha Holland wrote. “The County will be working with the organizers, as we do with all organizers, to assist in its approval.”
Due to the pandemic, it’s been several years since most pride events were last held. Back in 2019, a number of smaller events were held around Arlington in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
D.C.’s big Capital Pride festival and parade is being held on June 11 and 12 this year, the first time in three years.
The Arlington Festival of Arts is coming back to Clarendon later this month
The annual free, outdoor arts festival is returning to Washington Blvd on April 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will cover several blocks, with an entrance at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Washington Blvd.
The festival was canceled in 2020 due to Covid concerns and the 2021 version was pushed to September. So, this year marks the festival’s return to spring for the first time since 2019.
There are set to be over a hundred local and national artists selling their wares at the show. All artists were “hand-selected by [an] independent panel of expert judges,” a press release notes.
“Whether your passions run to sparkling jewels and one-of-a-kind paintings, masterfully crafted glasswork, or an art deco sculpture, you are sure to find it during the free, two-day event,” the press release says.
There will also be a “juried, first-class outdoor art gallery,” for attendees to peruse.
Pets on a leash are welcome, festival organizers say, adding that “ample” parking will be available in Clarendon.
While the Arlington County Police Department has not yet announced any no road closures, it probably can be expected that parts of Washington Blvd will be closed during event hours. Typically, local authorities urge drivers to avoid the area around the closures and take public transit to the event.
A number of annual Arlington events are marking their return this spring and summer after several years of scaling down or cancelling such events due to Covid. That includes last month’s DC Tattoo Expo in Pentagon City, May’s Ballston Quarterfest Crawl, and the yearly “Arlington Reads” series, which is back to being in-person through the spring and summer.
Ballston Quarterfest Crawl is coming back in May.
The now-annual free event put on by the Ballston Business Improvement District is set for Saturday, May 21 this year.
It’s expected to follow a similar format as last year, with neighborhood restaurants offering food and drink specials throughout the day. In 2021, organizers emphasized that the event would be spread out and more “free-flowing,” as opposed to 2019 when it was more concentrated in one location.
This year, as in past years, there will be live entertainment, local art, and music. Maps, a list of artists, a schedule and additional details are forthcoming, organizers noted in an announcement.
After three decades, the “Taste of Arlington” — a popular annual event that drew massive crowds to sample dishes from restaurants throughout Arlington, arranged in booths along Wilson Blvd — was replaced in 2019 by “Quarterfest” as Ballston’s annual springtime event. The event was canceled the following year due to the pandemic and was restructured as more of a “crawl” of Ballston area restaurants in 2021.
Held in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the kite festival is one of a dozen taking place at D.C.-area parks this coming Saturday, March 26.
The event will feature live entertainment, food trucks, origami, art projects, and, of course, kites. It will take place on the diamond fields at the corner of S. Joyce Street and 15th Street S. from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
This is the Pentagon City park’s second year holding the festival. Upwards of 750 people are expected to attend, organizers tell ARLnow, with the first hundred attendees receiving a kite kit.
“It’s been such a difficult couple of years. This is the first big event Arlington Parks and Recreation has been able to hold outside in a long time,” says Laura Barragan, special events manager at the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation. ” Our community has been so resilient and resourceful during the pandemic. We should celebrate ourselves and our community. The Blossom Kite Festival is a way we can bring the magic of the Cherry Blossom Festival to Arlington.”
Live entertainment will include a flamenco artist, rock and roll cover band, kid-friendly street performers, and gypsy-rock group the 19th Street Band. There will also be local food trucks like the Big Cheese, BBQ At Its Best, El Encanto Latino and Kona Ice.
Attendees additionally have an opportunity to learn about Japanese culture, including demonstrations on making origami cherry trees and how to play the wooden ball skill game kendama.
Dogs are welcome and the festival is rain or shine, though in case of severe weather it will be rescheduled for Sunday. The event is being sponsored by Amazon, according to the website.
The event will be taking place after peak bloom has been reached at the Tidal Basin.
BREAKING: The National Park Service declares the cherry blossoms have reached peak bloom! pic.twitter.com/WGqwzsTG0o
— Tom Roussey (@tomroussey7news) March 21, 2022