Arlington, VA

Following a successful debut last year, an oyster-focused Oktoberfest celebration is returning to Shirlington next week.

Shucktoberfest” will be hosted in and around Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue) on Saturday, October 19 from 11 a.m-5 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, attendees can expect over forty craft beers and four oyster vendors. Local breweries expected to attend include Lost Boy Cider and Fair Winds Brewery.

“Last year we underestimated how serious the oyster enthusiasm was going to be, we couldn’t shuck them fast enough,” said a spokeswoman for the event. “So we’ve doubled the number of oysters we’re ordering to 20 to 25 thousand.”

A $35 ticket includes a 5 oz beer tasting mug and 10 tickets. One ticket is redeemable for either one beer sample or two oysters.

In addition to plenty of shellfish, at least twenty merchant and food tents expected as part of the festival.

The event is also dog-friendly and open to families, with a “massive kids zone” planned with face painting and a DJ. Outdoor games include corn hole and Connect Four.

Tickets are available for the event on its website.

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(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) On Thursday, a new music, food, and drinks festival will take over a street in Ballston.

Hosted by the Ballston BID, the Ballston Street Bash and Mega Market is scheduled to run from 3-8 p.m. at Welburn Square, along N. Stuart Street. It will include live music, a beer and wine pavillion, and the regularly-scheduled Thursday farmers market.

Admission is free, while drink tickets are $5.

The festival incorporates the weekly Ballston FreshFarm Market, which includes vendors selling fresh produce and food stands from DMV Empanadas and Timber Pizza Company.

A concert is planned, with performances from several local bands, including White Ford Bronco and Jumpin’ Jupiter.

Additional activities include a free VIDA Fitness SweatBox Class at 6 p.m., with pre-registration required.

Photo provided by Ballston BID

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Update on 9/30/19 — The event has been cancelled.

Earlier: Would you pay forty bucks for a beer and and ten samples of macaroni and cheese from “top chefs?”

Apparently hundreds, if not thousands, of people are answering “yes” to that question. The Nova Mac and Cheese Festival is coming to the area around the Ballston Metro station next weekend, and some 1,200 people say they’re going and another 25,000 people say they’re “interested” in the event on Facebook.

Tickets to the festival are not cheap. It’s $20 just to attend, watch others eat, and listen to the live bands — more to buy individual food and drink tickets. $40 will get you 10 food tickets and 1 drink ticket for beer, cider, wine or soda. For $55, you can be a mac and cheese VIP with two drinks and access to a “private VIP area with private bathrooms.”

By comparison, $149.99 will buy a 27-pound bucket of Chef’s Banquet Macaroni and Cheese that will last up to 20 years.

Organizers argue that the mac and cheese at the festival — held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 — will be extra delicious. Also, there will be entertainment.

More from an event description:

VIP TICKETS NEARLY SOLD OUT…

It’s Here – The Cheesiesst Event Northern Virginia Has Ever Seen…

NoVA Mac and Cheese Festival –

We’re Taking Over the Street – N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA!

Top Chefs, Food Trucks and Food Vendors Serving up the World’s Most Amazing (and Cheesiest!) Dish – America’s Own Mac and Cheese! More than just a Food Festival, we’ll also have an amazing selection of Craft Beers, wines and ciders to sample. You’ll get

  • Over 30 Kinds of Mac and Cheese to sample from top chefs and food vendors
  • Great craft beers, wines and ciders to sample
  • Live Bands and Entertainment
  • Get to Vote for Northern VA’s Best Mac and Cheese!

We expect this event to Sell Out fast, so get your tickets and get ready to taste the most fantastic thing ever created on this Great Earth. Cheesey, Gooey, Over-the-top Macaroni presentations… As Ben Franklin once said “Macaroni is what makes this Nation Great!” – well, we’re not sure about the quote – but do you really want to miss this??

You Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol and must bring a valid ID – Children 9 years old and under get Free Admission.

Photo courtesy Nova Mac and Cheese Festival

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The third annual ValleyFest returns to Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood this weekend.

Hosted by New District Brewing Company, the arts and music festival will take place on the street outside the brewery at 2709 S. Oakland Street, near Shirlington, this Sunday (Sept. 29) from 12-5 p.m.

Entrance to the event free, though attendees can purchase a $20 “Beer Package” that includes a ValleyFest pint glass and three beer tickets. The festival will feature a selection of New District’s beers, including their new Oktoberfest brew.

The festival will also prompt several road and parking area closures from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. According to Arlington County Police:

  • S. Oakland Street, from S. Four Mile Run Drive to the Shirlington Dog Park
  • 2700 Block of S. Nelson Street
  • The parking lot for the Shirlington Dog Park between S. Nelson St. and S. Oakland St. will not be available

“The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and part of the StorQuest Self-Storage facility will be accessible,” ACPD noted.

Pet owners will still have access to the Shirlington Dog Park during the event, but are encouraged to park elsewhere. Those looking to use the park should use S. Oxford Street or the Four Mile Run footbridge.

Street parking will be restricted and there will be temporary “no parking” signs posted. Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation or ride-hailing apps to get to the event.

“The public can expect to see a visible police presence in the area,” ACPD said in a press release. “Motorists should follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of the road closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic in the area.”

This year, the live music and entertainment includes performances from The Washington Ballet and the Educational Theatre Company. The full lineup is:

In addition to live performances, there will be over 20 local artists and community vendors in attendance, including the Arlington Art Truck.

Food trucks at the festival include Grillmasters BBQ, ACME Pies and Nauck Youth Enterprises.

Photo via New District Brewing Company/Facebook

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Autumn-lovers rejoice: a hard cider fest is coming to Rosslyn next month.

Multiple cider breweries are expected to set up stations in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) on Thursday, October 17 so attendees can wander and sip at will. Festival goers will also be able to prove their mettle in a pie-eating contest later that afternoon.

Pie eating champions will compete for “a basket of Rosslyn goodies,” and will have one minute to eat a whole pie, according to the event description on the Rosslyn Business Improvement District’s website.

“We’re sure you’ve done your share of wine and beer tastings, but do you know how to taste cider and distinguish between varieties?” event organizers wrote. “Well, now’s your chance to learn more about this delicious alcoholic beverage that’s favored by many who don’t like beer.”

The festival will start at 4 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. that day. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online — which cost $15 and cover the cost of sampling eight different brews — before they sell out.

Other Arlington festivals have offered mulled and regular ciders in years past, but this marks the second time Rosslyn squeezed a cider-only festival into the mix.

Image courtesy of Rosslyn BID

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The annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest returns to Arlington this Saturday.

Celebrating its 29th year, the free festival is anticipating nearly 10,000 attendees. It will feature jazz music, food trucks, and crafting from 1-7 p.m in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).

The festival will also prompt several street closures. According to Arlington County Police:

  • 10 a.m.-8 p.m. — Eastbound lanes of Lee Highway between Fort Myer Drive and Lynn Street closed
  • 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. — Fort Myer Drive will be closed at westbound Lee Highway
  • 12-8 p.m. — I-66 Exit 73 to Rosslyn closed

“Local traffic within the closure zone wishing to access Route 66 or the Key Bridge by way of Eastbound Lee Highway should exit Lee Highway at either Veitch Street, Rhodes Street, Quinn Street, or Fort Myer Drive and use Wilson Boulevard to reach Lynn Street,” ACPD said in a press release. “Once on Lynn Street, drivers can travel north across the Key Bridge or take the ramp from Lynn Street onto Route 66 East and enter the District of Columbia.”

Street parking will be restricted and there will be temporary “no parking” signs posted. Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation or ride-hailing apps to get to the festival. Drivers are encouraged to “be alert and prepare for delays” due to road closures and heavy pedestrian traffic.

This year, performers include Grammy-nominated New Orleans brass band Cha Wa, and an eight-piece headlining band The Suffers.

Saturday’s official lineup is:

To preview the event, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District put together a Spotify playlist of the performing artists.

Food trucks in attendance include Swizzler — a hot dog truck — and Ben & Jerry’s. There will also be two beer and wine bars along with a sangria bar.

Additionally, the Arlington Art Truck is expected to set up shop at the festival, presenting a craft series titled Ties That Bind. Multimedia artist Lorenzo Cardim will teach visitors how to sew colorful buttons onto fabrics shaped like Arlington neighborhoods.

Photo via Rosslyn Business Improvement District

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The annual Buckingham Festival returns this weekend, bringing food, dancing, and a road closure to Arlington.

This year marks the 19th year that tenant association BU-GATA has organized the daylong festival, which returns this Sunday, August 25, from 2-8 p.m.

The Arlington County Police Department announced today (Friday) that officers will a section of N. Pershing Drive between N. Glebe Road and N. Thomas Street from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. to block traffic from festival goers.

In the past, the street event has celebrated the heritage of the neighborhood’s Latino residents with food and folk dances — both of which are expected to return this year. In addition, children will be able to play games and enjoy a bounce house.

Falls Church-based Latin band Grupo Quimbao is also scheduled to perform live during the event.

Organizers noted in their bilingual event flyer that parking will available at Barrett Elementary School.

File photo

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This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

One of Arlington County’s signature events, the 29th annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival draws thousands to hear internationally-renowned musical artists.

The Artists on this year’s roster are all rooted in the unique synthesis of sounds from the Gulf Coast that evoke jazz, blues, soul, funk and Caribbean genres: the Houston-based band The Suffers, Grammy-nominated New Orleans brass band Cha Wa, singer/cellist Leyla McCalla (formerly of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops), and D.C.’s go-go/jazz ensemble JoGo Project.

Presented by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) and co-sponsored with Arlington’s Cultural Affairs Division/Arlington Arts, the partnership harnesses the respective strengths of the locally-focused non-profit and Arlington County Government to maximum effect.

“Creating a vibrant arts and cultural scene is a core part of our work to make Rosslyn a more attractive place for both businesses and residents,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “The Rosslyn Jazz Fest brings community together to enjoy music and culture in a way (and at a scale) that no other event in Arlington does; it has brought vitality and energy to Rosslyn for 29 years and we look forward to many more.”

Most of the on-the-ground logistics, such as permitting, promotion and vendor area coordination, are led by the BID. Using their formidable network of staff, volunteers and community connections, the BID transforms the three-acre Gateway Park and the surrounding thoroughfares into a safe, smooth-running festival-site, stocked with some of the area’s top food trucks with options to engage the entire family.

While the County had always provided production and marketing support, since 2001 the experienced programming team at Arlington Arts expanded their role to oversee all elements of the on-stage production and curating the musical line-up.

Re-envisioning the festival to highlight more national and international touring artists, attendance quickly rose from 1,200 to an average 7,000 annually.

“Like jazz itself the festival has evolved,” says Josh Stoltzfus, who programs the Festival, as Director of Cultural Development for Arlington Arts. “During the past several years, we’ve been incorporating a more diverse array of music to feature critically acclaimed global music, soul, funk and all manner of jazz-related expression.”

Now drawing upwards of 10,000 attendees when the weather cooperates, it’s not unusual to see audience members who travel from as far away as Philadelphia, Raleigh or Chicago for the event, all of which benefits Arlington’s restaurant and hotel industry as well.

Free and open to the public, this year’s Rosslyn Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, September 7 from 1-7 p.m. at Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway (2 blocks from Rosslyn Metro, at the foot of Key Bridge).

For information, visit rosslynva.org/do/rosslyn-jazz-fest-2019 or arlingtonarts.org.

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Shirlington’s annual pet-friendly street festival “Wags n’ Whiskers” is returning next week.

The 12th annual pet expo is popping back up on Campbell Avenue next Saturday, August 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., outside the Village at Shirlington, and usually draws hundreds of attendees. This year’s festival will feature adoptable pets, live music, and activities like face-painting and balloon art.

About 65 local businesses and organizations will host booths along the street advertising pet wares and offering “treats and gift bags,” according to a recent press release. Veterinarians and dog trainers will also be attending to answer practice advice questions.

Singer songwriter Taylor Carson and pop rock cover band Dan Haas Trio will both perform during the weekend event.

Scenes from Wags n' Whiskers! Come join us!

Posted by The Village at Shirlington on Saturday, August 24, 2013

During the event, attendees can get pictures taken of their pets (for $5) or get a caricature drawn of them and their pet. Attendees will also have a chance to enter to win a $100 gift certificate to the nearby Dogma Bakery.

Event organizers noted in the press release that water stations will be stationed throughout the street to keep pets hydrated and cool.

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The Rosslyn Jazz Festival is coming back with some Grammy-nominated artists headlining the event.

The free festival is planned for Saturday, Sept. 7 from 1-7 p.m. at Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).

This year, the annual festival will feature:

The festival will also include food trucks, a pop-up beer and wine garden, and a visit from the Arlington Art Truck, according to its organizer, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

The focus of this year’s musical selections is art and music from the Gulf Coast, the BID said in a press release.

Attendees are encouraged to take the Metro to the Rosslyn station — a five-minute walk from the park — as parking at the festival will be limited.

Photo via Rosslyn BID

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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

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