Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Juneteenth Rally in Courthouse Today — “Please join the Arlington Black Employees Council for a 2020 Juneteenth Peace Rally on Friday, 11a-12p, outside at the Bozman Gov’t Center. The event will include a George Floyd tribute and recognition of victims of violence.” [Twitter]

Police Investigating Columbia Pike Robbery — “At approximately 1:24 a.m. on June 17, an officer was flagged down by the victim stating they had just been robbed. The investigation determined that the victim had exited a business when two unknown suspects approached him. One of the suspects struck the victim with an object appearing to be a firearm, causing him to fall to the ground. The suspects searched the victim’s person and fled the scene without taking anything from the victim.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Helps the Homeless During Pandemic — “In April, Arlington launched a homeless outreach coalition to help identify unsheltered individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and connect them with available resources and services. The coalition is comprised of stakeholders from the Police Department, Department of Human Services, and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN). ” [Instagram]

Coronavirus Signage in Rosslyn — “The Rosslyn Business Improvement District decked out the neighborhood with a variety of light-hearted messages as part of an awareness campaign launched this week to encourage social distancing as the region loosens stay-at-home restrictions imposed to fight the spread of Covid-19. Through the messages — which are stamped to the sides of trash cans, in the windows of office buildings and on public benches — the BID hopes to remind people not to let their guard down.” [Washington Business Journal]

Backyard Blues Fest on Saturday — “CPRO is planning an alternative Backyard Blues Festival on June 20 from 5-7 p.m. Arlington community radio station WERA 96.7 FM will play a curated selection of blues while various local restaurants will offer special discounts on food and drinks, which can then be enjoyed in one’s backyard or patio with the radio cranked up.” [ARLnow]

Nearby: Falls Church Closes for Juneteenth — “In keeping with Governor Northam’s declaration designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, the City of Falls Church will also observe the holiday. City of Falls Church Government administrative offices will be closed. Employees who staff essential programs and services will work as scheduled.” [City of Falls Church]

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The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival isn’t exactly canceled this year, but with lingering concerns about large crowds during the phased reopening of the region, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is radically rethinking the event while hoping to keep the spirit intact.

Officially, the 25th Pike Blues Festival will be held in 2021, but in the meantime, CPRO is planning an alternative Backyard Blues Festival on June 20 from 5-7 p.m.

Arlington community radio station WERA 96.7 FM will play a curated selection of blues while various local restaurants will offer special discounts on food and drinks, which can then be enjoyed in one’s backyard or patio with the radio cranked up.

“The Blues Festival has always been such a wonderful celebration of our community and, as it was necessary to postpone it this year, we really wanted to find an alternative celebration that could still bring the community ‘together,'” CROP Executive Director Kim Klingler said. “All of us at CPRO have been eagerly anticipating the 25th Annual Blues Festival and were quite disappointed at the prospect of cancelling the festival completely. But, through our partnership with Arlington Arts, we were able to connect with WERA and come up with a creative way to keep groovin’ and show that defiant, hopeful spirit that truly exemplifies Columbia Pike.”

CPRO isn’t the first local organization to try to encourage Arlingtonians to jam out to music outdoors at the same time. The Crystal City BID launched a similar Front Porch Friday series in April. Klingler said the idea of playing music over the radio outdoors is “very retro.”

“The Columbia Pike community really feels a strong sense of pride and ownership over the annual Blues Festival,” Klingler said. “It is hard to imagine summer on Columbia Pike without the blues.”

Klingler said the festival will include giveaways and social media contests. CPRO is still working through the details of the specials on food.

“We are still working out a few details with our vendors, but we’re hopeful all of the local restaurants who have participated in the festival for years will participate this year as well,” Klingler said. “Most of our vendors are brick and mortar restaurants located near Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Dr. where the festival typically takes place and we wanted to ensure we are supporting them through these difficult times in any way we can. Listeners can order their favorite festival foods and have their beer and wine delivered. New District Brewing Co. is even preparing a specialty ‘Blues Fest Brew’ for the occasion.”

In addition to New District, Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque and Rincome Thai Cuisine are listed as event participants.

“We hope everyone will drag their radios outside — or tune in online — and spend a couple hours filling backyards across Arlington with the best blues has to offer,” Klingler said. “I think we’ve all had the blues for a while now and a Backyard Blues Fest could be just what we need.”

Image via Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization

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Update at 10:05 a.m. — This event was cancelled Wednesday night. From the organizers:

Out of an abundance of caution to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 23rd Street Festival. We hope to reschedule the event and are considering Saturday, August 15th or Saturday, August 29th as potential dates… We hope you’re as inspired as we are to keep this momentum. Thank you for your support, and we look forward building with you to make the first-ever 23rd Street Festival a successful production and experience for all when it is rescheduled later this year! Thank you, Amanda + Monica Amanda Rodrigues Smith Monica Rodrigues Smith

Earlier: A new open-air community art and food festival will soon make its debut in Crystal City.

The 23rd Street Festival is set to take place on Saturday, March 21, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be performances from Synetic Theater and other artists and groups, according to the event’s website, plus food from Portofino, Top Thai, Fredrico, and other eateries along the 23rd Street S. restaurant row.

“The 23rd Street Festival invites the DMV’s unique creators and innovators across food, style, art, & music to come together in one interactive outdoor experience,” said an event description. “For one day, we will convert our store-lined Main Street into an open-air block party for you to experience some of Arlington’s oldest and most storied locally owned businesses. From fine cuisine to boutiques and curious shops around every corner, there’s a little something for everyone!”

Event co-producer Amanda Rodrigues Smith said the organizers were inspired by the “opportunity to bring people together.”

The festival will be take place on 23rd Street S. between Eads and Fern streets.

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This year’s Feel the Heritage Festival will celebrate African-American history on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The county-organized event, held annually for the past 27 years in Arlington, will take place at the Charles Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.) from 1-6 p.m.

Entrance to the festival — which includes live music and dance, food vendors, and activities for children — is free. The event will also feature vendors selling a variety of goods, from jewelry to homemade hot sauce.

For the cooks in attendance, there will be a chance to show off their skills at the festival’s third annual soul food cook-off competition. The festival will also include a Hall of History, where photos and artifacts from Arlington’s historically African-American neighborhoods and organizations will be on display.

On-site parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The community center is accessible via Metrobus 10B and ART bus 77, according to the Arlington Parks and Recreation website.

Photo via Arlington County

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Morning Notes

Heavy Seas Alehouse to Close — “Heavy Seas Alehouse, the restaurant affiliated with the Baltimore-area brewery, will close its doors in Rosslyn by the end of October, one of its principals said Thursday. The restaurant plans to close Oct. 27, said Mike Morris, a partner in Monogram Hospitality, which operates Heavy Seas Alehouse.” [Washington Business Journal]

Real Estate Costs Going Down? — “In every major jurisdiction of the local area, the median per-square-foot price for housing for the January-through-September period declined, in many cases by double digits, according to new figures reported Oct. 11… Arlington led all local jurisdictions for the nine-month period, but its median per-square-foot cost of $436 was down 6.8 percent from $468.” [InsideNova]

Kaine to Talk Vaping at Arlington School — “On Friday, October 18, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine will hold a roundtable discussion on efforts to address the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The discussion at Montessori Public School of Arlington will include students, teachers, counselors, parents, health experts, and Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.” [Press Release]

Road Closures for Festival in Shirlington — “The Shirlington Shucktoberfest, sponsored by the Copperwood Tavern, will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Set up will begin at approximately 6:00 a.m. and cleanup should be completed by 7:00 p.m. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures…” [Arlington County]

Arlington Woman’s Alleged Killer Charged — “The killer of Pamela Butler, a Washington, D.C., federal worker who disappeared before Valentine’s Day in 2009, has been charged in the 1989 death of his wife. Marta Haydee Rodriguez-Cruz disappeared from Arlington, Virginia, in 1989. Her remains were found along Interstate 95 in Stafford County in 1991 but weren’t positively identified until 2018. Her husband, Jose Angel Rodriguez-Cruz, also dated Butler for a time.” [NBC 4]

Arlington Man Convicted in Child Sex Sting — “An Arlington man is among more than 300 people arrested worldwide in connection with a website that authorities describe as the largest child sexual exploitation operation of its kind ever discovered in terms of the volume of content. Ammar Atef H. Alahdali, 22, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to serve five years in prison and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.” [Patch]

Nearby: Birding Store Near Fairlington Closing — “After 33 years, birding and nature store One Good Tern (1710 Fern Street) near Fairlington is closing as longtime owner Charles Studholme faces a grim kidney failure diagnosis.” [ALXnow]

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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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