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The 27th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival plans to shine a spotlight on female musicians as this year’s headliners.

Stretching across multiple blocks, the festival — scheduled for June 15 — is set to offer its usual mix of performances, local food and drink, and family-friendly entertainment.

What sets this year’s celebration apart is its exclusive lineup of women musicians, all paying homage to the legacy and influence of female blues artists.

“This year the Festival celebrates women in blues with a lineup of all-women-fronted bands offering a full array of blues, R&B, and funk performers of national and regional note,” an email announcement said.

Taking center stage at the festival is Brooklyn native Bette Smith, a soul artist whose musical journey traces back to the gospel tunes she sang in church, infusing her soulful sound with spiritual roots.

In addition to being inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame in 2012, Smith — otherwise known as Sharon Meriel Kathleen Smith — has worked with several famous blues, jazz, rock and country musicians, including Jimbo MathusKirk FletcherLuther Dickinson and Patterson Hood.

Smith is also gearing up to release her third album, “Goodthing,” next month with with Grammy-winning UK producer Jimmy Hogarth just a few weeks before the festival kicks off.

Blues artists Eden Brent, Mama Moon & The Rump Shakers, The Stacey Brooks Band and The Honeylarks are also set to perform.

“Mark your calendar,” the festival’s website says. “This free outdoor music event sees thousands of residents and visitors come together each year in South Arlington.”

The outdoor music event is free to the public and made possible through sponsorship from the Columbia Pike Partnership and Arlington Cultural Affairs.


The Water Park in Crystal City will be illuminated tomorrow evening in celebration of the annual Hindu festival, Diwali.

On Friday, from 6-9 p.m., the park will transform into a luminous display of floating lanterns and sparklers, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness in the Hindu religion.

The evening’s activities include a dance performance by Bethesda-based Kalanidhi Dance and music from a live DJ.

One of the food kiosks at the water park, DC Dosa, which specializes in South Indian street food, will serve a special Diwali treat: gajar halwa, a warm carrot pudding infused with almonds, raisins and cardamom.

The water park at 1601 Crystal Drive reopened last month after a 3-year renovation. The 1.6-acre outdoor food hall and park has 11 different food vendors as well as a bar and performance stage.

Photo (1) via Wilson Matthew/Unsplash


It’s time to dig out those ugly Christmas sweaters and get into the holiday spirit.

The National Landing Business Improvement District is planning a ski-themed holiday festival — dubbed “The Lodge” — at Metropolitan Park in Pentagon City, according to a press release.

It’s happening the first weekend in December — Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 3 — at the park (1400 S. Eads Street) next to Amazon’s HQ2.

“Guests can savor peppermint mochas and holiday-themed bites from local restaurants, shop for holiday gifts from local artists and adults can stop by Summit Bar for Aprés Ski,” a press release from the BID says.

There are three distinct activity zones named after different ski slope ratings, catering to families, pets and adults.

For the kiddos, “Bunny Hill” offers face painting, photos with Santa, train rides and crafts.

Dog owners can visit the “Blue Run” section, which will have a dog bone bar and pet caricatures. Additionally, there is a holiday market and a pop-up Christmas tree farm. For those needing last-minute holiday cards, a photo booth is also available.

Adults in the mood for some grown-up fun can swing by the DC Fray Summit Bar in the “Black Diamond” section, sporting an ugly sweater, for an après ski spiked hot chocolate or mulled wine. The adults can also try their hand at axe throwing.

The park is accessible on foot or by bike and is a 10-minute walk from the Crystal City Metro Station. For those driving, parking is available along Crystal Drive, according to the release.

The hours of the festival are as follows.

  • Friday, Dec. 1 — 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 2 — 1-8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 3 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A trio of family-friendly activities put on by Arlington’s parks department are slated to take place next weekend.

Among the events are two festivals, one offering the chance to make autumnal crafts pilgrim-style and another celebrating Latin American culture.

Fall Heritage Festival

Next Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1-5 p.m., the county is set to hold its annual Fall Heritage Festival, this time at Fort C.F. Smith Park in the Woodmont neighborhood.

“Step back into history and try your hand at some old-time games and crafts, make a corn husk doll, churn butter, dip candles and work the cider press,” the county website says. “Bring your old pants and shirt to make a scarecrow — child sizes work best.”

Tickets are $7 for residents and non-residents. Admission is free for children under the age of three.

The cutoff date to register for the event is Friday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m.

Festival Latinoamericano

The Festival Latinoamericano will be held the next day, Sunday, from 1-5 p.m. at the Arlington Mill Community Center.

“The festival welcomes hundreds each year and will include a full array of live music and dance, great local vendors, interactive children’s entertainment, delicious food, and exciting community spirit,” the county website says.

The full programming line-up will be posted soon, the website suggests.

Saturday Teen Nights

The next Saturday Teen Night will take place Saturday, Oct. 14, from 7-10 p.m. at Lubber Run Community Center.

Attending teens can play basketball, life-size foosball, esports and boardgames, show off art projects and hang out with animals, per the county website. Admission is free for Arlington Public Schools students enrolled in a local middle or high school.

Teen Nights occur on select Saturdays and are scheduled through April.

Clarendon Day (file photo)

Several events are scheduled to take place across Arlington on Saturday, bringing both festivities and road closures.

The events celebrate everything from the neighborhood of Clarendon to Bavarian and Irish culture.

Clarendon Day

Kicking off at 11 a.m., Clarendon Day will offer live music, food, craft beer, Virginia wines, art and inflatable obstacle courses. The event, which is one of Arlington’s largest street festivals, ends at 6 p.m.

Metro riders can take the Orange Line to the Clarendon station, the entrance to which is in the middle of the multiblock festival area.

Stretches of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd will be closed from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. to accommodate the event, according to Arlington County police.

The complete list of street closures for the event is below.

  • Wilson Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Highland Street
  • Clarendon Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street, from 11th Street N. to Wilson Blvd
  • N. Herndon Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS
  • N. Hudson Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS

Samuel Beckett’s Celtic Festival

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington is hosting its annual Celtic Festival this Saturday from 12-7 p.m.

The event will highlight traditional Irish music and dance and feature a pop-up market, food and beverages.

Campbell Avenue, from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage entrance in front of Harris Teeter, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

National Landing Oktoberfest

Additionally, the National Landing Business Improvement District is holding an Oktoberfest event from 1-5 p.m. this Saturday at the corner of 22nd Street S. and S. Fern Street, behind what is dubbed “Restaurant Row” in Crystal City.

The beer-centric, Bavarian-ish event includes live music from the Alte Kumpel Band and The Pilgrims of Deep Run. Food and drinks, including offerings from Crystal City Sports Pub, will be available for purchase.

Activities include a stein-holding competition, a best-dressed contest, lawn games and crafting stations for kids featuring hat-making and clove decor. Attendees can register online ahead of time.

Police will close 22nd Street S. between S. Eads Street and S. Fern Street from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom entrance on a Saturday night (staff photo)

(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) The Clarendon Ballroom is set to hold a street festival this weekend.

Bidding farewell to summer, the nightlife venue at 3185 Wilson Blvd — also known as just The Ballroom — is hosting what it says is Arlington’s first electronic music-inspired street festival.

This Saturday, Sept. 23, from 2-10 p.m., the streets of Clarendon will host a festival complete with a “state-of-the-art” stage, lighting and sound system, according to the event listing.

The event, dubbed “Ballroom on the Block,” will take place along N. Irving Street between Wilson Blvd and 12th Street N. It promises to bring a “rooftop vibe” down to the streets, complete with a beer garden, lounge sections, yard games, carnival treats and local vendors, per the event webpage.

More, below, from the event listing.

What to expect:

  • Epic Outdoor Mainstage Production
  • Local electronic DJs all Day
  • Outdoor Beer Garden
  • Food Stands
  • Outdoor grill and BBQ
  • Multiple Bars
  • Kandi Making Station
  • Carnival treats
  • Games including cornhole, water pong, giant jenga, ring toss
  • Local Vendors
  • Outdoor Lounges
  • Giveaways

Following the festivities, the venue also plans to host an after-party inside from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Ticket prices start at $10 but increase as the event date approaches. Between now and Saturday, tickets are $35 apiece for general admission.

For an additional $20, attendees can opt for a “VIP Fastpass,” which grants them line-skipping privileges and access to both indoor and outdoor areas of Clarendon Ballroom throughout the day.

Police will be closing N. Irving Street between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. to help accommodate the festival, according to ACPD. Would-be attendees might want to pack a poncho: rain is in the forecast.

Woman at an Oktoberfest in Crystal City (courtesy photo)

(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) Get ready to hoist your steins and don your lederhosen, as Oktoberfest in Arlington is just around the corner.

Starting this Friday, Sept. 22, local bars and breweries across Arlington will celebrate a 200-year-old German tradition that began with the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria — who later became King Louis I — and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Two centuries later, the wedding party has become a global, two-week party. Here is a roundup of places around Arlington celebrating Oktoberfest participating in the fun.

Courthaus Social 

This Friday, Sept. 22, the Courthouse beer garden Courthaus Social will kick off its “Oktoberfest on the Plaza” with a pup-friendly “Barktoberfest.”

There will be a “yappy hour” from 3-6 p.m., featuring a dog costume contest at 5:30 p.m. A professional photographer will be present to take photos. The winner receives a $50 Courthaus Social gift card.

The celebration picks up again Saturday, running from noon to 9 p.m. Activities include stein-holding and lederhosen contests, along with live music scheduled from 2-5 p.m. For those looking to quench their thirst, a “massive plaza bar” will also be open for attendees.

The event concludes on Sunday with a brunch featuring a live polka band from noon to 3 p.m. Attendees can take home a stein as a keepsake.

Admission to the three-day event is free and dogs are welcome.

Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza

This Saturday, Sept. 23, Pentagon City’s Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza in Westpost, formerly Pentagon Row, will celebrate Oktoberfest from noon to 4 p.m.

Tickets cost $30 and come with a 14-ounce plastic commemorative stein, three 14-ounce pours of any Nighthawk beer, one bratwurst with unlimited toppings and a 10% discount on additional food purchases.

The event will feature a variety of activities such as a stein-holding contest, a “Das Boot” chug race, a bratwurst-eating competition and a costume contest.

Green Pig Bistro

Green Pig Bistro also plans to host its own Oktoberfest starting at 4:30 p.m. There will be live music, raffles and corn hole, according to the restaurant’s website.

The Arlington County Police Department plans to close 11th Street N. between N. Fillmore Street and N. Edgewood Street from approximately 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the event.

Bronson Bierhall

Next Saturday, Sept. 30, Bronson Bierhall in Ballston will host its Oktoberfest from noon to 2 a.m. The day’s events feature live music, beer and bratwurst specials and drinking games.

Tickets range from $16 to $35, offering different perks for attendees. A $16 ticket includes a complimentary bratwurst served with a potato salad and a beer. For those looking to sample more brews, the $35 ticket offers four beer tasters along with brats and potato salad.

Crystal City

Also next Saturday, Sept. 30, there will be a Bavarian beer festival from 1-5 p.m. at the corner of 22nd Street S. and S. Fern Street, behind what is dubbed “Restaurant Row” in Crystal City.

The event includes live music from the Alte Kumpel Band and The Pilgrims of Deep Run. Food and drinks, including offerings from Crystal City Sports Pub, will be available for purchase.

Activities include a stein-holding competition, a best-dressed contest, lawn games and crafting stations for kids featuring hat-making and clove decor. Attendees can register online ahead of time.


(Updated 9/13/23) Columbia Pike pet festival “Paws on the Pike” will return this month and unleash a day of pet-centric offerings and activities.

The pet fair, hosted by the Columbia Pike Partnership, is scheduled for Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Penrose Square outdoor plaza, located at 2501 9th Road S.

Attendees can have their pets sit for complimentary pet portraits and participate in a pet costume contest, hosted by the Arlington Animal Hospital in honor of its 85th anniversary. Those interested in portraits must sign up in advance.

There will be a DJ and a “water bar” where pets can sample water. At 1 p.m., Pastor Ashley Goff of Arlington Presbyterian Church will perform a pet blessing.

Pet owners can also connect with local pet service providers and vendors, such as veterinarians, trainers, pet-sitters, boarders, dog walkers and groomers.

For those interested in pet adoption, representatives from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington will be available to inform people about animals in need of homes.

A few weeks later, a Columbia Pike wellness festival showcasing local wellness purveyors will be held in the same location on Saturday, Oct. 14 from noon to 4 p.m.

Photo (1) via Columbia Pike Partnership/Facebook


Several roads in Pentagon City and Rosslyn will be temporarily closed this Saturday for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K and 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest.

While jazz enthusiasts sway to soulful tunes, just a few miles away, emergency responders will be lacing up their running shoes for the Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff, & ECC 9/11 Memorial 5K race in Pentagon City.

From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., two roads will be closed for the music festival:

  • Langston Blvd, eastbound from Fort Myer Drive to N. Moore Street
  • Fort Myer Drive access road, from 19th Street N. to N. Moore Street

The festival will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and feature several jazz acts, including Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, Pedrito Martinez Group, Oh He Dead and DuPont Brass, as well as food trucks and games.

Road closures around the Pentagon City and Crystal City will begin at 5 p.m. to prepare for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K, which has raised money for 9/11-related charities since its inception in 2002.

The race, which kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., will start and end at the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City. All road closures in the area will be lifted by 8:30 p.m.

Street closure maps for the 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest and Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K (via ACPD)

More on road closures about the 5K from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways around the Pentagon and in Crystal City to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Eads Street to 12th Street S.

From approximately 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

  • S. Eads Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Fern Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Hayes Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Joyce Street to S. Eads Street
  • S. Joyce Street, from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
  • Columbia Pike, from S. Oak Street to Washington Boulevard
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from Arlington Boulevard to Columbia Pike
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from SB George Washington Parkway
  • Route 110 S., from I-66 and Wilson Boulevard to Army Navy Drive
  • Marshall Drive, from Iwo Jima Access Road to Route 110 S.
  • Southgate Road, from S. Nash Street to Columbia Pike
  • The ramp to Army Navy Drive from NB I-395 Exit 8A, Arlington Ridge Road, and N. Washington Boulevard
  • The ramp from NB I-395 Exit 8C to Pentagon City / Crystal City

ACPD said motorists should expect traffic and “extended travel times” in the surrounding areas. The department advises seeking “alternative routes to reduce road congestion,” including taking Metro.

The Rosslyn Metro Station is located within walking distance of the jazz festival while both the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations are in walking distance of the race. Paid parking is available at the Pentagon City Mall garage.

Police say additional street parking near both events will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs.


The Rosslyn Jazz Fest is returning for its 31st year, with groups coming from as near as across the Potomac and as far as New Orleans.

The free outdoor event will take place on Sept. 9 from 1-7 p.m. in Gateway Park (1300 Landston Blvd).

Throughout the afternoon, performers will take the stage to play a variety of music styles, from R&B to soul and hip-hop to traditional jazz, a press release said. There will also be food trucks and games for attendees to enjoy.

Headlining the event is New Orleans-based quintet Galactic, which has performed with famous acts such as Dave Matthews Band and the Allman Brothers Band, and at high-profile venues, including Coachella.

Other groups include:

  • Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez
  • D.C.-based Oh He Dead, a six-piece group known for playing everything from soul to rock and putting on energetic live shows
  • DuPont Brass, a nine-person group that got its start playing in D.C. Metro stations

“Over the last three decades, Jazz Fest has become Arlington’s largest outdoor music festival that the community has come to know and love,” said Mary-Claire Burick, the president of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, which co-sponsors the event. “Jazz Fest exemplifies the vibrancy of our region and this year’s diverse lineup of artists will fill Gateway Park and bring us together to enjoy an afternoon of great music and fun with family and friends.”

This year’s lineup will get audience members jazzed about the wide-ranging genre, according to Josh Stoltzfus, the director of the Arlington County Cultural Affairs Division.

“Fueled by the deep creative well of jazz and its extensions, Jazz Fest is a showcase for artists who are inspired to take music in new directions,” he said in a statement. “From the Afro-Cuban jazz throughline of Pedrito Martinez, to Galactic’s fresh take on the musical mash-up of New Orleans traditions, to the soulful Oh He Dead, this year’s high-energy mix of genres will keep audiences on their feet.”

Ticketing for the festival will open on Aug. 1. Guests are not required to register for the event, however, it is encouraged in accordance with the park’s capacity limits, the festival webpage said.

Crowds at the 2019 Columbia Pike Blues Festival (courtesy of the Columbia Pike Partnership)

The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival is this Saturday and will result in some road closures.

From our previous article:

The annual summer music festival is set to take place on June 17 this year and will span several Columbia Pike blocks. It will feature a collection of performances, local food, beer, and family-friendly activities, as it usually does.

This year’s headliner is Judith Hill, a singer and songwriter featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet from Stardom.” She’s performed and worked with John Legend, Josh Groban, Prince, and Michael Jackson and has self-produced several of her own albums.

Also playing at the festival are Annika Chambers and Paul DesLauriers, local blues guitarist Bobby Thompson, Gayle Harrod Band, and Spice Cake Blues.

A number of local restaurants will be providing food and drinks, including New District Brewing.

Arlington County police will be on scene, helping with road closures and traffic control.

From an ACPD press release:

The 2023 Columbia Pike Blues Festival will take place on Saturday, June 17, and will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. The following roadways will be closed from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the event:

  • S. Walter Reed Drive, from 9th Street S. to Columbia Pike
    Southbound Walter Reed Drive, from 7th Street S. to 9th Street S. – local traffic only and handicapped drop-off for the event.
  • 9th Street S., from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive
  • 9th Road S., from S. Garfield Street to S. Walter Reed Drive.

Another sizable event, the 2023 Zero Prostate Cancer 5k Run/Walk, is planned on Saturday and will result in morning road closures in Pentagon City.

From ACPD:

The 2023 Zero Prostate Cancer 5k Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, June 17. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

  • S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive

From approximately 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

  • Army Navy Drive, between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S.

Race attendees and spectators are encouraged to use public or other forms of multimodal transportation, as street parking around the event will be limited. Paid parking is available in the garage at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for those choosing to drive.

“The public should expect to see an increased police presence in the area, and motorists are urged to follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic,” the police department said of the events. “Motorists 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 Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”


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