Press Club

Thought it was partially obscured by smoke near the end, Sunday’s Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall dazzled.

In case you missed it, local photographers captured the scene from a number of angles, including from vistas in Arlington like the Iwo Jima memorial, Long Bridge Park, the Clarendon/Courthouse area, and the Crystal City/Pentagon City area.

For fireworks aficionados, the countdown to next year’s Independence Day show now begins. July 4 will fall on a Monday in 2022.

Flickr pool photos by Kevin Wolf

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Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from Long Bridge Park (photo via Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation)

Arlington County is closing some roads and services in observance of Independence Day.

Since the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year, county facilities and services will close or operate on holiday schedules on Monday. Libraries and indoor parks and recreation centers will be closed Sunday and Monday, and the county will not enforce parking meter limits either day.

Courts and state DMV offices will also be closed on Monday.

Arlington Transit will run buses along a few of its routes on Sunday schedules on both Sunday and Monday, but otherwise, bus service will not be available. Trash, recycling and yard waste collection, by contrast, will operate as usual on Monday.

The road closures, meanwhile, “are designed to facilitate the safe passage of large crowds for the Independence Day events and fireworks,” according to a county press release.

There will be a display at the National Mall this year, but, like last year Arlington will have no formal viewing events. Crowds will likely gather at the usual spots: the Iwo Jima memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Long Bridge Park, Rosslyn Gateway Park and Key Bridge, for example.

“Motorists should expect significant delays, particularly leading up to and after the fireworks display,” said the press release. “The Arlington County Police Department is reminding drivers that stopping or standing in a lane of traffic to observe the fireworks is illegal and violators may be issued a citation.”

Street parking near the Iwo Jima memorial, Long Bridge Park and the Air Force Memorial will be restricted, according to the release, which advises attendees to use Metro.

The following roadways will be closed to accommodate the festivities, per ACPD:

Route 50 – Near Rosslyn – 3:30 to 11:00 PM Closure

  • Exit Ramp from Westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit Ramp from Eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)

US Marine Corps War Memorial – 3:30 PM to 11:00 PM Closure

  • N. Meade Street at Marshall Drive
  • Exit Ramp from N. Meade Street to Route 50 Eastbound
  • Route 110 South onto Marshall Drive
  • N. Meade Street near the Route 50 Ramps

Radnor/Fort Myer Heights – Near the US Marine Corps War Memorial – 3:30 PM to 11:00 PM Closure

  • Ramp from Arlington Boulevard East to N. Rhodes/Rolfe/Queen Street (Emergency Vehicles Only)
  • N. Rhodes Street and Arlington Boulevard Access Road (Emergency Vehicles Only)
  • N. Rhodes Street and N. 14th Street (Local Traffic Only)
  • N. Nash Street and Arlington Boulevard Access Road
  • Arlington Boulevard Access and N. Meade Street
  • N. Nash Street and N. 14th Street
  • N. Meade Street and N. 14th Street

Foxcroft Heights – Near the Air Force Memorial – 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM Closure

  • Columbia Pike in both directions at S. Oak Street
  • The exit from Westbound Washington Boulevard to Eastbound Columbia Pike/S. Orme Street
  • Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street
  • Southgate Road and S. Oak Street
  • Columbia Pike and Southgate Road
  • Columbia Pike and S. Ode Street

From 6 a.m. to midnight, Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle will be closed, according to the National Park Service.

The following roadways may be subject to closures, according to ACPD’s release:

Route 50 East – Near Courthouse

  • Route 50 East exit for 10th Street (All Eastbound traffic)
  • N. 10th Street and N. Wayne Street
  • N. Courthouse Road and the ramp for Route 50 East
  • N. Courthouse Road and N. Barton Street

Long Bridge Park

  • Long Bridge Drive at Boundary Channel Drive
  • Long Bridge and S. 12th Street
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July 4 fireworks as seen from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

It’s hard to believe, but the Fourth of July is just around the corner.

Fireworks viewing on the National Mall is a go this year. Like last year, there’s no formal viewing event in Arlington, but expect crowds to congregate at the usual spots, like the Iwo Jima memorial, Key Bridge, the Air Force Memorial, Rosslyn Gateway Park  and Long Bridge Park.

After more than a year of a pandemic, however, some folks may be more apt to stay closer to home.

What are your fireworks viewing plans?

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Morning Notes

Fireworks Safety Demonstration — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July by following some of these safety tips.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Undefeated Yorktown in Lacrosse State Final — “Yorktown will play at Battlefield in Haymarket after the Bobcats beat Cosby, 6-4, in the other Class 6 semifinal Tuesday… For Yorktown, the first steps toward Saturday’s state final were laid before this year’s players were born, and over 21 years the Patriots toiled and waited until they could play in a state semifinal.” [Washington Post]

Streaming Show at Signature Theatre — “The Signature Theater in Arlington, Va., is presenting an energetic full production of the revue ‘After Midnight,’ which ran on Broadway in 2013. Christopher Jackson (“Hamilton”) leads the cast through a whirlwind of jazzy Cotton Club-era songs, held together by Langston Hughes texts. The show has many pleasures, like the heavenly vocal harmonies in ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ and a timely reminder that tap is exhilarating.” [New York Times]

Marymount Partnering With Netflix — “The world’s leading streaming entertainment service and a global leader in education technology are expanding their partnership and bringing Marymount University into the fold as they work to increase diversity in tech fields. Starting this August, Netflix and 2U, Inc., will offer three for-credit, fully online tech boot camps in Data Science, Java Engineering and UX/UI to Marymount undergraduates, all at no cost to accepted students.” [Press Release]

Ballston-Based AvalonBay Now Accepting Credit Cards — “AvalonBay residents will receive an invitation for the Bilt Mastercard, an extension of Bilt Rewards and the first credit card that allows users to pay their rent with no annual fee and without burdening the building owner with ongoing fees. With the card, AvalonBay residents can also earn points on non-rent purchases, enabling them to maximize rewards potential.” [BusinessWire]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

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The spectacular fireworks display that unexpectedly capped off the 90-minute “Celebrating America” special on Inauguration Day had some extra oomph for local viewers.

While those in Arlington and across the nation watched the musical tribute on TV, many in the D.C. area could actually hear or see the fireworks from their homes.

And it wasn’t just the usual suspects whose homes overlook the Potomac. As the Capital Weather Gang reported, a weather phenomenon known as an inversion allowed people relatively far from the National Mall to hear the fireworks rumble.

The temperature inversion “‘caps’ the atmosphere, preventing cooler surface air from rising. It also helps turn the lower atmosphere into an echo chamber, allowing sound waves to propagate across long distances,” CWG wrote. “A firework-induced rumbling was heard as far away as Silver Spring, Huntington, Bethesda and Hyattsville.”

We know of at least one family in Reston who also said they could hear it.

Such weather phenomena, however, are fickle, and while someone 15 miles away might have heard it, there were no doubt parts of Arlington that were perfectly quiet.

So this morning we’re wondering: did you hear the fireworks Wednesday night?

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

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Morning Notes

Arlington Streetcar Anniversary — Today is the sixth anniversary of the cancellation of the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar project. [ARLnow]

APS Still Planning for In-Person School — “Some have asked why we are proceeding at this time given the latest health metrics. It is important that we gather the information schools need to plan now, so that they have the time to prepare for possible transitions in January. Delaying the process would mean that we would not be ready to open our schools for more students, should we determine it is safe enough to do so.” [Arlington Public Schools]

More Taco Rocks on the Way — “Chef Mike Cordero and his sons, Nick and Anthony, are bringing a second Taco Rock location to Northern Virginia with plans to expand the brand to a chain of up to a dozen restaurants. Cordero and his restaurant group, Macnac Group, will deliver a 2,500-square-foot fast-casual taqueria and tequila bar at 6548 Little River Turnpike in the Pinecrest Plaza shopping center that will replicate the Rosslyn store that opened its doors in October 2019.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fireworks Banned on Public Property — “The use of personal fireworks is now officially verboten on publicly owned property in Arlington. The policy change was tucked away in a broader County Board action Nov. 14 that updates for the first time in three years the Arlington County Fire Prevention Code.” [InsideNova]

County to Implement Restorative Justice — “The Arlington County Board today accepted the Restorative Arlington Strategic Plan, which provides a framework for the County to adopt restorative justice practices in our public schools, legal system, and community settings. Arlington expects to receive a $75,000 grant award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to help implement the plan.” [Arlington County]

Back to Normal at DCA May Take Years — “Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority believe it will take years for air traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels — at least until 2024, according to its proposed 2021 budget. MWAA said it expects airlines at its two airports, Reagan National and Dulles International, will finish the year with about 7.4 million passengers put on planes, a significant drop from the 24.3 million in 2019.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: New &Pizza in Seven Corners — “Looks like 7 Corners area of Falls Church is getting an @andpizza — a fun, new addition to the neighborhood.” [@jstrelitz/Twitter]

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Planning to light off a few fireworks at home this Fourth of July weekend?

You’re not alone. Fireworks sales have skyrocketed this year as the usual public displays are cancelled or scaled back, and as people opt to stay away from the usual crowds.

While a deadly global pandemic is obviously cause for concern, socially distanced at-home fireworks can be dangerous too. Thousands of people report fireworks-related injuries each year and Arlington is no exception, although the types of fireworks allowed in Virginia are more tame than those permitted by some other states.

To help spread the word about fireworks safety, the Arlington County Fire Department held a demonstration at its training center near Shirlington yesterday. A video from the event, produced by ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott, is above.

More fireworks safety tips from the fire department’s website are below.

If you plan to use fireworks outside your home, follow these legal and safety tips:

Limitations & Prohibitions

  • Illegal Fireworks include: Fireworks that explode, emit flames or sparks to a distance greater than 12 feet, have a burning fuse less than one and one half (1.5) inches long with a burning rate of less than 4 seconds which emit projectiles; Fireworks that explode in any form, such as firecrackers, mortars and cherry bombs; Fireworks that leave the ground or rise in the air (other than a fountain), such as bottle rockets, mortars or roman candles.
  • The sale of fireworks to minors (less than 18 years of age) is prohibited, unless a parent or legal guardian accompanies the minor.
  • Usage of permissible fireworks by minors (less than 18 years of age) must be under adult supervision.
  • Permissible fireworks shall be used on private property with the permission of the property owner. Use of any fireworks on County, State of Federal property, such as streets, schools and parks, or any public right of way, is prohibited.
  • The penalty for possession, distribution, use or sale of illegal fireworks is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or 12 months in jail, or both, and confiscation of the fireworks. Parties are subject to additional charges for use of illegal fireworks, such as failure to obtain a Fireworks Permit
  • Application and not being a Virginia State licensed Pyro technician.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Keep a minimum clearance of 25 feet from people and buildings.
  • Wet down the area before shooting fireworks.
  • Follow the label directions carefully and use good sense.
  • Buy fireworks only from established retail outlets displaying a valid permit issued by the Arlington County Fire Department Fire Prevention Office.
  • A responsible adult, whom is not under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, must supervise fireworks activities at all times.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only, in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Light only one a time and then move away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a garden hose nearby or a bucket of water to place used fireworks in. Let them soak to ensure extinguishment before placing in regular trash for pickup.

File photo

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) The pandemic is putting a damper on Fourth of July festivities, but Arlington County is still preparing for potential crowds at popular fireworks viewing spots.

Road closures are planned from 4-11 p.m. Saturday around the Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park. Street parking will also be restricted in the area.

Other viewing spots that may draw fireworks crowds in Arlington include Key Bridge, Gravelly Point and Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. None of the above will be hosting formal events this year, the county says, and residents are encouraged to stay home instead.

“Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no formal events or programming are planned in Arlington County,” said a press release Monday afternoon. “Those wishing to view fireworks or flyovers are encouraged to do so at home on TV, or in adherence to current recommended social distancing protocols. Large, outdoor gatherings are still a high risk, especially when people are close together, without any guarantees of physical distancing.”

At Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City, the crowd will be capped and no on-site parking will be available.

“The park will be open for viewing, but we aren’t encouraging people to come. It’s Safer at Home!” Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish tells ARLnow. “We will be capping park attendance to 1,000 based on the Governor’s Guidelines. We will closed entrance when we hit 1,000 or by 7:30 p.m., whichever comes first.

“Social distancing is required; face coverings recommended,” Kalish added. “No fireworks or alcohol allowed in the park. No food or spiked objects (like chairs or umbrellas) allowed on the fields. And only water is allowed on the field as well.”

The pandemic has also cancelled one of Arlington’s most popular private fireworks displays.

“Due to the recent events with COVID-19, unfortunately we will not be hosting fireworks this year for the 4th of July,” Washington Golf and Country Club said on its website. “We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!”

There is at least one community event happening on Independence Day, however: the Lyon Village Fourth of July parade will go on, starting promptly at 11 a.m. at the corner of Key Blvd and N. Jackson Street. Parade watchers are encouraged to social distance from one another.

“The Lyon Village 4th of July Parade will again take place this year,” the neighborhood’s civic association said. “It will feature a longer parade route with Arlington police and fire vehicles and a special group of antique cars.”

“The parade is honoring long time Lyon Village resident, Col. Ed Brant,” the press release notes. “For many years Col. Brant and his family drove his Model T and Model A fords in the parade. Col. Brant is now 99 years old and he will turn 100 in October.”

The full county press release about Fourth of July road closures and restrictions is below.

Read More

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Morning Notes

Arlington Gets Best View of Fireworks — On a hazy night, Arlington — particularly Rosslyn — had the best view of the expanded D.C. fireworks. Smoke obscured the viewing for many parts of the District. [Twitter, Twitter, Raw Story]

JBG Trying to Lure Big Tech to Arlington — “JBG Smith Properties CEO Matt Kelly recently met with “a handful” of big West Coast tech firms in a bid to entice them to come to National Landing now that Amazon.com Inc. has chosen the area for its second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Police Chase Ends in Arlington — A high-speed police chase along I-66 ended in Arlington, near the N. Glebe Road exit. Virginia State Police say a woman fled from police at speeds of up to 120 mph while her three children were in the car. [WJLA, Twitter]

A Modest Proposal for Arlington — In a letter to the editor published by the Arlington Sun Gazette, a man apparently upset by the renaming of Washington-Lee High School to Washington-Liberty suggests also renaming Arlington “Amazon’s bitch.” [InsideNova]

Ebbin Cast as NRA’s ‘Boogeyman’ — “[State Sen. Adam] Ebbin, when told of [state Sen. Bryce] Reeves’s remarks at the town hall, said he never made any of the comments attributed to him. ‘Apparently I’m a radical homosexual who’s misquoted,’ Ebbin said sarcastically.” [Washington Post]

Checking Car Seats in Arlington — Writing about the new Virginia law requiring rear-facing car seats for children under two and below a certain weight, the Arlington County Fire Department noted on social media: “ACFD no longer does child seat safety inspections. Arlington County Police Department offers regular inspections to ensure the child seat is safely installed and secured in your vehicle.” [Twitter]

Warner Highlights Sept. 11th Memorial Trail — “U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are working together to further honor the heroes of September 11th, 2001. In a bipartisan resolution, Senators Toomey and Warner highlight the significance of the September 11th National Memorial Trail,” which runs through Arlington. [Press Release]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick/Twitter

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Those flying in and out of Reagan National Airport on Thursday may have their travel disrupted by the July 4 festivities in D.C.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced this morning that non-emergency flight operations at DCA will be suspended from 6:15-7:45 p.m. due to military flyovers and from 9-9:45 p.m. due to fireworks.

President Trump has pushed for an Independence Day celebration “like no other” this year, and his “Salute to America” will feature demonstrations of American military might, an extended fireworks display and a presidential address.

The fireworks and flyovers — of the Navy’s Blue Angels, Air Force One and other military aircraft — will necessitate keeping commercial airliners out of the National Airport flight path for more than two hours over two no-fly periods Thursday night.

“Please check with your airline for flight information,” the FAA said.

That’s not the only disruption at the airport for the Fourth. Due to construction at DCA, those hoping to watch the fireworks from nearby Gravelly Point will not be able to get there from the airport this year.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Law enforcement agencies are planning several road closures for Fourth of July.

Several main roads will be closed on July 4, including Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Arlington County Police Department is encouraging people to use to use public transit as large crowds are expected during the celebrations.

ACPD announced it will be working with the Virginia State Police, U.S. Park Police, and the Virginia Dept. of Transportation to close several roads, including:

1:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • N. Meade St. from N. 14th St. to Marshall Dr.

2:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge)
  • Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Long Bridge Dr. from Boundary Channel Dr. to S. 10th

8:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Eastbound Route 50 at Washington Blvd. All traffic diverted from Rt. 50 on ramps to East and West Washington Blvd.
  • Eastbound N. 10th ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50
  • Courthouse Rd. ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50 or N. 10th St.
  • Pershing Dr. at Rt. 50 will only be allowed westbound
  • Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
  • Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce St.
  • Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike
  • The exit from westbound Washington Blvd. to eastbound Columbia Pike/S. Orme St.

“These closures are designed to facilitate the safe passage of large crowds for the Independence Day events and fireworks,” Arlington police wrote in the press release.

ACPD is encouraging people to use public transportation or ride hailing services due to the large crowds, and noted that the Rosslyn and Pentagon City Metro stations are close to most of the prime firework viewing spots.

The department noted that police will cite drivers who stop or stand in traffic to view fireworks, and that those who park on Route 110 will be towed.

Additionally, ACPD is reminding people that county and federally-owned parks ban people from bringing their own alcohol, grills, and fireworks to the party, and that drones are banned by the Federal Aviation Administration in Arlington and other areas around D.C.

If the road closures, crowds and traffic were not enough, police are also warning people to prepare for the heat and humidity forecasted for the holiday.

Image 1 via Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation, image 2 via ACPD

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