Arlington, VA

Arlington won’t be hosting its official Fourth of July celebration at Long Bridge Park this year, but there are still plenty of places around the county to watch the fireworks.

The County Board decided to end the event at Long Bridge, which Arlington had put on since 2012, in order to save about $50,000 amid a budget squeeze. However, the park will remain open for anyone looking to view the fireworks on the National Mall.

Those are set to start at 9:09 p.m. and last for 18 minutes.

The county recommends several other locations around Arlington to catch the D.C. fireworks:

  • Air Force Memorial (The Air Force’s Honor Guard Drill team will also hold a performance at 7:30 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. show by the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants.)
  • Gateway Park in Rosslyn
  • Gravelly Point
  • Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (Whipple Field will open at 5:05 p.m. to Department of Defense ID card holders, their families and guests.)
  • Key Bridge sidewalks
  • U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

The Washington Golf and Country Club recently announced that it will still be open for anyone looking to watch the club’s fireworks, but renovation work means seating will not be available for members of the public

Flickr photo via Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation

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Members of the public who want to watch the Washington Golf and Country Club fireworks display will have to stand this year.

Due to renovations, the golf course is an “active work area” and seating is not available, as it has been in previous years.

“The fireworks are still happening but unfortunately the general public will need to stand outside the clubhouse to view the fireworks,” said Member Services Coordinator Jordan Marks.

Marks said the club is trying to make sure residents are notified in advance of the change. The club also issued a statement about the situation.

The golf course at Washington Golf & Country Club is currently undergoing a renovation. During the renovation there is no access to the golf course because it is an active work area.

As a result of this ongoing work, there will unfortunately be no seating available on the course to view the fireworks display. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you have a wonderful 4th of July.

Washington Golf and Country Club, along with Army Navy Country Club, recently settled a tax dispute with Arlington County.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Fireworks Law in Arlington — “In Arlington County, fireworks that are projectiles, explode, emit flames or sparks to a distance greater than twelve (12) feet are prohibited.” [NBC Washington]

Three Elected Dems Back De Ferranti — County Board Chair Katie Cristol, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy and Sheriff Beth Arthur have endorsed fellow Democrat Matt de Ferrani in his challenge of incumbent County Board member John Vihstadt. Vihstadt, who is again running as an independent, has the endorsement of a trio of Democratic elected officials: County Board member Libby Garvey, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and Treasurer Carla de la Pava. [InsideNova]

AWLA Saves Fawn — An Animal Welfare League of Arlington animal control officer rescued a young deer from a roadway over the weekend, sending the fawn to a wildlife rehabber to recover. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Craig Fingar

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July 4 is just around the corner, and PETA is urging people looking to celebrate Independence Day in Arlington to abandon any plans to set off fireworks and avoid frightening local pets.

The animals rights group announced in a news release Monday (June 11) that its workers will start handing out leaflets across the D.C. area to spread the word about the lesser-known impact of fireworks on our four-legged friends. PETA notes in the release that animal shelters often become flooded with lost pets in the immediate aftermath of the holiday, after being startled by the sudden explosion of fireworks.

“Fireworks sound exactly like ‘bombs bursting in air’ to animals who end up fleeing in terror — some never to be found again,” PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien wrote in a statement. “PETA is urging everyone to protect animals and other vulnerable members of the community by never setting off fireworks, which can carry a penalty of fines or even jail time.”

PETA is also recommending that pet owners keep their animals inside on July 4, and even close the blinds or turn on the TV or a fan to drown out the noise of fireworks.

The group also points out that local laws prohibit people from setting off many types of fireworks across the region. In Arlington, the county has a ban on projectile fireworks, as well as ones with sparks that reach higher than 12 feet in the air.

A full list of approved fireworks is available on the county’s website. The full press release from PETA, after the jump.

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In 2013 we polled readers on your favorite fireworks-viewing spots.

The top 3, from first to third, excluding “other:” the Iwo Jima memorial, an apartment or house rooftop, and the Air Force Memorial.

This year we have another question: are you watching the fireworks? And if so, how do you plan on watching?

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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For the sixth year, Long Bridge Park near Crystal City will host Arlington’s official Fourth of July celebration.

The free event will run for 5 to 10 p.m. and features games, activities, music and fireworks watching.

From 5-8:30 p.m., the Department of Parks and Recreation will host free moonbounces, face painting and balloon art.

The department will host family games from 5-7:45 p.m. D.C. Fray, formerly United Social Sports, will provide free games like giant Jenga and giant Connect Four.

Live music will play throughout the night, including Steve Lauri of the Hollies, DJ Baronhawk Poitier and Jeff From Accounting.

Food vendors will sell food during the celebration. Food trucks from Basic Burger, Mac’s Donuts, KimchiBBQ Taco, The Big Cheese are scheduled for the event among others.

The fireworks on the National Mall are scheduled to start at 9:09 p.m. and last for 17 minutes.

On-site parking will not be available for attendees. Free shuttles are available from 4:30-10:30 p.m. between the park and the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations.

In addition to Long Bridge, several communities in the county will have their own celebrations that day, including:

  • Albemarle parade and celebration
  • Barcroft parade
  • Bell ringing in the Bluemont neighborhood
  • Douglas Park parade and picnic
  • Fairlington Villages parade
  • Lee Heights parade and celebration
  • Lyon Village parade and celebration

Other places to watch the fireworks in Arlington include:

  • Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
  • U.S. Air Force Memorial
  • Gateway Park in Rosslyn
  • Gravelly Point
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Key Bridge
  • Pentagon Reservation
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For those who want to ring in Independence Day with some backyard pyrotechnics, at least two fireworks stands are now open in Arlington.

With the Fourth of July a week away, stands along Columbia Pike and Lee Highway are offering various types of sparklers, whirligigs and other fireworks that are legal in Virginia.

The first stand is located in a parking lot near the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. The other is also in a parking lot, near the corner of Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street. Both have been offering fireworks at their respective locations, around the Fourth of July holiday, for years.

For those planning a year ahead, such fireworks stands will often offer deep discounts after the holiday.

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The house fire in Donaldson Run that occurred on the night of July 4 was caused by discarded fireworks left in the garage, fire department officials say.

The fire caused a significant amount of damage and it highlighted the danger of unsafe firework usage. Over the Independence Day weekend, the sound of consumer fireworks could be heard all over Arlington. Despite the patriotic connotation, many Arlington residents have come to view the fireworks as more of a nuisance or safety hazard than a spectacle.

“The fire marshal did follow up on a number of complaints from neighbors that they heard fireworks, they saw fireworks that are illegal in the county,” said Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.

Although certain fireworks are legal under Virginia law, that only applies non-explosive fireworks such as sparklers and cone fountains. Any projectiles that fly up over 12 feet are also prohibited, in addition to firecrackers or other exploding fireworks.

Someone caught using illegal fireworks in Arlington could face jail time and/or a fine of up to $2,500, Marchegiani said.

This past weekend, four notices of violation were issued due to illegal usage of fireworks, according to Marchegianai. Despite the fire department adding additional staff to patrol local neighborhoods, oftentimes by the time they respond to a call, the displays are over.

“It’s more than we can handle,” she said.

When it comes to fireworks, Marchegiani recommends that residents take precautions to ensure their safe usage.

“Even legal fireworks can be dangerous, they can cause burns or eye injuries and they’re also a fire hazard,” she said. “When you ignite fireworks, you want to make sure you wear them down completely, put them in a bucket of water, make sure they’re cool and extinguished completely. Its a similar idea to when you’re smoking, make sure the butt’s out completely.”

This year, there were no reported injuries caused by fireworks.

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Morning Notes

Bald eagle spotted on N. Park Drive on July 4, 2016 (photo courtesy Paul Fiorino)

Bald Eagle Spotted on Fourth of July — A bald eagle was spotted in the area of N. Park Drive, in the Arlington Forest neighborhood, yesterday on the Fourth of July (see above). The eagle “finally flew away after half an hour of harassment from a bunch of crows,” noted a neighborhood listserv email, but not before delighting adults and children in the neighborhood who gathered to see the patriotic sight.

Vietnam Vet Survives Stroke Thanks to Medics — Quick-acting Arlington County paramedics, a Good Samaritan who helped direct traffic at an intersection to let the ambulance through and skilled emergency room doctors helped to save the life of a Vietnam veteran who suffered a stroke while visiting his son in Arlington. [Fox 5]

School Board Chair Focused on Achievement — The Arlington School Board’s new chairman, Nancy Van Doren, says her focus is on individual student achievement, even in the midst of ongoing school growth and capacity challenges. “Our litmus test must be: Does each and every child receive the support he or she needs?” Van Doren said. [InsideNova]

Faked Fireworks Included Arlington Angle — The internet is abuzz about PBS’ use of “rerun” fireworks footage intermixed with live footage during its Capitol Fourth broadcast last night. One of the camera angles used showed an impossibly clear view of the fireworks and of the Capitol building from Arlington. In actuality, rain and low clouds made for a dreary, hazy view of the fireworks display. [WTOP]

Photo courtesy of Paul Fiorino

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Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)Long Bridge Park is again set to have live music, food trucks, lawn games and face painting as part of Arlington’s annual July 4 festivities.

The free celebration, which also is slated to include drop-in kickball games, moon bounces and balloon art, is scheduled to run from 5-10 p.m. The Hollies guitarist Steve Lauri and West Virginia cover band Cazhmiere are scheduled to perform.

Some of the food trucks scheduled to participate in the event’s “food truck rally” include: Bada Bing Cheesesteaks and SpiediesThe Big CheeseThe Farm EffectGrapevine RestaurantLemongrass Food TruckMac’s Donuts, Rod’s Oasis Shaved Ice, Salou Kaba, Tapas TruckTortoise & Hare Food TruckUnion Dog Food Truck.

Long Bridge Park Independence Day flyer 2016Long Bridge Park won’t have on-site parking during the event, but shuttles are slated to run between the park and the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations.

If you can’t make it to Long Bridge Park, you also can see the fireworks in Arlington from:

  • Key Bridge
  • Air Force Memorial
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Gravelly Point Park
  • Gateway Park

The fireworks are expected to begin at 9:09 p.m., lasting about 17 minutes.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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The Pentagon Row ice skating rink in 80 degree heat on Nov. 6, 2015You might not yet be in the mood for thoughts of ice and the holidays, given today’ record 80 degree heat, but ice skating is currently underway at Pentagon Row.

The ice rink opened for the season on Sunday. The rink looked a bit more like a pool than a winter wonderland this afternoon, but that didn’t deter a few determined skaters wearing shorts and short sleeves.

Pentagon Row is planning a new winter-themed event at the rink this year. A month from now, on Saturday, Dec. 5, the shopping center will hold “Frost Fest” from 5-8 p.m.

The event will feature on-ice fireworks display, ice sculptures, fire performers and a $1,000 giveaway, according to a flyer.

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