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
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
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
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.
With the Fourth of July on its way, PETA is handing out leaflets to residents in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area urging them not to set off fireworks–most of which are illegal in the metropolitan area–and to keep their animal companions indoors during the holiday.
PETA’s leaflets note that fireworks can terrify animals: Dogs have jumped fences, broken chains, torn through screens, and even leaped through glass doors in panicked attempts to escape the blasts. Animal shelters become flooded with lost animals, some of whom never make it back to their guardians. Fireworks can also be deeply disturbing to the elderly and people living with post-traumatic stress disorder and can aggravate the symptoms of those suffering from respiratory problems.
“Fireworks sound exactly like ‘bombs bursting in air’ to animals who end up fleeing in terror–some never to be found again,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “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–whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”–encourages families to protect their animal companions by keeping them indoors (and, if possible, staying with them), never leaving them tethered outside, closing the blinds, and turning on a loud fan or the television to help drown out the frightening noises. Guardians should also ensure that animal companions are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.
Fireworks are illegal or severely restricted in Washington, D.C.; in Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; in the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park; and in Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties in Virginia.
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
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.
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
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.
Helpful reminder: fireworks will be on deep discount starting July 5. No need to buy right away.
— SRtwofourfour (@SRtwofourfour) June 26, 2017
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.
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
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 Spiedies, The Big Cheese, The Farm Effect, Grapevine Restaurant, Lemongrass Food Truck, Mac’s Donuts, Rod’s Oasis Shaved Ice, Salou Kaba, Tapas Truck, Tortoise & Hare Food Truck, Union Dog Food Truck.
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
You 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.
— Pentagon Row (@PentagonRow) October 29, 2015
This Saturday, Arlington residents can make their way to Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive) to celebrate Independence Day and score fantastic views of the fireworks show just across the Potomac River.
The food, games and live music being offered at the park from 5-10 p.m. should keep attendees busy as they wait for the fireworks at the National Mall. The schedule of free activities includes moon bounces, face painting, hula hoop contests, drop-in kickball and cornhole.
Three local bands will play at the park leading up to the fireworks display. The lineup kicks off with DJ Freedom at 5:15 p.m., self-styled “Caribbean musical powerhouse” The Image Band is scheduled to go on at 6:20 and cover band ForTheWin will take the stage at 8.
Several local food vendors will be at the park offering good ol’ American fare, including Carolina Q, Bada Bing Cheesesteaks and Spiedies, DC Slices and a Chick-Fil-A truck.
According to the National Park Service, the fireworks at the National Mall will start at 9:09 p.m. and last around 17 minutes.
Other recommended firework viewing sites in the area include:
- Whipple Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (Stewart Rd, Fort Myer)
- Air Force Memorial (1 Air Force Memorial Dr)
- Gateway Park (1300 Lee Hwy)
- Gravelly Point Park (off the George Washington Parkway just before Memorial Bridge)
- Iwo Jima Memorial (.2 miles from the Rosslyn metro, near the intersection of Route 50 and N. Meade Street)
- Sidewalks on Key Bridge (.5 miles from the Rosslyn metro; walk along N. Lynn Street towards Georgetown)
- Pentagon Reservation (all visiting the Pentagon Reservation to park or view fireworks are subject to Pentagon guidelines).
The Arlington County Police Department will also be closing roads (below) to accommodate the large crowds expected to turn out for the fireworks.
From 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle.
From 1 to 11 p.m.: Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street, and N. Meade Street from N. 14th Street to Marshall Drive.
From 3 to 11 p.m.: N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood from 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) and Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to S. 10th Street.
From 8:30 to 11 p.m.: Eastbound Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive (detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Blvd.), Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive, Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street and S. Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike.
ACPD has warned that street parking around the Iwo Jima Memorial, Long Bridge Park and the Air Force Memorial will be restricted, and all are strongly encouraged to take advantage of public transportation.
Finally, visitors are reminded that alcoholic beverages, grills, and fireworks are prohibited on county and federal parkland during Independence Day events, and coolers and backpacks will be searched upon entry to both Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Several roads in Arlington, including some major arteries, will be closed to drivers for Independence Day celebrations tomorrow.
Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle will be closed all day, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. From 1:00 to 11:00 p.m., Marshall Drive will be closed from Route 110 to N. Meade Street, and Meade Street will be closed from Marshall Drive to 14th Street N.
The following closures are also planned in Arlington.
From 3:00 to 11:00 p.m.:
- N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50
- Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
- The exit ramps from Route 50 to N. Lynn and Meade Streets in Rosslyn
- Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to 10th Street S.
From 8:30 to 11:00 p.m.:
- Eastbound Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive, with a detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Boulevard
- Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street
- S. Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike
Sites in Arlington to view the National Mall fireworks include Long Bridge Park, the Air Force Memorial, Gateway Park, Gravelly Point, the Key Bridge, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the Pentagon Reservation and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Whipple Field.
Tomorrow at noon, at Whipple Field, members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Presidential Salute Battery will fire its ceremonial 50-gun salute in honor of the country’s independence. The salute will involve a cannon firing every five seconds for five minutes.
Arlington County officials urge attendees to use public transportation. The Orange Line’s Rosslyn Metro stop is approximately 5 blocks north of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon City Metro station is near the Air Force Memorial. Shuttle buses to Long Bridge Park from the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stations will be available.
ART buses 41 and 51 will run on Sunday schedules, but all other ART buses will not be running. The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, courts, community centers and libraries will be closed Friday. Trash and recycling collection will occur as scheduled, but parking across the county will not be enforced.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The event will run from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. and it includes more than just a great view across the Potomac River for the fireworks on the National Mall.
From 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., there will be free drop-in kickball, where players can jump in a game and play, and there will be a kickball home run derby at 7:00 p.m., all on Field 1. Other activities include face painting, balloon art, a moon bounce, cornhole, bocce ball, ring toss, ladder golf and duckpin bowling.
There will also be food trucks that should be familiar to Arlington diners, like Willie’s Po’Boy, The Big Cheese, DC Slices, Lemongrass and a Chick-Fil-A truck.
The fireworks will begin at 9:10 p.m., according to the National Park Service, and last for 17 minutes.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) Independence Day is on Thursday and that means fireworks stands are busy with people stocking up on items to light up the night. But before buying certain types of fireworks that could lead to an encounter with the law, check out the guidelines from the Arlington County Fire Department.
Although ACFD notes that the safest way for residents to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display by a trained professional, it recognizes that many people will purchase their own. To avoid facing prosecution for illegal fireworks, use the following guidelines listed in the county code:
- Fireworks must have a hard-coated or slow burning fuse that measures at least one-and-a-half inches long, with a burning rate of at least four seconds.
- Fireworks that are projectiles or emit flames or sparks in excess of 12 feet are prohibited.
- Residents must be at least 18 years old to purchase fireworks.
- Arlington County uses the same guidelines as Fairfax County, which has posted an extensive list online of approved fireworks.
ACFD also refers residents to the following general safety tips for handling fireworks, compiled by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never shoot a firework at or near another person.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
- Observe local laws.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.