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by Adrian Cruz — July 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

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.

by ARLnow.com — July 5, 2016 at 8:00 am 0

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

by Adrian Cruz — June 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

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

by ARLnow.com — November 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm 0

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.

by Mariah Joyce — June 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm 2,424 0

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)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

by Morgan Fecto — July 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,235 0

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (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

by Ethan Rothstein — June 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm 0

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) The Fourth of July is a week away, meaning it’s seven days until Arlington’s annual festivities at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive).

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.

Three bands will provide music throughout the festival, starting with pianist and singer Andrea Pais at 4:30 p.m., the Cherry People at 6:00, and ’90s cover band White Ford Bronco at 7:30.

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

by Katie Pyzyk — July 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm 0

Fireworks trailer on Columbia Pike(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.

Fireworks booth at the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road (file photo)Customers should only purchase items from a licensed vendor displaying a current permit. Those with a permit issued by Arlington County can only sell fireworks permissible by the county.

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.

by ARLnow.com — July 1, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)There are plenty of places in Arlington to watch D.C.’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

From rooftops to parks to bridges, many spots attract loyal fireworks watchers who come back to watch the festivities across the Potomac year after year.

What’s your favorite place to watch the fireworks display?

 

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Katie Pyzyk — June 27, 2013 at 10:45 am 1,444 0

The Verve Pipe (photo courtesy Arlington County)The Second Annual Arlington County July 4th Celebration at Long Bridge Park is just one week away, and we now know the headlining act will be a multi-platinum selling rock band.

Revelers can listen to The Verve Pipe while waiting to watch the fireworks display on the National Mall, which is expected to begin at 9:10 p.m. The band is known for its 90s hit “The Freshmen.”

The event runs from 3:00-10:00 p.m. next Thursday. Live entertainment kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with WAMMIE award winning band “The Grandsons,” followed by the Army Voices ensemble from the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and then D.C. area party band “Jeff from Accounting.”

"Fourth of July Fireworks from the Netherlands Carillon" by Clint FarrellFamily friendly activities include a hula hoop contest, potato sack races, kickball games, line dancing, moon bounces and face painting. Local food trucks will also roll in to feed the masses.

More details about the bands and all of the activities offered at the celebration can be found online.

Two other popular places to watch the fireworks from Arlington include the Marine Corps Memorial and the Air Force Memorial. Police will be working traffic control in those areas in addition to helping near Long Bridge Park. ACPD has not yet announced a list of road closures.

Anyone heading out to celebrate is reminded that grills, fireworks and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on county and federal park lands.

Disclosure: Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation is an ARLnow.com advertiser

Flickr pool photo by Clint Farrell

by ARLnow.com — July 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm 4,832 9 Comments

The region’s big Independence Day fireworks display on the National Mall is expected to kick off around 9:10 p.m. tonight

The display will last about 17 minutes, according to the National Park Service. For those who want to watch the fireworks from this side of the Potomac River, there are a number of places to watch the fireworks in and around Arlington tonight.

Among them:

Numerous road closures will be put in place to keep fireworks watchers safe. The planned closures include Memorial Bridge, Memorial Circle, and portions of Columbia Pike, eastbound Route 50, Washington Boulevard, and Long Bridge Drive. A full list is available on the Arlington County Police Department website.

Additionally, police are reminding fireworks-goers that grills, fireworks and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on county and federal park lands. Coolers and backpacks will be subject to search.

If you’re planning on going out to watch the fireworks, you might want to pack an umbrella. Storms are possible between 5:00 and 10:00 tonight, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA.

Send us your fireworks and Fourth of July celebration photos via our Flickr page. We’ll be publishing a number of Flickr photos tomorrow. Want to know how to take great fireworks photos? See the guide posted by We Love DC.

Dislosure: Arlington County is advertising its Fourth of July event at Long Bridge Park with ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — July 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm 3,963 20 Comments

The Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents to be careful when using fireworks at their homes on the Fourth of July.

Capt. Gregg Karl says the first step to fireworks safety is to make sure you’re using fireworks that are legal in Arlington County. Any fireworks purchased from an authorized fireworks stand in the county should comply with county regulations, Karl said. Those regulations specify that the fireworks emit a flame or spark less than 12 feet in the air.

Any fireworks that  are “projectiles, explode, emit flames or sparks to a distance greater than twelve (12) feet are prohibited by Arlington County,” according to the county’s fireworks safety web page. The fire department also has a 42 page long list of fireworks approved for use in Arlington.

To prevent your fireworks from lighting anything on fire, Karl recommends placing them away from structures and watering down any nearby grass or brush.

“If you’re going to do any [legal fireworks], make sure you’re away from buildings and combustibles,” he said. “If you’re on grass, make sure you wet the ground around it. Please use extreme caution due to the dry conditions.”

Karl noted that fireworks should not be lit on county streets or sidewalks.

Other personal fireworks safety tips from the county include:

  • 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.

Arlington fire marshals will be patrolling the county and responding to resident complaints about fireworks tomorrow, Karl said. Any illegal fireworks will be confiscated and a warning will be issued. Repeat offenders may be issued a summons to appear in court.

Police will also be on the lookout for illegal fireworks, but will be more focused on traffic control efforts connected to the fireworks display on the National Mall. The fireworks are scheduled to run between 9:10 and 9:30 p.m. Viewing areas in and around Arlington include the Iwo Jima memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Gravelly Point, Rosslyn Gateway Park and Long Bridge Park.

“Our Special Operations Section is going to be out there directing and monitoring all traffic,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

by ARLnow.com — July 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm 3,086 7 Comments

The long holiday weekend has begun, and that means many county services are stopped or altered.  Here’s a list of changes:

  • All courts are closed.
  • DMV locations are closed.
  • All libraries are closed.
  • Human services offices are closed.
  • Park grounds are open but all administrative offices are closed.
  • Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center is open from 6:00am-6:00pm.  All other centers are closed.
  • Trash and recycling pickup runs on regular service, but some special collections are altered.
  • Public swimming pools are on an altered schedule.

The police department has also provided a list of road closures for activities on July 4. In addition, police are reminding event attendees that:

  • Alcoholic beverages, grills and fireworks are prohibited on county and federal parkland during Independence Day activities.
  • Vendors will not be allowed in the area of the Iwo Jima Memorial.
  • Coolers and backpacks are subject to search.

Officials are encouraging people heading to the Air Force Memorial or the Iwo Jima memorial to watch the fireworks to take public transportation.

Flickr pool photo by Timkelley

by ARLnow.com — June 24, 2011 at 11:50 am 2,589 16 Comments

You know the Fourth of July is almost here when fireworks sellers start popping up around the area.

A fireworks booth is now up and running at the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road, offering all manner of sparklers and (legal) pyrotechnics.

The booth accepts cash, Visa and Mastercard.

by ARLnow.com — February 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm 3,451 21 Comments

Arlington County fire marshals have filled a 44 gallon trash can with fireworks confiscated at today’s rowdy Chinese New Year celebration at Eden Center.

Firefighters initially responded to the Falls Church shopping center this morning for an activated fire alarm. They quickly discovered that the alarm was set off by fireworks being ignited inside the building.

Arlington fire marshals responded and, after determining the problem was more widespread than just one store, Falls Church Police and additional Arlington units were called in. Fire marshals are now conducting a sweep of the shopping center and confiscating illegal fireworks.

They’ve found enough fireworks so far to fill a 44 gallon trash can and a 18×12 box, according to fire department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl, who noted that police will be stepping up their fireworks enforcement.

“Anybody who is caught lighting fireworks inside the building will be issued summons or arrested,” he said.

Photo courtesy Arlington Fire Department

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