A date and a headliner have been set for this year’s Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
The 20th annual Blues Festival will be held on June 20 from 1-8:30 p.m. near the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike.
This year the festival will be headlined by Grammy-nominated blues musician Sonny Landreth. “Bound by the Blues,” Landreth’s 12th album, will be released on June 8.
The Blue Festival is something the Columbia Pike community looks forward to every year, said Takis Karantonis, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO), which organizes the event.
“It’s Arlington’s biggest block party,” Karantonis said. “It’s a place where our entire community comes together.”
The Blues Festival features numerous food vendors and a beer station. Visitors can also stop by the tables of local arts and crafts vendors and community organizations. There will be at least seven or eight local food vendors, Karantonis said, adding that showcasing local food providers is a goal of the festival this year.
Karantonis expects at least 10,000 attendees this year.
CPRO has selected a national act for the headliner the past two years, Karantonis said. The other musicians are selected from the most active blues acts locally and regionally.
The 2015 lineup is:
- 1 p.m. — Lenny Burridge, a former DJ turned blues musician
- 2 p.m. — Steve McWilliams and the Spectacles, which will make its return to the Blues Festival after playing there last year
- 3 p.m. — Fat Liver Jenkins, a four-man band from the D.C. area
- 5 p.m. — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner, who uses unusual objects, such as a cellphone, as a guitar pick
- 6:30 p.m. — Sonny Landreth, a national act known for his slide guitar style
The festival will also have a kids area and an artists area. Artists will be painting next to the stage to allow the music to influence their work, Karatonis said. The art will be auctioned off.
Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, which is planning on opening next spring in the ground floor of 925 N. Garfield Street, was approved for live entertainment at the Board’s Tuesday meeting. However, its request to keep its doors and windows open during live entertainment — while supported by the community — was denied unanimously.
The Westover Beer Garden and its owner, Devin Hicks, had a long, contentious battle with the county a few years ago over Hicks’ desire to have amplified music in its outdoor space. Since 2012, Hicks’ and the county’s relationship has improved — County Board members John Vihstadt and Walter Tejada said they are now proud customers of the restaurant — but the memories of the permit fight were still on some of their minds.
“There were some issues early on, and I don’t want to gloss over some of the history or the occasional problem now,” Vihstadt said, but added, “I think the beer garden is a huge community asset. It really is the embodiment of what makes Westover great.”
The difference between Westover and Sehkraft, county staff pointed out, is the new brewpub is in the ground floor of an apartment building and has residential developments nearby. Westover Beer Garden is in a business district and is 110 feet from the nearest single family dwelling.
However, the Lyon Park Civic Association supported Sehkraft’s request to keep the windows open so those in outdoor seating could hear the music. William B. Lawson, a real estate lawyer representing Hicks, told the County Board the request was intended to be a trial period.
“We think that an exception is appropriate,” he said. “Devin has put a lot of money into soundproofing and construction techniques that we think will lessen the impacts of the music. If there are any problems we’ll shut the doors.”
Although the Board denied the exception — agreeing with county staff that allowing it “would be inconsistent with current practice” — Board member Libby Garvey recommended Hicks come back in a year when the permit is up for renewal and suggest opening the doors and windows at that time.
“I think we should sort of ease into it a little bit,” Garvey said. “We’re hearing so much from folks in complaints [about noise’ that I think it would be better to ease into it.”
When he spoke to ARLnow.com in July, Hicks said he plans to open the beer garden and brewpub in March 2015.
Warm weather may be winding down but Arlington’s innovation economy is heating up.
Tandem NSI, which connects technology entrepreneurs and national security agencies, is hosting an “Throwback Thursday” event on Oct. 2, promising that “summer’s not over until we say it is.”
Classic rock band Two Car Living Room will perform at the free event, which is being held at Artisphere from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Also on offer: beers and the exhibit Think With Your Hands, a collaboration between artists and software developers.
Register for the event here.
On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), four jazz bands will take the stage while attendees can enjoy a picnic, food and fashion trucks and beer and wine.
This year, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is hosting its 24th jazz festival, and once again it’s free to attend. Parking is available in the garage at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, and several streets around the park, including Lee Highway, will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rebirth Brass Band formed in 1983 and has released 12 original albums. Its latest album, “The Rebirth of New Orleans,” won the 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music album. The band plays traditional New Orleans brass music, but blends in aspects of jazz, funk and hip-hop. They take the stage to close the festival at 5:30 p.m.
Opening the festival at 1:00 p.m. will be The Corey Wallace DUBtet, led by trombonist Corey Wallace. At 2:15 p.m., the Ghost Train Orchestra, a 10-piece jazz band that plays modern revivals of 1920s and 1930s-era jazz hits, will take the stage. Following them, at 3:45 p.m., North Indian-jazz fusion band Red Baraat will bring their eclectic blend of music influence for the festival’s penultimate performance.
Photo via Rebirth Brass Band. Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Playing a genre described as alternative country and “Gothic Americana,” Handsome Family is made up of husband-and-wife duo Brett Sparks and Rennie Sparks. The Sparks together play guitar, banjo, bass and ukulele in addition to providing vocals.
The New Mexico-based band is scheduled to headline a show at Iota on Thursday, Aug. 28, starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, available only at the door on the day of the show.
True Detective received 12 Emmy nominations last month, including outstanding music composition for a series. The awards show will air on Monday, Aug. 25, three days before the Iota concert.
It’s not every day you can dance along to the sounds of a bunch of Amish men singing Lady Gaga or rapping a Jay Z song. But that’s exactly what can happen if you see the Amish Outlaws during Rock at the Row on Thursday (August 7).
The group has its full story on its website, chronicling how it all started with some of the original members meeting after “Rumspringa.” That’s the Amish practice of letting 16-year-old children live without the Amish code of conduct to decide if they want to be baptized into the church. Although most youths return to the Amish lifestyle after Rumspringa, the guys from The Amish Outlaws did not.
The band is made up of former Amish and “Honorary Amish” members: Brother Amos Def, Brother Big Daddy Abel, Brother Eazy Ezekiel, Brother Elijah Rule, Brother Hezekiah X and Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer. All of their shows reportedly are different. Sometimes the band members will rock out to Bon Jovi or Foo Fighters, and other times they’ll bring out the country with Johnny Cash. The group’s website says that throughout each show, The Outlaws “spin yarns about the Brothers’ upbringing and adventures since Rumpsringa.”
The performance takes place from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Pentagon Row on Thursday.
‘Republican’ Not Found on GOP Candidate’s Signs — Republican candidate Dave Foster, who’s running to represent the 48th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, has a notable addition and omission on his campaign signs. Foster’s signs include a union label, but do not include the word “Republican.” Foster will face Democrat Rip Sullivan in a special election on Aug. 19. [InsideNova]
Arlington Transportation ‘What Ifs’ — Three shelved transportation proposals could have had a big impact on Arlington over the past 50 years. One would have seen a new 22-mile Blue Line built through Arlington, under the Potomac via a new tunnel, to Georgetown and eventually to RFK stadium. Another would have converted Route 1 through Crystal City to “Interstate 595.” A third would have built a new bridge from Spout Run Parkway to Georgetown. [Washington Post]
Clarendon ‘Good Morning Guy’ Profiled — Robert Gordon, the Express newspaper distributor who excitedly wishes Metrorail commuters in Clarendon a good morning on weekdays, says his is “the best job I can ever have in the world.” [WJLA]
Blues and Brews in Crystal City Tonight — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner is scheduled to perform in Crystal City tonight for the monthly summer “Blues and Brews” concert. The event, in the courtyard of 2121 Crystal Drive, also features a craft beer garden. [Crystal City]
Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4
Pentagon Row Concert Series Starts Tonight — The summer concert series at Pentagon Row starts tonight with Philadelphia-based cover band Kristen and the Noise. The concerts are held every Thursday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m., through Aug. 21. [Pentagon Row]
District Taco Coming to Bethesda — Local, Arlington-based Mexican restaurant chain District Taco plans to open a location in Bethesda in 2016. The Bethesda location is expected to be District Taco’s first in Maryland. [Bethesda Now]
New Homes Coming to Cherrydale — Four new high-end homes are coming to the 4100 block of 18th Street N. in the Cherrydale neighborhood. The list price of the houses, built by Tradition Homes, is around $1.8 million. They’re expected to be ready for move-in by the spring of 2015. [Patch]
Opower Sets IPO Price — Courthouse-based Opower is expected to start selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange today. The company set the price for its initial public offering at $19 per share. [Washington Business Journal]
A Brief History of Fairlington — Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood was built by the U.S. government in the 1940s in response to a housing shortage caused by World War II. It’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places. [Washington Post]
AFAC Fundraiser Tonight — The Arlington Food Assistance Center’s Young Professionals group will hold its annual Hunger Is No Joke fundraiser tonight at Cafe Asia in Rosslyn. The 90s cover band White Ford Bronco will perform. [Clarendon Nights]
Cuban Band to Perform at Artisphere Tonight — Also tonight, at Artisphere in Rosslyn, the Grammy-nominated Cuban music group Tiempo Libre will perform. Tickets to the 8:00 p.m. performance are $25 at the door. [Ode Street Tribune]
Temporary Bus Stop Relocations — A number of bus stops on N. Moore Street in front of the Rosslyn Metro station will be relocated from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. The relocations are necessary to allow the demolition of the Moore Street skybridge. Also, starting today, the ART 53 bus stop at Old Glebe and N. Stafford Street is closed for construction for about a week. [Arlington Transit]
Bracket Room (1210 N. Garfield Street) in Clarendon had wanted to offer its patrons live music, but an outcry from neighbors prompted a change of plans.
Bracket Room’s owners had applied for a live entertainment permit, but decided within the past couple of weeks to withdraw the application. They made the decision based on noise complaints from neighbors living in Lyon Place apartments — located directly above the sports bar — who say the existing music is too loud.
“We’ve had a lot of issues with the tenants in the building from the beginning,” said Co-owner Jeff Greenberg. “The residents were calling the police when we first opened, which I hear really happens to everybody. But we don’t want to upset the people in the building or the landlord.”
One month after the sports bar’s early September opening, police said they had received around three dozen complaints related to Bracket Room. County Zoning and Code Enforcement staff had also received more than 15 complaints. Last month, County Planner Sophia Fisher said county employees were looking into the issues. Staff members familiar with each permit request typically make a recommendation to the County Board about whether to grant or deny the permit.
“Zoning and Code Enforcement staff are both currently monitoring the use due to concerns raised by citizens related to noise,” Fisher said in October. “Because live entertainment has the potential to increase the impacts of a venue on the surrounding community, citizen concerns related to noise are taken very seriously by staff.”
Today, Fisher confirmed that the Bracket Room owners have withdrawn their application for the live entertainment permit.
Bracket Room customers might notice some changes implemented during the past two weeks to appease neighbors. First, owners decided to lower the music level to 85 decibels.
“They’re trying to keep [the music] as low as they can so people inside are having fun but other people aren’t disturbed by the noise,” said Greenberg. “When the people in the building are mad at you, what are you going to do?”
The owners also examined the sports bar’s closing time and decided to shut the doors earlier.
“The 1:00-2:00 a.m. crowd is usually smaller than at other hours of the day, but it’s rowdier,” Greenberg said. “We’re cutting our hours back and we’re not staying open until 2:00 a.m.”
Since implementing the changes about two weeks ago, the owners have not been notified of as many noise complaints.
Other ideas the owners continue to throw around include adding additional security, working with an architect to find some other form of noise insulation, and possibly turning down the music’s bass if necessary.
“We’re going to contain the noise, but we’re going to try to keep our restaurant full every night,” said Greenberg. “We’re going to try the best we can. We want to get along, we want to be loved.”
The 16th annual Clarendon Day and the official D.C. Chili Cookoff are back for another year this Saturday.
From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., visitors can partake in the street festival with food, beer and wine, local vendors and businesses.
The highlight of the festival figures to be the D.C. Chili Cookoff. Hard Times co-founder Jim Parker brought the cookoff to Clarendon after 33 years in D.C., most recently as the DC101 Chili Cookoff at RFK Stadium.
Judges will begin tasting the chili at 1:00 p.m., and those in attendance — once the judges have their fill — will be able to sample the chili for 25 cents apiece, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. The winners of the cookoff, in the red chili, chili verde, salsa and homestyle categories, will go on to participate in the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff in October.
The event is free and open to the public, and will be put on rain or shine. From 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd will be closed from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street and N. Highland Street will be closed from N. Hartford Street to 11th Street. Parking will be restricted, so those planning to drive should be aware of the “No Parking” signs posted in the area.
Disclosure: Clarendon Alliance is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Rosslyn Jazz Fest Street Closures — A number of lane and street closures will be in place for most of the day on Saturday for the 2013 Rosslyn Jazz Festival. The festival itself runs from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. The closures will be in place from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in the area of Gateway Park. [Arlington County]
Road Closures for 9/11 5K Race — Several roads in the Pentagon City area, including parts for Route 110, Army Navy Drive, Washington Blvd and S. Joyce Street, will be closed Saturday night for the annual Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff Memorial 9/11 5K race. The closures will first go into effect at 5:45 p.m. [Arlington County]
‘Cheesemonger’ Katie Carter Profiled — Katie Carter, the cheesemonger for Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway), recently placed third in a national cheese contest. The honor was the culmination of the D.C. native’s nearly lifelong love of cheese and cheesemaking. (Now expecting her second child, Carter is taking a break from her “Your Cheesemonger” column on ARLnow.com.) [Washington Post]
Teen Tutors Needed — Affordable housing nonprofit AHC Inc. is again looking for volunteer tutors. AHC’s tutoring program has served at-risk teens in Arlington for more than 15 years. [AHC Inc.]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Local ‘Stacking’ Champ Gains International Fame — William Polly, the 12-year-old Thomas Jefferson Middle School student who’s a Sport Stacking champion, is gaining international notoriety. This summer he filmed a television commercial for a South African orange soda, and next week he will attempt to break his own world record during the taping of a Guinness Book of World Records TV show in Beijing. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Renovates HQ — The Arlington County Republican Committee is putting the finishing touches on its new headquarters. Located on the ground floor of an apartment building at 405 S. Glebe Road, the office is expected to reopen after Labor Day. The local GOP is also planning a door knocking campaign for gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli on Sept. 7. [Sun Gazette]
Bourbon, Bacon and Blues Party — A group of Arlington-based bloggers is throwing a party tonight at O’Sullivan’s (3207 Washington Blvd) in Clarendon. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. and will feature music by Duffy Kane. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by christopherskillman
Moran, Wolf Visit Gitmo — Last Friday, Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) visited the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where suspected foreign terrorists are held and interrogated. Moran, who has said that keeping the facility open “is not worth the damage it continues to inflict on our international standing,” said after the trip that he hopes to work out a compromise with Wolf, who supports keeping the facility open. [Sun Gazette]
Shirlington Oktoberfest Date Set — This year’s Shirlington Oktoberfest, the largest of its kind in N. Va., will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5. Over 50 breweries will be represented. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
The Potomac Overlook Regional Park summer concert series is in full swing, with half of its slate of concerts still on tap through mid-September.
The concert series has been an annual tradition at the 70-acre park in North Arlington just off the GW Parkway, providing free outdoor performances of local and regional acts in a family setting, said Park Manager Roy Geiger.
“It’s a kick-back-and-relax time,” Geiger said. “You’ve got whole families coming down, kids in strollers, all ages up to senior citizens. So along come the blankets, lawn chairs, picnic baskets and even some dogs sitting there quietly.”
The crowds at the outdoor venue — which Geiger describes as a Wolf Trap-like feel but “without the big crowds” — vary depending on the weather, but reach into the hundreds on the nice Saturday evenings. The concerts are all put on from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Below is the schedule for the remainder of the season.
- Aug. 3 — Surrender Friday (classic rock)
- Aug. 17 — West on 66 (classic rock, pictured above)
- Aug. 31 — Michael Mulvaney (blues and folk)
- Sept. 7 — Andrew Acosta (bluegrass)
- Sept. 14 — Second Wind (Southern rock)
Photo via Facebook