Arlington, VA

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Recent Yorktown High School graduate Eva Gary is bringing the magic of princesses, princes and superheroes to kids — from a safe distance and over Zoom.

At the height of the pandemic, Gary, a lifelong performer and musical theater lover, decided to defer college for a year. She wanted to re-apply to competitive musical theater programs that she could not get into and wait until more schools and classes are in-person.

With the extra time she had, she started Princess Wish Parties, granting the wishes of kids who want to see their favorite fairy tale characters.

Over the last year, Gary and her squad of characters have visited virtual art parties, events for school pods, and drive-up parties. The dance, do crafts, play games and perform sing-a-longs with kids.

“I love working with kids, and performing, and this is the most magical combination of those two things, literally,” she said.

Gary started “princessing” for other companies as a sophomore, saying it was the perfect job for a teen who needed improvisation practice and had experience working with kids. She took a break from it to apply for college, but when she ultimately decided to put college off for one year, she picked it back up.

Although she was skeptical of the first socially distanced party she attended, Gary said the experience did not change much: She still could believably embody a princess character, sing, dance and form connections with the kids.

Bolstered by the positive experience and encouraged by her mom, Gary took steps toward launching a princess company. She found second-hand “Snow Queen,” “Mermaid Princess” and “Rapunzel” costumes and wigs — these companies are not affiliated with Disney, for the record — and tested them on neighborhood kids who she said are in “the princess stage.”

“The girls believed it and were so excited about it,” she said. “That was when I realized I can do this. Having had a little bit of experience as a performer, I knew I needed to get my head around the business side, but performing would be the same.”

Since then, she has virtually auditioned and hired actors, many of whom she knew from other “princessing” gigs and the musical theater community. She has quickly added on more princesses and expanded her offerings to include princes and superheroes.

“Every second of free time is spent on this company and recently, applying for schools,” she said.

Working as a princess this year has helped her hone her craft as a princess and a performer.

“I think I’ve grown immensely as a princess performer from my sophomore year until now,” she said, adding that she also has to “be prepared to remind their kid to not put dirt in their mouth — in a friendly, princessy way.”

Now that the company has taken off, she said she plans to manage the company and hire actors from a distance during college, and delegate the logistics of handling parties to one of her younger sisters.

“It’s been harder than I expected, but I could spend every waking moment working on this and I would be happy,” she said

Photo courtesy Princess Wish Parties 

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Clarendon Day and two other festivals will take to Arlington streets on Saturday, prompting celebrations, road closures, and delicious food all around.

The massive Clarendon Day street festival which draws tens of thousands of attendees will run from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. this Saturday, September 21, and will feature food trucks and booths from vendors like donut maker Good Company, live music, arts and crafts vendors, and dance performances.

The annual Clarendon Day races will also return. Participants can sign up for the 5K race at 8 a.m., and a 10K race at 9 a.m. starting at Wilson Blvd and N. Fillmore Street, with both finishing in Rosslyn at Wilson Blvd and N. Fort Myer Drive. Runners also have the option of running both races.

Children can take part in their own, 713-foot race around the plaza driveway of the Market Common. The race, which starts at 9:30 a.m., welcomes parents along with kids and does not require separate registration for both. All kids who join the race will be awarded for their participation.

Registration costs $15 for the “Kids Dash” race, $45 for the 5K, and $50 for the 10K. Runners interested in both the 5K and the 10K can pay $55 for both races.

ACPD will close several streets from 3 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m. to make room for the festival, including:

  • Wilson Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • Clarendon Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street between Washington Blvd. and N. Hartford Street

Police will also close additional roads for the races from 5-10:30 a.m.:

  • Wilson Boulevard, between N. Garfield Street and Route 110
  • N. Kent Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street N.
  • The entirety of Route 110 northbound, from Route 1 to Wilson Blvd. Southbound lanes remain open to traffic.

Elsewhere, near Columbia Pike, police will close 9th Street S. between Walter Reed Drive and S. Highland Street from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. to make way for the Prio Bangla Multicultural Street Festival, which celebrates pan-Asian and Latin American cultures and runs from 12-9 p.m.

The all-day festival will feature vendors with traditional foods, as well as handcrafts, clothing, and jewelry, paintings and henna art, and representatives from local businesses.

“By simply the trading and transferring of ideas, customs, beliefs, cultural habits etc. between diverse cultures living here in the USA, we would be able to accomplish our vision of living in harmony in this community,” organizers wrote on its event page.

Meanwhile, the newly renamed Green Valley neighborhood will also be throwing a celebration of its history and culture from 12-6 p.m. at Drew Elementary School (3500 23rd Street S.)

The community party will feature a DJ, a basketball tournament at 2 p.m. for youth and service workers, as well as a fish fry and barbecue.

“Today, residents pride ourselves on being part of a community where all are welcome,” organizers wrote in an email announcing the event. “Despite development, migration and gentrification that have altered the demographics drastically, we are determined to retain our unique identity as Green Valley continues to be one of ‘Arlington County’s Finest Communities.'”

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Rosslyn’s observation deck will be kicking off its Fourth of July festivities early with a hot dog eating contest and patriotic drinks.

The View of DC (1201 Wilson Blvd) is throwing an Independence Day party tomorrow (Wednesday) from 5-9 p.m. There will be red, white and blue cocktails and other specialty fare on hand for attendees.

In addition, Alexandria’s Village Brauhaus will be on hand to host a hot dog eating competition, inspired by the annual Fourth of July event in Coney Island, New York.

“We are excited to partner with Legend Hospitality to be able to put on the inaugural D.C. area Hot Dog Eating Contest,” said Village Bauhaus owner Bill Gross. “As a German restaurant with some of the finest wursts in the area we thought it would be great to use our fresh, handmade frankfurters for this event.”

Village Bauhaus will also be selling its onion- and beer-braised brats on pretzel rolls as well as giant pretzels imported from Bavaria.

If eating encased meat is not your thing, a number of other activities are planned, including music by Loose Ties, a U.S. knowledge quiz with District Trivia, life-sized games with prizes and other surprises.

“People should expect a fun filled day with great food and live music at an incredible venue,” Gross said.

Tickets for the Independence Day party are $10 and available online.

The View of DC visitors get to the 31st floor venue via Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), across from the Rosslyn Metro station. The observation deck is also hosting a fireworks viewing on July 4, but a ticket lottery for that event has already been held.

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Interplanetary and interstate travelers now have a chance to mingle at Reagan National Airport thanks to a Star Wars-themed event planned in the airport’s historic Terminal A.

The event is being hosted by D.C.-based Scorpio Entertainment on May 4  a day otherwise known as “May the 4th Be With You” to Stars Wars fans. The event will feature an open bar and a mix of music from new pop, EDM, Motown, 80s, and disco.

“Explore all corners of the glass-enclosed lobby with front row views of the runway, as we present an epic night of fun celebrating all things outer space,” the DJ company said in its Facebook post about the upcoming event, where it encouraged attendees to wear “themed attire.”

The party will “blast off” at 7 p.m. that night with a pre-show, followed by the main event, according to the event’s webpage.

Tickets are on sale for $45 and the event is open for attendees 18 years or older.

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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The Rhodeside Grill near Courthouse is gearing up to celebrate the biggest college football game of the year, so far, with a watch party and shrimp boil.

The restaurant, located at 1836 Wilson Blvd, is planning to celebrate LSU’s clash with Alabama Saturday night (Nov. 3) in traditional southern fashion, according to a news release.

The spread will include plenty of shrimp, corn on the cob, Andouille sausage and red potatoes. The grill plans to prepare the boil outdoors and spread it “across a large, newspaper-covered community table before being served,” according to the release.

The bar will also offer up specialty cocktails to commemorate each team with “Tiger Claws” and “Alabama Slammers” up for grabs, in addition to beer specials.

The party will start around 6 p.m. ahead of the game’s 8 p.m. kickoff, which the bar will show with sound on both floors.

Guests can pay $14 for a small portion or $20 for a large. Anyone looking to reserve a table can do so by calling the Rhodeside Grill at 703-243-015.

Courtesy photo

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Morning Notes

Primary Voting Underway — It’s an election day in Virginia. On the ballot in Arlington is the Democratic race for County Board, between Chanda Choun and Matt de Ferranti, and the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, with candidates Corey Stewart, Nick Freitas and E. W. Jackson. Voting will continue through 7 p.m. [Twitter]

Post-Parade Party in Courthouse — Those heading to the Capitals Stanley Cup victory parade downtown today can head on back to Arlington for an afterparty at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill, hosted by the Caps blog Russian Machine Never Breaks. The event starts at 3 p.m. [RMNB]

Final Issue of ‘The Citizen’ — Arlington County’s “The Citizen” newsletter is publishing its last issue this week. The county-run publication is ceasing its print issues due to budget cuts. The move was lamented by the Sun Gazette, which wrote that The Citizen provided “information that, most likely, many local residents will now not get, despite the government’s plethora of online-centric public-relations efforts.” [InsideNova]

Clement: Strip Washington from W-L Too — Independent Arlington School Board candidate Audrey Clement says it is “hypocrisy in the extreme” for the “Lee” in “Washington-Lee High School” to be removed without also removing “Washington.” Wrote Clement: “Had not George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson — all Virginia native sons and all slave holders — greased the skids of institutionalized slavery by agreeing to write it into the U.S. Constitution, Lee would not have taken up arms against his own nation.” [Audrey Clement]

Apartment Building to Get Free Broadband — “Arlington’s Digital Inclusion Initiative, announced in December 2017, will leverage the County’s fiber-optic network, ConnectArlington, to bring free broadband Internet access to low- and moderate-income households in Arlington, including those with school-age children. Arlington Mill Residences, a low- and moderate-income residential development, will serve as the demonstration project for the initiative.” [Arlington County]

Paving on Lorcom Lane — Crews are paving Lorcom Lane between N. Fillmore and Daniel streets today. [Twitter]

Nearby: Second Northside Social Opens — The new Falls Church outpost of Clarendon cafe Northside Social has opened in the Little City. “The business itself will offer a menu similar to its Clarendon location, but a basement that allows for a commercial-sized bakery and chef Matt Hill’s creative inklings will provide new lunch and dinner options.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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A Quinceañera Expo is coming to Crystal City’s Holiday Inn National Airport this Sunday (May 6) from 1-4 p.m.

A quinceañera is a Latin American tradition that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday.

The festivities mark her transition from childhood to adulthood in a similar way to a Sweet Sixteen.

The expo will feature a fashion show with the latest styles in quinceañera gowns, a DIY workshop, and a seminar on some “new inventions.”

General admission tickets cost $5. VIP tickets, which include a Dulce Quince Magazine shirt, cost $10.

Here are the expo’s listed exhibitors:

  • A Touch of Glam by Nathalie Lopez
  • A1 Limousine
  • DJ Kanon
  • Duarte Image
  • Event Linens & Decor
  • La’Glam Studio
  • LipSense by Sophia
  • Looks by Lina
  • Mary Kay by Stephanie Baker Alibakhshi
  • Mimi’s Mocha Treats, LLC
  • Photo Fun Zone Photo Booth
  • Quince Video
  • Secret Garden by Marta
  • The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
  • Twinbrook Floral Design
  • Tysons Corner and Dulles Marriott

Photo via OnceUponaTime.Events

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The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office served an eviction at 201 Chain Bridge Road, the palatial former home of former multimillionaire Rodney Hunt, on Monday.

Also known as the the RPH Mansion, the 20,000 square foot estate has, over the past couple of years, hosted wild “mansion parties,” one of which led to a drive-by shooting in nearby McLean this past summer. It is also a frequent destination for police, with numerous robbery, burglary and disturbance calls during that time span.

The Washington Post reported in September that Hunt was fighting eviction after the property, which overlooks the Potomac River and was once valued at $24 million, was sold to at a foreclosure auction for $7.3 million. In December, Hunt lost his legal battle to keep the home. On Jan. 11, a Writ of Possession was issued, according to court records, marking the last legal step before Monday’s eviction.

Two unmarked moving vans and several people could be seen inside the gates of the property Monday afternoon. A number of Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked outside. At one point, a black Lincoln Town Car was towed out of an underground garage.

Hunt’s case, meanwhile, continues to be a source of fascination and intrigue. He went from having an estimated net worth of $265 million in 2007 to foreclosure in 2012, bankruptcy in 2015 and then spending part of last year in jail for a parole violation. Two fines from his August court appearance — for $236 and $91 — are marked past due in court records.

Last year ARLnow.com received an anonymous letter, sent via the mail, raising questions about Hunt’s path to bankruptcy. The letter suggested there was a conspiracy against Hunt; the accusations were similar in tone to Hunt’s own assertions in court papers, as reported by the Post.

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ACPD Preparing for NYE

Chooser Cruiser unveilingEven though Arlington doesn’t have any large, centrally-located New Year’s Eve celebration — like New York City’s ball drop in Times Square — local police are getting ready for a busier than usual night on Saturday.

Scanner traffic indicates that today officers are stopping at businesses that are holding celebrations tomorrow night. Police are doing preemptive safety checks, asking management about things like how many people each business expects for its celebration and how many employees or additional security staff will be present.

There are no known, specific threats to public safety in Arlington, according to police spokesman Capt. Bruce Benson, but ACPD will have extra officers in the Clarendon area on Saturday evening. Extra officers will also be on duty throughout the county to patrol for drunk drivers.

“We really want everyone to enjoy the New Year celebration in Arlington,” says Benson. “We certainly have some great restaurants and bars and invite everyone to take advantage of them, but we also ask everyone to be responsible and get home safely. There is no excuse to drive drunk.”

Police encourage everyone to pay attention to the message of the half-police cruiser, half-taxi Chooser Cruiser, currently stationed in Clarendon: Take advantage of the many safe options available for post-party transportation or you might find yourself in the back of a police car. Some options include using a designated driver, a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, the free SoberRide taxi program (1-800-200-TAXI), and the free Metrorail and Metrobus rides after midnight Saturday.

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Want to stay in Arlington (or, at least, within a stone’s throw of Arlington) but still go out for New Year’s Eve?

Good news: With just over a week and a half until New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of local options still available for New Year’s procrastinators. A list of NYE parties that you can walk back from, if necessary, is below.

2017 NYE Decades Sehkraft Brewing2017 NYE Decades Sehkraft Brewing
Sehkraft Brewing (925 N. Garfield St.)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Ring in the New Year in Clarendon with the cover band “Girls Night Out” and DJ Fusion as they play hit songs from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Tickets start at $30 and include drink tickets, a VIP entrance and party favors.

"Don Tito" logo and partnersNew Years Eve at Don Tito!
Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Clarendon’s “hottest tequila bar” will be hosting a New Year’s Eve bash. General Admission starts at $40 and includes three drink tickets, party favors and a VIP entry. Tables start at $350 with a bottle of champagne and 15 drink tickets.

Highline New Years EveHighline New Year’s Eve
Highline RxR (2010 Crystal Drive)
Time: 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Celebrate the New Year in Crystal City at one of the D.C. area’s newest bars. There will be a huge dance floor, a photo-booth, selfie station, buffet, open bar, a “killer” DJ and more. Tickets start at $109.

Copperwood Tavern logoCopperwood Tavern New Year’s Eve Celebration
Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Ave.)
Time: 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Reserve a table at Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington for a prix fixe three course dinner, a champagne toast at midnight and other party favors to ring in the New Year. Tickets start at $55 and the doors open at 4 p.m.

New Year's Eve 2017 Maskquerade at A-TownNew Year’s Eve 2017 Maskquerade at A-Town
A-Town Bar & Grill (4100 Fairfax Dr.)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Join A-Town at their 5th-annual New Year’s bash. General admission starts at $35 with three drink tickets and VIP tables start at $300 with a bottle of champagne, 15 drink tickets and two appetizer samples. Ticket prices increase closer to the event.

Barley MacA Beautiful Bourbon NYE 2017
Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Rosslyn’s bourbon bar will be ringing in the New Year in style. Pricing starts at $45 includes three drink tickets for premium beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and a champagne toast at midnight. Drink tickets may be used for bourbons and whiskeys.

A Gatsby New Year's Eve at SequoiaA Gatsby New Year’s Eve at Sequoia (Georgetown Waterfront)
Sequoia Georgetown Waterfront (3000 K St. NW)
Time: 9 p.m.-12 a.m

Join Local Social and Project DC for a Great Gatsby New Year’s event at the Georgetown waterfront, overlooking beautiful Rosslyn. Tickets start at $155 and includes several open bars, a dinner buffet, a champagne toast and a heated outdoor patio.

Clarendon Ballroom 17th Annual New Years Eve GalaClarendon Ballroom 17th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala
Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

Liquid A, DJ Lil Fos and Hurley will be performing at Clarendon Ballroom’s 17th Annual New Year’s Gala. There will be two levels of entertainment, dinner buffet, champagne, midnight balloon drop and four drink tickets will be included in your purchase.

6th Annual New Years Eve Casino Night6th Annual NYE Prohibition Casino Night
Hyatt Regency at Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy.)
Time: 8 p.m.-3 a.m.

Gold Boot Entertainment will be hosting their 6th annual New Year’s event at the Hyatt in Crystal City. There will be a surprise guest DJ, five levels of entertainment, various games & shows, 20 cash bars and much more. Semi-formal attire is required.

Cinema & Drafthouse New Years 2017New Year’s Eve at the Drafthouse with DJ G-Mills
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Time: 7:30 p.m.-12:15 a.m.

Looking for a more low-key experience this year? For $15, the Drafthouse is hosting an ’80s-themed New Year’s party where you can enjoy the ball drop table-side on the huge screen, music by DJ Mills, and various party favors.

Northside Social New YearsNew Year’s Eve in The Wine Bar
Northside Social (3211 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Northside Social is ringing in the New Year with a wine and dinner celebration, featuring a sparkling wine line-up and Chef Matt Hill’s five course menu for a pairing. Dinner starts at 8:30 p.m. with a sparkling toast at midnight.

Clarendon Grill New Years Clarendon Grill New Year’s Eve Party
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland St.)
Time: doors open at 8 p.m.

Celebrate the new year with My Hero Zero at Clarendon Grill. Tickets start at $45 and include the live performance, three drink tickets, a large food buffet, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.

IOTA Open Mic night7th Annual New Year’s Eve Throw Down
IOTA Club & Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: doors open all day

The IOTA Club will have a live show featuring The Beanstalk Library, Bobby Thompson and Revelator Hill to celebrate this New Years Eve. Doors will be open all day, the show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Party favors are included.

The Legwarmers New Years EveThe Legwarmers New Year’s Eve Party
The State Theatre (222 N. Washington St.)
Time: doors open at 7 p.m.

The “ultimate 80s cover band” will be ringing in the New Year in Falls Church with some throwback jams, so don’t forget your 80s garb and get ready to dance. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets start at $50.

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