Arlington, VA

Police are encouraging people not to drink and drive during Arlington’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities this weekend with a free event about blood alcohol levels.

The annual event, called “Don’t Press Your Luck,” will be held Saturday from 5-7 p.m. on N. Hudson Street between Wilson Blvd and 13th Street N. by the James Hunter Dog Park and Don Tito restaurant.

Police will be using the “Virtual Bar” app by Responsibility.org to show how a person’s gender, weight, and food consumption affects their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and impairs their ability to drive.

Officers plan to close the two blocks of N. Hudson Street from 4-8 p.m. Saturday for the event, and are warning drivers to look out for temporary “No Parking” posted signs nearby.

Virtual Bar was touted as “way to help promote responsible drinking decisions, especially as people explore how foods they are likely to consume when out drinking.”

Arlington County Police are organizing the event together with Responsibility.org and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), which advocates for ways to reduce drunk driving across the Greater Washington region.

WRAP’s annual St. Paddy’s Day $15 Lyft discount to discourage drunk driving also returns this year. The promo code will be posted on WRAP’s website at 3 p.m. Sunday and the code will work for the first $1,500 customers between the hours of 4 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.

From ACPD:

St. Patrick’s Day can be a celebratory time, often including alcohol. The green beer and merry-making of the holiday unfortunately lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, 59 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Paddy’s Day holiday weekend across the nation. And, more than one-third (37% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and Responsbility.org are teaming up to remind that if your plans include drinking, plan ahead to take a sober ride home.

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year — meaning more events for everyone looking for their fix of “kegs and eggs.”

There are plenty of local restaurants and bars hosting green-themed shenanigans — too many to list here. But it’s a safe bet that if you go to one of Arlington’s Irish pubs this weekend, it’s going to be crowded.

Whether you’re Irish or want to be Irish, here are some of the St. Paddy’s highlights around Arlington:

  • Pamplona and Bar Bao (3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon: Attendance is free and this outdoor event will feature food, DJs, party favors, and prizes, per the Eventbrite invite.
  • The G.O.A.T. (3028 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The bar is hosting both March Madness games on TV and an Irish breakfast buffet all day Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 a.m. The buffet costs $21.95 per person, and the pub’s drink deals include $4 Guinness, $6 Jameson or $5 Tullamore, and green beer and mimosas.
  • Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington): On March 17, the bar will open at 9.a.m. to host live music from Aidan Croke, Ciaran Quinn, and the Shamrockers (no cover charge) and a performance by the Irish dance group from the Boyle School of Dancers.
  • Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant (2500 Columbia Pike): The restaurant is serving brunch on Saturday (from 10 a.m.) and Sunday (from 9 a.m.) and features Irish musician Pat Garvey on Saturday from 7-8 p.m. Garvey returns to the restaurant Sunday at 2 p.m., along with Irish dancers.
  • O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd in Clarendon): The pub will host two performances by the Boyle School Irish Dancers on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., as well as showcase performances by musicians Greg Snyder, Britton James, Mike Leverone and Willem Dicke.
  • Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard in Courthouse): The bar will have a heated tent for bar-goers along with live music, Irish dancers, and traditional food served all weekend. March Madness will also be on the screen for any die-hard fans not wanting to choose between watching college sports and listening to bagpipers. Four Courts is also hosting daily events (listed on its website) this week leading up to the big day.
  • O’Malley’s Pub (2650 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City): Enjoy Irish food favorites like fish and chips, and bread pudding, along with a $4 Guinness special at this pub from Friday to Sunday.
  • Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The restaurant is serving a bottomless brunch buffet of traditional Irish fare from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After 3 p.m. the restaurant will offer drink specials, and will add “beer bucket” specials and DJ music at 8 p.m.
  • Wilson Hardware (2915 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon): The three-story bar is throwing a 90’s party promising songs from Irish artists and plenty of their “shareable” pub food appetizers. Party will start at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

And of course the holiday offers more than just booze. Here are two St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities that are family friendly and bound to get you moving:

  • Four Courts Four Miler: If you’re a runner, the annual Four Courts Four Miler offers a challenging course from Courthouse, through Rosslyn, and back. Registration for the Saturday morning race is currently priced at $43.
  • 50th Anniversary Ceili: The O’Neill James School of Irish Dance is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a traditional Irish dance party (called a “céilí” in Irish Gaelic) at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Rd) Sunday from 5-8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 online, $15 at the door, families pay no more than $60. Kids 5 and under are free.

Photo by Cobalt123 via Flickr

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Free Lyft rides will be available to those looking for a safe ride home on St. Patrick’s Day this weekend.

The promotion is being offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, a local nonprofit, and will run from Saturday, March 17 at 4 p.m. through March 18 at 4 a.m..

“During this twelve-hour period, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download Lyft to their phones, then enter a SoberRide code in the app’s ‘Promo’ section to receive their no cost (up to $15) safe transportation home,” the organization said in a press release. “WRAP’s St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide promo code will be posted at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 on www.SoberRide.com.”

Last year, 460 people used WRAP’s SoberRide Lyft services on St. Patrick’s Day in the D.C. area.

“Almost three-fourths (69%) of all U.S. traffic deaths occurring during the six evening hours following St. Patrick’s Day [in 2016] involved alcohol-impaired drivers,” noted WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson.

Courtesy photo

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, March 13

Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.

Wednesday, March 14

Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.

Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.

Thursday, March 15

Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.

Friday, March 16

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Saturday, March 17

Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close

Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.

WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.

Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.

Wine Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.

Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, March 18

St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Morning Notes

DHS Official Charged With Beating Wife in Arlington — A “senior career official with the Department of Homeland Security who… handles a ‘high volume’ of classified information in his role as an intelligence briefer,” served jail time after a 2016 incident in Arlington in which he was charged with assaulting his wife, breaking two ribs and causing bruising around her neck. [Washington Post]

Anti-DUI Event at Shamrock Crawl Tomorrow — The Arlington County Police Department will hold a St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-DUI event dubbed “Don’t Press Your Luck” in Clarendon tomorrow (Saturday). The event will coincide with the planned Shamrock Crawl bar crawl. [Arlington County]

More on Wakefield’s Championship Run — But for a great defensive play by Varina, the Wakefield High School boys basketball team might have emerged victorious from yesterday’s state championship game in Richmond. [Washington Post]

Arlington to Co-Star in Travel Video — Arlington County has received grant funding that will help pay for its share of a new Virginia tourism video that will also feature Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Loudoun County, Richmond and Staunton. [Arlington County]

Long Branch Creek Profiled — “A mostly residential section of south Arlington, Long Branch Creek is a diverse community where almost 75 percent of residents are renters. In addition, there are condominium buildings, townhouses, duplexes and one single-family home.” [Washington Post]

Fire Station History to Be Recognized — Last month Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz established a “Fire Station No. 8 History and Legacy (FS8HL) Working Group,” to record and celebrate the history of the first Arlington fire station staffed by African Americans. [Arlington County]

Kanninen Gets Democratic School Board Nod — “An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit. Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

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The Shamrock Crawl is returning to Clarendon after a one-year hiatus, with at least nine confirmed bars participating in the bar-hopping bonanza.

Project DC Events, the crawl’s organizer, is now selling tickets for their March 10 bar crawl, with ticket prices as low as $15 listed on the website. The tickets come with a refillable shamrock mug and cover-free access to Mister days, Pamplona, Whitlow’s on Wilson, Courthaus Social, among other bars. Additional party favors, a raffle, event pictures, and food deals are included in the ticket price.

The company also organizes a sister event in Washington’s Dupont Circle.

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Morning Notes

Blooms on ice

Arlington’s Irish Bars on St. Patrick’s Day — Today is St. Patrick’s Day and that of course means that Guinness will be flowing like water at Arlington’s half dozen Irish pubs. Among them: The Celtic House on Columbia Pike (recently lauded by Yelp and Travel + Leisure), Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse, O’Sullivan’s in Clarendon, P. Brennan’s on Columbia Pike and Sine Irish Pub on Pentagon Row.

Arlington’s High-Earning Millennials — “Arlington has more millennials with a household income of $350,000 or more than any other jurisdiction in the country, with 8.7 percent of millennials among that wealthy cohort.” [Washington Post]

Donaldson Run Neighborhood Profiled — “Tracy and Jeremy Penfield bought their first house in Donaldson Run in Arlington County because they liked the location and the price. After living close to Metro for almost a decade, they welcomed the hilly, wooded neighborhood, which is largely car-oriented.” [Washington Post]

WeWork Creator’s Awards — WeWork, which has both co-working and co-living space at an office building in Crystal City, is giving out $20 million in grant awards to creators around the world, including here in the D.C. area. Applications to pitch an idea in D.C. are due this coming Monday. [WeWork]

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The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant on Columbia Pike is the No. 1 place in the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, at least according to online review site Yelp.

The pub, at 2500 Columbia Pike, has a stellar 4.6 star rating on Yelp, leading to its selection at the top of the “50 Best Bars in the U.S. To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day” list.

“Yelp determined the list by first identifying bars frequently reviewed with the word ‘Irish,’ and then ranking the establishments by ratings and the number of reviews,” said Travel + Leisure, which published the list.

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Police DUI event St Patricks DayArlington police will be out in force next weekend during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, reminding revelers not to drink and drive.

The interactive “Don’t Press Your Luck” event will highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills, and is free. It will be hosted at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.

Police will close Hudson Street from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. from noon until 9 p.m. to accommodate the event. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be up, and illegally parked motorists could be ticketed or towed.

The event is part of a push by local police to remind partygoers of the dangers of drink-driving. According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2015, 252 people died in car crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in the United States.

Earlier this week, ride-hailing app Lyft announced it will partner with SoberRide to provide free and safe transportation home during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the D.C. region.

In addition to next week’s event, tonight (Friday) Arlington County Police will be trying out another initiative aimed at Clarendon bar-goers: blocking off some of the parking spots on Clarendon Blvd to create a pickup zone for Uber and Lyft riders.

From ACPD:

On Friday, March 10, 2017 the Arlington County Police Department is conducting a pilot program in Clarendon providing a designated rideshare pickup location. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary no parking signs in the 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard beginning at approximately 11:00 p.m. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.

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SoberRide announced a partnership with ride-hailing app Lyft last week (courtesy Washington Regional Alcohol Program)The region’s anti-DUI free ride service is switching from taxicabs to ride-hailing service Lyft, starting this St. Patrick’s Day.

Officials with nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program announced the new partnership last week. Lyft, a competitor of market leader Uber, will provide the SoberRide service throughout the D.C. region through the end of the year.

The free St. Patrick’s Day Lyft rides begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17, and continue until 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 18.

During the 12-hour period, area residents aged 21 or older can enter the code SOBERRIDE in the Lyft app’s “Promo” section to receive safe transportation home worth up to $20 for free. The code is valid for new and existing Lyft users.

Lyft will also donate $1 to WRAP for each new Lyft customer using the SoberRide code in 2017.

“We are excited to partner with WRAP in providing safe, reliable transportation to area residents,” said Steve Taylor, general manager of Lyft’s D.C. area office hub in Crystal City, in a statement. “Lyft is committed to improving access to transportation and reducing drunk driving.”

Previously, the SoberRide program partnered with local taxi firms, including with Red Top Cab of Arlington, to provide free rides. WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson did not respond to requests for further comment on the switch. Just over 330 people in the D.C. region used the cab-based SoberRide service this past New Year’s Eve.

Besides Lyft, the sponsors of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide program include O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon and Sine Irish Pub in Pentagon Row.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one quarter of traffic deaths nationwide during the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations involved drunk drivers.

Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said officers do a great deal of outreach to educate revelers of the risks involved in drinking and driving.

In previous years, Savage said, that outreach has coincided with the Shamrock Crawl bar-hopping event in Clarendon. But even with those festivities canceled this year, Savage said the outreach and education will continue.

“Anytime there are alcohol-related holidays, we always make a point to be extra cautious as officers for those driving under the influence,” she said.

Since 1993, the SoberRide program has provided 66,296 free safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Cemetery Metro station

Wakefield Boys Fall in State Tourney — An outstanding season for the Wakefield boys basketball team ended Friday when the Warriors fell to Bethel 62-56 in the state tournament quarterfinals. The Lady Warriors also lost in the state quarterfinals last week. [Twitter, Daily Press]

Logistics May Have Sunk St. Pat’s Bar Crawl — There’s no St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl in Clarendon this year, and the reason may be due to logistics, not lack of interest. Organizers might have been able to get bars on board and their permit applications in on time, one police official suggests. [CityLab]

Volunteers Needed to Bag Meals — The Clarendon United Methodist Church is seeking volunteers to help “pack 20,000 meals for distribution around the world” on Saturday. [InsideNova]

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