Arlington County has enjoyed near-perfect weather today, with blue skies, plenty of sun and a high of only 82. What better way to celebrate the end of a beautiful summer day than to attend one of three outdoor concerts taking place this evening?
Summer concert series Rock at the Row kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. in Pentagon Row’s plaza area (1101 S. Joyce Street) with Bon Jovi cover band Slippery When Wet. The concert series also includes a VIP section with craft beers and food samples.
Residents less enamored of Bon Jovi can head over to Rosslyn for its “Throwback Thursday” concert in Freedom Park (1101 Wilson Blvd). Tonight’s concert features Baltimore-based cover band Sly 45. It’s the last scheduled Throwback Thursday concert until September.
Also tonight, the Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will hold its weekly Shirlala music festival, which started in June. Playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be alternative rock band Lloyd Dobler Effect. In addition to the live music, there will be $5 wine tasting courtesy of local cheese and wine bar Cheesetique.
All three concert series are free and open to the public. Rock at the Row’s lineup was announced earlier this summer. Shirlala’s remaining performances are below.
- July 23: Paul Pfau (pop, rock and blues)
- July 30: Ewabo (reggae and tropical steel drums)
- August 6: The Morrison Brothers Band (Southern rock)
- August 13: Dan Haas Trio (pop rock)
- August 20: King Teddy (swing)
- August 27: Sandra Dean Band ft. Daryl Davis (50s and 60s tribute)
Photo via lloyddoblereffect.com
Crystal City’s upcoming, eighth annual Twilighter 5K will give runners the opportunity to pound the pavement in the cooler hours of a summer evening.
The race is scheduled to kick off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. The relatively flat course will start and finish at 2121 Crystal Drive, between 20th and 23rd Streets.
The opportunity for a twilight run isn’t the event’s only selling point: there will also be a post-race party with deals on drinks and food at several local establishments, as well as cash prizes for the course’s top finishers.
Pacers, the run organizer, is billing the race as a great way for high school cross country runners or teams to get energized for the upcoming season. Runners can sign up online; registration is $40 for adults and $20 for high school students.
Photo via Crystal City BID
Parents and teachers at Barrett Elementary have started a weekly outdoor library to encourage kids to keep reading during their vacation.
The program, Barret Book Blast, was created by the Family and Community Engagement committee at Barrett Elementary as a way to combat the seemingly inevitable “summer slide” in reading comprehension.
The outdoor library can be found every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. outside of the Gates of Ballston Community Center (4108 4th Street N.). At the weekly event, which is run by Barrett Elementary teachers on an entirely volunteer basis, neighborhood kids can check out up to three books or listen to a librarian from Arlington Public Library read some stories.
Barrett Elementary teacher Emily Sonenshine estimates that on June 19, the program’s second week, almost 65 children came by to check out books and visit their teachers. Sonenshine added that attendance at the weekly checkout hour has been consistently on the rise.
This Friday will mark the program’s fourth week. Sonenshine says the events are scheduled to continue through the summer, ending Aug. 28.
Photos courtesy Emily Sonenshine and Jen Flores
“Rock at the Row” is in its 13th year, with concerts starting next month. The performances will take place Thursday evenings from July 16 to August 20 in Pentagon Row’s plaza area. In addition to the music, there will be craft beers and food samples in a VIP section.
The schedule, below, includes several locally-known cover and tribute bands, as well as a special Saturday evening concert by the 257th Army Band:
- July 16: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
- July 23: Kristen and the Noise (cover band)
- July 30: White Ford Bronco (90s cover)
- August 1: 257th Army Band (special Saturday night concert)
- August 6: The Reagan Years (80s tribute)
- August 13: The Rockets (cover band)
- August 20: Gonzo’s Nose (cover band)
All performances start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
If “Rock at the Row” isn’t enough of a music fix, residents can head to Freedom Park (1101 Wilson Blvd.) and check out Rosslyn’s “Throwback Thursdays”.
The series features cover bands “embracing the best of the 80s and 90s,” according to the event page.
Performances were scheduled to start the first Thursday of this month (June 4), but that evening’s concert by The Reflex was rained out and has not yet been rescheduled.
The five remaining performances, below, are scheduled to take place this tomorrow evening (June 25) and every Thursday evening in September:
- June 25: Lloyd Dobbler Effect (cover band)
- Sept 3: White Ford Bronco (90s cover)
- Sept 10: Back To Zero (cover band)
- Sept 17: Herr Metal (80s cover)
- Sept 24: Hand Painted Swinger (cover band)
Concerts start at 6 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Washington Wine Academy plans to offer $5 beer and wine to those of age at all remaining performances.
Photo via thereaganyears.com
Graduation Live Streaming Nixed — Arlington Public Schools canceled internet live streaming of its high school graduation ceremonies this year due to budget cuts. Graduation ceremonies has been streamed online for the past two years. [InsideNova]
Police Foot Chase in Pentagon City — Last night, after the Pentagon City mall was evacuated due to a power outage, mall security spotted two men lingering and entering closed stores. Police were given a lookout and one of the alleged suspects was spotted outside the mall. A foot chase ensured and the man was apprehended behind nearby Pentagon Row. No word yet on any changes.
Economic Chief Has a Plan For Arlington — New Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins says he has a plan for economic growth in the county that will reduce the county’s office vacancy rate from the current 21 percent to 10 percent over the next six years. The plan includes “a mix of much more aggressive marketing efforts, incentives and other government aid, and the help of ‘frenemies’ in competing local governments such as the District and Alexandria.” [Washington Business Journal]
A-Town Plans ‘Sunday Funday’ Summer Kickoff — “Ballston’s rowdiest bar,” A-Town Bar and Grill, will be kicking off its summer “Sunday Fundays” this weekend with “squirt guns, beach balls, popsicles, barbecue, water balloons” and multiple DJs. [Clarendon Nights]
First Week of Summer — This is the first full week of summer and the first full week of summer break for Arlington public school students. High schools, middle schools and elementary schools let out for the summer on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, respectively. School will begin again on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day. [Arlington Public Schools]
Realtors: Presidential Election Will Have Little Impact — The upcoming 2016 presidential election won’t have much of an impact on the real estate market, most local realtors interviewed by the Sun Gazette said. According to one: “It affects the market some because we have turnover, but nobody leaves Washington. Those who leave office become lobbyists and buy bigger houses. If there is a change in parties, those coming to town rent.” [InsideNova]
Arlington to Reach Out to the ‘Casual’ Cyclist — Arlington County is working with a Vancouver-based communication firm on a video documentary project that will reach out to and encourage casual cycling as a means of transportation. The idea seems to be to deemphasize the Lycra-clad image of “Capital ‘C'” cycling in favor of more casual, fashionable and lower-speed cycling. However, in the comments of the linked article on the county’s Mobility Lab blog, some “lifestyle” cyclists don’t seem to like the idea of dividing cyclists into two different groups. [Mobility Lab]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
“Dinner and a Movie on the Loop” will take place on four consecutive Thursday evenings at Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd), starting this week. The event was started last year as Now Playing at the Loop.
Market Common has added dinner to the mix this year, with a different local restaurant is providing a fixed-price meal before each movie, beginning at 7:45 p.m. In addition, guests can round out their family-friendly cinematic experience with free candy, popcorn and water.
All movies start at 8:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:
- June 18 — How To Train Your Dragon 2
- June 25 — Grown Ups
- July 2 — The Sandlot
- July 9 — The Wizard of Oz
Summer Movies @Penrose Square, a free outdoor movie series at Penrose Square (2597 Columbia Pike), started last Saturday (June 13).
The event, sponsored by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, will continue into September. The schedule is as follows:
- June 20 — The Hundred Foot Journey (8:45 p.m.)
- June 27 — Now You See Me (8:45 p.m.)
- July 11 — The Imitation Game (8:45 p.m.)
- July 18 — Enough Said (8:45 p.m.)
- July 25 — The Grand Budapest Hotel (8:30 p.m.)
- Aug 1 — Life of Pi (8:30 p.m.)
- Aug 8 — Chef (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 15 — Birdman (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 22 — The Second Best Marigold Hotel (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 29 — How to Train Your Dragon (8:00 p.m.)
- Sept 5 — Big Hero 6 (7:45 p.m.)
- Sept 12 — X-men: Days of Future Past (7:30 p.m.)
- Sept 19 — Interstellar (7:15 p.m.)
Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to both festivals.
CPRO is also sponsoring another movie festival on the Pike this summer. Starting on August 16, CPRO will screen a movie every Sunday until September 20 at the Arlington Mill Community Center.
The movies at Arlington Mill will start at dusk. A schedule is expected to be announced mid-July.
The DMV Food Truck Association is helping to organize Clarendon Food Truck Thursdays, which will bring two to five food trucks to the corner of North Irving Street and Washington Boulevard from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Thursday for the rest of the summer and part of fall.
Weather permitting, Food Truck Thursdays will continue through the end of October.
Clarendon co-working company Link Locale began Food Truck Thursdays last summer. This year, the food truck association is organizing the weekly event in partnership with Link Locale.
“Clarendon Food Truck Thursdays are a great option for Arlington residents looking for affordable, freshly prepared and quick bites for dinner,”said the association’s executive director, Che Ruddell-Tabisola.
The Crystal City Business Improvement District has revealed the lineup for its annual outdoor summer movie festival. The theme this year: espionage.
The movies begin on June 1 at sunset with “Mission: Impossible.” Other spy-themed movies include “RED,” “Argo” and the “Bourne Identity” series.
The movies are shown weekly on Monday at sunset — around 8:30 p.m. — and are held rain or shine, except in the event of dangerous weather.
Families are encouraged to bring a blanket to the free event. The outdoor “theater” is located in the courtyard of an office building at 1851 S. Bell Street.
The lineup is:
- June 1 — Mission: Impossible
- June 8 — Mission: Impossible II
- June 15 — Mission: Impossible III
- June 22 — Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol
- June 29 — Charlie Wilson’s War
- July 6 — RED
- July 13 — Argo
- July 20 — Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- July 27 — Body of Lies
- Aug. 3 — Enemy of the State
- Aug. 10 — The Bourne Identity
- Aug. 17 — The Bourne Supremacy
- Aug. 24 — The Bourne Ultimatum
- Aug. 31 — The Bourne Legacy
If Monday’s weather didn’t tell you that spring and summer are just around the corner, then this will: Arlington County is looking for summer camp volunteers.
The county looks for teenagers every year to help plan and lead activities for the young children who attend the camps. Volunteers must be 13 years or older by May 1 and at least two years older than the campers they supervise.
Arlington is offering more than 100 different camps this summer for kids from ages 3 to 13, in everything from fly fishing to ultimate Frisbee to “fashion boot camp.”
Volunteers work for four, non-consecutive weeks in the program of their choosing, but not everyone is guaranteed a spot in the most popular activities. Teens and parents can download the volunteer application and send it to:
Department of Parks and Recreation
Langston Brown Community Center
2121 N. Culpeper Street
Arlington, VA 22207
Applications received after May 1 may be put on a waiting list, depending on demand. Parents interested in registering a camper for this summer can do so online.
Photo via Arlington Parks and Recreation
Even though school is open and traffic is back up to nightmarish levels, summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23.
To celebrate the dwindling days of the season, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and Trinity Episcopal Church are hosting “Beach on the Pike” on Saturday (Sept. 13), a day-and-night-long, beach-themed event around Penrose Square, at the intersection of S. Barton Street and the Pike.
The festivities kick off at 8:30 a.m., with registration for Bike to the Beach, which starts at 9:30 and takes cyclists throughout the Penrose and Arlington Heights neighborhoods. Events then continue on until well after midnight.
From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., four Pike restaurants — RedRocks, Taqueria Poblano, P. Brennan’s and Twisted Vines — will be hosting “Brunch on the Beach.” The restaurants will be offering their normal brunch menus, but 10 percent of the proceeds will go to benefit the Arlington Free Clinic and the Northern Virginia branch of the Samaritan Ministry. Parties with six or more at the restaurants will get free leis.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., the real beach-themed events get started on the square. Live music from local band Nick, Ian and the Machine, demonstrations for children, games, and beach balls will accompany a beer and wine garden in front of RedRocks, with 9th Road S. closed for the day to give the feel of a block party, according to event organizer Denese Canedo.
During the festivities, Taqueria Poblano and L.A. Bar and Grill will be selling boxes of food for $8 a piece, and a dollar from each box will also be going to the two charities.
“There are a lot of free activities and things to enjoy,” Canedo, a member of Trinity, said. “We wanted opportunities for people to not just spend and help us raise funds, but just to come out and enjoy.”
At 7:30 p.m. CPRO will show the movie “A Shark Tale” outdoors at Penrose Square. After the movie, at 9:30 p.m., RedRocks takes over with Beach On the Rocks, a continuation of the block party, with more live music, drinks and dancing. That event is scheduled to go until 2:00 a.m., according to the Facebook page.
CPRO won’t be trucking in sand to create a faux beach at Penrose Square, but attendees are encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts and other beach-y attire to set the mood.
County Offices Closed for Labor Day — Arlington County government offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Pools and ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will proceed as normal, but mulch delivery will be suspended. Parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]
Last Outdoor Films of the Season — Rosslyn will be hosting its last outdoor film of the summer tonight. “Horrible Bosses” is slated to run from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, meanwhile, gets the honor of hosting Arlington’s last outdoor film of the summer. “Gravity” will be shown at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike) Saturday starting around 7:30 p.m. [Rosslyn BID, CPRO]
Courthouse: ‘A Hot Spot Getting Hotter’ — Courthouse “is on the cusp of being reinvented” says a county planner. Its walkability, abundance of retail and park proximity have all helped to contribute to its increasing desirability among homebuyers. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Adopts Local Platform — Billed as its “first local platform,” the Arlington County Republican Committee approved a set of five guiding principles Wednesday. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Kenneth Edward Piner
Early last month, Arlington Public Library rolled out seven STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kits — one for each branch — to encourage children to get hands-on experience with science in conjunction with its science-themed “Fizz, Boom, Read” summer reading program.
“The kids can come in, they can play with the kits, they can read books that correspond with the themes,” Anne Womack, the library’s youth collections librarian, said. “We saw other libraries doing this, and STEM is really important, so we thought we should do it, too. The kits are something to make kids see that science can be fun and hands on.”
The kits are for engineering (as pictured above), earth science, the human body, insects, plants, a “snap circuit” for basic electronics and weather. Each one is designed so children can play independently.
“The girl who built the bridge in that picture, she did it on her own,” Womack said. “She read the instructions and just did it. It’s just hands-on science activities for the kids, not something that has to be parent or teacher-led.”
Each kit has components for young children and late-elementary schoolers. They were paid for and partly designed by Dan Cross-Cole, a retired engineer. Womack was sitting in her office early this spring when she was told “there is a guy in the lobby looking for you.”
It was Cross-Cole, who told her he “wanted to design some science projects for kids,” Womack said. Library staff had already been discussing building the kits because they had seen them at other library systems, so Womack instantly agreed. Cross-Cole arranged to have the project paid for by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
“[Cross-Cole] was a miracle,” Womack said. “He just came to us out of the blue… [IEEE] paid for everything, and they’ve been really helpful in this process.”
The kits will rotate throughout the library system for the rest of the summer. After the summer reading program is finished, Womack said they plan to circulate them among the different branches of the library.
Photo (top) courtesy Arlington Public Library. Bottom photo courtesy Anne Womack
It should be a comfortable weather week, with high temperatures in the mid-to-lower 80s through Friday.
With July, usually the hottest month of the year, coming to close this week, it appears that the D.C. region has dodged the usual 100+ degree heat waves of summers past.
In fact, the area seems to have had an inordinate number of relatively mild days this summer.
The Arlington County Fire Department will hold its second free firefighting summer camp this weekend to immerse girls in the demands of fire service.
From Friday to Sunday, 24 campers will stay at Marymount University with six female firefighter “camp mentors” as chaperons. With the guidance of ACFD instructors, the 13 to 17-year-old girls will learn about physical fitness, emergency medical procedures, fire history and fire behavior.
“This is hands on, so it shows them they’re physically capable of doing it,” ACFD spokesperson Sarah Marchegiani said.”Most young girls are not encouraged to join the fire service or any physical career at all.”
Although one of the camp’s goals is to build self-esteem, the camp will encourage girls to consider careers as firefighters by giving them a real taste of the firefighter experience, according to Marchegiani. All campers will complete a CPR training course to become CPR certified, have fire extinguisher training and eat meals in the firehouse with ACFD firefighters. During one of Friday’s activities, ACFD staff will burn a mock bedroom to show campers how a fire acts in such a situation.
Last year, Arlington held its first girls’ firefighting camp. The CPR class is new to the camp this year, and campers will have more opportunities to handle firefighting equipment than they did last year, Marchegiani said.
“We think it’s more important to build confidence in these girls and teach them to not limit themselves,” Marchegiani said. “We anticipate the effects of this are more long term.”
While ACFD is known for hiring the first female firefighter in the U.S. in 1974, it’s comprised of less than 7 percent female, career firefighters on average, which is higher than the national average at 4 percent. The ACFD wants to encourage more young women to see themselves in a fire service career.
The ACFD increased camp registration size from 16 girls to 24 girls this year as a result of more firefighters assisting.The camp’s registration is full, but ACFD plans to hold the camp every summer.