A series of outdoor summer concerts is starting tonight (Friday) in Crystal City.
NaLa Fridays at the Park, formerly known as Fridays at the Fountain, is set to be held at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive). The concert series is set to run through October, according to the event’s website. One concert is scheduled for each Friday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
This year is set to be the first time the concert series is being held at Long Bridge Park instead of Crystal City Water Park, its usual location. The organizer, the National Landing Business Improvement District, changed the venue because the water park is currently under construction, BID spokesperson Ashley Forrester told ARLnow.
Construction on the water park is expected to be completed in 2023.
The concerts are set to feature local bands and musicians, according to the event’s website. It is free to attend. Reesa Renee, a neo-soul and funk singer, is scheduled to perform at tonight’s series kickoff.
Applications for bands and musicians to perform are still open online. Performers are asked to play for 2.5 hours, according to the application survey.
The current lineup is listed below.
- June 17: Dunlap and Mabe, a bluegrass duo
- June 24: The Collective band, a cover band of music since the ’80s
- July 1: Crush Funk Brass, a brass band “embodying the brass tones of New Orleans,” according to its Facebook post
Unlike in previous years, no alcohol will be allowed in the concerts, said Forrester. Alcohol is prohibited at Arlington County parks.
Food trucks are still set to serve the crowds, however. Fine Dining to Go, which provides various types of cuisine from around the world, is set to run the food trucks this Friday, said BID marketing manager Colleen Rasa. Participants are welcome to bring their own food to the venue, according to the event’s website.
There is some seating at the venue and organizers say they will be giving out a limited number of picnic blankets each week to audience members. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own chairs.
Summer is here and the local news cycle is slowing down.
After a blistering pace of coverage for most of the year, we’ve reached a point where we need to dig a bit deeper to find worthwhile stories. And while next week’s County Board meeting will help to fill our story planning rundowns, beyond that things may get even slower.
So this is the perfect time to ask our readers: what should we consider covering?
This could be anything from…
- A Press Club feature story like this one that just published today
- Something utilitarian, like a list of potential summer activities in a given category
- Or a news story or scoop that we have not yet reported
Post ideas as individual comments in the comment section below, and upvote the ideas you think have particular merit. We’ll consider those that seem to have traction in terms of upvotes and which are feasible in terms of what would be required to report on it.
Note that there are, naturally, some thus-far unreported stories that we are aware of and planning to cover in the coming days. If you want to know what we’re planning to cover ahead of time, consider joining the ARLnow Press Club for the Early Morning Notes newsletter.
Arlington County is having more trash trouble.
Late last week, an email was sent to residents acknowledging that it’s been a “something of a challenge” in recent weeks for curbside pick-up of trash, recycling, and green organics. The note goes on to say that the job market, driver shortages, supply chain issues, and the “early record heat” are the main culprits.
“We’re now seeing a rising number of collection routes not being completed until the next day, particularly for green organics carts that are often the last serviced due to routing based on processing facility locations,” reads the email.
Like many jurisdictions, Arlington uses a contractor for trash pick-up. That contractor is American Disposal Services.
Peter Golkin, Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokesperson, tells ARLnow the problem started in April, coinciding with the annual increase in green-cart organics being put curbside for pick-up — as well as the start of warmer temperatures.
He couldn’t estimate when the issues might be resolved and says the issue is “largely beyond the control of Arlington County.” Golkin notes that such challenges are also being endured by other localities in the region. American Disposal Services is continuously looking to hire more employees, but it continues to be hard, he says.
“It’s hard to give an estimated time for improved conditions… The County’s contractor has raised wages several times in the past 18 months and pays well above the County mandated living wage of $17/hour,” Golkin wrote in an email. “It’s simply difficult right now — at any wage — to find people willing to work 10-hour days doing demanding physical labor outdoors in the region’s heat conditions.”
Overall, county crews service about 6,500 households a day that put out an average of three carts, said the email sent to residents. Meaning, there are about 20,000 carts that are in need of pick-up on a daily basis, which does not include bulk items or bags of yard debris and other organics.
“It’s demanding, exhausting work easily complicated by quickly arising factors like storms and equipment failures,” it reads.
The recent hot weather is also complicating the situation. More than $3,000 worth of sports drinks have been downed by crews recently, the county said, and supply chain issues are making it hard to find replacement parts when a truck breaks down.
“Until global supply chain issues begin to ease, we anticipate vehicle breakdowns will continue to hamper collection routes,” Golkin said.
Arlington has had other recent trash problems. Last month, residents complained of overflowing public trash bins in Pentagon City and Crystal City. That issue was mostly the result of increased seasonal tourism, the county said while pledging to fix the problem.
As for what residents can do to ease the trash collection backlog, the county is asking those impacted to remain patient, report missed trash service, be considerate about the number of items left curbside, and to remember that those working “aren’t in it for the glamor.”
The email also notes that Waste and Recycling Workers Week starts June 17.
“The people on the trucks can always use a friendly wave or even a note of thanks taped to a cart. They perform an absolutely essential service that is so easy to take for granted,” Golkin said. “Perhaps not anymore.”
The Lubber Run Amphitheater free summer concert series is back, with the first show set for this Friday.
A total of 29 performances are scheduled between now and Sunday, Aug. 14.
The amphitheater, located near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., is an outdoor, open-air space, run by Arlington County to provide family-friendly shows in the summer.
The first show in the lineup is a concert from Mark G. Meadows, a jazz musician, and his band The Movement, along with singer Kanysha Williams. It is set to take place this Friday at 8 p.m. They are expected to feature songs “Moon River” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
The series has scheduled jazz, blues and rock performances, as well as theater, orchestra, a marching band and a puppet show. No shows are currently scheduled for Sunday, June 19, as the amphitheater is closed for Juneteenth.
The shows are open to all members of the family. Audience members are welcome to picnic at the venue, although alcohol is not allowed and smoking discouraged, according to a press release.
Unless otherwise specified, the concerts are set to take place at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Sundays. Bad weather may cancel shows, in which case information will be posted on Arlington Arts’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Concertgoers can visit the venue’s website or call 703-228-1850 for more information about the schedule of the day.
This summer’s scheduled shows are below.
- Friday, June 10: Mark G. Meadows and The Movement, Kanysha Williams
- Saturday, June 11: Aaron Myers
- Sunday, June 12: Dan and Claudia Zanes
- Friday, June 17: Stacy Brooks
- Saturday, June 18: Bumper Jacksons
- Friday, June 24: David Chappell and Friends
- Saturday, June 25: The 19th Street Band
- Sunday, June 26: Tale Wise: “Pirates Lost at Sea!”
- Sunday, June 26: Arlington Philharmonic (4 p.m.)
- Friday, July 1: Griefcat
- Saturday, July 2: Elikeh
- Sunday, July 3: Mr. Gabe & Holly
- Friday, July 8: The Fuss
- Saturday, July 9: Joe Keyes & The Late Bloomer Band
- Sunday, July 10: Cody Clark Magic: “Railroad Submarine!”
- Friday, July 15: Desanguashington
- Saturday, July 16: King Soul
- Sunday, July 17: Happenstance Theater: “Pinot & Augustine”
- Friday, July 22: Wicked Sycamore
- Saturday, July 23: Soul Crackers
- Sunday, July 24: Rainbow Rock Band
- Friday, July 29: Carly Harvey
- Saturday, July 30: Veronneau presents Blue Tapestry
- Sunday, July 31: Encore Stage & Studio presents “A Sidewalk Stroll!”
- Friday, August 5: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players
- Saturday, August 6: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players
- Sunday, August 7: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players. (6 p.m.)
- Thursday, August 11: The 257th Army Band, The Band of the Nation’s Capital. (8 p.m.)
- Friday, August 12: National Chamber Ensemble
- Saturday, August 13: Karen Jonas
- Sunday, August 14: Blue Sky Puppets: “The Three Not So Little Pigs”
The Arlington Firefly Festival is returning to Fort C.F. Smith Park next month.
On Sunday, June 19, the festival celebrating insects that light up summer nights is back for the first time since 2019. Last year, a smaller firefly “prowl” (essentially, a nature walk) was held due to the pandemic.
This year there will be firefly arts and crafts, bug bingo, storytelling, a nature walk, and flashlight games. All are encouraged to go on a firefly hunt, catching and releasing the twinkling bugs.
Naturalists will also be on hand to explain how to best attract fireflies and ways to maintain backyard habitats to encourage insect visitors.
“Fireflies are fascinating and inspire a sense of nostalgia for many adults,” saud the press release. “The festival is an opportunity to introduce the next generation of citizens to the wonders of the night sky and the value of natural spaces.”
The event is sponsored by the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. Registration began last week.
In general, fireflies are not lighting up the night sky as they used to.
“There are fewer, like a lot of insects,” says Rita Peralta, Outreach Manager at the Long Branch Nature Center and in charge of putting on the festival. “It’s largely referred to as an insect apocalypse. Like a lot of animals, it’s due to, mostly, habitat loss.”
But on warm Arlington summer nights, fireflies can be found across the county. The best place to see their nightly light show is near undistributed mature trees, in areas that have little light pollution.
That’s why Fort C.F. Smith Park in the Woodmont neighborhood is a great spot for the festival, says Peralta, because of its tree canopy and open meadows.
There are about 2,000 different firefly species in the world, with anywhere from 24 to 36 species calling our region home. Their ability to light up is part of their mating process, but one local species uses the light as a way to attract a meal.
“One local firefly species — the Femme Fatale or Photuris genus — is predatory,” noted the release. “The female will send a false signal to a male of another species to attract him and will then eat him when he arrives to mate.”
The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. and runs for two hours. Admission is $7 and tickets can also be purchased at the event, in addition to online. Heavy rains will cancel the event and there’s no rain date.
As of today, more than 100 people have already registered online, according to the county’s website.
Photo by Bruce Marlin via Wikimedia Commons
Perhaps virtual waiting rooms will solve the woes of the parks department’s registration meltdowns.
Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has tried it all before — staggering registration times, limiting user search capabilities, increasing transaction throughput and closely monitoring its registration site’s performance. But none have yet met the demand of Arlingtonians’ determination to snag a spot for its programming.
When registration for the Arlington summer recreation programs opens May 17, online users will be put into a virtual waiting room, which the department hopes will help prevent the timeouts experienced in the past and provide a more equitable overall experience for registrants, a press release said. It is also staggering the registration schedule, separating signups by class type, over a few days.
“Additionally, [the department’s software vendor] Vermont Systems has conducted a series of tests and improvements for its registration software,” county spokesman Ryan Hudson told ARLnow.
On registration day, login to the site as usual — all users logged in will automatically enter a virtual waiting room where they will receive a spot in line. You will keep your place in the waiting room line even if your phone goes to sleep, you lose your internet connection or you close the virtual waiting room page, provided you log back in on the same device using the same browser.
Once it’s your turn to register, you will be redirected to the registration site where you can browse the site and complete your transactions at your own speed.
This past February, when summer camp registration opened, parents again experienced slow registration and site crashes, if they got through at all, despite the department’s efforts to beef up its systems after repeated issues over the years. The spring program registration was a repeat of timeouts and frustrated residents.
The department committed to a full review of the registration process amid calls from residents for a lottery system. Parks and Rec projected at the time that they’d be able to complete and implement changes by next year’s summer camp registration.
Parks and Rec offers programs, which range from gymnastics to woodworking, over the summer. Registration will open on a rolling basis each day May 17 through May 19 starting at noon. Residents can also call 703-228-4747 (voice) or 711 (TTY) to register. The registration schedule is:
- Tuesday, May 17 — Nature, History and General classes
- Wednesday, May 18 — Aquatics
- Thursday, May 19 — Gymnastics
Walk-in registration will begin on Friday, May 20, at noon, at Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive). Registration for non-Arlington residents will open on Wednesday, May 25, at noon.
The department noted on its website that its programming is not immune to staffing shortages felt across the country, so offerings reflect reduced staffing levels.
“We share your disappointment and are committed to returning to full staffing — and class offerings — in the future,” the website says.
The department shared some tips for residents hoping to snag a slot in one of the summer classes and programs.
Tips for Successfully Registering
Single Household Login
Your Household account can only have one active session at a time. Multiple Household account “logins” (i.e. logging in via multiple devices) will slow the system and cause items to drop from your cart if attempting to register at the same time.
Additionally, some devices work better than others (i.e. desktop with wired internet is better than phone on Wi-Fi).
If possible, login before the 12:00 p.m. registration time. If you arrive early, you will receive a random spot in the virtual waiting room line when the registration event begins. If you arrive at the site after registration begins, you will receive the next available spot in line.
Need a tutorial on how to register? Check out the How to Register Online guide.
It could be a big summer for vacations, particularly if Covid stays at relatively low levels.
From a press release last month:
The overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (85%) are expecting to travel this summer, taking even more vacation time than they did in 2021: nearly half (48%) of Americans who plan to vacation this summer will take two weeks or more, up from (41%) last summer. Driving in personal vehicles is the leading choice for getting to summer vacation destinations.
These are key findings from “OOH Consumer Insights and Intent – Q1 2022,” a new research report from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America […]
Of course, high gas prices might be putting a damper on what would otherwise be an even busier travel season. From Skift:
The huge demand for backyard leisure is set to continue in the U.S., as more Americans embrace the endemic phase of Covid and hit the road for spring break and summer vacations. But it’s now becoming clear that rising gas prices driven by the Russia-Ukraine war will have an effect on road trippers — and if ongoing, they could potentially dampen the overall record pace of U.S. travel recovery.
Almost 60 percent of American travelers say that the current increased cost of gas will impact their decision to travel over the next six months. Of those, nearly one-third of respondents predict the impact for them will be great. That’s according to the latest Covid and American Travel Sentiment survey from Longwoods International.
Pandemic fatigue has led many to enthusiastically start planning their summer vacations early this year. We’re still more than a month and a half away from Memorial Day, but let’s find out the extent of already-planned summer trips among ARLnow readers.
Note that for the purposes of this poll, we’ll define “summer” as between the start of Memorial Day weekend and the end of Labor Day weekend.
Rosslyn movie nights are returning to Gateway Park this summer, with a selection of voted-on fan favorites.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) is once again hosting a series of movie nights in June at Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd).
This year’s line-up includes the following films, which all emerged victorious through a March Madness-style bracket:
- National Treasure
- Space Jam
- Mamma Mia
This year, residents were given the opportunity to not only vote on what movies were shown, but predict what the winners would be — much like the annual tradition of submitting a bracket predicting which team will win the college basketball championship. The three most accurate brackets win a gift card to a Rosslyn restaurant.
The bracket was broken up into four categories — family, sports, romantic comedies, and D.C. area-based — with National Treasure, Space Jam, Encanto, and Mamma Mia winning its respective group.
While voting on which movies will be shown in June concluded yesterday (Thursday), residents can still vote on which will be the ultimate winner.
Championship Round of March Madness: #RosslynCinema!
You have 24 hours to vote. Vote on our Instagram Stories at https://t.co/zy4Aw58wRf! Full details on how we're picking this summer's movie lineup: https://t.co/WTYCPgAazr
— Rosslyn, Virginia (@RosslynVA) March 31, 2022
Exact dates of when each movie will be shown have not been announced yet.
Rosslyn’s movie series at Gateway Park dates back at least a decade, to 2012. After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the series returned in 2021 with an abbreviated version.
Rosslyn BID is not the only community organization that will be hosting outdoor movies this summer.
The Columbia Pike Partnership’s movie nights are also set to return for their 12th year on Saturday nights starting in July, the organization has confirmed to ARLnow. The series will run July 9 through August 27 while alternating locations between Penrose Square and Arlington Mill Community Center. The calendar of movies will be announced later this spring.
In the past, the National Landing BID and Ballston BID have also both hosted summer movie nights. Ballston BID told ARLnow that they will not be hosting movies this summer, while the National Landing BID said they don’t have details to share as of yet.
Another week, another stretch of temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes near 100.
It’s been a hot and humid summer in Arlington and the D.C. area. With a predicted high of 93, today will likely be the 41st day with the temperature over 90 (the yearly average is 40).
Yet, the outward signs of fall are there: Oktoberfest beers at the grocery store, football on the television, the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte today at Starbucks.
(For what it’s worth, the “PSL” arrived a day earlier than last year and a full week earlier than four years ago.)
Pumpkin is back, baby. https://t.co/JJYvqFreth via @USATODAY
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) August 24, 2021
ARLnow readers have told us they consider the fall equinox in the latter half of September to be the “real start of fall” in Arlington, as opposed to Labor Day, the first day of September, or the debut of the sweet pumpkin-y goodness at Starbucks. But with a premium put on outdoor activity during the pandemic, maybe this year locals are mentally prepared for an earlier start of fall.
Given the sweltering temperatures, cicadas, itch mites and heavy rains, are you suffering summer fatigue? Would you trade the remaining four weeks of summer for a changeover to cooler and crisper weather? Let’s find out.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The Arlington County Fair kicked off Wednesday afternoon complete with rides, games and deliciously high-calorie fair food. And there’s more fun ahead this weekend.
The fair is open from 2-11 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Community Center and grounds, at 3501 2nd Street S.
Baby goat yoga classes, introduced in 2019, return to the fair this year. Classes start at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and cost $40 a session.
There will also be robotics demonstrations today, tomorrow and Sunday in the gymnasium.
And, for $5, folks can enter the fair’s pie-eating competition on Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Contestants will compete to see who can eat a slice of Triple Berry Pie, from Arlington-based Livin’ the Pie Life, the fastest.
Synetic Theater will also perform its show, The Miraculous Magical Balloon, for the second and final time at the fair tomorrow at 4 p.m. This kid-friendly performance tells the story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk through pantomime and choreography.
The fair will continue to feature rides, games, food vendors, axe throwing and musical performances.
In addition to transit options, this year’s event will have some on-site parking spaces for fairgoers in the Alice West Fleet Elementary School garage on 115 S. Old Glebe Road. Overflow parking will be available at the Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Blvd).
August is the month of vacations.
Congress goes on recess, schools are still on summer break, and legions of D.C. area residents head out of town, to the beach or elsewhere. That leads to less local traffic and more out-of-office email replies.
August in DC.
— Candice Greaux (@cgreaux) August 9, 2021
Obviously not everybody leaves town in August. We’re wondering what percentage of ARLnow readers sticks around and takes their vacations during other months of the year.