Arlington, VA

Ballston Quarterfest — a new Ballston-centric music, drinks and food festival replacing Taste of Arlington — is being held weekend.

The festival is scheduled to run from 12-6 p.m. this coming Saturday (May 18) and Sunday (May 19). Admission to the festival is free, but tickets are required for the restaurant crawl or street pub.

Free live music from local performers is planned at a stage next to the street pub for both days.

Other activities around the festival include a “Kids Zone” on Saturday, with face painting and balloon artist, and the Arlington Art Truck, with an interactive art display on Sunday.

The event will take place mainly along Wilson Blvd — like Taste of Arlington — but will be more focused around the new Ballston Quarter mall and Ballston businesses, whereas “Taste” featured restaurants from around the county.

Like Taste of Arlington, the event will come with a series of road closures. Per Arlington County Police:

  • Wilson Blvd will be closed between N. Randolph Street and Glebe Road in both directions the entire weekend (use Fairfax Drive as an alternate route)
  • N. Taylor Street will be closed at Wilson Blvd
  • N. Stuart Street, from 9th Street N. to Wilson Blvd, will be closed
  • 7th Street N., between Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd, will be closed

Temporary “no parking” signs are also planned throughout the area, and illegally parked vehicles could be ticketed or towed. Police encourage attendees to use the Metro or other means to get to the festival.

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After 31 years, Ballston’s annual “Taste of Arlington” street fair will be replaced by a new event focusing on the neighborhood’s largest development: “QuarterFest.”

The Ballston Business Improvement District announced the swap today (Thursday), sketching out plans for a similar spring festival geared around Ballston Quarter, the newly revamped Ballston Common mall.

QuarterFest is slated to be held on May 18-19, 2019, and will be managed by “BallstonGives,” the BID’s charitable arm. Though the event will be more focused on Ballston Quarter, it will still be held in the same general area as Taste of Arlington, largely centered on Wilson Blvd near the mall.

BID CEO Tina Leone told ARLnow that her group decided to make the switch because “we really accomplished what we wanted to do” with Taste of Arlington over the years.

“The goal was always to put the spotlight on Ballston, and now with Ballston Quarter, we have this big draw,” Leone said. “We really wanted to move [the event’s] focus to center more on Ballston and now we have Ballston Quarter, which is a great way to do that.”

By the time QuarterFest rolls around, Leone expects that the new development will be about “80 percent open.” Shops and restaurants in the overhauled mall have been slowly opening for business over the course of the last month, and Leone believes a “big bunch” are hoping to open up by early January or February.

“By May, it’s going to be very active and vibrant around there,” Leone said. “By the time it’s fully open, Ballston will have 90 restaurants in all, so this will just be a great way to get people into the physical space, get them to visit and bring them into all those restaurants.”

Leone said that the change doesn’t mark the end of Taste of Arlington, necessarily. She points out that the BID could always “bring it back or partner with other organizations,” so she views it as being on more of an indefinite “hiatus.”

So while she hopes the new event is “the same amount of fun with the same amount of activity,” she also believes it will mark a new chapter in the county’s evolution.

“To us, this is a whole new festival,” Leone said. “Ballston is going through so many changes right now, and that really represents what’s going on Arlington-wide.”

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Arlington officials remain on the hunt for the owner of a plush bunny left behind at the Taste of Arlington two weeks ago — and they’ve turned to social media to spread the word.

The county’s Department of Environmental Services asked its nearly 4,000 Twitter followers to help locate the stuffed animal’s rightful owner on May 21 after finding it amidst compost, recycling and trash, but the floppy-eared toy remained unclaimed as of this morning (Friday).

With its future in limbo, the bunny continues to be determined and optimistic, at least according to a photo narration provided by DES.

On May 24, the bunny embarked on a search at the county’s GIS Mapping Center, donning, of course, required safety equipment. Since then, the bunny has explored Arlington’s transportation center, taken a ride on a street sweeping vehicle and shown its support for the Washington Capitals.

The lost toy has garnered support from community members and the Northern Virginia district of the Virginia Department of Transportation. One Fredericksburg resident with the Twitter handle @NickZ even designed a “missing bunny” poster to advance search efforts.

https://twitter.com/nickz/status/1002058433191989250

As it tells the bunny’s story, DES has also publicized county services such as street sweeping and free paper shredding.

Although the bunny has yet to find its home, DES is not ready to give up. Just this morning, the Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard hosted the toy on its latest clue-searching expedition before taking a break at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

“The bunny sadly remains unclaimed,” DES spokeswoman Katie O’Brien told ARLnow. It did, however, spend some time searching for clues at the Earth Products Yard while “taking special caution to avoid the shredder.”

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Morning Notes

DES Wants to Reunite Stuffed Bunny With Owner — The Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is searching for the owner of a stuffed animal believed to have been accidentally thrown away during Taste of Arlington on Sunday. “Let us know if someone is missing a good friend,” DES tweeted. [Twitter]

APS to Keep German, Japanese Classes — “Superintendent Patrick Murphy on May 17 confirmed the decision to keep German I, II and III and Japanese I, II and III, which had been slated for elimination due to low enrollment. The turnaround came after students and parents complained.” [InsideNova]

Flanagan-Watson Get Promotion — “Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has appointed Shannon Flanagan-Watson as deputy county manager, effective May 21, with oversight responsibility for Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Public Libraries, and a portion of the Department of Environmental Services, one of the County’s largest departments.” Flanagan-Watson has served as the county’s business ombudsman, working to help solve regulatory problems for Arlington businesses. [Arlington County]

Risk Warrant Bill Fails — A bill introduced by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48) to create risk warrants — allowing law enforcement to confiscate the guns of troubled individuals if a court order is granted — failed in the Virginia legislature this session. [WVTF]

Patriots Win District Baseball Title — The Yorktown Patriots baseball team won the Liberty District high school tournament and title for the first time since 2012. [InsideNova]

Get Ready for Memorial Bridge Work — Major work to rehabilitate the aging Memorial Bridge is set to begin in September and will cause significant traffic impacts. The work “will require long-term lane closures and short-term detours, which will be disruptive to traffic and likely send vehicles to other Potomac River spans, tying those up more than usual, per the NPS. One of the sidewalks will also be closed ‘during much of the construction period.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Budget Limits May Limit New HS Amenities — “Those who descended on Saturday’s County Board meeting hoping to win support for more rather than fewer amenities in a potential fourth Arlington high school came away with no promises from board members. If anything, those elected officials who addressed the subject did so in an effort to – delicately – tamp down expectations.” [InsideNova]

Wrong-Way Crash in Pentagon City — A driver reportedly hopped a curb, drove the wrong way down Army Navy Drive and smashed into two vehicles in Pentagon City around noon yesterday. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Taste of Arlington will result in significant road closures in the Ballston area this weekend.

The closures will begin on Saturday at 12 p.m. through Sunday at 10 p.m. to accommodate the annual event, which runs from 12-6 p.m. Sunday. Organizers are encouraging attendees to take the Metro or other forms of transit, rather than driving.

Here are the specific roads that will close for the event, according to Arlington County Police:

  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed between N. Randolph Street and N. Lincoln Street, all North/South cross streets will be blocked.
  • The 7-11 Store at 3510 Wilson Boulevard will be open and accessible by motorists using the eastern parking lot entrance.
  • N. Quincy Street will be closed with modified traffic between N. 5th Road and N. 9th Street.
    All traffic trying to cross Wilson Boulevard on Pollard, Piedmont, Oakland, Nelson and Monroe Streets will be turned around.
  • N. Randolph Street will be open between the Ballston Parking Garage/Loading Dock to N. 9th Street, the area garages will not be closed.
  • Other area roadway restrictions may be in place to minimize traffic impacts in the event and area neighborhoods.
  • Motorists are encouraged to use Fairfax Drive as an alternate East/West route.

The Girls on the Run 5K, held in conjunction with Taste of Arlington, will be happening Sunday morning. Here are the specific times some roads will be closed in Ballston, per ACPD:

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Taylor Street to Kirkwood Road. Both directions will be closed from 8:15 AM until 10:15 AM.
  • Fairfax Drive, from Kirkwood Road to Wilson Boulevard/N. 10th Street, eastbound lanes only, from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Traffic lanes will be closed, from N. 10th Street to N. Irving Street, then east on N. 7th Street to Washington Boulevard. Roads will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM, but parking will not be affected.
  • Washington Boulevard, from N. 7th Street to N. 10th Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic. Motorists from Washington Boulevard will be diverted to N. 10th Street east toward Rt. 50. from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • 10th Street, from Washington Boulevard to N. Irving Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th West bound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while east bound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.
  • Wilson Blvd. will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Ballston Metro Buses will be delayed for 15 minutes at the start of the race and ALL buses will be re-routed via N. Quincy Street to exit the area and continue their assigned routes.
  • Motorists are reminded that other roads in the Ballston area will be closed further west of the race course for the Taste of Arlington event. Pershing Drive, Glebe Road, and Lee Highway are recommended as alternate routes to reach points west and north of Ballston.

For both events, ACPD notes there will limited parking in the area and motorists should look out for “No Parking” signs. Those who violate the signs run the risk of getting ticketed or towed.

Photo courtesy of ACPD

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The 31st Annual Taste of Arlington presented by Courthaus Social, the signature event of BallstonGives, returns to Ballston on Sunday May 20. Come eat, drink and support local charities and nonprofits from 12-6 p.m.

This year’s festival features 60 local restaurants and food trucks, beer and wine gardens, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park. For the first time in Taste of Arlington history, the festival will feature spirits from award-winning regional and internationally renowned distilleries in the main beer and wine garden and in the VIP lounge.

Sip and sample refreshing libations such as handcrafted cocktails mixed with spirits including Hennessy Black, Captain Morgan and Ketel One Vodka.

For those who prefer to pair their tastes with beer, Arlington’s New District Brewing will be pouring their beloved brews, as will Devils Backbone, SweetWater and Troegs.

Taste of Arlington will also feature a robust lineup of wines and ciders, featuring selections from Ruffino, Robert Mondavi, The Dreaming Tree, Bold Rock and many others.

Beverage tickets will be sold at both festival entrances off Wilson Boulevard at N. Monroe Street and N. Randolph Street, as well as in the main concert stage beer and wine garden. One beverage ticket gets you an 8 ounce pour of beer, wine or cocktail.

Each year BallstonGives donates a portion of event proceeds to local non-profits. This year’s donations will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence, Volunteer Arlington and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

Thirsty yet? Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to get your tickets today.

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The 31st Annual Taste of Arlington presented by Courthaus Social, the signature event of BallstonGives, returns to Ballston on Sunday May 20 from 12-6 p.m.

This year’s festival features over 60 restaurants and food trucks, a beer and wine garden and nine local musical acts performing on two stages, including headliners White Ford Bronco. The beloved local band will close out the festival with the ultimate tribute to the 90’s on the Mix 107.3 Sound Stage presented by Clark Construction.

Featuring everything from Top 40 covers to original indie rock tunes, Taste of Arlington has something everyone can enjoy. Here’s a preview of some of the acts we can’t wait to see:

  • Broke Royals, one of the region’s top new bands, opens the festival on the Mix 107.3 Sound Stage with the upbeat alternative rock of their debut album.
  • Singer-songwriter and “The Voice” participant Brad Doggett will kick things off on the Ballston Point Live Sound Stage with guitar-driven covers of today’s hits.
  • Headliners White Ford Bronco blend everything from alternative rock and hip-hop to pop and country for a throwback 90’s dance party.

Rounding out the Mix 107.3 Sound Stage are energetic rockers Turtle Recall, rockabilly outfit Jumpin’ Jupiter and the Darby Brothers tribute to classic rock.

The Ballston Point Live Sound Stage will also feature the party rock anthems of Lost Growlers, hard rock trio Lucy’s Letdown and the genre-bending Most Savage Gentlemen.

Each year BallstonGives donates a portion of event proceeds to local non-profits. This year’s donations will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence, Volunteer Arlington and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

Ready to rock out with the region’s top bands? Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to get your discounted tickets today.

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On Sunday, May 20, from 12-6 p.m. the 31st Annual Taste of Arlington presented by Courthaus Social returns to Ballston.

Hosted by BallstonGives, the charitable arm of the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID), this family-friendly street festival will benefit several Arlington non-profits including the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence and Volunteer Arlington.

The event features a craft beer and wine garden, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park but the real focus of Taste of Arlington is the food. With over 60 restaurants and food trucks, this year’s restaurant row will be the biggest in Taste of Arlington history and will continue to showcase the best of Arlington’s rapidly growing food scene.

Buzzworthy newcomers like The G.O.A.T., Ambar and Bartaco will be in attendance, along with delicious Arlington favorites such as Epic Smokehouse, SER Restaurant and Rocklands Barbeque.

For those interested in trying something with an international flair, Taste of Arlington boasts a diverse lineup of vendors offering tastes from across the globe. From Venezuela (Arepa Crew) and the Philippines (Bistro 1521) to Australia (Oz) and Anatolia (Ozfeka Catering), there’s something to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates.

What can we expect to eat at this year’s festival? Here’s some of the dishes that already have our mouths watering:

  • Cheesetique’s gooey Melted Raclette, served with an assortment of dippable accompaniments.
  • Wood-fired pizzas from Timber Pizza, specifically the Green Monster, loaded with pesto, zucchini and kale.
  • Tacos Al Pastor, stuffed with roasted pork and pineapple, from TTT & Buena Vida.

Hungry yet? Tickets are on sale now, with discounted prices available until May 1. Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to purchase your tickets today!

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Morning Notes

Dem Support for Country Club Bill Slips — A procedural vote in the Virginia House of Delegates to send the Arlington country club bill to the governor’s desk passed, but without a veto-proof margin. Some Democratic lawmakers who supported the bill the first time around voted no instead. If signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the legislation would greatly lower the property taxes of Army Navy Country Club and Washington Golf and Country Club. [InsideNova]

Four Courts Four Miler Closures — The annual Four Courts Four Miler race will close roads parts of Wilson Blvd and Route 110 in Courthouse and Rosslyn this coming Saturday morning. [Arlington County]

Food Trucks Grumble About Festival Fees — “To participate in May’s Taste of Arlington festival… food trucks must pay a flat fee of between $400 and $500. Festival attendees purchase tickets worth $5 each that can be redeemed at food trucks for a few bites. When the gates close, event organizers reimburse the food truck between 25 and 75 cents per ticket… Would you sign this contract?” [Washington City Paper]

‘Women of Vision’ Awards — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Arlington Women of Vision Awards. The nomination deadline is April 20. [Arlington County]

How to Do Business With Arlington — Arlington is hosting an event next week that will show small businesses “the nuances of successfully doing business with Arlington County.” Per the event website: “Experts will be speaking on topics such as obtaining opportunities to work with the County and understanding the procurement process.” [Arlington Economic Development]

Nearby: Alexandria Tops Tourism List — Alexandria is No. 1 on Money magazine’s “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2018” list, topping Anaheim, Calif., the home of Disneyland, among other destinations. Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. was ranked No. 2. [Washington Post]

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Taste of Arlington is bringing back free general admission after charging for an entry wristband last year for the first time.

Gormandizing gaggles will still need to pay to eat or drink at the event, which is being held Sunday, May 20 from noon to 6 p.m.

Listed prices for tickets purchased before May 1 range from $6 for a single beer or wine ticket to $40 for a book of 10 “taste” tickets to $95 for a V.I.P. lounge pass. Tickets purchased after May 1 are more costly, and tickets purchased on the day of the event are even more so.

It’s rain or shine ticketing, so there are no refunds for bad weather.

Local brewery New District Brewing Company is listed as a vendor at a beer and wine garden. A live concert will be held at the beer garden, but no word yet on the performing artists.

Ballston’s SER and Pepita Cantina and Clarendon’s Don Tito and Oz are participating, as well as dozens of other Arlington restaurants and a few from outside of the county. The event web page notes that there will be over 50 food trucks and restaurants serving their specialties, though currently there are only 41 listed.

The festival will be held on Wilson Boulevard between N. Randolph and N. Lincoln streets, approximately along the stretch between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations.

The dog-friendly “BarkPark” will cost $15 for entry, which includes a bandanna and a taste ticket as well as a place for your dog to hang out. A family area with games will be free.

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A number of roads will be closed this weekend in Ballston to accommodate the 30th annual Taste of Arlington.

The outdoor event spans Wilson Blvd from N. Randolph Street to N. Nelson Street, and this year will include more than 50 restaurants, live music and food trucks. Tickets are still available online, or can be bought on the door.

More on the road closures, from an Arlington County Police Department press release:

The 2017 Taste of Arlington event will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The following road closures will occur from approximately 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 through 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed between N. Randolph Street and N. Monroe Street, all North/South cross streets will be blocked.
  • N. Quincy Street will be closed with modified traffic between N. 5th Street and N. 9th Street.
  • All traffic trying to cross Wilson Boulevard on Pollard, Piedmont, Oakland, Nelson and Monroe Streets will be turned around.
  • N. Randolph Street will be open between the Ballston Parking Garage/Loading Dock to N. 9th Street, the area garages will not be closed.
  • Other area roadway restrictions may be in place to keep traffic impacts near the event and area neighborhoods to a minimum.

In addition, street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed and/or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.

Image via Ballston BID

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