A Lunar New Year celebration is coming to the Pentagon City mall this weekend.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is partnering with Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) on an event to ring in the Year of the Rabbit.
The festivities, starting at 1 p.m. on the Metro level of the mall, are set to include music, dancing, and treats.
Visit the Far East without leaving your time zone! Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in partnership with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the turn of the Lunar New Year calendar with a special Asian New Year event! On Saturday, February 4 from 1-5PM. pic.twitter.com/THpI8AnEer
— Pentagon City Mall (@FashionCtrPC) January 26, 2023
This is the seventh year the mall and the Tysons-based nonprofit have come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most celebrated holidays in the world.
“We hope to bring joyful celebration to the community, uplift the spirit in these challenging times, preserve the cultural traditions and celebrate cultural diversity,” AACC president Cindy Shao said via email.
Shao said that attendees can expect traditional dragon and lion dances as well as cultural performances representing a number of Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China, and India. There will also be magic and fashion shows as well as pastry samplings.
A number of the mall’s stores will be offering specials during the event as well.
“This year, we are excited to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and usher in new beginnings, good luck, health and prosperity for 2023,” Shao said.
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) As many as 40,000 people are expected to attend Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery later this month.
The annual holiday event is set to take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 this year, starting at 8 a.m.
Wreaths Across America provides the public a chance to lay wreaths and other symbolic items at the graves of fallen service members and their families. This tradition was first started in 1992. Some 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to volunteer this year, per a cemetery spokesperson.
However, for those who’ve attended in the past, the process for attending the event and entering the cemetery will be slightly different.
There’s a new registration system that grants timed entry into the cemetery at either 8 or 9 a.m. through one of four gates — Memorial Avenue, Service Complex gate, Old Post Chapel, and the recently-restored Ord and Weitzel gate.
The South Gate is closed this year, due to the cemetery’s expansion project. The expansion is set to add 60,00 burial sites and space for the new 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center.
Registration is required to enter the cemetery this year, ANC officials said. This new step is being instituted to ensure the “safety and security” of visitors and employees.
Vehicular traffic will not be permitted in the cemetery and parking will be off-limits for the general public in the garage on Dec. 17. There will be “limited” general public parking at the Pentagon North and South parking lots.
Large crowds and road closures near the cemetery should be anticipated.
ANC officials are recommending attendees use public transportation or a ride-share service for traveling to and from the cemetery. The drop-off location will be at the parking lot at 880 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. From there, visitors can walk to the Service Complex gate along Columbia Pike.
The annual “Escort to Arlington” parade will also be arriving at the cemetery that day. Billed as the “country’s longest veterans’ parade,” a caravan of vehicles transporting Gold Star families and veterans will travel down the East Coast starting this weekend, en route to Arlington.
Family Pass Holder Day is being held on Sunday, Dec. 11 this year, a week prior to the event for the public. This separate event allows family pass-holders to place a wreath at their loved one’s grave ahead of the more-crowded public Wreaths Across America event.
Last year’s event was, more or less, back to normal after 2020’s version — initially canceled due to the pandemic — ended up being conducted only by military personnel and family members.
Skate Night is coming back to Thomas Jefferson Community Center, marking its 30th year.
The family-friendly program is returning next weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 29, and going back inside for the first time since the pandemic. It will take place at Thomas Jefferson Community Center and is set to happen most Saturdays through the remainder of the fall, the winter, and into the spring. The last date scheduled is April 22.
All skate nights begin at 6 p.m. and will now run until 9 p.m., a 30-minute extension from previous years. There will also be a moon bounce, a DJ, and concessions. Roller skate rentals will be available as well.
Registration opens three weeks ahead of each date and pre-registration is recommended. Space remains for the Oct. 29 Skate Night, a county spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.
This is a return to form for the popular program after the pandemic forced some adjustments.
“[Skate Night has] been a Saturday-night institution in Arlington for 30 years and continues to grow in popularity,” Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokesperson Susan Kalish told ARLnow in an email. “Skate Night is just one of many programs that had to be adjusted during the pandemic. We had a trimmed-down option to skate outdoors with friends and music at the Quincy Parking Deck.”
Kalish called the program “intergenerational” since it attracts all community members “from tots to seniors.”
Skate Night is also partially run by the T.E.A.M. program, out of the county’s Office of Teens. “T.E.A.M.” stands for Teen Entrepreneurial Amusement Management and it’s a program that “helps local teens learn how to run a business and develop skills for future employment,” per Kalish.
Skate Night isn’t the only place where locals will soon be able to skate. In less than two weeks, the ice skating rink at Westpost will also open for the season.
Photo by Susan Weber on Unsplash
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A Filipino food festival is coming to Pentagon City this weekend.
“Filipino Chef’s Night Out” is set to take place this Friday, Oct. 21 from 6-10 p.m. inside Sparrow Room. That’s the cocktail bar and dim sum restaurant located behind Bun’d Up at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) on S. Joyce Street.
The festival is a collaboration between local restaurateur Scott Chung and six Filipino chefs in honor of Filipino American History Month. It will feature the six chefs serving a “specially curating tasting box” to each attendee to go along with a night of karaoke and mahjong.
The line-up of local chefs includes James Beard nominees, the executive chef from one of America’s best restaurants, and RAMMY award winners. They’ll be cooking up traditional Filipino dishes with a modern flair like pork belly kare kare, beef tapa, and biko.
The evening event costs $75 per person. Both Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up will be closed to the public starting at 6 p.m for the duration of the night.
Chung, who co-owns Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up, told ARLnow that this is the first time he’s doing something like this, though he was inspired and encouraged by last weekend’s night market at Westpost.
“[Our festival] is the same idea, giving chefs a platform outside of the restaurant to celebrate their culture,” Chung said.
The chefs will be putting together about 150 boxes and Chung expects them to sell out.
Bun’d Up first opened in late 2019 and, about a year later, added Sparrow Room to the back. It’s styled as a “speakeasy” cocktail bar with a focus on the resurgent 19th-century Chinese game of Mahjong. The bar also offers classes to teach the game.
Between the night market and “Filipino Chef’s Night Out,” Chung says the popularity of these events makes it clear there’s an appetite for these types of festivals in Pentagon City.
“It really gives me ideas for what can be done with the space,” he said. “We can have a lot of success here. “
A new locally-focused antique and collectibles market is coming to Long Bridge Park next month.
Forever Grateful Market is set to take place on Saturday, September 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside of the now-year-old Long Bridge aquatic center in Crystal City. This will be the second time the market has been held there, with the first one taking place earlier in August.
Vendors confirmed include those selling art, automobilia, handcrafted items, sports cards, Hollywood memorabilia, and antique toys. More are likely to be added since vendors have until Sept. 2 to sign up.
The event’s organizers are local. Co-founder Anthony Allen is from Arlington, having grown up in Arlington Heights and attended Wakefield High School as well as Marymount University. In fact, Allen was part of the Wakefield High School basketball team that went to the state tournament in 2005.
He says he and the other co-founder, Tiffanie Cross, are both collectors themselves, with Allen collecting sports memorabilia. They saw a need for a market in Arlington that was “family-friendly and inclusive” for vendors and shoppers alike.
At the first market back on Aug. 13, Allen said, around 1,500 to 2,000 people attended and about 25 vendors were selling items.
“It was a huge turnout. We weren’t sure if that location [would attract] that many people,” said Allen. “But what we found out… was that we got a lot of people who were in traffic going to D.C. […] and saw a whole line of white tents.”
Allen expects that this month’s market will be even bigger with more attendees and vendors. This time around, Allen and Cross are hosting a back-to-school giveaway and a backpack collection drive, with the hopes of attendees donating 1,000 backpacks to elementary and middle schools in Arlington.
The two co-founders say they have come to an agreement with the county to host the Forever Grateful Market outside of the aquatic center on a regular basis going forward. There are currently four more markets scheduled for 2022 including October 1, either October 29 or 30, November 19, and December 17.
The ultimate goal is to open a “Forever Grateful Emporium,” said Allen, a dedicated brick-and-mortar space, potentially in Arlington, where they can host a market every day. They are already taking vendor applications for it.
For the moment, Allen is happy that the county is providing space in an easily-accessible location for the antique and collectible market, providing vendors and shoppers alike a place to sell and find unique items.
“We want to make sure that no one really feels left out. You can either join us as an attendee or join us as a vendor,” he said. “Either way, we’re going to make space for you.”
Children can meet a Washington Nationals player as part of an Arlington Public Library storytime this weekend.
Sean Doolittle, pitcher and player ambassador for the Nats, is scheduled to host a storytime event at Arlington Central Library on Saturday (June 18).
The storytime is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the main auditorium inside the library at 1015 N. Quincy Street. This event is set to kick off the library’s annual Summer Reading Program.
Doolittle is set to read stories to the participants and sign autographs afterward. The autograph signing is limited to one item per child only, according to a news release from the library.
The event is being held on a first-come, first-serve basis until the auditorium — which has a capacity of up to 180 people — is filled, Arlington Public Library spokesperson Henrik Sundqvist said. He added that this storytime is the “event of the year” for the library.
The Summer Reading Program rewards children, teenagers and adults for reading over 30 days between June 1 and Sept. 1. During the program, Arlington Public Library has scheduled various events at different libraries, including storytimes, talks and handicraft lessons.
Those who complete the challenge will get a free book or a book coupon to be used at any Friends of the Library bookstore, according to the program’s website.
Additionally, the Nationals will offer a limited number of vouchers for two tickets each to anyone who has completed the challenge, according to a news release. The vouchers can be redeemed at any regular or value Nats game in August and September, according to the program’s website.
The Friends of the Arlington Public Library, another program sponsor, has also pledged to donate $1 for each person completing the challenge to Potomac Conservancy, a nonprofit advocating for clean water in the Potomac River.
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”
(Updated 12 p.m.) Today (Thursday) marks one month since Russia invaded Ukraine, plunging the country and Arlington’s sister city, Ivano-Frankivsk, into war.
In solidarity with Ukraine, Northside Social (3211 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a fundraiser this weekend, featuring traditional food and beer and live Ukrainian music from D.C.-area ensemble Gerdan.
The fundraiser begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, and Gerdan will play “original arrangements of traditional Ukrainian folk melodies” from 4-6 p.m., according to a flier.
Northside Social will donate a percentage of proceeds to the International Committee of the Red Cross and World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by local celebrity chef José Andrés that’s currently working to feed Ukrainian refugees and those still in the war-torn country. Proceeds from some wine sales will go to World Central Kitchen, the flyer says.
An Arlington-based glass artist, Maria Milton, will be selling pieces at the fundraiser and donating proceeds to United World Mission. The Arlington Sister City Association will be on-site raising awareness about the war and Ivano-Frankivsk.
“If you’d like to stop by and help support, I think it’s going to be a great event,” Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey said at the Board meeting on Tuesday. “I know it always feels like we’re doing not much, but I think every little bit helps, and the more awareness builds, the more there’s global pressure to bring this horrible, horrible invasion to a halt.”
Locals can also bring new and gently used coats, as well as new blankets, heavy socks and gloves, to Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street), where a collection bin was set up yesterday (Wednesday).
The Northern Virginia Regional Commission will be sending collected items to relief agencies and churches in Poland “waiting and wanting these goods,” Garvey said.
NVRC requests items be donated no later than April 15.
As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its second month, the U.S. has announced it will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Today, President Joe Biden is participating in an emergency NATO summit that could lead to more aid for Ukraine and additional sanctions against Russia.
This month, go on a treasure hunt through Clarendon to discover women’s history.
The local non-profit Rosie Riveters is hosting its second annual Women’s History Hunt, a GPS-enabled treasure hunt designed to teach kids about famed female pioneers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).
The event is in honor of March being Women’s History Month.
Needing only a GPS-enabled phone or device to download the map, this free family geocaching activity will send students (and parents) around Clarendon in search of puzzle pieces containing clues, information, and fun facts about pioneering women.
The treasure hunt began March 11 and will continue until April 3. Participants have until April 9 to submit photos of their completed puzzle to win prizes.
“Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt, and it’s just a lot of fun for kids to use tech to find secret boxes right in the middle of the neighborhoods where we work and play,” Katherine Rieder, a spokesperson for Rosie Riveters, tells ARLnow. “We also think treasure hunting is an apt metaphor for women’s history, particularly the history of women in STEM. The stories are there, but women’s achievements in STEM are often buried beneath those of men, minimized, hidden, and even misappropriated.”
While Rieder wants to keep it a surprise about exactly which historical figures participants will learn about, she did note that it will be women from a diverse range of backgrounds and time periods.
Arlington-based Rosie Riveters, which is named after the World War II-era cultural icon, was founded in 2015 with the mission to equip and encourage young girls to become interested in STEM activities. Ultimately, as the website notes, the hope is to close the gender gap in those fields.
It’s so far gotten more than 5,700 girls in both Arlington and Fairfax counties to participate in interactive STEM programs, the majority of which at no cost.
The treasure hunt hits a number of different spots in Clarendon, including the newly-rebranded The Crossing Clarendon retail center and local parks.
“Our clues are hidden in silver metal boxes that are branded with Rosie Riveters’ logo,” reads the instructions. “Some are hidden under and in-between other objects/natural features, but you should not have to venture too far from the designated location to find the box.”
Each box contains a piece to a puzzle. When assembled, participants are asked to send a photo to [email protected] of the completed puzzle. Everyone who sends a photo of a correct puzzle wins a prize, including build-your-own harmonica STEM kit, kinetic butterflies STEM kit, and Women in STEM notecards.
Last year the online geocaching map had about 1,250 unique views, Reider said, adding that she thinks more families will be participating this year.
“We’ve taken technology and combined it with women’s history,” said Reider. “To share, elevate, and celebrate these stories in a way that gets kids excited and engaged.”
A miracle is shutting down a portion of 23rd Street S. near Crystal City tonight (Friday).
The 58th edition of the holiday event “Miracle on 23rd Street” is taking place on Friday night from 7-9 p.m. at 750 23rd Street S. in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood.
The event will feature a Christmas tree lighting, hot chocolate, a “holiday-themed virtual reality experience,” music from the Bluemont Brass Quintet, and, of course, an appearance from Santa Claus, who usually arrives via fire truck. It is being put on by the local non-profit Melwood, which advocates and employs people with differing abilities.
Online registrations are being requested, though walk-up attendees will be accepted.
“Miracle on 23rd Street” will also close a one block stretch of traffic in both directions for several hours.
From 6-9 p.m., 23rd Street S. in between S. Hayes Street and S. Grant Street will be closed off to vehicular traffic, Arlington County police said.
Last year’s event was mostly virtual, though Santa did drive around the neighborhood.
TRAFFIC ALERT ⚠️: S. 23rd St. between S. Hayes St. and S. Grant St. will be closed in both directions from 6 PM to 9 PM on Friday, December 3 for the annual Miracle on 23rd Street. https://t.co/VJyo5Y8HfB
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) November 30, 2021
Over 8,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records will be on sale this Saturday (Sept. 26) at the annual Rosslyn Reads Book Festival.
The festival is an annual fundraiser for Turning the Page, a non-profit that aids underserved students in the community. Carpe Librum, a non-profit used bookstore, will be partnering with Rosslyn BID this year to contribute to the fundraiser.
From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, attendees can buy “gently used” items at a price range of $2 to $6 in Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street).
Several procedures will be in place to promote social-distancing:
- Attendees must pre-register for a one-hour time slot to shop and provide confirmation of registering upon arrival
- Review Rosslyn BID’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols before registering
- Those who do not pre-register must sign a waiver before entering
- A maximum of 50 people will be allowed inside the plaza to shop at a time
- Masks will be required for all attendees
- Hand-sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance
- Attendees will be required to follow a one-way flow of foot traffic
Photo via Rosslyn BID/Facebook