Press Club

The $15 million newly renovated Jennie Dean Park is reopening to the public this weekend, complete with a motorcycle parade, live music, and a celebration of local baseball history.

The opening festivities are set to take place this Saturday from noon-3 p.m. at 3630 27th Street S. in Green Valley, down the street from Shirlington.

It will begin with a “mini-parade” featuring the Crossroads Riders Motorcycle Club and the Young Divas Dance Team, who recently performed at the opening of the John Robinson Jr. Town Square. The program will include remarks from Arlington County Board members and the Green Valley Civic Association, as well as a recognition of the park’s baseball history.

A number of the former semi-pro and amateur players who took their swings at Jennie Dean Park during the mid-20th Century will gather as well.

There will also be a ribbon cutting, a snow cone stand, food, music from JoGo Project, and a basketball tournament for teenagers, a county spokesperson tells ARLnow.

“Due to the projected weather forecast on Saturday with high temperatures in the mid-90s, a water fill station will be set up at the event with cold, filtered water,” the spokesperson noted.

The Shirlington Dog Park parking lot on the 2700 block of S. Oakland Street will be closed during the event, but the dog park itself will remain open.

A lengthy design and construction process resulted in a major renovation of the park, which first opened to the public in 1944. Approximately $15.5 million was spent to completely redo the park.

More than two acres were added along with an updated, ADA-accessible playground that now has age-separated areas. The new restrooms are all-gender, in keeping with a county ordinance, and moved to the front of the park. The picnic shelter has a sustainable, green roof, which is next to renovated basketball and tennis courts.

The two baseball diamonds were moved out of the Four Mile Run floodplain and have new efficient LED lights. The fields are also now named after two long-time community stalwarts, Ernest Johnson and Robert Winkler.

The diamonds will also display pennants of historic Green Valley teams, designed in collaboration with the civic association, that played at the park over the last 70 years.

Along the sidewalks near the diamonds is a history walk, embedded with plaques marking significant moments in the park’s and neighborhood’s history.

There’s a new site-specific work of public art in the western portion of the park. Wheelhouse is a stainless steel multi-sectioned pavilion that “​explores the industrial history of the Jennie Dean Park site through the lens of the great American pastime — baseball.”

The park is named after Jennie Serepta Dean, a formerly enslaved woman who opened the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth in the late 19th century.

It was initially set to reopen late last year, but permitting delays pushed it back a few months.

0 Comments
Girls on the Run 5k road closures (via ACPD)

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, but that’s not likely to stop a series of outdoor events planned in Arlington.

Four events in particular will prompt road closures, Arlington County police said, including two in Green Valley, one in nearby Shirlington, and one that will close roads in Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston.

The Girls on the Run 5K is taking place Saturday in the Dulles area and Sunday morning in Ballston. The organization, which provides a “transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade,” has held the races in Arlington since at least 2014, usually on the same weekend as the Taste of Arlington festival, now the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl.

The last two spring 5Ks were nixed due to the pandemic.

Sunday’s race will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in Ballston and wind its way through some of Arlington’s Metro corridor neighborhood.

Among the planned closures is a long stretch of Fairfax Drive. More from ACPD:

The 2022 Girls on the Run 5k Race will take place in the Ballston neighborhood on Sunday, May 22, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • N. Taylor Street will be closed in both directions from Wilson Boulevard to Fairfax Drive

From approximately 7:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Utah Street to Kirkwood Road
  • 10th Street N., from Fairfax Drive to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Irving Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • 9th Street N., from N. Irving Street to N. Garfield Street
  • 7th Street N., from N Irving Street to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Highland Street, from 7th Street N. to 10th Street N.
  • N. Garfield Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • Washington Boulevard (eastbound lanes only), from 10th Street N. to Pershing Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th Street N. Westbound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while eastbound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Bus routes will be detoured but remain operational during the event.

The police department also released the following information on road closures for the other three events.

2022 Drew Dragon Dash

The 2022 Drew Dragon Dash will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

S. Kenmore Street, between 22nd Street S. and the Shelton parking garage (3215 24th Street S.)

Jennie Dean Opening Celebration

The Jennie Dean Opening Celebration will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 12:00 p.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • 2700 block of S. Oakland Street (Shirlington Dog Park parking lot)

The Shirlington Dog Park will remain open and will be accessible through the 2600 block of S. Nelson Street.

Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party

The Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party will take place in the Village at Shirlington on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Campbell Avenue, from S. Quincy Street to the Hilton Garden Inn
  • S. Randolph Street, from Dudley’s to the alleyway behind CVS

“Street parking near the events may be restricted,” ACPD noted in the press release. “Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”

0 Comments

The third annual Ballston Quarterfest Crawl is back this weekend with a full line-up of music, art, entertainment, and drinks.

The free event is set to happen this Saturday (May 21) from noon to 8 p.m. It’s set to follow a similar format as last year, with the crawl aspect allowing attendees to spread out across the neighborhood. A number of the local restaurants are also hosting live music and specials all day.

Many of the performances, though, are set to take place at the main event hub outside of Ballston Quarter at 4238 Wilson Blvd.

The lineup for the main event hub:

  • 12-7 p.m. DJ Ricky
  • 12:30-1 p.m. Official Event Kickoff
  • 1-4 p.m. Encanto Sisters
  • 3-5 p.m. Intern John and the HOT 99.5 Street Team
  • 6-8 p.m. Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Show

There will also be performances at various neighborhood businesses :

  • 1-2:30 p.m. Uncle Jesse at World of Beer
  • 2:30-4 p.m. Kara and Matty D. at Ballston Local
  • 4-5:30 p.m. The Crista Trio at SER
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Ache Harvest at Salt Line

The event is organized by the Ballston Business Improvement District and is the signature event of the organization’s charitable subsidiary BallstonGives.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our neighborhood and some of our finest restaurants with live music, great food and the community we know and love here in Ballston,” Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone said in a press release. “This event is the unofficial kickoff to summer and a lively celebration for our community and our neighbors.”

There won’t be any Ballston Quarterfest related road closures, organizers and the Arlington County Police Department confirmed to ARLnow.

“The crawl is organized in an easily-walkable path from Ballston Quarter to our pop-up concerts and back,” an event spokesperson says.

That path follows Wilson Blvd and, then, up N. Glebe Road, according to the provided map.

2022 Ballston Quarterfest Crawl map (image courtesy of Ballston BID)

In 2019, “Quarterfest” replaced the popular “Taste of Arlington” as Ballston’s annual springtime event. However, it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and was reworked as a “crawl” in 2021.

0 Comments
Cannons being fired for a Twilight Tattoo show (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall PAO Photo by Rachel Larue)

The Army’s annual Twilight Tattoo events are open to the public again and just as loud as before.

The military pageantry includes a booming accompaniment from the Presidential Salute Battery, which might be heard in parts of Arlington tonight between 7-9 p.m.

The Twilight Tattoo events, which are held on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Summerall Field, were closed to the public in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. This year the public is again invited and the Army expects a full house tonight and for at least the next month.

Twilight Tattoo show at Fort Myer (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

The free events are scheduled on Wednesdays through July 27. Pre-show music starts at 6:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive after 5 p.m. but well before the 7 p.m. start time.

While tickets are not required, attendance is limited and some people may be turned away, particularly if inclement weather prompts organizers to move the show indoors.

More on the event, below, from the Army’s website.

The U.S. Army’s Twilight Tattoo is an action-packed military pageant featuring Soldiers from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington’s ceremonial units, the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” The show features performances by The U.S. Army Blues, The U.S. Army Band Downrange, The U.S. Army Voices, The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team. Twilight Tattoo is appropriate for school-age children and enjoyed by all ages! Learn more about the participating units and Twilight Tattoo history.

https://twitter.com/MDW_USARMY/status/1524435913522221058

https://twitter.com/MDW_USARMY/status/1522937901989912576

0 Comments

(updated May 11 at 10:40 a.m.) An “immersive dining experience” that blindfolds its diners during a three-course mystery dinner kicked off earlier this month in Clarendon.

The “Dining in the Dark” events — which are being held on most Tuesdays through July 12 at Ambar (2901 Wilson Blvd) — were started based on a theory that the sense of taste and smell are heightened when you can’t see, according to an event page.

Fever, a “global live-entertainment discovery platform,” is organizing the event. The company has organized similar Dining in the Dark events in D.C. and other cities around the world.

The menu is a surprise, though diners have some say in the 90-minute meal, choosing either vegan, meat or seafood, as well as a wine or cocktail pairing. A sample “menu” from the event website is below.

Surprise your senses and test out your taste buds. Just choose your favourite colour, and we’ll take care of the rest…

Green (Vegan)
Starter: Beautifully united earthy tones; smooth & creamy with a familiar tanginess
Main: Surprising flavor with a hint of tart & a bit of tang
Dessert: Sensations of spice with sweet & sticky harvest to create a fusion of earthy flavors

Blue (Seafood)
Starter: Earthy & creamy textures that lean into a surprising firmness to prep your palate for its deep sea excursion
Main: A taste of the sea married with the land; taking the plunge together to unite flavorful & sweet with spice & earth
Dessert: Smooth & silky to merge into delicious serenity

Red (Meat)
Starter: Popping flavors perfectly pastured together to produce crunch
Main: Savory flavors that will make your mind spin
Dessert: Flavors you know and love presented in surprising textures

Tickets are $90 per person. Two nightly seatings are available.

Ambar has held similar events before its partnership with Fever, increasing their frequency to weekly because of their popularity, said Can Coskunkal, director of operations for Street Guys Hospitality, which owns the restaurant. Street Guys Hospitality, which also owns Buena Vida, Baba and TTT, is in talks with Fever about future events at its other restaurants too.

“We’ll continue to hold this event as long as people continue to attend,” Coskunkal said. “We’d love to continue this partnership for a while to come.”

0 Comments

A “Maker’s Market” in Pentagon City and a “spring fling” block party at Shirlington are both set to take place later this month.

Currently scheduled for Sunday, May 15 and Sunday, May 29, a “Marker’s Market” is set to happen in the plaza at Westpost (formerly, Pentagon Row) in Pentagon City. It will feature more than 30 artists and craft vendors, including local businesses Shop by Nancy, Fera’s Loft, Chase McClough, and Victoria Barnes Photography.

The event is free and tickets are not required. The market will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Then, on Saturday, May 21, the Village at Shirlington is putting on a “Spring Fling Village Block Party” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will feature live music, a market, restaurant pop-ups, pet adoptions at Dogma, and a corn-hole tournament benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. The tournament will start at noon and cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.

A number of restaurants are also participating in a “sip & stroll,” allowing customers to take their cocktails to go.

A featured pop-up at the block party will be Astro Doughnuts, the owners of which are bringing a beer hall to Shirlington. The beer hall is aiming for a summer opening.

The Shirlington block party is also free and tickets are not required.

The retail centers, both owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust, have seen a lot of turnover in recent months. Target and Nighthawk Pizza opened at Westpost over the past several weeks, while sushi restaurant Kusshi and “taco temple” Banditos are expected to start serving very soon.

At Shirlington, a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is replacing I-CE-NY. The Cookery closed earlier this year and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls is moving towards an opening later this year.

0 Comments

Dozens of people, including a County Board member, are expected to rappel down the side of a tall building in Crystal City this week.

More than 70 volunteers associated with the non-profit New Hope Housing will be rappelling down the 14-story Hilton Crystal City at 2399 Richmond Highway on Thursday and Friday to raise funds and awareness for the organization.

That includes Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti, who is expected to rappel down on Thursday night at the VIP reception.

The public will be welcome to watch “14 Stories of New Hope” on Friday, though, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the “Landing Zone,” an all-day festival with food, music, and booths.

If you are feeling the urge to safely rappel down a 140-foot-tall building, there could be an opportunity.

“All are welcome to attend and there may be opportunities for people to walk up and rappel,” says a press release.

Those that are rappelling will be doing it safely with the help of “Over the Edge,” a company that helps non-profits with events of this nature.

This isn’t the first time the company has worked with a local organization for this type of event. Back in 2012, the Special Olympics of Virginia held a similar event when folks rappelled down the Hilton Crystal City to raise funds.

First established in 1977, New Hope Housing is a non-profit with a mission of ending of homelessness in Northern Virginia. It operates a number of facilities and shelters in the region, including a 44-bed shelter on Columbia Pike that it runs in partnership with the county and a facility in Bailey’s Crossroads. The organization also runs shelters in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County.

Those rappelling down the side of the hotel come from a variety of backgrounds, New Hope’s Director of Development Jan-Michael Sacharko tells ARLnow.

Some are newbies, some are ex-military, and at least one is a Hollywood producer. Greg Garcia, Northern Virginia native and the creator of television shows including “My Name is Earl,” is among the expected participants.

As of last week, the event has raised over $200,000 for New Hope Housing programs, according to Sacharko.

0 Comments

The Columbia Pike Blues Festival is back to being fully in-person for the first time in three years.

The mainstay Arlington music festival, which is put on by the Columbia Pike Partnership in partnership with the county, will take place on Saturday, June 18 from 1-8:30 p.m.

All of the performances are set for the Pike’s main stage, unlike the last two iterations of the festival. While neither was officially canceled, the events were completely or partially virtual due to the pandemic.

This year’s version will feature headliner Shemekia Copeland — the Blues Foundation’s 2021 “Entertainer of the Year” — as well as Eric Scott, D.C.-based Robbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18, local band Shakin’ Woods, and Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark.

Local vendors and restaurants will provide food and drinks, plus there will be beer from New District Brewery and a wine list curated by the Pike’s Rincome Thai.

There will be a “Kids Zone” and an “art alley” along 9th Road S. featuring the Arlington Art Truck and work from the Columbia Pike Documentary Project.

2022 is being marketed as the festival’s 25th anniversary due to the format changes over the last two years. The first Columbia Pike Blues Festival was held in 1995.

Beyond Saturday’s day-long festival, a number of other events are being planned over the weekend to celebrate the event’s quarter century anniversary.

On Friday, there’s set to be a special blues festival performance at William Jeffrey’s Tavern. For Sunday morning, a Juneteenth history walk led by the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington is being planned. There will also be live music at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market and at Café Sazón on Sunday morning.

To finish the weekend, there will be a free screening of the 1980 musical-comedy “The Blues Brothers” at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.

The Columbia Pike Blues Festival is the largest blues festival in the D.C region, according to its website. It often prompts some neighborhood road closures. Upwards of 7,000 people have attended past festivals.

0 Comments
Arlington Pride Festival 2022 poster (image via Polished Kreative)

Arlington is getting its own pride festival in two months.

The inaugural Arlington Pride Festival is being planned for Saturday, June 25 at Rosslyn’s Gateway Park at 1300 Langston Blvd.

The event is free and for all ages and will run from noon to 7 p.m., according to a press release It’s set to feature games, live entertainment, DJs and “surprise guests.” There will also be a dog park area and kids play section, notes the release.

The festival’s theme is “Moving Forward Together.”

“The Arlington Pride Festival will inspire our community to collaborate in new ways, ensuring all LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families and friends feel empowered, and supported,” organizers wrote.

The announcement of the festival was first posted on Instagram earlier this month. More details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, a website for the event notes.

An Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation official confirmed to ARLnow that event organizers have completed all the needed paperwork to hold the festival at Gateway Park.

“At this time, the Special Event application is pending, which is common this far out of the process,” parks department spokesperson Martha Holland wrote. “The County will be working with the organizers, as we do with all organizers, to assist in its approval.”

Due to the pandemic, it’s been several years since most pride events were last held. Back in 2019, a number of smaller events were held around Arlington in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

D.C.’s big Capital Pride festival and parade is being held on June 11 and 12 this year, the first time in three years.

0 Comments
Street scene from Clarendon Day 2017

After a two year hiatus caused by the pandemic, Clarendon Day is set to return in the fall.

Organizers not yet finalized a date for the popular fall street festival, but it’s likely to be in late September, according to Clarendon Alliance board president Kieran Daly. Clarendon Day was last held on Sept. 21, 2019.

In the meantime, the Clarendon Alliance is kicking off a new concert series tonight dubbed Music By the Metro.

The four-week series will run on Wednesdays through May 11. The music starts at 5:30 p.m. at the park just outside the Clarendon Metro station entrance.

Today’s performer is blues musician Bobby Thompson. Next week it’s jazz and Go-Go fusion group JoGo Project, followed by rock/alternative/folk collective Phil Kominski & The Breakaways (May 4) and reggae band Nkula (May 11).

The series is co-sponsored by Arlington Arts, Clarendon Animal Care and coworking provider Industrious.

0 Comments
Arlington Festival Of The Arts crowd shot from 2016 (Courtesy Howard Alan Events)

If you like the arts, 5Ks or family- and earth-friendly events, Arlington is the place to be this weekend.

Three separate events in the county will make it bit harder to get around by car.

The Arlington Festival of the Arts will take pace on Saturday and Sunday (April 23-24), shutting down several roads in the Clarendon area. The outdoor event offers art for display and sale over several blocks, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The Arlington County Police Department announced the following road closures for the event.

The following roads will be closed from approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24:

  • N. Highland Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be allowed to access the public parking garage to 3033 Wilson Blvd.
  • N. Hartford Street will be closed from N. Highland Street to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be able to access the parking garage for 1210 N. Highland Street.
  • The alleyway between N. Herndon Street and N. Hartford Street will be closed at N. Hartford Street

Meanwhile, starting at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the Bunny Hop 5k Race will close streets in the Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. and involves the following road closures, according to ACPD.

The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 7th Street N. and 5th Street N.

From approximately 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 2nd Road N. and 5th Street N.
  • N. Pershing Drive, between N. Piedmont Street and N. Edgewood Street
  • N. Fillmore Street, between 3rd Street N. and Pershing Drive
  • N. Garfield Street, between Pershing Drive and 3rd Street N.
  • 4th Street N., between N. Fillmore Street and N. Garfield Street
  • 2nd Road N., between N. Irving Street and the Columbia Gardens Cemetery

A portion of the course winds through the Columbia Gardens Cemetery.  The Cemetery will be closed to vehicular traffic and have a delayed opening at 10:00 a.m.

Finally, on Sunday, the 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will be held off Langston Blvd in front of the Lee Heights Shops. The event will include various family activities, live music, sidewalk sales, food and drink specials, and its own art market.

“Let’s come together as a community to celebrate the beauty and promise of our local environment and the planet,” says the website for the Earth Day event. “Every year, communities worldwide uplift Earth Day to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It reminds us all to do what we can, in ways small and significant, restore, conserve and protect our environment.”

From ACPD:

The 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2022 and will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The following roadways will be closed from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the festival:

  • Cherry Hill Road, between N. Woodstock Street and N. Woodrow Street
  • Northbound N. Woodrow Street, between 20th Road N. and Cherry Hill Road will be restricted to local traffic only

Additional Information

Community members should expect to see an increased police presence in the area around these events, and motorists are urged to follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic. Additional closures not mentioned above may be implemented at police discretion in the interest of public safety.

Residents of the affected neighborhood areas will be escorted through the road closures to minimize the impacts on the community, only when safe to do so. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No parking” signs, as street parking in the area around these events will be limited. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list