Arlington, VA

After months of uncertainty, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization announced that the group’s annual summer movie series would be converted into a new drive-in theater format.

“On Saturday nights throughout July and August, CPRO will be showing blockbuster hits on the big screen at the Arlington Career Center parking lot (816 S. Walter Reed Drive),” the organization said in a press release.

The movies are scheduled to start at sunset, sometime between 8-8:30 p.m.

The event will remain free and open to the public, but with limited space, participants will have to register in advance. Attendees will also be asked to remain in their vehicles during the movie. Public restrooms will not be available.

An area will be set aside for households without vehicles, which CPRO said can be identified on the registration form.

The lineup (below) is a fusion of the earlier schedule for movie nights at Arlington Mill and Penrose Square, now that the only screenings will be at the Career Center.

  • July 11: Jurassic Park
  • July 18: The Secret Life of Bees
  • July 25: Twister
  • August 1: Crazy Rich Asians 
  • August 8: Apollo 13
  • August 15: Ready Player One 
  • August 22: Coco 
  • August 29: Mary Poppins Returns 

“2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Pike Movie Nights and we had already hosted several rounds of voting to let the people pick this year’s line-up, so we were really eager to find a way to host the event safely,” CPRO Program Director Stephen Gregory Smith said in a press release. “So we worked with [Arlington Public Schools], libraries, and county staff to secure the Arlington Career Center parking lot and come up with a plan to allow everyone to still enjoy their favorite movies together — while still apart — this summer.”

Photo via CPRO

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A unique concert for the pandemic era is scheduled Saturday in Ballston.

The roving concert will be held along 9th Street N. and will feature dueling piano players from Bobby McKey’s Piano Bar, plus a special guest: Ballston’s own blues legend Memphis Gold.

The dueling pianos will be on wheels and will make their way down the street between 6:30-8 p.m., weather permitting, a spokeswoman said.

“Ballston residents are encouraged to enjoy the concert from their balconies, the traveling dueling pianos will be on 9th Street and are likely to stop at the major intersections Stafford, Randolph and Quincy,” said the spokeswoman.

In addition to socially distanced viewing in person, the performance will be livestreamed online.

More from an event webpage, below.

Are you ready to beat the blues? You’re invited to join Ballston’s 9th Street Rocks event on June 20th! Enjoy the full piano bar experience as we bring the famous Bobby McKey’s Dueling Pianos to Ballston. Grab dinner and a cocktail to-go from one of Ballston’s many restaurants, and watch this roaming performance from your balcony on 9th St N.

We are very excited to present a special performance by Ballston’s own blues legend, Memphis Gold! Ballston knows his high-energy blues from his Friday night serenades during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. He’s continuing to bring his music to the streets on June 20th. You won’t want to miss this!

Whether you want a better view or to request a song, be sure to follow along with the live stream on Ballston’s Facebook and Instagram.

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Want to go out and watch a movie, while staying safe and keeping close to home? An event this weekend in Ballston may be for you.

The Ballston Business Improvement District is hosting a “retro drive-in movie night” on Saturday, in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym, &pizza and Spokes Etc. The timeless 80s film The Princess Bride will be shown starting at dusk.

The cost of admission is not quite as retro as the format: it’s $40 per car, though it’s free for members of the BallstonConnect Club. (The club is free for residents of certain apartment buildings and employees of some office buildings, $120/year for others.)

More from the event webpage:

Tired of staying in? Join the BallstonConnect Club for a retro drive-in movie night! That’s right, the drive-in is back, and coming to a neighborhood near you. Grab your date and cruise down to Ballston to watch an exclusive screening of The Princess Bride on Saturday, June 13th.

What date would be complete without dinner? Don’t forget to place your order from &pizza before the screening begins. The event kicks off at 8:15 PM, and the screening begins at dusk.

Space for this event is limited, so get your tickets soon!

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 10:40 p.m.) A number of peaceful marches against racism and in support of Black Lives Matter are planned in Arlington through Sunday.

The first will be taking place from 5-7 p.m. today (Thursday), marching from the county parking lot in Courthouse to Clarendon to demand justice for George Floyd “and those who have been directly affected by systemic racism.” Some county offices are closing early due to expected crowds.

Another is planned Friday evening, in memory of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky police officers in March.

Demonstrators will march from Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike to the county courthouse, starting at 6 p.m., according to social media posts.

The third march is planned Saturday from noon-5 p.m. and is expected to be a “large scale event.” The march will go from Courthouse to the White House, via Rosslyn and the Lincoln and MLK memorials in D.C.

From an event page on social media:

Arlingtonians are coming together to stand in solidarity in a peaceful protest against racial oppression.

We will convene at the Arlington Courthouse at noon on Saturday, June 6 and march together past the Iwo Jima Memorial and across the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial. From there, we will march up to Lafayette Park to join peaceful protests demanding meaningful and urgent reforms for racial justice.

All are welcome and loved. Bring a mask and join us!

The local branch of the NAACP will be participating, the group said in a statement. The marching will be preceded by a rally from noon-1 p.m. in front of county government headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

“Elected officials and members from the Arlington Branch NAACP, community activists, and elected leaders will be in attendance,” the organization said. “This is expected to be a large scale event and expect 250-500 attendees.”

County Board members Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey, along with 1776 co-founder Evan Burfield, are listed a co-hosts on the Facebook event page for the Saturday march.

ARLINGTON MARCH FOR BLACK LIVESI know many of you have been moved by the events of the past few weeks and the need to…

Posted by Evan Burfield on Thursday, June 4, 2020

Prior to the rally, a march from the Columbia Pike Branch Library to Ballston and then Courthouse is planned, starting at 10 a.m. at Welburn Square in Ballston, marchers will pause “to say the names of those who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality and hold space to reflect as a community.”

On Sunday, another protest march is planned from 5-7 p.m., starting at Green Valley Pharmacy (2415 Shirlington Road). The march will “support #BlackLivesMatter as well as gun violence awareness.”

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This weekend, Calvary United Methodist Church in Aurora Highlands is holding a “Stuff the Truck” donation event to collect food for the Chirilagua neighborhood in Alexandria.

The community — also known as Arlandria — has faced disproportionately high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients, as have Latino and Hispanic communities in Arlington and throughout the region.

Local nonprofits have worked to get food and other emergency supplies to hard-hit Chirilagua.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the Chirilagua neighborhood are experiencing hardship from job loss, sickness, and food insecurity,” Calvary UMC said in a media advisory. “Recent data revealed that over 40% of Chirilagua residents are unemployed and, in mid-May, over 55% of COVID tests taken by community members living in Chirilagua were positive.”

This Saturday, June 6, Calvalry UMC is hosting a donation event at the church (2315 S. Grant Street) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to fill a 20-foot truck with items most needed by Chirilagua residents and families.

“To participate, donors can come to Calvary UMC and bring donated food and supplies to place in the truck,” the church said. “Items needed most are shelf-stable foods such as rice, beans, canned food and cornflour.”

The event is the latest in a series of fundraisers and food drives for the church to support the Chirilagua community. So far, the church says it has raised $24,000 of its $25,000 goal. The church plans to make an additional $15,000 pledge to bring the total to at least $40,000, the church said.

“Donors wishing to make a financial contribution to MISSION:COVID can donate at the event or through the Calmeth.org website,” the church said, “or text GIVE to 703-936-2684 and select MISSION:COVID from the menu.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Demonstrators will line George Mason Drive near Route 50 tonight to protest in support of Black Lives Matter.

The peaceful protest, organized by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, is set to take place from 5-6 p.m. Monday.

More from an event page:

Please join UUCA in creating a line of witness along George Mason Dr (4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA) on Monday, June 1, from 5-6pm. We will gather in the church parking lot. Please note, the church building will not be open.

We wish to observe safe social distancing so we will be standing six feet apart simply holding up signs of support. Please feel free to make your own sign, or you may pick up signs in the church parking lot. Please pass the word along to anyone you know who may wish to join us.

We have a right to peaceful protest, but we must be respectful of people on the sidewalks and not create a barrier. Recognize that you are joining what could be a risky situation and make personal choices as you see fit.

The event page also includes the following statement from the Arlington Interfaith Network about the death of Floyds and “others killed for being black in America.”

This week, we saw the murder of George Floyd. We say the name of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Jordan Davis, and so many others killed for being black in America.

Our diverse faith traditions share a common belief in the integrity of human life.

We share a practice of lament for the places where people cry out. We share a hope that our collective actions can point us to a better, more whole world.

The Arlington Interfaith Network writes in recognition of the “original sin” of racism that built this country from slave labor and dominion over Native lives.

We recognize that the systems that govern us every day and the way our society is arranged perpetuates injustice. We recognize that white supremacy is something that all of us with privilege participate in daily.

We write in knowing that faith communities with privilege need to use their place to have sacred conversations on race and work for real change.

We write in recognition of the pain that clergy of color minister hold continually and that all in their communities bear in a particular way.

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The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, an annual series of cycling races around Clarendon and Crystal City, has been cancelled by the pandemic.

In its place, however, organizers are using a pair of apps — Strava and Zwift — to host virtual rides this coming Saturday.

More from a press release:

Armed Forces Cycling Classic will kick off the weekend with a virtual Challenge Ride on their Strava Club. For those in the Washington D.C. area, three routes have been created to enjoy while riding safe and solo. For anyone outside of the D.C. area, we encourage them to ride, and we ask all participants to post photos to the AFCC Strava Club page or Instagram and tag @af_cyclingclassic to show that we are all riding together.

Saturday, May 30th at 11am, Armed Forces Cycling Classic will host a no-drop ZWIFT ride in partnership with Rapha. Athletes Justin and Cory Williams of Legion of Los Angeles will serve as ride leaders for this exclusive virtual event. AFCC and race announcer Brad Sohner will also host an Instagram Live during the event at instagram.com/af_cyclingclassic.

There will be no fees to participate in any of the Virtual Ride options and we do encourage participants to fundraise for our beneficiary, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). All riders who raise $200 or more will receive a limited edition Team TAPS jersey. Interested riders can set up their fundraising page at http://team.taps.org/cyclingclassic.

For those who want to relive last year’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic, video coverage of the races is available for free online.

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The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival isn’t exactly canceled this year, but with lingering concerns about large crowds during the phased reopening of the region, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is radically rethinking the event while hoping to keep the spirit intact.

Officially, the 25th Pike Blues Festival will be held in 2021, but in the meantime, CPRO is planning an alternative Backyard Blues Festival on June 20 from 5-7 p.m.

Arlington community radio station WERA 96.7 FM will play a curated selection of blues while various local restaurants will offer special discounts on food and drinks, which can then be enjoyed in one’s backyard or patio with the radio cranked up.

“The Blues Festival has always been such a wonderful celebration of our community and, as it was necessary to postpone it this year, we really wanted to find an alternative celebration that could still bring the community ‘together,'” CROP Executive Director Kim Klingler said. “All of us at CPRO have been eagerly anticipating the 25th Annual Blues Festival and were quite disappointed at the prospect of cancelling the festival completely. But, through our partnership with Arlington Arts, we were able to connect with WERA and come up with a creative way to keep groovin’ and show that defiant, hopeful spirit that truly exemplifies Columbia Pike.”

CPRO isn’t the first local organization to try to encourage Arlingtonians to jam out to music outdoors at the same time. The Crystal City BID launched a similar Front Porch Friday series in April. Klingler said the idea of playing music over the radio outdoors is “very retro.”

“The Columbia Pike community really feels a strong sense of pride and ownership over the annual Blues Festival,” Klingler said. “It is hard to imagine summer on Columbia Pike without the blues.”

Klingler said the festival will include giveaways and social media contests. CPRO is still working through the details of the specials on food.

“We are still working out a few details with our vendors, but we’re hopeful all of the local restaurants who have participated in the festival for years will participate this year as well,” Klingler said. “Most of our vendors are brick and mortar restaurants located near Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Dr. where the festival typically takes place and we wanted to ensure we are supporting them through these difficult times in any way we can. Listeners can order their favorite festival foods and have their beer and wine delivered. New District Brewing Co. is even preparing a specialty ‘Blues Fest Brew’ for the occasion.”

In addition to New District, Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque and Rincome Thai Cuisine are listed as event participants.

“We hope everyone will drag their radios outside — or tune in online — and spend a couple hours filling backyards across Arlington with the best blues has to offer,” Klingler said. “I think we’ve all had the blues for a while now and a Backyard Blues Fest could be just what we need.”

Image via Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization

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People singing and playing music from their balconies has been something of a trend during the quarantine, and the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) wants to get it started in Arlington.

The Crystal City BID is starting Front Porch Fridays tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

“We may not all have a front porch — we may not all even have a balcony — but what we do have is our community,” the Crystal City BID said on the event page. “Music has always brought people together and now is no different. We can still gather together to listen (virtually)!”

The BID is encouraging residents to open their windows or bring a radio to their porch or balcony, tune to the same station and crank up the volume.

This week, the station is Hot 99.5 at 4:20 p.m. Next week it’s DC 101.1 at noon.

“The station will change each week, but the party atmosphere stays the same,” the BID said. “And best of all — we want you to select the playlist! Visit our Facebook page each week Monday-Wednesday to vote on the songs you want to hear. Then listen in on Friday to see if your pick made the cut!”

The music will be commercial-free, courtesy of the BID.

Videos of people singing in the streets went viral early on in the pandemic, though results to replicate that have sometimes been mixed.

Separately, the BID announced Thursday that it would be donating $100,000 to Arlington’s small business grant fund.

“Small businesses throughout National Landing have adjusted their operations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Just as they have supported us, we are focusing our efforts on ways to assist and enhance the long-term viability of these businesses,” Crystal City BID President Tracy Sayegh Gabriel said in a statement. “We are pleased to contribute to Arlington County’s GRANT Program, which will enable countless small businesses to stay afloat, retain their staff and continue to serve the community.”

File photo

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Arlington’s Committee of 100 is planning a public webinar with county leaders to discuss the latest on COVID-19.

“Arlington has been one of the hardest-hit communities in the commonwealth for COVID-19,” the organization said in an event description. “Join us to learn more about how Arlington is responding and what you can do to stay safe and help others.”

The lineup is a who’s who of leadership handling the response on a local level, including:

  • Libby Garvey — Chair, Arlington County Board
  • Zachary Pope — Emergency Manager, Arlington Public Schools
  • Dr. Reuben Varghese — Public Health Director, Arlington County
  • Karen Coltrane — CEO of local nonprofit Leadership Center for Excellence

Varghese has been at the forefront of the coronavirus response in Arlington and has already participated in previous online discussions about the virus’ impact on how Arlingtonians should handle the crisis.

The Committee of 100, which normally holds in-person discussions and debates about community issues, said participants will be able to ask questions during a Q&A portion of the meeting.

The group will be hosting the webinar via Zoom on Wednesday, April 22, from 7-8:30 p.m. A link is sent after registering, along with an email address to which one can submit questions.

The event is scheduled to be moderated by Lynn Juhl, chair of the Committee of 100.

File photo

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Gatherings of dozens — let alone thousands — of people are now criminal acts in Virginia, which is helping to put the kibosh on an annual series of spring races in Crystal City.

The Crystal City 5K Fridays series, which would have started up at the end of this week, is being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the hope of reviving the races later this year.

“At this time we’ve postponed this year’s series and plan to reschedule,” Crystal City Business Improvement District events manager Cassie Hurley told ARLnow last week.

No word yet on a possible return date for the month-long series of races. In the meantime, the governor’s stay-at-home order allows outdoor exercise while practicing social distancing, so solo 5K runs around Crystal City (and anywhere else) can continue.

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