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5 Things To Do In Arlington This October

If you’re looking for something to do in Arlington this October, at least one of these five, upcoming events I’ve rounded up may be right up your alley. This is hardly an all-inclusive list but highlights a variety of events for families and individuals alike.

October 4, 2019

Bark-Toberfest @ Courthaus Social

Bark-Toberfest @ Courthaus Social

You guessed it: puppies and canines are welcome at this award-winning, local foodie event from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Courthaus Social in Arlington, VA. Admission is free and families with their four-legged dogs are encouraged to attend. At least nine local breweries will be there; see the list of breweries and get more information here.

Photo credit: Courthaus Social

October 5, 2019

Beckett’s 6th Annual Celtic Festival

Beckett's 6th annual Celtic Festival

Families are welcome. Food and drinks will be available outside (Cambell Avenue will be closed for the party) plus live music, pipers and dancers will be entertaining throughout.

Event details here

Photo source: Beckett’s Celtic Festival

October 17, 2019

Rosslyn Cider Fest

Rosslyn Cider Fest

This Thursday night event at Gateway Park in Rosslyn from 4 to 8 p.m. includes cider tastings, food trucks, live music, and a pumpkin pie eating contest!

Get cider fest details here. 

Photo credit: Rosslyn Cider Fest

October 19, 2019

7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

If you’re a marathon-for-a-cause buff, this run/walk event being held at Barcroft Park in Arlington is for you! Proceeds from runs are allocated towards purchasing mammograms.

More event info

Photo credit: 7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

October 26, 2019

Semper Fi Fund

Semper Fi Fund

Celebrate the Marine Corps Marathon and its community athletes, family, and friends and help support the Semper Fi Fund, which provides assistance and support to wounded and ill members of all branches of the military.

Event information

Video source:  Semper Fi Fund

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Local Jazz Lovers Rejoice: The Rosslyn Jazz Fest Is This Weekend

If you love music, you might love the music this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 7 from 1-7  p.m.) at the 29th Annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest 2019.

The free festival features jazz music, food trucks and crafting in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA) with some 10,000 attendees expected.

Sponsored by the Rosslyn BID and Arlington Arts, the festival has a fantastic line up of eclectic rhythms and diverse bands, including:

There will also be food trucks (include Swizzler — a hot dog truck — and Ben & Jerry’s),  a pop-up beer and wine garden, and the latest interactive installation aboard the Arlington Art Truck.

For complete entertainment times, artist info and even a Spotify playlist, please visit Rossyln.org.

Photo credit: Rosslynva.org

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Cherrydale Fire House 100th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cherrydale Fire House on Saturday, July 20, and help to raise funds so that the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department can preserve it for another 100 years. The firehouse is a local historic landmark recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a parade through the Cherrydale neighborhood, followed by a celebration at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire House, 3900 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy swing music, dancing, historic displays, and fire truck tours! There will also be a chili cook off (from chili’s made by fire department volunteers), a raffle, bingo, games and a silent auction from 3 to 7 p.m. to raise funds to preserve the firehouse.

Parking will be available at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1910 N Randolph St, Arlington, until 3 p.m.

Featured photo details

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5 Great Places To Watch July 4th Fireworks From Arlington, VA

The annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are one of the largest displays in the U.S.A. The best way to avoid the crowds and get a great view of the Independence Day celebration is from across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

Here are 5 great places to watch July 4th fireworks from Arlington, VA:

1. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
My favorite location is from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial – known to locals as the Iwo Jima statue. It’s my favorite because you’ll watch the spectacle from a hill above the Potomac River with an iconic view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capital in the background. The memorial is a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro station. Get there early and don’t forget your camera!

2. Along the banks of the Potomac River
The National Mall sits directly across the Potomac River from Arlington, and there are 3 miles of riverbank from which to watch the fireworks. Some places are harder to access than others, due to parking restrictions along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, but if you make the effort you can have all the space you’ll need to spread out with a picnic and an unobstructed view of the fireworks in D.C.

Other, more defined, locations along the Potomac include:

  • Gravelly Point – Just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Gravelly Point is a large, grassy park next to National Airport and offers a parking lot, picnic tables and portable restrooms. Gravelly Point is also considered one of the best places in the country to watch planes landing and taking off – they’ll be just 100 to 150 feet overhead. Access Gravelly Point from the northbound George Washington Parkway, the Mount Vernon bike trail or even a short walk from the Blue Line Metro station at National Airport (please note that the stations south of the airport on the Blue and Yellow lines toward Alexandria will be closed).
  • Lady Bird Johnson Park and Columbia Island Marina – Though technically located in D.C., Lady Bird Johnson Park is on the Arlington riverbank side. You can access the park from the bike trail or the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Limited parking is available at the Columbia Island Marina, where you’ll also find restrooms, water fountains and a small restaurant.

3. U.S. Air Force Memorial

The U.S. Air Force Memorial sits up on a hill overlooking the Pentagon and the D.C. monuments and is ideal for fireworks viewing.

Prior to the fireworks at 8 p.m., there will be a free concert featuring the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants. The memorial is located at 1 Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, off of Columbia Pike.

4. Key Bridge

The Francis Scott Key Bridge between Rosslyn and Georgetown offers 1,700 feet of sidewalk over the Potomac to view the fireworks from the National Mall. The sidewalk usually gets crowded, and there is no place to sit, so get there early to grab a spot or time it so you can walk into Georgetown to enjoy some post fireworks cocktails. The Key Bridge is a 10-minute walk from the Rossyln Metro station and the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

5. Long Bridge Park

Long Bridge Park is a large park (30 acres) with parking, rest rooms, picnic areas a network of walkways, play areas, a waterfowl sanctuary and a fantastic view of the D.C. fireworks. The park is adjacent to I-395 at 475 Long Bridge Dr., Arlington, VA, and a short walk from the Crystal City Metro station.

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Fill A Bag And Help Stamp Out Hunger In Arlington

Here’s an easy way that you can help to stamp out hunger. This Saturday, May 11, bag healthy non-perishable food items and place them by your mailbox before mail delivery. You may have already received a blue Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive bag in your mailbox. Your letter carrier will pick up the bag and deliver it to local food banks in your community.

In Arlington, VA, the food will go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), which distributes groceries, directly and free of charge, to people living in Arlington who cannot afford to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs. This year, AFAC hopes to collect 30,000 pounds of healthy non-perishable foods from Arlington residents.

AFAC is one of my favorite local charities, and I have supported them for many years.

Food also is being accepted at Arlington Public Library branches and in the lobbies of Arlington’s Main, North, South, Shirlington and Westover post offices through May 17.

According to AFAC, the foods that are needed most include:

  • Low sugar cereal
  • Low sodium canned tomato products (diced, paste, or sauce)
  • Low sodium canned tuna
  • Low sodium canned soups
  • Low sodium canned beans

The timing of the food drive is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended. While hunger might not seem to be an issue in a wealthy county like Arlington, VA, some 2,300 families come to AFAC for food assistance every week.

The National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is the country’s largest single-day food drive.

Please join me in helping those in need.


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Arlington Festival Of The Arts This Weekend In Clarendon

The 7th Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts, a two-day juried outdoor art exhibit, returns to the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA, on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More than 150 artists, who were selected by a panel of judges, will show off their works along Washington Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and North Highland Street.

The festival features a wide area of media including paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, sculptures, photography, handcrafted jewelry, ceramics and much more. Admission to the festival is free.

And of course, being in Clarendon, there are variety outdoor dining and drinking options available including the patios at Ambar, Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Obey Lee Winery and Pamplona, among many others.

To learn more visit ArtFestival.com.

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Sobering Arlington Art Exhibit Raises Awareness Of Veteran Suicides

I visited a sobering but beautiful Arlington art exhibit at American Legion Post 139 last night that raises awareness about veteran suicides. You can still see it tonight, Wednesday, March 20, at the Post, 3445 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA..

The illuminated display “22-13” by artist Scott LoBaido depicts a pair of twos facing each other covered in an American flag design, in which the white stripes feature a collage of all the wars the U.S. has participated in. The opposing numbers twos create an empty heart between them. The base includes 22 pairs of empty boots and it is surrounded by 22 life-size figures that represent the 22 veterans who take their own lives each and every day.

LoBaido says he writes the number 22 in the palm of his hand every single day to remind him of their sacrifices. LoBaido, of New York, also painted the flag mural on the Post 139’s wall as part of his “Painting Flags Across America” tour.

The Post offers support and sponsors community programs and services to local veterans. And the Post will soon be replaced with a new building with 160 affordable apartments with half set aside for veterans.

For more information about the artwork and the artist, visit LoBaido’s website.

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3 Tips To Make Voting Easier in Arlington, VA

The 2018 midterm election is nearly here. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and early voting continues in Arlington County through Saturday, Nov. 3.

Arlington residents will be voting for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (8th District), Arlington County Board and Arlington School Board. There will also be two state constitutional amendments and four county bond referendums.

Only a little more than half of voting age Americans actually voted in the 2016 general election. Here are 3 tips to make voting easier in Arlington, VA, so that you can help shape our community, our state and our country.
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