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Art On The Avenue in Del Ray (file photo)

A 60% chance of rain might dampen this Saturday’s Art On The Avenue festival in Del Ray, but at least it’s not a hurricane.

Art On The Avenue was supposed to be held on Saturday, October 1, but was postponed due as the remnants of Hurricane Ian battered the East Coast. It was a good decision, since the entire weekend ended up being cold, wet and dreary in Alexandria.

“Postponing an event like this is very difficult,” said festival organizer Pat Miller. “We lost a few artists and we gained a few artists. The food is the same, some of the programming is a little different, but none of the musical acts dropped out.”

Art On The Avenue is historically the biggest day of the year in Del Ray, drawing tens of thousands to Mount Vernon Avenue to check out art from more than 350 artists.

Postponing the event also put some local restaurants in a bind. Del Ray Pizzeria made too much dough, and later sold out after making an appeal to its customers.

The event will not likely be postponed again, in the event of bad weather, Miller said.

“It gets to bee too cold,” Miller said. “That’s tough for a lot of artists and it’s tough for their art.”

The 2020 festival was virtual due to the pandemic, and last year’s event had perfect weather, but an unforced power outage prompted businesses along Mount Vernon Avenue to be shut down.

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The Lloyd House in Old Town (220 North Washington Street) is hosting a festival next month celebrating Virginia ciders.

The outdoor festival is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, and will feature a selection of cideries from around the state.

“Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Virginia Cider Week,” a release said. “Enjoy a selection of ciders from 10 Virginia cideries. Ticket includes cider tastings, a souvenir glass, live music, and a little history too!”

Tickets are $55 if purchased in advance or $65 at the door. Proceeds go to benefit Historic Alexandria Museums.

The event is outdoors at The Lloyd House, so attendees should dress accordingly. The festival will run from 1-5 p.m.

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A fall festival celebrating the broad culinary options around Old Town North makes its return next Thursday.

The annual Taste of Old Town North is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29, from 4-9 p.m. in Montgomery Park (901 N Royal Street).

“Join us at this Free, Family Friendly, Dog Friendly Celebration of the Charms of Old Town North in Montgomery Park,” the Old Town North Community Partnership wrote in an email.

The festival includes sampling from restaurants around the area like Cafe 44, Lost Dog Cafe and the newly moved Hanks Oyster Bar.

The event will also include live music starting at 4:30 p.m.

Photo via Lost Dog Cafe/Facebook

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Fall is art season in Alexandria.

Two popular art festivals are on the horizon — the 20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival on September 17 and 18, followed by Art On The Avenue on October 1 in Del Ray.

Both festivals draw tens of thousands of visitors to Alexandria, with hundreds of artists selling their paintings, sculptures, jewelry and photos.

20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival

For the second straight year, the Alexandria Old Town Art Festival will be held at John Carlyle Square (300 John Carlyle Street) in the city’s Carlyle neighborhood.

More than 150 juried artists will be set up along John Carlyle Square — near the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Alexandria is recognized as one of the country’s premier artistic hubs,” the event organizer said on the festival’s website. “All artwork is juried, which provides a higher level of quality, diversity and creativity of art on display, exemplifying the gifted artists in regions from all over the country.”

Art On The Avenue

Art On The Avenue is widely regarded as the best day of the year in Del Ray, drawing tens of thousands of art lovers to Mount Vernon Avenue.

The festival, which is always held the first Saturday in October, will be held Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating in its 27th year, the festival now features live music on three stages, a kids art corner at Mount Vernon Recreation Center and a virtual charity pie auction.

While deemed a success for artists and visitors, last year’s Art On The Avenue event was marked by a day-long power outage that shuttered businesses along the main stretch of Mount Vernon Avenue.

Dozens of vendors participate, although they have not yet been publicly listed.

The music schedule is below.

City Stage (Mount Vernon and Oxford Avenues)

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Marian Hunter Band
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m. — Janna Audey Band
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m. — Irish Breakfast Band
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. — The Rob Hornfeck Enterprise
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m. — Cast Iron Skillet
  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. — The Rand Band
  • 4 – 4:45 p.m. — The Rockits Band
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Rogue Johnsen Project

Americana Stage (1900 Mount Vernon Avenue)

  • 10 – 10:50 a.m. — Justin Shaffer Duo
  • 11 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. — Craig and Rick Duo
  • 12 – 12:50 p.m.  — Esther Haynes Duo
  • 1 – 1:50 p.m. — Mike Elosh Duo
  • 2 – 2:50 p.m. — Julia Kazdorf Duo
  • 3 – 3:50 p.m. — Elizabeth Lane Duo
  • 4 – 5 p.m. — Dire Wolves Duo

Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel Concert Band Stage (Mt. Vernon Community School basketball court)

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Whiskey Before Breakfast Band
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m. — Alexandria Singers
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m. — NOVA Concert Band
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. — NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Band
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m. — Alexandria Choral Society
  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. — The Alexandria Citizens Band
  • 4 – 4:45 p.m. — The Alexandria Citizens SWING Band
  • 5 – 6:00 p.m. — The Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts (Vocal Performance Ensemble)
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Morning Notes

Around Jones Point Park (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Compost Station Opens — “On Sunday, July 17, the Old Town North Sunday Farmers Market officially opened its Compost Cab compost station. The new compost station will be a permanent fixture at this year-round market, every Sunday from 10am-2pm.” [Zebra]

City Ranks as One of the Top U.S. Cities — “Readers of Travel + Leisure appear to have a favorable opinion of Alexandria, because the city made the top 10 of the magazine’s 15 Best Cities in the United States list… Alexandria was ranked eighth among big cities like New York City, New Orleans and Chicago on the national list.” [Patch]

Film Festival Submissions Open — “Calling all #artists and #filmmakers–Join us this November in @AlexandriaVA for the 4th Annual STEM Art & Film Festival at #IFoRE22. Now accepting submissions http://experienceIFoRE.org/stem-art-film-rt-film-festival #art #artstudent #artfestival #filmfestival #scienceart” [Twitter]

It’s Monday — Rain in the evening. High of 87 and low of 75. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Live music, antique fire engines, craft booths and more will be on-hand on Saturday, August 6, at the annual Friendship Firehouse Festival in Old Town.

The free event will be held at the firehouse (107 S. Alfred Street) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and guests will be able to view the renovated Prettyman Hose Carriage, which dates back to 1858, and the Rodgers Suction Engine (1851).

The Friendship Fire Company was formed in 1774, making it one of the oldest fire companies in the U.S. The Company moved to its location in 1851, and the building was constructed in 1855. The firehouse is now a museum focusing on fire-fighting history and safety, and conducts numerous events annually.

Kids will also get plastic fire helmets at the event.

Via Friendship Fire Company/Facebook

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Music, local food and beer is on tap this weekend for the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival at Waterfront Park.

This year, the event is merging with the 44th Annual Alexandria Jazz Fest, and the free events will be held on Friday (June 17) from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m.

The Portside Festival is organized by Visit Alexandria and the City’s Office of the Arts.

“New this year, the event merges with the  on Friday evening to showcase jazz performances and readings by Alexandria poets,” Visit Alexandria said on its website. “Saturday the festival continues with an eclectic musical lineup, local food, hands-on art and history activities and more.”

Food will be provided by Borinquen Lunch Box, Chalkboard Wings & BBQ, Dolci Gelati and The Italian Place.

Additionally, Port City Brewing Company will provide these beers:

  • Optimal Wit (Belgian-style white ale, 4.9%)
  • Beach Drive (Golden ale, 4%)
  • Downright Pilsner (Bohemian style pilsner)
  • 4.8%; Monumental (IPA, India pale ale, 6.7%)

Friday schedule

  • 6 to 6:15 p.m. — Opening remarks
  • 6:15 to 7 p.m. — Cubano Groove
  • 7:15 to 8 p.m. — VERONNEAU
  • 8:15 to 9 p.m. — Eric Byrd Trio

There will be poetry read between sets by:

  • Zeina Azzam, Alexandria’s Poet Laureate
  • KaNikki Jakarta, Alexandria’s former Poet Laureate
  • An up-and-coming Alexandria youth poet

Saturday Schedule

  • 1 to 1:15 p.m. — Opening remarks
  • 1:15 to 2 p.m. — Eli Lev (folk rock)
  • 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. — La Unica (Irish Latin rock)
  • 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. — ilyAIMY (folk rock)
  • 5 to 5:45 p.m. — Rob Curto’s Forró for All (Brazilian forró)
  • 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. — Ras Band (Ethiopian reggae, jazz and funk)
  • 7:45 to 9:00 p.m. — Pablo Antonio y La Firma (salsa, merengue and bachata)

Via Facebook

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Thousands of visitors strolled through Old Town on Sunday (May 22) to check out dozens of classic cars.

The third annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style took up the 200-to-400 blocks of King Street and the 100 blocks of North Royal and North Fairfax Streets.

The event, which features some rare and unusual supercars, was sponsored by Burke & Herbert Bank.

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Get your stretchy pants ready, because the Well Ray festival is around the corner.

It’s the first year back after a two-year Covid hiatus, and organizers say that the free event on June 11 will go on rain or shine, with a central portion of Mount Vernon Avenue closed off for dozens of health vendors who will have live boxing, pilates and yoga demonstrations.

“It’s great for the community’s physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health,” said Lola Capps of Chrysalis Chiropractic, who is co-chairing the event with Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher. “It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be big, with lots of fun stuff that’s not just for adults, it’s for kids as well.”

The event includes nearly 40 vendors, and is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team.

“We’re very glad to be bringing this event back after two years,” said Fisher, who owns Del Ray Psych and Wellness. “Our goal is to connect people to things that they might not even be thinking about, like introducing them to new modalities or fitness classes, because there are many different things that can help our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing.”

The event includes:

  • A rock wall
  • Acupuncture
  • Pilates
  • Dance
  • Yoga
  • A zen zone
  • Boxing
  • Dog fitness area
  • Hula hooping
  • Human and canine massages
  • Physical therapy consultations
  • Chiropractic assessments
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Meditation
  • Wellness coaching

Via Facebook

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It wasn’t a washout, but the Alexandria Old Town Springtime Art Festival was a little less busy than expected due to the rain.

On Saturday and Sunday (May 14 and 15) the festival featured dozens of artists at the John Carlyle Square outside of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (600 Dulany Street).

The next art festivals are the 20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival on September 17 and 18, followed by Art On The Avenue on October 1 in Del Ray.

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