Alexandria, VA

Del Ray’s Art on the Avenue festival usually draws hundreds of artists and upward of 75,000 visitors along Mount Vernon Avenue, but this year the celebration will be virtual.

“This is out 25th year, and it’s even more heartbreaking we can’t do it in-person,” festival founder Pat Miller told ALXnow.

More than 150 artists are still participating, and their work will be available by category from October 3 through the December holidays on the Art on the Avenue website.

“Through our site, you can buy from artists and see their work, almost just like you would with Art on the Avenue,” Miller said.

Available art includes:

  • Wheel-thrown vases and bowls
  • Tiles
  • Sculpture
  • Tote bags and purses
  • Drawings and pastels
  • Knitted and crocheted hats and gloves
  • Woven scarves and shawls
  • Gourmet food
  • Fused and blown glass
  • Jewelry
  • Paintings
  • Photography

Photo via Art on the Avenue/Facebook

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In years past, the Alexandria Old Town Art Festival has packed King Street full of art vendors. This year, that changes with a new venue to allow for some extra pandemic precautions.

The Old Town festival will be moving a little west to 300 John Carlyle Street in the Carlyle neighborhood on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

The festival will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both days.

“Carlyle is a mixed-use community within the Eisenhower East area of Alexandria and includes high-rise residential complexes, hotels and retail establishments,” the festival organizers said on the website. “The strong support we receive from the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Bureau contributes to the local crowd, and that support continues to its new location. 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 Festival is coming soon to John Carlyle Square Park! Mark your calendars for September 12th and 13th! Admission is free, masks are required. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the event dates.

Posted by Carlyle Council on Thursday, August 27, 2020

The porous movement in and out of the King Street festival that defined it in the past has also been replaced by the necessity of reserved time slots. Visitors will be required to reserve a time slot online to limit the number of attendees. Entrances and exits will also be monitored for one-way traffic, the site said.

According to the website, other pandemic restrictions include

• All attendees are asked to wear a mask upon entering the Festival, with the exception of children aged 2 and under.
• Social distancing is required between artists and patrons, and patron groups.
• Patrons are asked to stay home if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, awaiting test results for COVID-19, or show any symptoms of the virus.
• Guests are also asked to utilize hand-washing and sanitizing stations on a regular basis and avoid casual touching.

A list of exhibiting artists is available online, including painters, jewelers, and mixed-media artists.

Photo via Howard Alan Events/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Arlandria Champion Kevin Beekman Passes Away — “It is with great sorrow that we announce that Kevin Beekman, an Arlandria hero and force behind the Four Mile Run Conservancy and Farmer’s Market, lost his battle with amyloidosis on August 24. Kevin was part of the fabric of Arlandria.” [Zebra]

Beyer Says Republican National Convention is Corrupt — “The White House is not the property of Donald Trump or the Republican Party, it belongs to the American people. These actions cheapen the office and degrade the nation. This convention, like the person at its core, is fundamentally corrupt.” [Twitter]

Coronavirus Cases Reach 3,333 in Alexandria — “Positive tests up 9 to 3,333 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate up to 5.9%. One new hospitalization.” [Twitter]

Live Outdoor Concert Tonight Honoring Anniversary of March on Washington — “A program of vibrant, meaningful and historic music, presented by prominent Washington Artists on the anniversary weekend of the March on Washington.” [Visit Alexandria]

ALIVE! Warns of Scam Calls — “Periodically ALIVE! seems to be the target of scammers. Please know that ALIVE! staff and leaders will never ask you to purchase gift certificates in specific amounts or at specific places, or make unusual personal requests. Please contact us directly if in doubt of any request.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — During the day, “More clouds than sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High around 90F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” At night, “Scattered thunderstorms during the evening, then cloudy skies overnight. Low around 75F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Tour Guide — “We specialize in performing haunted pub tours. Think ghost tour combined with Pub Crawl and there you have it.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

COVID-19 Cases up 21 to 3,186 in Alexandria — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 21 to 3,186 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate steady at 5.8% 0 new hospitalizations Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Ebbin Bill Would Require Landlords Offer Tenants Payment Plans — “Senator John Bell and my bill to require landlords to offer payment plans to tenants who miss a payment due to COVID-19 rather than evicting them reports unanimously from the General Laws committee. This bill is a win-win and will stem the potential tide of evictions in Virginia, and has consensus support from tenants and landlords alike.” [Facebook]

Irish Festival Goes Virtual — “The Alexandria Irish Festival, an annual tradition promoting Irish heritage, won’t happen in person this year due to the pandemic. Instead, the festivities will go virtual for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 29.” [Patch]

Pizza Restaurant Opens in Del Ray — “The site, 2419 Mt. Vernon Ave., has been home to several restaurants in recent years.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — During the day, mostly cloudy skies; a stray shower or thunderstorm is possible; high near 85F; winds S at 5 to 10 mph. In the evening, isolated thunderstorms, then cloudy skies overnight. Low 71F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. [Weather.com]

New Job: Reconstruction Estimator — “Review and evaluate cost estimates, communicates with team members regarding new and current projects. Prepare estimates and cost in detail for all products, ensure timely completion of estimates and rebuild jobs, establish and maintain working relation with homeowners and adjusters. Strong understanding of residential and commercial process.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Goodhart Group Buys Alexandria Hospital Staff 100 Meals From Mason Social — “Our General Manager, Mark delivered 100 meals to Alexandria Hospital this evening on behalf of @thegoodhartgroup. We love partnering with our community to help support each other during this time of uncertainty.” [Facebook]

GoFundMe Campaign Started for Business Owner With Cancer — “I can’t go anywhere, and I’m riddled with anxiety with everything going on. As you can imagine it’s extra tough to get supplies. Especially with the things I need, supplies are cleared and simple things like hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves are hard to come by.” [Zebra]

Beyer Presides Over Congress Wearing Face Mask — “Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) wearing a face mask and gloves presided over this morning’s House pro forma session during the coronavirus pandemic.” [Twitter]

Hunger Free Alexandria Updates Food Resource List — “Notable change: West End Food Pantry now requires a Valid photo ID with current City of Alexandria address or a Photo ID and current bill with City of Alexandria address.” [Facebook]

Fresh Market Asks Customers to Wear Masks — “The Fresh Market, which has an Alexandria grocery store in Bradlee Shopping Center, announced Tuesday it will ask shoppers to wear masks.” [Alexandria Living]

Senior Services of Alexandria ‘Animeals’ Program is Operational — “Our Animeals program is continuing to care for the animals of older adults in Alexandria! Thank you to our volunteers who deliver pet supplies to our local seniors.” [Facebook]

Mia’s Italian Kitchen Donating $2 For Every Prosciutto Pie Sold — “ONE DAY ONLY  In honor of Spring2ACTion Day, The Patterson Group will be donating $2 to ACT for Alexandria for every Spring2Action Prosciutto Pie sold. This special pie featuring prosciutto di Parma, burrata, Calabrese pepper sauce and spinach pesto will be available for pickup and delivery this Wednesday, April 15 only!” [Facebook]

ACPS Now on Multiple Public TV Channels — “Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade Dragons! ACPS-TV will be providing content on channels 70 and 71. Check it out starting today! There will be lessons on a wide variety of topics, read-alouds, movement activities, and more.” [Facebook]

Old Town Festival of Speed and Style Rescheduled to September — The annual classic car show on King Street in Old Town was originally Scheduled for June 7, and has been pushed to September 6. [Facebook]

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You don’t have to go across the Potomac to enjoy cherry blossom season.

Alexandria’s pink and white blossoms are not as famous and centrally-located as those in D.C., but local tourism group Visit Alexandria put together a list of several cherry blossoms themed events around town.

One is a Cherry Blossom Pop-Up History Tour with Discover Alexandria. Two pop-up tours are planned during peak bloom week, with specifics set to be announced one week in advance. Admission to the tour is $15 per adult, or $8 for children and $12 for military, veterans and students.

“Discover Alexandria’s Cherry Blossom Pop-Up History Tour will occur twice during the week of peak bloom,” Visit Alexandria said in a press release. “The 75-minute tour offers the best of both worlds, combining local history with great cherry blossom sightseeing.”

The National Park Service announced earlier this week that peak bloom for the Tidal Basin’s Yoshino cherry trees was projected as March 27-30.

The tours are scheduled to depart from the Alexandria Visitor Center at 221 King Street.

Other local events include:

  • Cherry Blossom Jubilee at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (March 28): The annual festival is a celebration of cherry blossoms through art, with hands-on activities, performances, and art available on all three levels of the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
  • Alexandria Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl (April 5): A self-guided food tour of Old Town. Tasting tickets can be bought online with $65 for four tastings, $80 for six tastings, and $96 for eight tastings. Each ticket is valid for a sampling at several locations throughout Old Town.
  • Blossom Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (May 2): A Regency-era ball with live music, English country dancing, a cash bar and seasonal desserts. Tickets are $45 and Regency or cocktail attire is encouraged. Visit Alexandria suggested in a press release that those not familiar with the style of dancing should complete at least one full lesson before attending.

If you do want to leave Alexandria, there are a few options for cherry blossom related choices. Starting March 1, the water taxi from the Alexandria Marina (1 Cameron Street) to The Wharf will start running at 6:40 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends, with $13 one-way tickets and $21 round-trip tickets.

There is also an electric bike tour that runs from Old Town to the cherry blossoms along East Potomac Park. The trips depart at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with $69 admission per bike.

Image via Visit Alexandria

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In celebration of Cider Week Virginia, Alexandria will host a cider festival next week.

Hosted by Historic Alexandria, the hard cider tasting event is set for Saturday, November 23 from 1-5 p.m. at the Lloyd House in Old Town (220 N. Washington Street).

Tickets begin at $45 and raise to $55 at the door, plus a $20 ticket option for non-drinkers. The outdoor festival will include 10 pours from different cideries, plus a take-home souvenir glass.

The event will be outdoors, so visitors are advised to dress for the cold. Mount Vernon-based American food truck Executive Orders will also be onsite.

In addition to the festival, Pizza Paradiso in Old Town (124 King Street) will be hosting two “Cider Tap Takeovers” on Thursday, November 21, and Sunday, November 24. The event will feature draft pours from various Virginia cideries including Lost Boy and Potters.

Photo via Historic Alexandria/Facebook

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Alexandria’s 13th annual film festival officially starts tomorrow, with movie screenings across Alexandria scheduled to run through the weekend.

The biggest name at the festival this year is Alexandria native and former Saturday Night Live performer Casey Wilson, who is showing Daddio, her short film about a daughter and an eccentric father struggling to find ways to cope with the loss of the matriarch of the family.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Wilson and her father.

Other spotlighted features include This Changes Everything, a movie about gender discrimination in Hollywood as told by actresses like Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, executive produced by Geena Davis.

Daddio and This Changes Everything will both be shown at AMC Hoffman Center (206 Swamp Fox Road) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, as part of a “Women in Film Showcase.” Tickets to the event are available online.

The festival’s screenings start on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Street) with a series of free movie events from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Movies range from Barbarian Utopia, a 94-minute documentary following a college graduate hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, to Dead, White and Blue, a two-minute short film about love at first sight.

All-festival passes to the are available online for $50 until Friday, Nov. 8. Tickets to individual sets of films are $12.50 online or $15 at the door.

Photo via Facebook/Alexandria Film Festival

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Del Ray’s annual Art on the Avenue festival is returning this weekend and drivers are warned to keep clear of the area.

On Saturday (Oct. 5), Mount Vernon Avenue will be closed from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. between Bellefonte and Hume Avenues, according to a tweet from the Alexandria Police Department.

The free street festival is expected to feature over 300 artists, with a variety of musicians and food vendors. It runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Over 50,000 visitors are expected, event organizers say. Children’s activities, like stuffing a scarecrow and painting a pumpkin, will also be part of the festivities.

Photo via Art on the Avenue/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Historic Waterfront Building Becoming Restaurant — “More details have recently been unveiled about the cafe and market going in at the 10 Duke Street warehouse building. Alexandrian Murray Bonnitt, a custom builder who specializes in historic preservation, is renovating the building, which served as a Civil War mess hall. Dubbed The Mill, it is part of the Robinson Landing development on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

City Recognizes Cybersecurity Month — “During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, and year-round, the City of Alexandria encourages the public to understand the importance of cybersecurity and to stay safe and secure online.” [City of Alexandria]

Local Life Expectancy Varies by ZIP Code — “The average life expectancy in Alexandria is 81.70, which is higher than the 79.20 statewide average, and above the 78.60 national average… The life expectancy in the area of 100 King Street is 84.60 years, while it’s 79.70 years for 1000 Mount Vernon Avenue.” [Patch]

Changes May Be Coming to Duke Street — “On the heels of a controversial decision to reduce vehicle lanes and add bicycle lanes and more safety measures to Seminary Road, Alexandria City staff are starting to take a serious look at Duke Street, especially in areas that experience the most significant backups.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Loan Companies Giving Money to Local Pols — “Alexandria has eight car-title lending locations and two payday lenders, plus a growing number of companies offering online loans at nosebleed interest rates. It’s an industry that’s been under fire in recent years, and now campaign-finance disclosures show these companies are spreading their money around to Democrats and Republicans in an effort to influence the next General Assembly.” [Gazette Packet]

Pharmacy Owner Sentenced for Fraud — “A pharmacy owner with stores in Arlington and Alexandria has been sentenced to four years behind bars for falsifying insurance claims and illegally dispensing opioids.” [ARLnow]

Letter Writer: Art Festival Was Traffic ‘Disaster’ — Alexandria resident Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet writes in a letter to the editor: “A perfect example of overstretching our infrastructure occurred over the weekend when the annual Arts Festival invaded our turf. Anyone who came into Old Town on Saturday saw the largest traffic and parking disaster in years.” [Gazette Packet]

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