New gift shop in Old Town helps people with disabilities — “B.E.S.T stands for ‘Building Employment Solutions Together’ and is a collaboration between the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund (JPMF) and ServiceSource to provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Alexandria wins housing policy leadership awards — “Affordable and workforce housing policies and programs put in place by the governments of Alexandria, Virginia, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, have been selected as joint winners of the 2021 Urban Land Institute Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards.” [Urbanland]
Best Pumpkin patches around Alexandria-area — “Cooler fall days are quickly approaching in the Greater Alexandria area, which means it’s time to start planning your family’s yearly trek to the country to find the best pumpkins.” [Patch]
School Board forum tonight — “PTAC will host a virtual School Board Candidate Forum at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2021. Come hear from each of the school board candidates.” [PTAC]
D1 Training opens new Alexandria location — “D1 Training, a sports training franchise for all ages, finally opened its Alexandria doors. On October 11, at 6550 Little River Turnpike, children and parents and divas and mascots reveled in the grand reveal.” [Zebra]
We’re nearing the end of the first full week of October, and around the city, various homes and local businesses are starting to get into the spooky mood.
Visit Alexandria has put together a roundup of Halloween-themed activities around town. While the pandemic is still ongoing, there’s been progress since last October when some iconic Alexandria Halloween events (like Lee Street trick-or-treating) were shut down.
After you vote, be sure to share what costume you’re putting together — if any — in the comments.
It’s Friday, Oct. 1, or more importantly: the start of Halloween month.
While locals start the scramble to put together their spooky decorations and costumes, Visit Alexandria has put together a rundown for ghostly activities and family friendly haunts around town. Events range from parades to plays, from the streets of Del Ray to the depths of Ivy Hill cemetery.
The big event of the season is the Del Ray Halloween Parade, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. The parade runs along Mount Vernon Avenue to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Avenue). Children, pets and strollers are invited to march in the parade in costume, with awards given for best pet costumes, best decorated businesses, best decorated home and best decorated stroller.
Several trick or treating events are also planned around town, including:
- Old Town Trick or Treat by Old Town Business Association: Saturday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- 8th Annual Doggie Trick of Treat: Sunday, Oct. 24, from 1-5 p.m. Costumed dogs are welcome to come to the Old Town dog park (705 King Street) to sample treats from local stores.
- “Boo Bags” at Horray for Books!: Sunday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Horray for Books! (1555 King Street)
- Trick of Treat at Carlyle House: Sunday, Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. at Carlyle House (121 N. Fairfax Street)
There are several festive events around town included in the Visit Alexandria rundown as well.
- Raven’s Night at the Birchmere: Saturday, Oct. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m at The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Avenue). The Birchmere’s Raven’s Night event is coming back for its 10th year, with a mix of belly dancing, live music, and a pre-show carnival. This year’s theme is “Coven” with a witchcraft and wizardry theme. Tickets are $45 per person.
- “Wait Until Dark” at The Little Theatre of Alexandria: Wednesdays, starting Oct. 16 through Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. at The Little Theater of Alexandria (600 Wolfe Street). The Little Theatre is hosting a production of “Wait Until Dark”, a play about a blind woman alone in her apartment facing off against a crew of con men. Tickets are $21-$24 per person, and all patrons are required to wear a mask through the show.
- Halloween Ball and Anniversary Celebration at Barkhaus: Thursday, Oct. 21, from 7:30-10 p.m. at Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue). Barkhaus is hosting an appropriately dog-focused Halloween event, with guests asked to dress formally with “Halloween twists” on their costumes. Dogs are encouraged to dress up as well. Tickets are $75.
- Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: Thursday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 30, from 7-8 p.m. at Ivy Hill Cemetery (2823 King Street). The Guillotine Theatre’s “Poe Outside the Vault” program returns, with actors reading through works by poet Edgar Allan Poe. Seating is limited and guests can RSVP at [email protected] Tickets are $20.
- Boos & Booze at Cafe 44: Friday, Oct. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 31 at Cafe 44 (44 Canal Center Plaza). The cafe will be running a selection of craft cocktails. Costumes and reservations are encouraged.
- Fall Frolic: Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m at the Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco Street). The Lee-Fendall House is hosting a seasonal event in the garden, with activities aimed at children ages 3-12. Tickets are $15 per person.
- Nightmare at Barkhaus: Saturday, Oct. 30, from 5-8 p.m. at Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue). Barkhaus is also hosting an annual costume contest for dogs, with food and drink specials along with a dog runway. Admission is free.
There are at least two ghost tours available in Alexandria. The Ghost & Graveyard Tour starts today (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. and runs nightly through Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays there are additional tours at 8:30 and 9 p.m. The tour follows an 18th-century costumed guide through Old Town, telling ghost stories and local folklore along the way. The tour is for ages nine and up, with no pets allowed. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, military and law enforcement, and $10 for children. Tours start at the Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King Street).
The Lee-Fendall House also offers a Grief & Ghost Tour on Friday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 23 and Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30. Tours start at 7, 7:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m. The tour looks at Victorian mourning traditions, along with stories of tragic deaths and mystery at the Lee-Fendall House. Mourning rituals like covering mirrors and seances are explained. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance.
This weekend was a pleasant surprise for Pat Miller, an Alexandria Living Legend and board member of the Del Ray Business Association. While trick or treating was discouraged due to the pandemic and Halloween expected to be relatively quiet this year, Miller said the neighborhood’s scavenger hunt saw surprisingly active participation.
“It went amazing,” said Miller. “We got over 60 scavenger hunt forms filled out. All these people were walking around, looking and looking in Del Ray.”
Miller said it was a larger response than the the scavenger hunt has ever gotten.
“Everybody has been in their home and secluded,” Miller said. “It was nice, even just as their family, to go out and do something where they could walk up and down the avenue. It was the right thing at the right time, that’s what we were hearing.”
Miller said without trick or treating, kids in the neighborhood had nothing to dress up for. A scavenger hunt around town offered an alternative.
“I believe there were 24 things they had to identify from the business windows,” Miller said. “It was something that may have been kind of hidden. A lot of them were related to decorations.”
Miller said there will likely be another scavenger hunt around Christmas, with details hidden in painted windows across Del Ray.
Visit Del Ray also hosted its annual decorations contests; including homes, pets, and group costumes. The home at 4 W. Custis Avenue took home first prize in home decorations with a spooky summoning display. A Tiger King family costume won first place in the group costumes and a squirrel in a witch hat took home first place in the pet costume category.
Photos via Visit Del Ray/Facebook
The Alexandria Drive-In returned to Eisenhower Avenue with a double feature on Halloween night, and there will be a dozen movies running this weekend until Dec. 5.
The drive-in showed “The Mummy” and “Casper” on Halloween.
“Our second series of movies will hopefully provide some humor on Halloween, especially with the absence of trick or treating, lighten your heart and any worries you have while you and your neighbors enjoy a few hours together, apart from celebrating the winter season,” said Kelly Grant, Chief Operating Officer for ALX Community, who came up with the idea.
The drive-in launched in August and the first six shows sold out in four days. The shows can hold 215 cars in the Victory Center parking lot at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue, and tickets cost $35 apiece. Proceeds from the events go to ACT for Alexandria and Athena Rapid Response.
“It’s so incredible to see the city come out and celebrate movies, togetherness, and charity during a time when going to the movies and being together is nearly impossible,” said Allen Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of The Garden, which partners with ALX Community. “Not to mention that we’ve already given $30,000 to a local charity that is already being used to provide desks for free to kids in the city through Athena response.”
The food trucks at the drive-in include DC Slices, Chix N Stix, Lattimore’s Funnel Cakes, and Popped Republic.
- Saturday, Nov. 7 — “Nanny McPhee” & “The Race” (Double Feature)
- Sunday, Nov. 8 — “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
- Saturday, Nov. 14 — “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Pitch Perfect” (Double Feature)
- Friday, Nov. 20 — “Sea Biscuit”
- Saturday, Nov. 21 — “How to Train Your Dragon” and “42” (Double Feature)
- Friday, Dec. 4 — “The Bourne Identity”
- Saturday, Dec. 5 — “The Grinch” and “Love Actually” (Double Feature)
Photos via ALX Community
Dominion Says Sunday Power Outage Caused by Broken Pole/Cross Arm — “Update: A broken pole/cross arm caused the failure. We have been able to isolate the problem and are hoping to everyone back on line very soon.” [Twitter]
Retro Candy Shop Opening in Fairlington — “If you’re into nostalgic candy that will take you back to your childhood days, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the opening of Rocket Fizz, Soda Pop & Candy Shop at Fairlington Centre in Alexandria, according to signs posted in the windows.” [Alexandria Living]
Alexandria Film Festival Unveils 2020 Program — “The Alexandria Film Festival, which will debut virtually this year Nov. 12-15, announced on Tuesday its 2020 programming of 45 short and feature length fiction and nonfiction films.” [Gazette]
The Following Bills Are Due This Month — “Bills for the 2020 second half real estate tax, refuse fees and stormwater utility fees are due Nov. 16. Make payments online, by phone or mail, or in person. Those unable to pay due to COVID-19 may be eligible for payment arrangements.” [Twitter]
Check Out These Cool Pumpkin Carvings in Alexandria — “For some 20 years, Rick and Lynne White have carved the humble pumpkin into a work of art. Their festive Halloween display on Emerald Drive in Alexandria’s Waynewood neighborhood draws a crowd every year.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Abundant sunshine (during the day). High 49F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph. Clear skies (in the evening). Low 38F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Move-In Coordinator at Goodwin House — “The move-in coordinator is responsible for the move-in process; provides support to marketing director and marketing associate. Establishes a professional, supportive and caring relationship with the independent living residents. Coordinates necessary paperwork and support services to ensure that the move-process is as pleasant an experience as possible for the resident. Serves as a resource person during the move-in process.” [Indeed]
What an intense week in Alexandria.
Our top story was on the massive power outages that affected tens of thousands of residents on Friday, October 23. Without providing specifics, Dominion Energy told City Council this week that outages in Alexandria and Arlington were “unique,” and caused by a piece of equipment that failed at its Glebe Road substation. City Councilors responded that there have been at least eight outages since May.
Monday started with news that an Alexandria Police officer was shot in Old Town and that the 27-year-old suspect was found shot to death near a construction site.
Police were called to the Holiday Inn & Suites in Old Town North after reports that shots were fired in the lobby of the hotel. Police chased two suspects on foot and a shootout ensued. The officer was shot in the lower body and was later released, and the other suspect later turned himself in to police.
On the coronavirus front, there are now 74 deaths in Alexandria and there are now or have been more than 4,200 cases since the pandemic began in March. Latino residents continue to lead the case count. This week the Alexandria Health Department reported that majority of recent coronavirus cases in Alexandria might be the result of contacts at home, indoor gatherings and eating out.
Restaurant-wise, we reported the soft opening of a new chicken joint in North Old Town.
Additionally, the Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies art installation at Waterfront Park will be taken down next month at Waterfront Park, and the installation will temporarily be moved outside of Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron Street).
We also reported that more than 50% of Alexandria voters have already cast their ballots.
Additionally, more than 240 people participated in our weekly poll. With Halloween on Saturday, this week we asked about trick-or-treating plans, and 38% of respondents are not celebrating Halloween this year, 31% are not trick-or-treating but have other plans, 17% plan to trick-or-treat with modifications, and 14% plan to trick-or-treat as usual.
Here are ALXnow’s top stories of the week in Alexandria:
- BREAKING: Massive Power Outage Reported in Alexandria
- BREAKING: Virginia State Police Seek Alexandria Man After Police Shootout
- School Board Shelves Plan to Reopen Schools in 2021, Students with Disabilities Transitioning Back Next Month
- Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
- Here’s Where Alexandria Residents Might be Getting COVID-19
- BREAKING: Shooting Suspect In Custody, Police Announce
- Police: Man Killed in Car Crash on N. Van Dorn Street
- Identity Released of Old Town North Suspect Killed in Shootout
- Police: Shots Fired in Braddock Area on Monday Night
- The Chewish Deli Opens New Location in Old Town
- Police Assist Man With Psychotic Episode in West End
Beyer Calls Trump ‘Super Spreader in Chief’ — “The Super-Spreader-In-Chief strikes again. From coast to coast he visits American communities spreading dangerous aversion to science and public health precautions. He brings large groups of people together under unsafe conditions in state after state, and this is what results.” [Twitter]
Halloween Weekend Events in Alexandria — “While Alexandria police are not planning to close down Lee Street for the annual Halloween party, there are lots of activities Halloween weekend.” [Alexandria Living]
ACT for Alexandria’s #ArtsALX Fundraiser Extended to Nov. 6 — “We are still fundraising to save the arts! 100% of donations will directly support artists in Alexandria. Donation portals open thru Friday, Nov. 6.” [Twitter]
Two Alexandria Restaurants Make Washingtonian’s List for Cozy Escapes — “The Yates family went above and beyond when reimagining the outdoor space at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap during the pandemic. The 5,200 square-foot set-up has cabanas–hung with Moroccan lanterns–for parties of ten or less; pergolas glowing with string lights; and a new beer garden ringed around a fire pit… Pick (at Del Ray’s Evening Star Cafe) between two homey outdoor areas at this Alexandria mainstay: the Front Porch, where you can sip a bourbon slush by a fire-pit table, and the new, roomy Back Yard.” [Washingtonian]
ALIVE! Hosting Food Distribution Event on Halloween — “The event will be held at two drive-through sites: the parking lots of John Adams Elementary (5651 Rayburn Ave.) and Cora Kelly Elementary (3600 Commonwealth Ave.). Residents can pick up food at either location from 8:30-10:30 a.m. or until supplies last.” [Zebra]
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Gets Pets Displaced by Zeta — “We are so glad we were able to welcome a group of dogs and cats from @LASPCA last night. In preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Zeta, The Louisiana SCPA needed to make extra room in their shelter so they could help animals displaced by the storm.” [Twitter]
Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day) . High 53F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph. A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 37F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Deputy Clerk — “The Deputy Clerk (Grade 7) is assigned operational responsibilities and ensures court’s instructions are executed and legal papers are prepared with accuracy and in accordance with appropriate policies and procedures.” [Indeed]
In 1777, the original Tall Ship Providence found something eerie off the coast of New York — an abandoned, rudderless ghost ship full of rich clothing, bread and even a dog.
“We came within pistol shot and hailed her, but received no answer,” noted Marine Captain John Trevette in his diary.
Trevette was ordered to inspect the ship with his Marines, and found “all the beds and all the trunks full of rich clothing, and chests with keys in them.”
Incidentally, Alexandria is a great place to tell ghost stories. There are ghost and graveyard tours, a ghost tour pub crawl, and on Friday, October 30, the Tall Ship Providence will host Halloween story time at 11:30 a.m. and noon.
The Tall Ship Providence, located on the Alexandria waterfront, is a replica of the first naval warship commissioned by the Continental Congress in 1775.
Below is the story from Tall Ship Providence shipmate AB Barlow:
Beyer Says Trump is Suppressing Votes — “Donald Trump wants to illegally stop Americans – including members of our military serving overseas – from voting. The counter to this is simple: vote.” [Twitter]
Mayor Defends Kamala Harris’ Dancing After Criticism — “I am a ‘younger’ elected official and I frequently dance (and sing) to Mary J. songs (more ‘Just Fine’ than ‘Work That’) and I cannot wait until next year when we have a Vice President who does too.” [Twitter]
Alexandria Restaurant Partners Adds Air Purification Technology — “The Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology purifies the air by attacking and killing viruses, mold spores and bacteria, according to ARP. Created by Global Plasma Solutions, it is the first air purification solution to test effectively neutralize the coronavirus and achieves a 99.4 percent reduction within a half hour.” [Patch]
Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy Gala Tonight — “ACAP will host a virtual community event (today), Oct 29, 5:30 pm, featuring a celebration of its 20th anniversary and the release of annual teen pregnancy data by the Alexandria Health Department.” [Twitter]
Virtual Paint Night Tickets Available to Benefit Volunteer Alexandria — “Join Alexandria Living Magazine and local acrylic artist Kellie Sansone for a virtual painting class, where participants will paint a pineapple — a symbol that means ‘welcome’ and is used quite often in Alexandria. The majority of proceeds will benefit Volunteer Alexandria, a local organization that matches volunteers of all ages with opportunities here in Alexandria. The cost of your ticket includes supplies in addition to the class!” [Alexandria Living]
Greenstreet Gardens Has an Influx of Pumpkins — “Still need carving #pumpkins ? We have lots to choose from!” [Twitter]
Today’s Weather — “Periods of rain. Potential for heavy rainfall (during the day). High 63F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100%. 1 to 2 inches of rain expected. Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers (in the evening). Low 47F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Sales and Marketing Manager — “Looking for marketing manager to develop and maintain social media platforms. To increase brand awareness. Responsible for posts, create email campagins. Working to create advertising, special offers, special events. Create photography and video posts. Copy, write and proofread all marketing materials. Need at least 2-3 years experience. [Indeed]