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It’s been a busy week in Alexandria, starting off with Halloween on Monday and continuing through to major changes for Potomac Yard and the former Landmark Mall site.

The city had not one, but two big Halloween celebrations: a parade in Del Ray on Sunday and trick-or-treating along Lee Street in Old Town on Monday.

At least one person may have gotten a little too carried away, however: a 61-year-old woman was arrested on Halloween for being a felon in possession of a stun gun and driving an unlicensed vehice.

  1. Man robbed while painting exterior of home in Old Town
  2. New city report says that the Seminary Road Diet is working
  3. Pentagon police officer accused of drug dealing is an Alexandria resident
  4. Major pieces of Landmark Mall redevelopment head to Planning Commission next month
  5. Metro’s Blue Line trains reopening in Alexandria on Sunday
  6. Old Town street closure planned ahead of trick-or-treating
  7. Two gunfire incidents in the West End over the weekend
  8. After decades of complaints, a new rail authority could be the key to fixing Alexandria’s railroad bridges
  9. PHOTOS: Thousands marched in the Del Ray Halloween Parade
  10. Construction of two apartment buildings in Potomac Yard put on hold
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Heroes, villains, and all in-between showed up for an epic Halloween experience on S. Lee Street on Monday night, October 31.

Halloween on South Lee Street is one of the city’s many Halloween traditions, along with the Halloween Parade in Del Ray.

Enjoy the photos!

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South Lee Street in Old Town will be closed this afternoon starting around 4:30 for one of the area’s most legendary Halloween events.

Every year, South Lee Street shuts down for a large Halloween event that runs from the 100 to 600 blocks.

“The closures are scheduled to begin on Monday, October 31, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. with the 100-600 blocks of South Lee Street between King and Gibbon Streets closing,” the Alexandria Police Department said in a release. “The streets are slated to be reopened by 8 p.m.”

Halloween on South Lee Street is one of the city’s many Halloween traditions, along with the Halloween Parade in Del Ray.

The release said officers will be directing traffic on the street between Gibbon and Green Streets. Normal traffic is expected to resume at 8 p.m.

“The public can expect an increased police presence in the area, and drivers are asked to remain alert,” the alert said. “Please note there is a possibility of other road closures that are not mentioned which would take place as an increased safety measure.”

If your car is towed for being parked illegally on the street, the release said to call the Department of Emergency & Customer Communications at 703 746 4444.

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It was crisp, clear on Sunday in Del Ray — perfect for the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade.

Thousands of kids and adults marched in costumes for the event, including members of the Alexandria City Council and the Alexandria City High School ‘Zombie Band’.

It’s Visit Del Ray’s 26th year hosting the fun event, which it started at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ended with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.

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What’s your costume this Halloween? there are a bunch of parties going on in Alexandria where you and your friends can show off.

Below is a list of events this weekend, and on the big day, Monday, October 31.

Families can get their fix of stories with Colonial Ghosts & Graveyards Tours, which run every day between now and Halloween.

Thursday, October 27

  • Sleepy Howllow at Brewski’s Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue) — The Barkhaus anniversary and Halloween celebration goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and tickets cost $55 for non-members and $40 for members. One registered dog per-person allowed.

Friday, October 28

Saturday, October 29

  • Hocus Pocus Brunch at King & Rye (480 King Street) — From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, the restaurant will offer themed cocktails. There will also be an “epic” costume contest with $100 gift card to the restaurant as the main prize.
  • 2nd Annual Carlyle Halloween Stampede — No one under the age of 21 is allowed in this bar crawl, which costs $10 for admission. Partiers can start at any of the participating locations: Whiskey & Oyster (301 John Carlyle Street), Sweet Fire Donna’s (510 John Carlyle Street), Tequila and Taco (540 John Carlyle Street) or Lost Boy Cider (317 Hooffs Run Drive).
  • 5th Annual Halloween Bar Crawl — The party starts at The LIghthorse at 3 p.m., and tickets range from $18 per person for groups of people, or $22 per person.
  • Costume party at Village Brauhaus (710 King Street) — The best-dressed male, female and couple costume contest begins at 9 p.m.
  • Ghost Tails at Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar (109 S. Alfred Street) — The party runs is from 8 to 9  p.m. and tickets cost $25 per person for anyone 12 and up.
  • Ravens Night at the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Avenue) — The tenth annual event features fusion belly dance, live music, a costume contest and a pre-show carnival. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $35 per person.

Sunday, October 30

  • The Del Ray Halloween Parade — This free event starts at 2 p.m. at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ends with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.
  • Edgar Allan Poe in Alexandria — Actor David Keltz returns to The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) to re-create Poe’s visit to Virginia in 1849, shortly before his death.Tickets cost $20.

Monday, October 31

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The spookiness is returning to Mount Vernon Avenue with the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday, October 30.

It’s Visit Del Ray’s 26th year hosting the fun event, which it starts at 2 p.m. at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ends with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.

The grand marshall of this year’s parade is a student from Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology.

Thousands are expected to attend the event.

Star Trek fans marching in the Del Ray Halloween parade on Sunday, October 24, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Del Ray Halloween Parade includes:

  • Stroller and pet costume contests — Participants must register at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Mt. Vernon and E. Howell Avenues
  • Best Decorated House and Business contests — The nomination deadline is Sunday, October 23, at noon.
  • Scavenger Hunt — Four winners will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite Del Ray business.

Visit Del Ray is also collecting Halloween costumes for kids at the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club, Community Lodgings, and the Alexandria Domestic Violence program.

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(Updated 3 p.m.) With Halloween just over a week away, do you plan on wearing a costume?

Some locals have been going all-out on Halloween decorations and even some local restaurants have been getting into the holiday spirit.

There are some costumed events around town, like The Birchmere’s annual Halloween event, but there are also more subdued events where costumes aren’t expected, like the Edgar Allen Poe reenactment.

Do your holiday plans involve getting dressed up in a costume this year or something else? If you are planning on getting dressed up, what is your planned costume?

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A single group of tourists walking down a cobblestone street in Old Town runs the full gamut of emotions when they come across 119 Prince Street. Some children weep, some giggle, adults gasp with surprise, and once the shock of the imagery wears off: everyone poses for pictures.

For four years, Christine and Michael Wolfe have taken great pride in turning their home on Captain’s Row into the Halloween spot for the neighborhood, and every year the spooky spectacle swells.

“We’ve been doing this for four years now,” Christine said. “More and more people are getting into Halloween. It’s all-encompassing, it’s not just a family event. Someone can sit at home alone and watch a horror movie, that’s a perfect Halloween too. Everyone can enjoy it.”

Christine said the couple’s tradition started when they lived in Del Ray when they decorated the home for the neighborhood’s Halloween contest and for their Halloween party. When they moved to Captain’s Row, Christine said their neighbors were gracious enough to let the couple expand their tableau in front of the homes next door.

The result is a stretch of three of four homes covered with skeletons of realistic and fantastical design, from a giant lashed to a tree to a skeletal Cerberus guarding a bench.

Michael said most of the decorations are from Home Depot, though the supply is limited and some are out-of-stock decorations. One of the most unique items, though, are pumpkin heads from the Nightmare Before Christmas Broadway run. Christine said a former neighbor worked on the show and held onto the set decorations. Before they moved, the neighbor asked the couple if they were interested in adding the heads to their display, which they eagerly agreed to.

For set up, Michael says it takes around three hours to “pull the skeletons out of the closet” and transport them from a storage unit to the home. From there, he said the decorations come together organically. Some are limited by logistics — the giant skeleton has to go up against the tree for stability — but other little scenes come together as he puts the items together.

One of the newest additions is the spider webbing covering much of the block. The spiders were from a limited run at Spirit Halloween and were up last year, but the webbing is new this year.

“I wanted more of a ‘walking through’ [display], not just walking by,” Michael said. “People who are scared of spiders won’t get close though. They’ll walk in the street to avoid it.”

Another new decoration is an enormous werewolf holding the torn-apart pieces of a skeleton. The display moves and snaps its jaw at pedestrians. It is, like much of the rest of the display, a Home Depot purchase.

The couple also decorates the house for other holidays, though none as extravagantly as Halloween. Christine said the couple usually travels over Christmas, but in 2020 with the Covid pandemic in full swing, the couple stayed at home and “Griswold’d the house.”

Michael and Christine have looked at other options to expand the Halloween decorations, but those are still in the very early conceptual stages as the couple already starts planning ahead for Halloween 2023. In the meantime, tourists along the 100 block of Prince Street spend the nights gawking and getting pictures among the spider webs and in the clutches of an enormous wolf man.

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As has become a tradition at every major holiday where drinking is involved, Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering free Lyft rides during the Halloween weekend.

the 2022 Halloween SoberRide program will be in effect from 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, until 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30.

“[SoberRide is] a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk period,” WRAP explained in a release. “During this twelve-hour period, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter the SoberRide code in the app’s ‘Payment’ tab (under the ‘Add Lyft Pass’ option) to receive their no-cost (up to $15) safe transportation home.”

The code will be posted at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the SoberRide website.

“Nearly half of U.S. traffic fatalities during Halloween involve drunk drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” Kurt Erickson, WRAP’s President, said in a release. “Halloween is of particular concern for younger drivers as 2020 NHTSA data shows that 68% of drunk driving deaths on U.S. roadways during the fall holiday involve drivers ages 21 to 34.”

WRAP reported that last year, 777 people in the region used the SoberRdie program on Halloween rather than drive home impaired.

The program is available in:

  • D.C.
  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Fairfax
  • Loudoun
  • Falls Church
  • Manassas
  • Prince William
  • Montgomery County
  • Prince George’s County
  • Bowie
  • College Park
  • District Heights
  • Gaithersburg
  • Glenarden
  • Greenbelt
  • Hyattsville
  • Laurel
  • Mount Ranier
  • New Carrollton
  • Rockville
  • Seat Pleasant
  • Takoma Park

WRAP also offers the program on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and the winter holidays.

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Halloween pop-up bar ‘Nightmare On The Avenue’ is back in Del Ray.

The pop-up bar at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue is decorated for the occasion, and offers spooky cocktails and snacks in the space previously home to the Tiki Bar Del Ray pop-up.

Customers can snack on light fare, like nightmare nachos, while drinking Harry Potter-themed butter beer, a Vampire’s Kiss (Tito’s vodka, pumpkin pie syrup, pumpkin puree, heavy cream and sugar) and the Insane Clown Painkiller (Pusser’s Rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple juice, orange juice and nutmeg).

Owner Bill Blackburn of the Homegrown Restaurant Group told ALXnow that customers are in for a spirited time.

“It’s a great spot to get into the Halloween spirit,” Blackburn said. “We wanted to create a fun place with a Halloween theme, and I think we succeeded with that.”

The pop-up is located between HRG’s other Del Ray restaurants Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue.

After Halloween, the bar will be transformed into the Christmas-themed “Joy On The Avenue.”

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