Tysons, VA

Plans to Make Juneteenth a State Holiday — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he will propose legislation to make Juneteenth, a celebration observed on June 19 commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, be recognized as a paid state holiday.” [Vienna Patch]

Transportation Webinars Start Today — The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Mason’s Department of Parking and Transportation teamed up on a series of webinars on active transportation. The series kicks off today at noon. [George Mason University]

No Phase Three Yet — “Virginia won’t enter Phase Three of its reopening plan this week, Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday. Speaking during his twice-weekly news conference in Richmond, Northam said that although the state’s health metrics are trending in the right direction, he’s not ready to lift restrictions further that were designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.” [Inside NoVa]

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Grab the shakers, mixers and some ice because today (May 13) is World Cocktail Day.

The holiday was popularized by Drinkaware, a United Kingdom-based charity that raises awareness of alcohol abuse and encourages responsible drinking practices.

Though there is no “official” way to celebrate the holiday, people around Tysons can get creative in a variety of ways. Options include picking up a to-go cocktail from dozens of different eateries and bars, supporting Virginia distilleries or even crafting their own cocktails from ingredients at home.

The term “cocktail” originated in the early 1800s and was defined as “stimulating liquor with a wide variety of sweets, waters, and bitters,” according to The Balance, and Columbian Repository. The drink type only reached peak popularity after prohibition when people didn’t have easy access to high-quality alcohol and wanted to make drinks more palatable, the Days of the Year website said.

“The ‘Bee’s Knees’ cocktail was actually created to mask and sweeten the taste of illegally brewed bathtub gin,” Days of the Year said. “The roaring twenties took the cocktail and shook it up into some of our most popular modern-day cocktails.”

Tysons Reporter previously did a roundup of local places offering to-go cocktails.

Falls Church Distillers sells bottles of whiskey, rum, vodka and brandy.

Peruvian restaurant Inca Social regularly posts bartending and cooking classes on Facebook. In past weeks, the staff taught viewers how to make things like “Passion Chilcano,” which contains pisco Peruvian liquor, limes, passionfruit syrup and ginger ale.

For anyone who doesn’t drink or is underage, there are also a myriad of mocktail options online too.

Photo via Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

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People in Vienna hoping to spot the Easter Bunny this year will have their chance tomorrow (April 9), according to the town’s newsletter.

Town officials organized a “drive-by bunny tour” tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. along the north side of Maple Avenue. People who celebrate Easter or simply want to take a break out of their day can watch the bunny drive down the street while waving, playing music and horn honking.

“Mr. Bunny will visit residents on the south side beginning around 12:30 p.m.,” the newsletter said. “He promises to make his presence known so that residents will be aware when he’s coming through their area.”

To respect social-distancing guidelines, people will not be able to interact with the bunny outside of the drive-by, according to the newsletter.

The idea was inspired by New Zealand’s prime minister who classified the Easter Bunny as an “essential worker,” the newsletter noted, adding that the bunny’s helpers will try to hit as many streets as possible.

Photo courtesy Town of Vienna

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With Passover and Easter quickly approaching, religious organizations and state officials are encouraging people to find alternatives to large group celebrations.

Easter Sunday falls on April 12 and Passover begins on Thursday (April 9) and ends on April 16 this year — around when statisticians hypothesize COVID-19 will peak in the D.C. area.

To obey state mandates, religious groups such as Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church and Saint John the Beloved in McLean are encouraging their patrons to worship at home this year or through digital means.

For Christians, Easter is a celebration of resurrection of Jesus from the dead, while Passover is a Jewish holiday to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.

Fairfax County released a statement reminding people that it is illegal to gather in groups of 10 or more and requested that people celebrate at home with immediate family members.

“Consider the use of technology to gather people virtually in your home to have shared meals,” the statement said. “Through various media platforms, communal sharing and celebration of religious observances can continue while keeping each other safe.”

The Virginia Department of Health also released a public service announcement, primarily echoing Fairfax County’s statement.

“While the Passover Seder often includes extended family and friends, it is by tradition a ceremony of the home,” the Virginia Department of Health said. “The essence of the Seder can be the same: sitting with your family around the dining room table to remember the exodus.”

Similar recommendations will be in place for Ramadan, which begins later in the month.

“The purpose of Jumu’a is to gather the entire community together in one place for prayer and since that cannot be done safely, imams are asking each person to pray in their own home,” according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The New York Times published an article exploring how added stress from the pandemic might influence people’s mindsets and emotions during the spring holiday season.

The article’s author encouraged readers to celebrate through family activities like video chatting, reading to one another, playing games and signing.

For celebrations scheduled to take place this week, Saint John the Beloved, the Catholic church in McLean, has links on its website to online Mass and Easter celebrations at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Temple Rodef Shalom has updated its Facebook page to reflect the upcoming digital Seder celebrations, which will take place through Zoom from 5:30-8:30 p.m. People are asked to preregister and will receive a link shortly after.

For other religious ceremonies and support groups, Tysons Reporter previously did a roundup to see how places of worship are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Sweet Amaryllis/Unsplash

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Today (Feb. 27) is National Chili Day, and the Vienna Inn has several reasons to celebrate.

The locally owned business, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, opened at 6:30 a.m. this morning and will serve chili and chili dogs all day long — including for breakfast, according to Nancy Green, the eatery’s spokesperson.

For people over the age of 21 who want to enjoy a beer, the eatery will also have deals on all domestic bottles until 9 p.m., Green said.

Though it is unclear when National Chili Day began, chili originated as a Spanish dish served with meat and has been the state food of Texas since 1977. Sausages are one of the world’s oldest processed foods, according to Newsweek, and can be traced back to the 9th century B.C.

The event today is the latest of several celebrations in February where the Vienna Inn invited people to support the local business and socialize with other community members.

As always, the eatery will also be serving a variety of other chili-based foods, such as chili macs, chili bowls and chili cheese fries.

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(Updated 11 a.m.) Presidents’ Day is almost here and there will be closures around the area.

All Fairfax County government offices, public schools and public libraries will be closed, according to the county website.

Trash and recycling will be collected on a regular schedule if community members are customers of Fairfax County, the website said, which added that people with a private company should contact the company directly.

The Fairfax Connector will be running on a Holiday Weekend Schedule on Monday.

The Metro will be running on a Saturday schedule from 5 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., according to the WMATA website.

The Mary Riley Styles Library in Falls Church (120 N. Virginia Ave) will be closed, according to the website, along with all city offices.

Since waste collection falls on a Wednesday in Falls Church, it will not be affected by the holiday.

In the Town of Vienna, all government offices will be closed but waste collection will run on a regular schedule, according to the website.

The McLean Community Center will be closed on Monday.

Tysons Reporter will also have the day off on Monday.

Photo by Lucas Sankey via Unsplash

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To celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., several places around the Tysons area will have free community events and service projects on Monday (Jan. 20).

From musical performances to parades to volunteering opportunities, here’s where to find MLK Day events:

Falls Church

The Falls Church City Council recently declared Monday, Jan. 20, this year to be an official day of service in the city.

The city is gearing up for volunteer projects that day, according to a press release. The activities include:

  • city councilmembers, board members and commissioners plan to work at the Miller House, a home for adults with differing abilities
  • the  Falls Church City elementary school community is invited to join Give Day, an event looking to raise $10,000  and collect food for Food for Others

On Give Day, elementary school families will be able to assemble ‘Power Packs’ filled with non-perishable food items that Food for Others distributes to for local students. The event is set to take place from 10 a.m.-noon at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (601 S. Oak Street).

The fourth annual march and commemorative program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights history plan to take place in the City of Falls Church on Monday.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the march proceeding down Lee Hwy to Falls Church Episcopal (115 East Fairfax Street).

“Area service organizations will be at the church providing information about volunteer opportunities in our local communities,” according to the event description. “A commemoration program with a keynote speech by Joan Mulholland, a Freedom Rider and civil rights activist, will take place in the church at noon.”

McLean

A tribute at The Alden on Thursday, Jan. 30, will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with performances by musician Damien Sneed, a graduate of Howard University, and the Howard University Choir as part of the “We Shall Overcome” tour.

“We Shall Overcome” will feature spoken word from King’s recorded speeches combined with a variety of African American music traditions.

“When I saw ‘We Shall Overcome’ last January, I knew I had to bring it to The Alden,” The Alden Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said in a press release. “By the time I spoke with Mr. Sneed’s agents the following afternoon, Jan. 30 was the only available date.”

The event is set to start at 7 p.m. at 1234 Ingleside Ave. Tickets cost $45 for the public, $25 for seniors and students and $20 for McLean Community Center tax district residents.

Vienna

Several churches in the Vienna area are offering service projects on Monday, including the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St NW) and The Church of the Good Shepherd (2351 Hunter Mill Road).

People interested in finding more volunteer opportunities around the area can search the databases on the Corporation for National and Community Service website.

Photo by Brian Kraus/Unsplash

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Monday (Jan. 20)  is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here’s where and when to expect closures or reduced schedules for government buildings and public transit options in the Tysons area.

Around Fairfax County, all governmental offices will be closed along with recycling centers,  the Department of Motor Vehicles and general district courts, according to the county website.

Fairfax County Public Schools will also be closed on Monday, giving kids a break from classes.

The Fairfax Connector will run on a holiday weekend schedule. Several routes will not run at all and route 980 will come every 12 to 15 minutes.

The Metro will start its service at 5 a.m. and close at 11:30 p.m., according to a press release, which added that off-peak fare will be in effect all day. Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.

In Vienna, the Vienna Community Center (120 SE Cherry Street) will be open but running on a reduced schedule from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Town offices will be closed but waste collection will run on a regular schedule, according to Vienna’s website. 

In the City of Falls Church, the Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed and will reopen on Tuesday with normal hours from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m, according to the city’s website. The community center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., but all other government offices will be closed.

The planning commission meeting for Falls Church that was originally scheduled for Jan. 20 will be rescheduled to Tuesday (Jan. 21) at 7:30 p.m.

From 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. there will be road closures in the city due to a remembrance ceremony, according to a press release.

The press release said that this will include the temporary closures of several interactions including:

  • S. Washington Street and Tinner Hill Road
  • S. Washington Street and Hillwood Ave
  • S. Washington Street and Annandale Road
  • S. Washington Street and E Fairfax Street

Tysons Reporter will also be on a break Monday.

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Still have a holiday tree and wondering what to do with it? Here’s where and how to recycle it if you live in the Tysons area.

Christmas tree recycling rules vary depending on where people live. Here’s information for residents in Fairfax County, the Town of Vienna and the City of Falls Church.

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County will be recycling Christmas trees less than 8 feet tall for the first two weeks of January. Residents are asked to place the trees outside their single family house or townhouse community.

Have a fake tree? People can drop them off at the donation stations at the the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex.

For $7, Fairfax County residents also can drop off their trees the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex.

City of Falls Church 

Little City residents can have their Christmas trees collected from the curb on Wednesdays in January and February — although the city urges residents to do so during the first two weeks of January.

For people in apartments or condos, their trees can get recycled at the brush collection area at the Fairfax County Citizens’ Disposal and Recycling Facility (4618 W. Ox Road) in Fairfax.

Town of Vienna 

The Town of Vienna will collect Christmas trees curb-side on collection days this month.

Tip: People looking to recycle their trees should first remove all decorations, tinsel, bags and rope.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Two days left in this decade!

I usually let my kids watch a YouTube video of fireworks while drinking sparkling apple cider, then put them to bed at their normal time, but if you’re a parent who is more fun than I am, here are some suggestions on how to ring in the new year with your family. Some local places around town have various versions of celebrations:

Jammin Java: 13th Annual Rocknoceros New Years Eve Party at 2 p.m. on December 31 (the 11 a.m. show is already sold out). The band will do a countdown and an apple juice toast.

Caboose Tavern: Family Friendly Celebration with a ball drop at 9 p.m. and live music. Event starts at 7 p.m. Kids 2-12 drink free all night. They’ll also have crafts for the kids.

McLean Bible Church, The Rock NYE 2020: Event is for 6-12th graders from 9 p.m. on. Liability forms and information can be found online.

Watch Night, Falls Church City: Huge party along West Broad Street starting at 7 p.m., which includes live music, karaoke, popcorn, hot chocolate, coup, bungee jump, Velcro wall, log jam, bounce house for kids and a slide, and so much more.

Busy Bees New Year’s Party (Falls Church Location): Live band, Chick-fil-A food and an apple cider toast! From 3-5 p.m. for $30/child.

Dave & Busters (Fairfax) New Years Eve Party: Starts at 5 p.m. with 2 packages available to help with the video ball drop!

Children’s Science Center Lab (Fairfax): New Year’s Eve around the world, ring in 2020 with STEM style noisemakers and confetti throwers. Choose a 2-hour window (10 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-3 p.m., 3:30-5:30 p.m.).

Once Upon A Dream (Vienna): Decorate a 2020 party hat at 11 a.m. on December 31 or join the New Year Party at 11 a.m. on the January 1, with a countdown at noon with an apple cider toast, Princess visit and costume party.

No matter how you choose to celebrate — wishing you a very happy New Year!

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