Tysons, VA

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

I want to wish each of you a Happy Holiday season. May the coming days bring you peace, love and joy and may you be surrounded by happiness heading into 2020!

I have loved every time someone has told me in person they read this column. If you like it, please let me know! If you want a specific topic addressed, let me know! I’m open to suggestions and content to keep you informed and involved!

A quick note about the upcoming start to a new decade.

Real estate is local, but it’s also very cyclical. Normally the market goes quiet during the winter months, with a large increase in activity around March, which sustains through June. July and August are usually quiet months again, followed by activity in September and October before going quiet again into November.

Not this year!

Our inventory shortage has been ongoing for so long now, paired with low interest rates again (under 4%!), that the market hasn’t really stopped. Good homes come on the market and they’re being snatched up quickly! Some lingering inventory obviously remains, but the Vienna and McLean markets are still active.

This leads me to my predictions heading into January. The market will pop early. It will start with a bang and it’ll probably keep going that way making for an early “Spring Market.” Don’t wait for April or May, unless you have to. There are creative ways to stay in your home if you need to for the school year. Buyers are ready!

In November in 22180 (mostly town of Vienna), 1/3 of the sold homes went under contract in a week, which resulted in an increase in average sale price of 7%. In 22182, the numbers were a little larger but the average sale price was also up 17% from this time last year. In McLean, prices increased 19% in 22101 and 47% in 22102 (I have a degree in Statistics, if you want to get into these numbers more, let’s talk!). The homes in 22102 span a great deal in price, which can cause this large increase. I can attribute almost all of the data points to the fact that active inventory is down by double digit percentages across the board.

If you’re sitting on a home to sell, stop waiting!

If you have new years resolution to change where you live, there’s no time like the present.

Now that I’ve used too many exclamation points (I’m really excited for winter break apparently), again, Happy Holidays!

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With the upcoming holidays, several businesses and services around the area are making adjustments for their hours of operation.

Tysons Reporter compiled a list of key changes for community members who may be affected.

County-Wide

For people who take public transit, the Fairfax Connector will operate on a normal schedule on both Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), according to a Fairfax County Department of Transportation press release. On Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) the buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Times for specific busses can be found online.

All Fairfax County government offices will be operating on a half-day schedule on Dec. 24 and be closed on Dec. 25.

The United States Postal Service will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Metro riders can expect trains to run on a varied schedule during the holidays:

  • Dec. 24: 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 25: 8 a.m. t0 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 31: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Jan. 1: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Vienna

The Town of Vienna Community Center will be closed on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. During New Year’s Eve, the center will be open but on a modified schedule, according to the website.

Government offices for the town will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with a half-day on Christmas Eve.

Trash collection services will be running on a normal scheduled on Christmas Eve but not in operation on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Falls Church 

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will close at noon on Christmas Eve and 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

City Hall and the community center (223 Little Falls Street) will both close at noon on Christmas Eve and reopen Thursday (Dec. 26).

Most government offices will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, according to the city’s website and most meetings originally scheduled for the day will be canceled.

All curbside trash, rubbage or recycle collection originally scheduled for Dec. 24 will be moved to Saturday (Dec. 26). Collection scheduled for New Years Day (Jan. 1) will be moved to Saturday (Jan. 4).

McLean

The McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) will close early at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and the day after Christmas (Dec. 26) at 8 p.m. The center will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Due to holiday festivities, Tysons Reporter won’t be publishing on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. We will be pushing on a shortened schedule from tomorrow (Dec. 24) to next Tuesday (Dec. 31).

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Visit Fairfax has made its list of the top five tackiest lights displays in the county — and homes in Vienna and McLean are included.

In McLean, the house at 6530 Heather Brook Court has a “Start” button for a 10-minute show set to music, according to the list. Over in Vienna, the house at 10203 Lawyers Road has lighted animals.

Visit Fairfax wants to remind people that the lights may be off when it’s raining or snowing.

Visit Fairfax also has tips for Christmas lights viewers, saying that 6-8 p.m. is the best time window for watching lights shows and that viewers should respect homeowners’ properties.

For people looking for more holiday lights, Tysons Reporter spotted several sparkly spots in the Ingleside and Langley areas of McLean.

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School Start Time Changes in Falls Church — “The Falls Church City Public Schools will begin classes two weeks prior to Labor Day next fall, on Aug. 24, based on a 4-2 vote by the School Board Tuesday night. The new calendar will conclude the school year next spring with graduation on June 2 and the last day of school on June 10.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Where Can You Eat Out This Christmas? — Here are lists of restaurants open for the holidays in McLean and Vienna. [Patch, Patch]

Local Police Fighting Crime at Tysons Malls — “Tysons urban team patrols the shopping centers. Over the past six years they busted organized retail criminals from other states, and even Russia, Romania and China.” [ABC7]

Want to Work at Wolf Trap? — The performing arts center and National Park plans to host three job fairs — one on Sunday (Dec. 29) noon-4 p.m., Saturday (Jan. 4) noon-4 p.m. and Tuesday (Jan. 7) 4-8 p.m. [Potomac Local]

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People across the U.S. are expected to hit record levels for traveling this holiday season.

According to AAA, 115.6 million people across the U.S. will travel between this Saturday and New Year’s Day — roughly 104 million will drive while around 7 million flying and 4 million taking trains, buses, or cruise ships.

For the D.C. area, AAA forecasts the worst travel day will be Thursday (Dec. 26) between 4-6 p.m.

“For the 104.8 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts only marginal delays throughout the holiday week,” according to AAA.

Let Tysons Reporter know what your travel plans are in the poll and comments section below.

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A few local organizations are working to help people struggling financially.

In Fairfax County, around 56,000 people face food insecurity, according to Feeding America, which means that roughly 5% of the population struggles to feed themselves and their families.

Females from ages 25 to 34 are the largest group living in poverty in Fairfax County, according to data from Data USA.

Food For Others in Merrifield and SHARE of McLean are two organizations working have holiday donation drives.

SHARE of McLean began serving the community in 1967 and continues to fight food insecurity, helping people obtain clean and functional clothing, assisting with holiday celebrations for those in need and hosting fundraising events.

In November, SHARE of McLean collected holiday wishes from people who qualified for assistance. Many of the people who requested assistance included families with young children under 3 years old, and the group is now calling on the community to help put together care packages or donate.

The organization also released a list of high priority food items in December 2019, which include canned fruit, cereals, dry beans, pasta, vegetable oil, coffee and tea.

People seeking assistance with food or clothing can visit the center (1367 Chain Bridge Road) and must either bring a photo ID and piece of mail. Hours of operation are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until noon. The center will be closed during the week of Dec. 23.

Meanwhile, Food For Others also supports the community with food supplement programs.

Tomorrow, and every Thursday, people registered can come to the corner of Ellison and Irving streets in Falls Church at 5:45 p.m. to pick up food. 

NoVA residents may also show up at the organization’s warehouse (2938 Prosperity Avenue) from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who think they may be eligible for help can bring a photo ID and piece of mail to register or receive a referral before their visit.

Britepaths in Fairfax is another organization that assists people struggling with poverty and food insecurity. Though the majority of clients are referred to them by social workers, people can also request assistance individually.

Photo via Food for Others/Facebook

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