Newsletter

Memorial Day is just around the corner on Monday (May 31), and the federal holiday will bring a few closures of public buildings in the Tysons area.

Fairfax County Government:

Fairfax County Courts:

Town of Vienna

City of Falls Church:

Public Schools:

County Libraries, Recreation Centers, Parks:

  • All Fairfax County library branches will be closed.
  • All Fairfax County RECenters will operate at their regular hours.
  • Colvin Run Mill and Sully Historic Site grounds will be open from noon to 4 p.m. for strolling, but all the buildings will be closed.
  • The E.C. Lawrence, Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond, and Huntley Meadows nature centers  will be open from noon until 5 p.m. on May 31.
  • The Riverbend Park visitor center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The McLean Community Center will be closed for Memorial Day.

Public Transit:

County Trash and Recycling:

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After a year off, the two-decade-old Ride of the Patriots in Fairfax is back and ready to rumble.

With the 2020 iteration canceled due to the pandemic, the Memorial Day weekend event and ride is returning to the D.C. area, but it will be scaled down a bit compared to previous years.

It will take place Friday (May 28) through Sunday (May 30) starting at Patriot Harley-Davidson on Fairfax Boulevard in Fairfax.

There will be vendors, food trucks, an appearance from the “Saluting Marine,” and a gathering of bikers.

There will also be two rides, each limited to 225 riders. On Saturday, the ride will begin at 11 a.m., and on Sunday, it will depart from Patriot Harley-Davidson at 11 a.m. to join up with AMVet’s Rolling to Remember in D.C. Registration to ride cost $25.

First held in 1999, the ride’s purpose is to remember and commemorate military veterans, particularly those who fought in the Vietnam War and those who remain missing in action. In recent years, there’s been a focus on veteran suicide.

An average of 17 veterans die by suicide per day, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

In previous years, upwards of 12,000 bikers would join in on the festivities from across Northern Virginia and even the country. But this year, there will be significantly fewer participants.

Kevin Hardy, the event’s organizer since 2017 and marketing director at Patriot Harley-Davidson, thinks there will be about 300 to 400 bikes this year.

Hardy says the constantly changing COVID-19 health regulations over the last few months made it tough to plan for more than that. He’s excited, though, that the end of most capacity limits starting May 28 will allow Ride of the Patriots to happen again this year.

“You don’t want to not have it for two years. I’m a big believer in things being front of mind,” Hardy said. “If you don’t [hold the event], it kinda fades away with time.”

Rolling Thunder, the similar, long-running Memorial Day weekend event, officially ended in 2019, leaving smaller events like Ride of the Patriots to fill the void.

Hardy believes bringing awareness to veteran issues remains of the utmost importance. He also has a personal connection to the topic, with his father being a retired military colonel who served in the U.S. Army for 27 years.

“I think there’s a lot of change going in America today and a lot of what [these veterans] did enabled people to speak their mind and protest certain things,” Hardy said. “A lot of what America is and those rights were fought for by veterans.”

After starting in Fairfax, the Ride of the Patriot will proceed down Route 50 towards the District.

The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed to Reston Now, Tysons Reporter’s affiliate site, that they will temporarily close Route 50 between Patriot Drive and I-495 “to allow safe passage” for the riders starting around 11 a.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The hope is that next year’s event will be back to 2019 attendance levels with thousands of bikers making their way down Route 50 to pay their respects to those who have served.

“We’ll be ready to go in 2022 for thousands and thousands of bikes heading from here to D.C. in honor of veterans,” Hardy said.

Photo courtesy Kevin Hardy

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Morning Notes

Editor’s note: Tysons Reporter will be taking Memorial Day weekend off starting tomorrow (Friday). Except in the case of breaking news, publishing will resume on Tuesday (June 1).

More Early Voting Sites to Open Saturday — Fairfax County will add 13 more early voting sites for the June 8 Democratic primary on Saturday (May 29), bringing the total number of locations up to 16. Sites in the Tysons area include the McLean Governmental Center, Providence Community Center, and Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library. [Fairfax County Government]

Couple Killed in Springfield Shooting — “A husband and wife are dead following a shooting in a residential area of Springfield, Virginia, on Wednesday morning, according to police. Police Chief Kevin Davis said authorities believe the ‘shooter or shooters’ are ‘known to a relative of our two victims.'” [WTOP]

Fairfax County to Get $17 Million From FEMA — Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced yesterday (Wednesday) that Fairfax County will receive $17.1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover costs associated with COVID-related public communications as well as medical supplies and equipment to combat the virus. [Office of Sen. Mark Warner]

Falls Church Memorial Day Street Closures — The City of Falls Church will close several streets to traffic to accommodate its Memorial Day parade from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday (May 31). Little Falls Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day between Park Avenue and Great Falls Street for Memorial Day events. [City of Falls Church]

Local Leaders Recognize Death of Longtime Virginia Senator — Elected officials representing Fairfax County, including Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and Rep. Gerry Connolly, shared remembrances of former Sen. John Warner after he died in Alexandria on Monday (May 24). Warner served five terms in Congress, giving him the second-longest tenure of any Virginia senator when he retired in 2009. [The Washington Post]

Photo by Hilde Khan

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(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Memorial Day festivities are coming back to the City of Falls Church, but they won’t be quite as raucous as previous years.

Like the Town of Vienna, Falls Church City opted for virtual events last year in lieu of its usual crowd-drawing celebration to honor people who have died serving in the military and mark the unofficial arrival of summer.

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a concern, cases have fallen since the nationwide winter surge, and vaccinations are becoming more widespread, prompting Virginia to ease public health restrictions and enable a limited return of large public events like ViVa Vienna and Falls Church’s annual Memorial Day Event.

According to Falls Church Director of Recreation and Parks Danny Schlitt, the Memorial Day Parade and Festival is the city’s signature event, drawing more than 15,000 people in past years.

“This year we will keep the numbers limited based on whatever the Governor’s guidance will be at the time of the event,” Schlitt said. “The ceremony will be a limited, pre-registration event, and the other festivities are virtual or viewable from the comfort of your front yard. The safety of our residents and visitors is our number one priority. We hope to be back to normal next year.

While the festival aspect of the event will still largely be absent, with no food vendors or amusement rides planned, the City of Falls Church shared in its newsletter yesterday (Thursday) that it will host a Memorial Day ceremony and parade this year, along with the Beyer 3K Memorial Day Fun Run, which will mark its 40th anniversary.

The city is also organizing an 11-day scavenger hunt — its fourth in the past year since the pandemic began.

Here is the full schedule for the 39th annual Falls Church Memorial Day Event:

Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt (May 22-June 1)

Like the Historic Scavenger Hunt in June, the Halloween-centered hunt in October, and the Valentine’s Day-inspired Heartfelt Hunt in February, the Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt will send participants dashing around the city to find various locations that match provided clues.

The specific logisitics of the event are still being worked out, but people who complete the hunt will receive a custom-made T-shirt.

“If the popularity of the past three are any indication, this next one will be our best yet (no pressure, Special Events Coordinator),” the City of Falls Church says.

Beyer Auto 3K Fun Run (May 24-31)

Sponsored by Don Beyer Volvo, the 40th year of the Beyer 3K Memorial Day Fun Run will deviate from past iterations by giving runners the full week leading up to Memorial Day to complete the 3,000-meter race on their own instead of competing in a group.

Participants must register online in advance. Fun Run T-shirts will be available for pick-up on May 31 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in front of the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.).

Memorial Day Ceremony (May 31, 11 a.m.-noon)

After unfolding remotely last year, the Memorial Day Ceremony will be back in person this year at the Falls Church Veterans Memorial outside the community center. It will feature appearances by the Greater Falls Church Veterans Council, the Falls Church Concert Band, and other groups.

However, attendance will be limited to 130 people “because we still have a pandemic to deal with,” the City of Falls Church says. Spots can be reserved online starting on May 4. The ceremony will also be recorded by Falls Church Community Television.

Memorial Day Parade (May 31, 2:30-4 p.m.)

The 2021 Memorial Day Parade will be scaled back from past years with a lineup mainly composed of city government vehicles, such as school buses, police cruisers, emergency vehicles, and public works trucks.

Falls Church City says that the parade will “hopefully” be led by former Councilmember and Planning Commissioner Lindy Hockenberry, who served as the 2020 Memorial Day Parade grand marshal even with no actual parade.

Instead of going down Park Avenue in accordance with tradition, this year’s parade will travel throughout the city. An exact route has not yet been determined, but the city says it will likely be similiar to its Snow Emergency Routes.

Photo via City of Falls Church/YouTube

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Nightlife is zilch in Tysons at the moment due to the pandemic. After a brief hiatus, the “Tysons After Dark” series is back to highlight different online activities from local organizations and offerings from eateries that keep people busy once the sun goes down. 

People living in the Tysons area can find local restaurants serving up large meals that they can eat at home over Memorial Day weekend.

Founding Farmers Tysons announced it is hosting an all-day brunch for each day of Memorial Day Weekend. The menu provides enough food to feed 4-6 people and costs $100.

People get to choose their bread, house made pasta, fruit and salad, meat, bread pudding French toast, chips and dips, eggs and desserts. Additions, including alcohol and sides, may be included for an extra cost.

The Vienna Inn is offering a to-go shrimp platter for Memorial Day, according to its website. People can choose from two different flavors: easy-peel spiced shrimp or a lightly seasoned shrimp cocktail. People can order by calling 703-938-9548.

Coastal Flats in Tysons is offering curbside take-out and a delivery menu of steaks, ribs, burgers, sandwiches, sides, to-go cocktails and beer, according to its website.

Ted’s Bulletin in Merrifield offers all-day breakfast, which is available for delivery or pick-up. The restaurant has savory items such as eggs and biscuits and sweeter things like pancakes and French toast, according to the website.

Northside Social in Falls Church has a variety of brunch-like toasts, salads, bowls, pastries and soups, according to its website.

Patsy’s American in Tysons is open for take-out and delivery, according to the website, adding that the restaurant has options of fish, steak, sandwiches and sides to eat at home.

The McLean Family Restaurant is still open during the pandemic for takeout, according to its website. The location offers comfort food like burgers, sandwiches and fish. People can call (703) 356-9883 to place an order.

Anyone who is interested in ordering from their favorite restaurant this holiday weekend can also inquire directly with the restaurant to see if they have any special deals available.

Photo via Vienna Inn/Facebook

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Memorial Day weekend is nearing, but the holiday honoring people who died while serving in the U.S. military and marking the unofficial start of summer will be different this year due to COVID-19.

Both the City of Falls Church and Town of Vienna have canceled their in-person events, opting instead to have online videos to recognize the holiday.

Instead of the annual parade and festival, Falls Church will offer virtual activities like a pre-recorded Memorial Day Ceremony, according to an email from the city.

The recording “will air on Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m. on the Falls Church Community Television Channel (Cox 11, RCN 2, Verizon 35) and available to watch on the city’s YouTube channel,” the email said.

More from the city:

A special Memorial Day edition of the Virtual Community Center — the Recreation and Parks Department’s bi-weekly newsletter — will debut Friday, May 22 with exclusive content including a Q&A with this year’s (and next year’s) Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal, Lindy Hockenberry; a spotlight on the veteran who hosts our Senior Center Military History Forum; and stay-at-home Memorial Day themed activities for all ages.

Meanwhile, Vienna won’t have its annual ViVa Vienna event, which is hosted by the Rotary Club of Vienna. Instead, the town will have a video celebration.

“The town has worked with American Legion Post 180 to create a video that captures virtually the ceremony it hosts each year at Flint Hill Cemetery to honor those who have died in military service,” according to an email from the town. “The virtual ceremony will be broadcast several times over the weekend on TVCN (channel 27 on Cox and 38 on Verizon Fios).”

Government services will be closed on Monday (May 25) in both the city and town due to the holiday.

People in the Tysons area can also get outside and go to Fairfax County’s parks, which reopened earlier this week.

File photo

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Park-goers will be able to enjoy some features of county parks ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has started reopening parking lots and parks in its park system beginning today. The process of clearing barricades and opening parking lots for its 427 parks is expected to continue through Friday, May 22. Facilities and restrooms will remain closed.

Indoor and outdoor parks closed roughly one month ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We greatly appreciate the patience and cooperation shown by County residents during this closure,” said Park Authority Executive Director Kirk Kincannon. “We understand this has been a challenge to many who enjoy the park system on a regular basis. And it will be important that everyone follows the safety and physical distancing guidelines recommended by health authorities.” 

Park visitors should adhere to social distancing guidelines and groups of more than 10 people should not congregate. Other areas that will remain closed include dog parks, playgrounds, nature centers, visitor centers, volleyball and basketball courts, and athletic fields. Water foundations will also be returned off.

The opening is part of the first phase of FCPA’s reopening plan.

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Memorial Day is more than four months away, but the City of Falls Church wants people to start thinking about their floats for the annual parade.

The city’s 39th annual Memorial Day Parade (Monday, May 25) will have a Community Float Challenge — the winner will get a party hosted by the Recreation and Parks Department.

More from the city:

Who can participate: Floats can be made with neighbors down the street or in your apartment/condo complex, your family, or just a group of friends. This year, we’re opening the challenge up to community groups, such as school clubs, church groups, book clubs, knitting circles, or your favorite Falls Church Meetup group!

What should the float be about: Memorial Day is about remembering our nation’s fallen heroes. Create a float that shows your patriotism. Floats don’t have to be elaborate: they can be simple, with materials you already have.

The parade is set to start at 2 p.m. and will travel down Park Ave between West and Little Falls streets.

The deadline for float applications is Friday, March 27. People should send their applications to Scarlett Williams at [email protected]

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A parade and fireworks are planned for a pair of Memorial Day commemorative events in the Tysons area.

On Sunday (May 26), the U.S. Marine Band will play a free concert at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) in Wolf Trap National Park. A fireworks display is planned to follow the concert.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for lawn and in-house seating, with curtains opening at 8 p.m. the fireworks are planned to start at around 9:45 p.m.

Seating capacity for the event is limited. The Fairfax Connector bus from the West Falls Church Metro station will not be available for the event. Parking is free and attendees can get $5 off two Lyft rides with the code WOLFTRAP19.

On Monday (May 27), the City of Falls Church is hosting its 38th Annual Memorial Day Festival and Parade with an expected 12,000 visitors. The festival is planned to feature food, live entertainment, artists and various vendors.

The Don Beyer Volvo 3K Fun Run is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. The parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Free public parking will be available in the Kaiser Permanente garage at the corner of N. Washington Street and Park Avenue and at the George Mason Square garage (103 W. Broad Street).

The parade and festival will also result in several street closures.

  • Park Avenue will be closed from 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m. between N. Maple Avenue to N. Virginia Avenue (except for limited vendor traffic)
  • Little Falls Streed will be closed from 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m. between Park Avenue to Great Falls Street
  • Great Falls Street
  • Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Fulton Avenue
  • N. Oak Street
  • Lincoln Avenue
  • N. West Street
  • Park Avenue

Other Memorial Day events around the area include:

  • The Murphy Challenge: Memorial Day Workout and Grill-Out — 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at CrossFit Tysons Corner (8452 Tyco Road) — The event is a fundraiser to support educational charities to honor the life of Lt. Michael Murphy. Three workouts will be held followed by a grilling event, with attendees asked to bring a drink or dish to share. Visitors and non-members can sign up online.
  • Memorial Day Annual Pool Party12-2 p.m. at Sport&Health McLean (1800 Old Meadow Road) — The summer barbecue and pool event is hosted by Sport&Health McLean and will include information about aquatics programs, camps and more.

Photo via Facebook

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