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Clarendon Day 2004

10,000 people expected to attend this year's Clarendon Day on Oct. 16.

What began as a chili cook-off almost 10 years ago has since expanded into a festival of 101 booths with food, crafts, activities and merchandise for sale.

Clarendon Day, scheduled for Oct. 16 this year, will also host 75 artists with their work on display.

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event that now has more than 60 sponsors, according to Sona Virdi, coordinator for the Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the event each year.

"This is family oriented event, but there's really something there for everybody," Virdi said.

A SERIES OF CONCERTS with 23 performers on three separate stages are scheduled for Clarendon Day.

On the main stage, visitors will find music from Tim King and the Righteous Sinners, Billy Coulter, Brother Shamus, LRS, Koshari, Onestop and Jellyfish Blues.

On the second stage, Jen Shankman, the Austins and Physical Einstein are expected to play. The Richard Marcus Band, Bicycle Thieves and Gonzo's Nose will also play.

The third stage, dubbed the "community stage," will host a demonstration of Moroccan Belly Dancers, a duo of fashions shows and performances by Dr. Dremo's Comedy All-Stars and many others.

ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN at the festival include a moon bounce and a carousel along with face painting and games.

Clarendon Day is traditionally free to all visitors, but that may change in the coming years. Several members of the county board have stated that the Clarendon Alliance should begin paying the Arlington Police Department for providing security and patrols at the event.

The cost, according to Virdi, would add an extra $8,000 to the festival's budget.

"We may have to begin charging next year," Virdi said.