<sh>Arlington Wins Pioneer Award
<bt>Arlington County's Department of Technology Services (DTS) recently won an E-Gov Solutions Pioneer award for development of the County's online Payment and Vehicle Registration Portal. Arlington was the only local government honored among a field of 14 international winners, including the governments of Hong Kong and Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. departments of defense and homeland security.
The payment portal provides users a one-stop, consolidated bill payment and bill notification service. Over the past 18 months, the portal has processed over 50,000 payments totaling $13 million. Accepting the award for the county and DTS were Christopher T. David, chief technology officer; Frances Rowell, who led the project team; and DTS staff members Daphne Earley and Kirk Starr.
Visit the Portal at http://payment.arlingtonva.us.
<sh>Fourth of July Sober Ride
<bt>Free cab rides will be offered in Arlington on July 3 and 4. Independence Day ranks as the second deadliest of holidays regarding drunk driving deaths. Offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the Independence Day Sober Ride program will be in operation from 4 p.m. July 3 to 4 a.m. July 4. Area residents can call toll-free 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded a no-cost safe way home, up to a $50 fare.
<sh>Fourth of July Fireworks
<bt>There will be no fireworks displays in Arlington this Fourth of July, due to construction at Barcroft Park and the renovation of the Washington Golf and Country Club clubhouse. However, the county offers several excellent views of the national fireworks in the District.
Popular spots in Arlington to watch the national display are the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. To watch the fireworks from Iwo Jima, take Metro's Orange line to the Rosslyn Metro station. To reach the George Washington Memorial Parkway's Gravely Point parking lot, head south on the Parkway to Reagan National Airport. At the airport, circle back to head north on the Parkway towards the 14th Street Bridge. About a quarter of a mile before the bridge, turn right into the parking area. No glass bottles, alcohol or fireworks are allowed at the Gravely Point parking lot or anywhere along the Parkway.
Other places to watch the fireworks are Gateway Park in Rosslyn and Key Bridge, which crosses the Potomac River between Georgetown and Arlington. Take Metro's Orange line to the Rosslyn Metro station. Get there early to grab a spot or railing-side spot at the bridge. There is no seating at the bridge, and you can stand on the sidewalks only.
Arlington's Barcroft community will host its annual Fourth of July Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. at 800 S. Buchanan Street. For more information about the event, contact Andrew Hunter at 703-979-8247.
Other fireworks and activities around the area:
Washington, D.C.: morning parade along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street, NW, at 11:45 a.m. In the evening, enjoy the fireworks over the reflecting pool on the National Mall. For more information visit www.nps.gov/nama/events/july4/july4.htm.
Oronoco Bay Park: The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and swing dancers will perform at 9 p.m. and pay tribute to the music of the 1940s. The park is located at 7 N. Lee St., Alexandria. Call 703-883-4686.
George Mason High School: Live music will start at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. The high school is located at 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.
Fairfax City hosts an Independence Day Parade through the downtown area beginning at 10 a.m. Musical entertainment begins at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School, with a fireworks display at dark. Call 703-385-7858.
<sh>Arlington County Fair
<bt>"A Celebration for All Generations" is the theme that will set the stage for this year's Arlington County Fair, Arlington's largest, multi-day, annual community event. Each year during the Fair, a competition is held to determine the Fair theme for the following year. This year's winning theme was submitted last year by Barbara Morris, who was awarded $25 by the Fair Board for her winning entry.
Competitive exhibits provide an opportunity for all generations to participate in the Fair. There are chances to win a ribbon or cash award in over 500 classes by entering in one the following departments: Honey and Bees Wax; Decorated Food Products and Baked Goods; Food Preservation; Art Needlework and Wearing Apparel; Animals, Bears and Dolls; Crafts; Fine Arts; Photography; Herbs, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables; Flowers and Plants; Ceramics; and Education and Leisure, consisting of creative writing, science, social studies and recreation topics.
Additionally, grants are awarded to schools in Arlington County with the highest percentage of students participating.
Only Arlington County residents, students who attend schools in Arlington County and residents of the City of Falls Church may enter the Competitive Exhibits. Competitive Exhibits Guides are available at all Arlington County libraries and recreation centers, Gulf Branch and Long Branch nature centers, Culpepper Gardens Seniors Center and at the Falls Church Library and Recreation Center.
Entries will be received Wednesday, August 17 from 4 to 9 p.m. and Thursday, August 18 from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. 2nd St.
For more information visit www.arlingtoncountyfair.org or call 703-920-4556.
<bt>Arlington has declared June 26-July 2 "Mosquito Control Awareness Week." On Monday, June 27, the county's Bureau of Environmental Health is launching its "Not in My Backyard — Target the Source" campaign, to educate the public about combating West Nile Virus, which can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. From 8-10 a.m. on Monday, June 27, volunteers will be handing out information at the Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn Metro stations.