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Joys In The 'Hood

Arlington gets ready to celebrate itself with its annual Neighborhood Day festivities.

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Bolivian folkloric dancers performed at last year’s Neighborhood Day parade.

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If it was hot inside there, this Bolivian folkloric dancer didn’t show it as he sauntered down Wilson Boulevard.

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The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs at last year’s Neighborhood Day parade.

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Swanson Middle School cheerleaders during last year’s Neighborhood Day parade.

<b>DESPITE</b> being the geographically smallest county in the nation, Arlington is far from a monolithic whole.

<p>Dozens of distinct neighborhoods exist throughout Arlington, each with its own culture and sense of self. When put together, these neighborhoods make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

<p>Each year since the mid-‘90s, Arlington has celebrated this gestalt through its Neighborhood Day celebration, an all-day countywide event designed to give neighborhoods a chance to shine.

<p>This year the festival, in its 12th annual iteration, has grown bigger than ever and nearly every local neighborhood is participating.

<p>“A lot of communities are going to have yard sales and tree plantings,” said Susan Kalish, Arlington County Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson. “[They’re] typical things that bring communities together. A lot of communities set things aside for neighborhood day.”

<p>This year’s festivities feature yard sales, tree plantings, crafts fairs and moon bounces for the children. But the main attraction for Neighborhood Day is the parade that goes down historic Wilson Boulevard.

<p>“We’ve asked everyone to be entertaining,” Kalish said. “Even the police will be doing some entertaining. People said we needed to spice it up.”

<p><b>ANOTHER</b> Neighborhood Day attraction is a recent tradition: the Battle of the Boulevard 10k race.

<p>Only in its second year, the race, which starts in Clarendon and goes down Wilson Boulevard to Rosslyn and then to the Pentagon before coming back up, has attracted 2,500 participants so far, organizers say.

<p>“It’s a pretty popular race considering that it’s only been two years,” said race organizer Kathy Dalby of Pacers Running Stores. She attributes this popularity to the scenic terrain it covers. “To be able to shut down Wilson [Boulevard] is a pretty big deal. It’s a unique course.”

<p>Kristina Bilonick, spokesperson for the Ballston/Virginia Square Partnership, said that Neighborhood Day is “a good opportunity to focus on just what is right outside your door.”

<p>Her group will be holding an arts and crafts fair in Ballston that will feature homemade clothes and jewelry. The event will also feature family-friendly rock bands to try to draw out the area’s young, families.

<p>Bilonick said that Ballston’s events and the Neighborhood Day festivities as a whole are very much in line with the environmental-spirit of Arlington.

<p>“[With your carbon footprint], if you stay in your neighborhood and you buy things that are being made by your neighborhood you’re doing good in that way,” she said.<hr>

Here is a listing of some of the events that will be taking place in Arlington on Neighborhood Day, May 10. For more information, visit the County’s Web site at www.arlingtonva.us.

<p><li><b>Neighborhood Parade:</b>

Starting at one end at Courthouse Square and running down Wilson Boulevard to Clarendon. See the Yorktown Marching Band, Swanson and Thomas Jefferson Middle School floats, Ft. Myer Fife and Drum, the Yorktown Yahoos, Straight Eights Car Club (LCCI), and loads of Bolivian music.

<p><li><b>Fitness Events:</b>

The 13th Annual Walk for the Animals begins at 8:30 a.m. to help homeless animals in our community. Last year, with more than 500 walkers and 300 dogs more than $82,000 was raised. The three-mile loop walk or one-mile stroll will begin and conclude at Bluemont Park in Arlington. Dogs are invited to accompany their owners but, for their safety, cats and other pets should be left at home. The Arlington Traditional School Student Council Association will be joining other animal lovers at the walk. For more information, visit www.awla.org.

<p>The Battle of the Boulevard 10K race and 2K fun run starts at 9 a.m. in Clarendon. The neighborhood with the most participants will get $500 to be given to their nonprofit of choice. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation, National Capital Region and the Arlington YMCA. Learn more at www.battleoftheboulevard.com.

<p>Join Arlington’s Eric Landuyt at 11 a.m. as he takes you on a tour starting at the Rosslyn Metro Station to Dark Star Park, through Freedom Park, past the Berlin Wall to the base of the Key Bridge.

<p>The Highland Park/Overlee Knolls Civic Association is holding a Health and Fitness Neighborhood Day. Come out for an early start for sports, art and fun from 8-10 a.m. A one-mile fun run/walk and roll starts at 8:15 on the Greenway (at Ohio Street).

<p><li><b>Community Fairs:</b>

Yorktown Neighborhood Fun Day will be at Chestnut Hills Park. From 10 a.m. to noon there will be a clown, free balloons and snacks, face painting and a fire truck.

<p>The Children’s School at Wilson School is having a spring fair for the community and preschool population in Rosslyn. It will be held at 1601 Wilson Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the moon bounce, games for children, silent auction, yard sale for infants, plant sale and food.

<p>Children are invited to come to Langston Brown Community Center between 2 to 4 p.m. to create Mother’s Day cards.

<p>The Nauck Town Square is holding its grand opening on Neighborhood Day. Come celebrate the new town square with family and friends between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out the flea marketing, fish fry, hot dogs and more. Families with young children are invited to the basketball courts on South Kenmore Street from 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Town Square ribbon cutting will be at 11.

<p>There will be a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Williamsburg Civic Association at Little Falls Presbyterian Church, 6025 Little Falls Road from 9 to 11 a.m. For more information call 703-536-8270.

<p>Arlington View Civic Association celebrates the neighborhood at Carver Center. Come by from noon to 4 p.m. to have fun and meet friends. Activities including food, face painting, a moon bounce and vendors.

<p><li><b>Green Events:</b>

McKinley Elementary School is holding a campus renewal workday. Spring Cleaning comes to McKinley with the neighborhood community coming to getter to help McKinley.

<p>A Trash to Treasure Drive is being co-sponsored by Key Elementary School and Arlington Science Focus School. Bring your batteries (no car batteries), DVDs, video games, bubble wrap, styrofoam, tyvek envelopes, packing peanuts, wire coat hangers, newspaper bags, old tennis balls, baby gates, blankets, yarn, cell phones, printer cartridges, 1 gallon (or larger) plant nursery pots and more to Key School from 10 a.m. to noon.

<p>The following neighborhoods will be delivering free trees to community members that were provided by Arlington County: Arlington Heights, Barcroft, Lyon Park, Cherrydale, Highland Park/Overlee Knolls, Nauck, Bluemont, Westover Village and Leeway. Highland Park/Overlee Knolls community members can pick theirs up between 8-10a.m. at the Greenway (on Ohio Street).

<p><b><li>Shopping:</b>

The Maywood Community is having a yard sale. Multiple families in historic Maywood will offer their wares from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Maps listing all the locations of participating houses can be picked up at 3500 21st Avenue North and other participating houses. Look for signs on Lorcom Lane and Lee Highway directing you to the sale.

<p>The Ballston/Virginia Square Partnership is having an arts and crafts market. Thirty-five area artists and artisans will be selling their wares from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. in Welburn Square (across from Ballston Metro). Items include ceramics, prints, jewelry, clothing, bags, artwork and more. Enjoy live music and nearby cafes with outdoor seating. Handicapped accessible.

<p>A book fair is being held to support The Reading Connection and Doorways for Women & Families. All Barnes & Noble stores will donate a portion in sales to these charities if customers that day use the book fair account number, 247239, during their purchases. Authors Fred Bowen, columnist for The Washington Post’s KidPost and author of sports books for kids, and Matthew Gilmore, author of Historic Photos of Arlington County, will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble at Market Common in Clarendon.</li>