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Dunn Loring Woods 50th Annual Great American Traditional Block Party

Saturday, Sept. 8 the 18 families residing on Syracuse Circle in the Dunn Loring Woods area of Fairfax will gather with former residents to celebrate their 50th consecutive annual block party.

The homes were built in 1962, and three of the original owners, Murphy, Shelton and Tyrrell, still reside on the street. There has been the usual turnover on the cul-de-sac over the years, but besides the original families, four other families have resided on Syracuse Circle for 30 years or more.

The families represent a mini "League of Nations," with owners born in China, Greece, England and India, and others whose heritage goes back to Ireland, Ukraine, Italy, Mexico, Croatia and Canada.

Many of the residents have served overseas with the military during wartime in the various branches of the armed forces, and are currently active in various community activities including leadership roles in th Shepard Center, Dunn Loring Civic Assoc., Little League Baseball, a National Garden organization, the Boy and Girl scouts and various church and charitable organizations.

The block party was originally organized by Joe "The Mayor" Murphy, and was held on his back yard and deck. The feature each year in those early days was "The Secret Movie," which Joe would project after dark for the children on a screen set up in his back yard. The format has evolved over the years, and other families have taken over preparations since Joe "retired" several years ago.

Most recently, the neighbors have hosted the crews from Merrifield Fire House 430 for a barbeque at the block party each year and have invited Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth and Dunn Loring Civic Assoc. President Ken Quincy to give updates on current events in the community. Mark Keam has been invited to this year's special event to update on statewide news.

Former neighbors, extended families and community members are invited to be part of the large turnout at the "Great American Traditional Block Party" celebration.