From Parking Lot to Activity Space in Fairfax City

From Parking Lot to Activity Space in Fairfax City

City to hold Park(ing) Day outside the mall.

Turning an ordinary parking lot into a space for outdoor fun and activities, Fairfax City will hold its second annual Park(ing) Day, next Friday, Sept. 18. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the parking lot of Fair City Mall at 9650 Main St. will be transformed into an interactive parklet for the public to enjoy.

GMU students and Fairfax City departments are collaborating to celebrate people and open space. One of the highlights will be a balloon garden in which area residents will be encouraged to share their thoughts about some of their favorite things about the City.

After people write down their ideas, each one will be attached to a balloon in the balloon garden. Then, as visitors walk through this garden, they’ll be able to read all the thoughtful messages.

In addition, students in GMU’S Dewberry School of Music Flute Ensemble, of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will perform at 11:30 a.m. Event attendees may also participate in giveaways, plus raffle drawings for merchandise from Fair City Mall businesses.

“We are thrilled that the Flute Ensemble, led by Julianna Nickel, will be participating in this creative and interactive opportunity,” said Dewberry School of Music Director Linda Monson. “Those attending will be able to enjoy fantastic music performed by Mason’s fabulous flutists.”

“Park(ing) Day is a fun day to turn a parking spot into a mini-park for a day,” added Amy Stephenson, office manager at HHH Properties Corp. “Fair City Mall partnered [on this] with Fairfax City’s Economic Development Office [EDO] last year. We’re pleased to participate again in this community-friendly event, and we hope that lots of our neighbors and customers stop by to visit our Park(ing) Day installation.”

However, since COVID-19 is still present, people are asked to stay home if they’ve been diagnosed with it, are awaiting test results for the virus or show any symptoms of it. To ensure the public’s health and safety, the EDO will be implementing comprehensive protocols to ensure that every precaution is taken to keep attendees safe.

These measures to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19 include: Temporal temperature checks upon entering; limited occupancy, and social distancing required between artists and patrons. Attendees are asked to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and avoid casual touching. And entrances and exits will be monitored for one-way, foot traffic.

“The Commonwealth’s public-safety guidelines were at the forefront when planning Park(ing) Day,” said Danette Nguyen, the City’s assistant director of Economic Development. “Our office is excited to celebrate Park(ing) Day in a safe manner, while showing creative ways that parking spaces can be used.”

Park(ing) Day began in 2005 when ReBar, a San Francisco art-and-design studio converted a single, metered, parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since then, the event has become an international movement, with pop-up parks reactivating public spaces. For more information about Fairfax City’s upcoming Park(ing) Day, go to