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Food, Fun and Face Painting: Clarendon Day 2011

The first Saturday of fall was filled with music and food at the Clarendon Day festival.

Music, food and fun brought the neighborhood out to play for -- and then some.

Organizers estimated about 10,000 people came Saturday afternoon to the 14th annual celebration in the heart of Arlington.

Live music, crafts, promotions from local businesses, food and carnival rides for the children surrounded the Clarendon Metro station.

Brenda Walter's daughter Ella waited in line for the face painting at the Virginia Commerce Bank Kid's Zone -- a nonstop hub of excitement that featured everything from palm-tree rock walls to an obstacle course.

"We had no idea it was going on," Walter said. "I cannot believe that everything is free. It's a fun Saturday surprise."

Nancy Newell, who is in Arlington visiting family, thought the street festival was wonderful.

"My kids would really love it with the face painting and the jumpers," she said of the Kid's Zone.

Newell took advantage of the flu shots being offered at the CVS pharmacy booth.

"It was easy and convenient," she said.

Throughout the day, bands serenaded crowds munching on mini-donoughts, empanadas or a wide-range of other offerings with live music. The  worked with the Clarendon Alliance, which organized the festival, to book bands from near and far for the event's two stages.

"It's beautiful. For the children, it's fantastic," said Martha Perep, who danced with her grandson while the band HeLO played on the Arlington Car-Free Diet stage.

Around the stages, local businesses promoted their services with free swag and balloons. Many booths had small water bowls sitting on the ground to accommodate Arlington's four-legged friends, who were out in full force. 

, a belly-dancing studio located on Wilson Boulevard, performed live demonstrations throughout the day. Adrienne Barranco, one of the performers, had been belly-dancing for five years in Texas before moving to Arlington and finding Saffron.

"I took a class on developing your own choreography, then got the chance to perform at events like this," Barranco said.

Before the Clarendon Day dancing and singing began, Arlington residents pounded pavement in the annual Clarendon Day 10K/5K, sponsored by Pacers.

Heather Cruz, who ran the race for the first time this year, liked the course.

"It was downhill, so you got to pick up some speed," she said.

After the run, Cruz sampled a few items from Seoul Food DC, a food truck and one of the many dining options at the festival.

"It was good," she said. "I don't work in D.C., so I never get to try the food trucks."

Proceeds from the day will benefit Doorways for Women and Families, which works to end homelessness and domestic violence.

to see our photo gallery from Clarendon Day 2011, and for a short video where we hear from a few of the organizers and vendors.

Jason Spencer September 24, 2011 at 10:40 PM
I only had time to listen to the occasional song as I was out and about collecting video clips and talking with people. But the Arlington-based band Bethany & The Guitar sounded great! Definitely a group I will go see when I can give them my full attention :)
andfurt September 25, 2011 at 08:05 AM
Have you ever heard of a place called "Get Official Samples" on the web, they give out a free samples of major brands to promote their products. I just got mine.

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