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Thousands Expected for Clarendon Day

Following a morning run, the festivities go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The heart of Arlington will come alive Saturday for the 14th annual Clarendon Day – a street festival with music, food, arts and crafts plus family-friendly entertainment and morning runs for children and adults.

“I think it’ll be a nice day,” said Matt Hussmann, executive director of the Clarendon Alliance. “The weather is supposed to be nice. It’s also fun just to come out and see all of your Clarendon neighbors. People bump into each other out on the street, and it’s nice just to sit down and chat, drink a beer and enjoy the music.”

He added: “What’s not to like? It’s a great street festival.”

About 25 general exhibitors will line the streets around the Clarendon Metro, plus about that many artists selling a bevy of arts and crafts, including jewelry, paintings, photographs, hand-made apparel and soaps.

Nearly 20 food vendors will have space, and two stages will be set up for 10 bands. And this year, Clarendon Day will feature an afternoon fencing demonstration in Central Park.

“No matter what you’re hungry for, you’re going to find it,” Hussmann said.

The festival features the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation’s Family Fun Day, which includes ballet and other performances, yoga and other healthy activity demonstrations, free health screenings and a long-list of booths all its own.

The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. But the day kicks off beforehand with a Pacers 5K, 10K and Kid’s Dash.

The first run starts at 8:20 a.m. Runners will have the option of donating to the Arlington-based Nature Conservancy on their registration forms.

The conservancy works in all 50 states and about 30 countries on issues like land protection, policy work, volunteerism and other areas.

The local focus is on protecting the Chesapeake Bay, said spokeswoman Maddy Breen. For every dollar collected, the group can plant five oysters in the bay.

“We’ll use the money that we raise on local projects like the Chesapeake Bay, so our runners will actually make a difference in their backyards. That’s what a lot of people want to do: They want to make a difference in their community,” Breen said.

“We need more oysters. They’re awesome for water quality, and they’ve been depleted for the last few years. We put it in context so people will know, ‘My money is actually going to go to the bay.’ ”

For the festival itself, Wilson and Clarendon boulevards will be blocked off between Washington and Garfield. Highland Street will be blocked from Washington to just north of Wilson.

The IOTA Club & Café Stage will be set up on the northern end of Highland; the Arlington Car-Free Diet Stage, at Clarendon and Garfield.

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

“Traditionally, thousands of people come through during the course of the day,” Hussmann said.

“We tried to change up a few things – the stages are laid out a little bit differently than last year, so I think it’ll be easier to sit and listen to music. This fencing thing will be cool. I’m excited. People should stop by to see what’s changed, what’s new, and learn a little bit more about Clarendon.”

For more information, including a map and schedule of events, click here.

For a complete list of Clarendon Day street closures, click here.

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