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Clarendon Day returns to Arlington with art, a kids’ zone, races and more

From arts-and-crafts vendors to live music, here’s what to expect from the annual street festival in Arlington.

people walking down street at annual clarendon day
Last year’s Clarendon Day Street Festival (Photo courtesy of the Clarendon Alliance)

Every September, families with youngsters, retirees and newly graduated 20-somethings of the Clarendon neighborhood come together for a day of celebration and entertainment at the annual Clarendon Day Street Festival

Recognized as one of Arlington’s oldest and largest street festivals, Clarendon Day (being held this year on Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) honors the various activities and businesses that bring the community together with an all-day, eight-block affair that typically attracts more than 20,000 people. 

people looking at framed photos
People looking at photographs at last year’s Clarendon Day. (Photo courtesy of the Clarendon Alliance)

“This is the one day that really brings Clarendon together,” says Elizabeth Crocker, executive director of nonprofit Clarendon Alliance, which works to improve the health and vitality of the neighborhood. “It’s an unbelievably fun day and everyone who goes always has a great time.”

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To start the festivities, there is a Clarendon Day Run, consisting of a 10K for practiced runners, a 5K and a kids’ dash, too. 

As the day continues, vendors and organizations of Northern Virginia set up booths with things like handcrafted jewelry, homemade soap bars, light bites and craft beer and wines for residents to purchase or taste test. Plus, there are live demonstrations and performances spread across two outdoor stages. 

woman shopping for hat outside
People browsing the retail booths at last year’s Clarendon Day. (Photo courtesy of the Clarendon Alliance)

For this year’s event, demonstrations by local organizations and businesses—like a dance by Adagio Ballet, performance by Saffron Dance belly dancers and a meet-and-greet with the Washington Nationals presidents—will take place on the performance stage. As for the main-stage guests, local bands include five-person, classic rock band DreamStreet and go-go band Lloyd Dobler Effect, as well as a DJ from Urban Boxing who will be providing entertainment all day long.

Be sure to bring the entire family along, as the Kids’ Zone has fun for the little ones to enjoy, with things like face painting, a storytime hour and a special family stage. 

“There’s honestly something for every age group,” says Crocker. “Clarendon is really the heart of Arlington and we think this is the best way to celebrate.” // Clarendon Station: 3100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; free

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