Art On The Avenue: A Guide
What to expect, where to go during Saturday's festival
With cool and sunny weather expected, Saturday's Art on the Avenue festival is going to be a busy one. Organizers are now expecting more than 50,000 attendees, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Mt. Vernon Avenue. Here's a look at what to expect from the 15th annual multicultural arts and music festival:
Arts and Crafts — There will be more than 350 arts and crafts vendors displaying their work. Tents will line Mt. Vernon Avenue from Bellefonte Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue. There will also be artists in the field next to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center. Keep an eye out for artist demonstrations, including the installation of the new Del Ray Mural. For a complete list of craft vendors, click here.
Music — Performances will take place at three live stages throughout the day. The Twin Stage will be set up at East Oxford Avenue, the Homegrown Stage at East Raymond Avenue, and the Acoustic Stage next to Nature's Nibbles. There will also be performances at the Del Ray Performing Arts Center. Everything from Irish music and Zydeco to classic rock and performances from theater companies will be on stage. For a complete list of performances, click here.
Children's Activities — Word is these can get plenty crazy. They are free after all. And what kid doesn't like to decorate a pumpkin or build a scarecrow? For a complete list of activities, click here.
Food — Do you smell cake pops? Chicken on a stick? There will be a little bit of everything and some of the restaurants on the Avenue will be open as well. Be warned: They will be very busy. Don't forget the pie-baking contest with proceeds benefitting Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia. After judging, slices will be on sale for $3. There will be a lot of pie, but it will go fast, as pie is known to do. For a complete list of food, click here.
Transportation — The people of Del Ray can simply walk to the festival, but with thousands of others making their way to the neighborhood, organizers are asking visitors to use the Metro. A DASH bus will run free of charge from the Braddock Road Station to Bellefonte Avenue. Just look for the sign that reads "Take Me to Art on the Avenue." If you simply must drive, good luck. Park early and expect a troublesome time making your way home.
Other attractions — Places outside the festival are still getting in on the action:
FireFlies will be firing up bratwursts and sauerkraut on an outside grill for its Oktoberfest celebration. Waitresses will be serving beer in lederhosen, bringing a little piece of Germany (or at least Wisconsin) to North Alexandria for the day.
St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland will be holding its Blessing of the Animals, where Father Nicholas C. Athanaelos will be absolving pets on the hour (and perhaps as needed) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adoption groups for dogs and cats will be on hand (though not at the same time, of course) and the church will have carnival-style refreshments available. There will also be a petting zoo, which has sort of a problematic history at the church. Some might remember the time a llama escaped the church parking lot and made its way down Monroe Avenue to Mancini's Café and Bakery. Art on the Avenue visitors must remember the llama means no harm. It's just a fan of Barbara's cooking. And who can be blamed for that?
Finally, the Salvation Army will be holding an estate sale on Saturday morning.