When you live in an adorable and walkable little neighborhood like I do, there is stuff going on all the time. And during the spring and summer months, the Del Ray Business Association hosts a series of outdoor festivals along the main drag of Mt Vernon Avenue on the first Thursday of every month. It’s called – get this – First Thursdays. And every month has a theme. Today is the first Thursday of July, and since the street fair is happening tonight, I figured I would let everyone know what to expect if you’ve never been.
A Theme – last month the theme was “Paint Del Ray” and featured various artists who are members of the Del Ray Artisans scattered along the main street making art in public.
There was also the launch of a large public art piece centered around the theme of “UNITY”. Neighbors strung yarn from various poles that represented their identity, but which all wove together the way that lives in a community weave together (get it?). Seeing the change from that first night to a week+ later was amazing – it was like a tent or canopy by that point, and was probably good shade from the sun.
Live Music – Who doesn’t love to listen to a live band? These guys were terrific, and set up in the area where the farmers market normally takes place.
Chalk art – Del Ray loves its chalk art so much, they had a separate festival for it earlier in the year.
Charity – One is picked to go with the theme – last month it was art supplies and bird houses for a summer camp run by the Del Ray Artisans. This month, sheets, towels and other supplies are being collected to support homeless veterans in Alexandria.
Fun! – It’s a terrific thing to walk through your neighborhood and see people out and enjoying themselves.
I will say that I went by myself to the last event, and I did feel vaguely out of place. Del Ray is a very family-oriented community, so if you’re out walking without a baby, small child, or at the very least a dog, you might feel weird. Or you know, maybe I’m just sensitive about that kind of thing. In any case, there’s a lot to see and do, and it’s FREE so if you’re in the area and have a few free hours tonight (or in August or September), it’s always an interesting time, so come on down!
Details: First Thursday Del Ray (July 7, August 4, September 1). This month’s theme is Red White and Blue, and there are patriotic activities, a cake walk, live music, and discounts for veterans and military families at various local businesses. Runs from 6pm – 9pm, watch the website/twitter for information in case of rain.