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McLean Day festival returns in full, with ride preview on Friday

McLean Day returns with amusement park rides like the Himalaya, pictured from 2019 (courtesy McLean Community Center)

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Lewinsville Park Saturday (May 21) for the first full-fledged McLean Day since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

After getting canceled in 2020 and limited to a drive-thru event last year, the McLean Community Center’s annual outdoor festival will return for its 107th year with all of the usual carnival rides, live entertainment, food vendors, and family-friendly activities.

McLean Day will unfold from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1659 Chain Bridge Road. While admission to the overall event is free, the rides require tickets that can be purchased online in advance or on site.

Community members can get a sneak peek of the rides from 2-10 p.m. tomorrow (Friday).

Here is more of what to expect from McLean Day, from MCC’s news release:

Rides and More Amusements

The large amusement rides are a big draw at McLean Day. This year’s selections will shake things up! In addition to the large rides on the parking lot, the Kids’ Way area of the park offers smaller, ticketed rides especially for younger children. Also, for the young and young-at-heart are costumed superhero characters who will be available for photos. Other free activities include laser tag, Bubble Ball, two rock-climbing walls, balloon twisters, a magician and a petting zoo.

Lots of Treats to Eat!

Do you favor festival food? Come to McLean Day ready to enjoy a wide variety of international entrees, snacks and beverages. Some of the area’s best gourmet food trucks that will be on hand to serve the crowds in Lewinsville Park.

Performers Onstage and Off

Free performances will be offered throughout the festival on the Community Stage. Young dancers enrolled in MCC’s Art in Motion Dance classes will open the show at 11:05 a.m. The McLean Community Players will follow at 1:05 p.m. The Alden’s Unruly Theatre Project teen improv group will perform at 1:45 p.m., followed by the McLean High School Chorus at 2:25 p.m. The McLean Citizens Association will present its Teen Character Award at 3 p.m. and G’NASH, a five-member rock band comprised of McLean High School students, will perform at 4 p.m. In addition, a Jugglers’ Stage, located close to the children’s ride area, offers free performances throughout the event.

Voting will also be underway for this year’s MCC Governing Board election, which has been unusually heated with nine adults vying for three seats. There are also three youth candidates for the two teen seats on the ballot.

While absentee voting concluded at 5 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday), the in-person election will be held at McLean Day from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

With parking at Lewinsville Park unavailable during the festival, Fairfax Connector will provide free shuttle service from 10:25 a.m. through 6 p.m. Buses will be available from the McLean Metro station, MCC (1234 Ingleside Avenue), McLean Baptist Church (1367 Chain Bridge Road), and the Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd.).

The festival is being sponsored this year by Wheat’s Landscaping, Mars Inc., McLean Properties, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, which opened a primary care office in McLean in February.

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