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Cherry blossom bicycle ride and more events teased at Tysons Community Alliance website launch

Tysons Community Alliance announces the inaugural National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Bike Ride at its launch event (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) The National Cherry Blossom Festival is coming to Tysons this year.

Tysons Corner Center will host a family bicycle ride on April 2 as part of D.C.’s annual celebration of its cherry trees at the Tidal Basin, the Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) announced during its official launch event yesterday (Wednesday) at Valo Park.

The alliance — a nonprofit organization replacing the now-defunct Tysons Partnership — has also acquired 20 cherry trees and is now scouting out possible locations around Tysons where they can be planted.

The bicycle ride will last from 8-10 a.m. starting in the Tysons Corner Center Plaza, where there will also be arts and crafts and other family-friendly activities, Karyn Le Blanc, TCA’s acting director of communications and marketing, told FFXnow. More details, including how to register for the ride, are expected in the coming weeks.

Though this year’s ride will stick to the mall’s footprint, future iterations could expand to other parts of Tysons as the area’s network of streets and trails gets built out.

“This will be an annual event, we hope,” Le Blanc said.

The bicycle ride is one of several events that the TCA hopes to bring to Tysons, along with a live music series at The Boro, movie nights and monthly happy hours that will bring “like-minded people together to collaborate on TCA initiatives,” according to the press release.

The alliance offered a preview of upcoming events at yesterday’s launch to highlight its goal of “establishing authentic community connections” in Tysons, a mission that it also hopes to further with a currently open survey on signage and wayfinding.

Initially funded by public investments, the TCA was created in October to promote and advocate for Tysons and help Fairfax County implement its vision for the area, picking up the work started by the Tysons Partnership.

The alliance will operate as a community improvement district (CID), which is like a business improvement district (BID) except it’s supported by both residential and commercial property owners. While BIDs have emerged in D.C. and Arlington County, the only precedent for a CID in the region is Mount Vernon Triangle, according to the TCA.

As part of its official launch, the TCA unveiled a new website at tysonsva.org with an event calendar, news, business resources, development updates and other Tysons-related information. It also shared its social media handles at Twitter and Instagram (@tysons_va), and Facebook and LinkedIn (@TysonsCommunityAlliance).

The TCA’s launch is a “milestone” for Tysons, said Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, who represents Tysons, and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who helped develop the Tysons Comprehensive Plan in 2010 as a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

“The Tysons Community Alliance really has an opportunity to shape the brand of Tysons, not just for the people who live here, but for the rest of the country and even the world,” Alcorn said, noting that Tysons is about “one generation through a three-generation plan” to have 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050.

With 30,124 residents and 107,000 workers, Tysons is making progress toward those goals, according to a presentation shared at the launch event. The presentation noted that, like Fairfax County, Tysons has a “majority-minority” population and the D.C. area’s largest workforce outside the nation’s capital.

TCA leaders acknowledged that much work remains to be done, particularly in terms of housing affordability, accessibility and pedestrian safety. However, the organization wants to stress an overall “spirit of optimism” for Tysons now and into the future, acting CEO Rich Bradley said.

“It’s incredible to witness the momentum at which we’ve already progressed,” Palchik said. “Everyone has been working so diligently to get the TCA to where it is now, and I am confident that we will accomplish a lot in this year alone and into the future.”

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