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McLean Day to return for 109th year with new wine and beer garden

McLean Day 2023 attendees enjoy a carnival ride (courtesy McLean Community Center)

(Updated at 9:30 a.m. on 5/14/2024) McLean Day is about to take over Lewinsville Park (1659 Chain Bridge Road) once again with two days of music, food and carnival rides.

Now in its 109th year, the annual festival organized by the McLean Community Center will keep things fresh with the introduction of a beer and wine garden, a main stage relocation, additional attractions at the Friday night carnival and expanded voting for MCC’s governing board election.

The festivities will begin this Friday (May 17) with the T.G.I.F. Carnival Rides event, which will bring various amusement rides to the park from 2-10 p.m. Free climbing walls, bubble ball and laser tag will be available this year after previously only appearing for the main festival on Saturday (May 18).

Wristbands for unlimited rides can be purchased online until the event begins.

For the first time, McLean residents can vote in the governing board election on Friday from 4-8 p.m. This year’s race has 10 adults vying for four open seats, three teens seeking to represent the Langley High School area and two teens competing to represent McLean High School. Voting will also be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The main McLean Day Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and typically draws around 10,000 people, per MCC. In addition to the carnival rides, the event will feature costumed characters, free activities like balloon twisters and a petting zoo, live music, food trucks and the new McLean Day Beer and Wine Garden, which will be open to patrons 21 and older.

Moved to a more central location near the house in Lewinsville Park, the Community Stage will kick the day off with a show put on by students enrolled in MCC’s dance classes. They will be followed at noon by (the) Unruly Theatre Project, The Alden’s teen improv group, before taking the stage again at 12:30 p.m.

The rest of the performance schedule is as follows:

  • 1:55 p.m. — DC Synergy, a dance band
  • 2:45 p.m. — Teen Character Awards presented by the McLean Citizens Association
  • 3 p.m. — DC Synergy returns
  • 4:15 p.m. — English Channel Band, a tribute band that plays British rock and pop from the ’60s and ’70s

The festival will also have a Juggler’s Stage in the children’s ride area with free performances geared toward kids.

According to an MCC press release, confirmed food truck options include:

Parking won’t be available at Lewinsville Park on Saturday, but between 10:25 a.m. and 6 p.m., Fairfax Connector will provide free shuttles from the community center (1234 Ingleside Avenue), McLean Baptist Church (1367 Chain Bridge Road) and Redeemer Lutheran Church (1545 Chain Bridge Road).

This story has been updated to correct the number of adult candidates in the McLean Community Center’s governing board race from 15 to 10.