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A sign for the McLean Community Center (file photo)

This weekend, McLean got its first Fourth of July fireworks since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 — only no one was around to see them.

The McLean Community Center held its annual Independence Day Celebration at Langley High School on Saturday (July 2) to accommodate a staffing shortage at its fireworks vendor, an issue that affected several other Fourth of July events in the area as well.

However, instead of watching pyrotechnics light up the night sky, attendees wound up scrambling for cover amid a downpour that ultimately led to a cancellation, MCC said today (Wednesday).

“Though we had held off having the show in hopes of the forecasts being inaccurate, it became clear that the show now had to be canceled,” the community center said in its message. “In the flurry to keep people and property safe, we neglected to let you, our beloved patrons, know what had happened on our website and social media. We regret it and apologize for the oversight.”

Adding to the confusion was the fact that the fireworks were unleashed after all once the rain had dissipated.

MCC says the vendor had to shoot off the fireworks, since they had already been set up and couldn’t be transported.

“This was not a show, this was a necessary safety measure to ensure there were no fireworks remaining on the field,” MCC said. “This detonation was carried out in coordination with the safety officials and pyrotechnicians on-site.”

The organization apologized for the lack of communication with the community, stating that it has “put safeguards in effect” to prevent similar issues in the future.

Though rain had been in the forecast for Saturday night, the community center was unable to schedule a possible rain date due to the vendor’s staffing shortage, MCC Executive Director Daniel Singh said in a statement to FFXnow.

Some parts of the D.C. area saw as much as six to eight inches of rain that night. McLean was among the locations put under flash flood warnings, though the National Weather Service’s unofficial rainfall totals don’t include a report for Fairfax County.

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Closed sign (via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)

While it won’t be quiet around Fairfax County on Monday with Fourth of July celebrations, many government offices and facilities will be closed.

Government offices, and some businesses, are closed for the Independence Day holiday. Public transportation schedules may be lighter and public services, like trash collection, may be changed. See our listing below to get details on what will be open and closed.

Government

Fairfax County government offices will be closed Monday (July 4) in recognition of the Fourth of July holiday, but some facilities are open and schedules vary.

The library system’s branches will be closed on Monday. Animal Control is closed, as it normally is, on Mondays.

The Circuit and District courts will be closed Monday.

The Town of Herndon offices will be closed Monday.

Park Authority

All Park Authority rec centers and golf centers and will be open Monday. Historic sites, nature centers and Green Spring Gardens will be closed. Frying Pan Farm Park Farm and indoor arena will be open while its visitor center will be closed. The River Bend Park Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All Neighborhood and Community Service facilities will be closed Saturday (July 2) through Monday. Reston Community Center Hunter Woods will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Lake Anne will be closed on Monday.

The McLean Community Center will be closed.

Herndon Community Center will be closed Monday. But Herndon Centennial Golf Course will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting.

Transportation

Fairfax Connector will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday. Human Services Transportation (FASTRAN) will not operate on Monday.

On Monday, Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight but last train times vary by station. The Orange Line trains will operate between Vienna and Stadium-Armory only, according to Metro, but free express and local shuttle buses will be provided.

Trash

The county advises residents to contact their trash and recycling collector directly for service schedule changes due to the holiday.

The I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed Monday.

Town of Herndon recycling will be collected Tuesday (July 5) since it is normally collected Monday.

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Fourth of July fireworks (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) This weekend through next week is set to be full of fireworks, parades and celebrations for the Fourth of July.

In D.C., the National Parade returns for the first time since 2019 after the Covid pandemic canceled the festivities in 2020 and 2021. Nearby, the City of Alexandria is holding its annual birthday celebration on Saturday, July 9, after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and scaled back last year.

Throughout Fairfax County, there are also plenty of parades and fireworks if you don’t want to go too far. Here’s a roundup of things to do for the holiday.

Friday, July 1

Saturday, July 2

Monday, July 4

Tuesday, July 5

  • City of Fairfax Independence Day Evening Show with fireworks at Fairfax High School’s front parking lot (3501 Lion Run, Fairfax), 6:30- 9:30 p.m. (Correction: Fairfax City’s fireworks show was erroneously listed under July 4.)
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Fourth of July fireworks (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

After a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, the Town of Herndon is looking ahead to celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, activities and entertainment.

The town’s July 4 celebration, which is set for 6:30-10 p.m. that Monday, will feature live entertainment by Hipshack, a band that will perform party songs and modern hits. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.

A tentative rain date for the fireworks is set for the next day at 9:30 p.m.

Town staff note that traffic will be rerouted at the event, which is located at 814 Ferndale Avenue around the Herndon Community Center and Bready Park Softball Field.

Admission is free.

Motorists should expect significant detours and changes to traffic routes in the area until the fireworks display is finished. Individuals parked at the community center won’t be able to exit until given the all clear by the fire marshal and Herndon Police Department.

Ferndale Avenue will be closed to through traffic from Vine Street to Barton Oaks once parking lots are filled. The lots will remain closed until the show is completed, with the exemption of access for ADA-friendly parking.

Here’s more from the town on planned traffic adjustments:

Herndon Parkway will be reduced to one lane approaching Ferndale Avenue;

No turns from Herndon Parkway onto Ferndale Avenue will be permitted;

Elden Street southbound into town at Monroe Street will be closed during this period and all traffic must turn right onto Monroe Street;

Elden Street traffic northbound at Alabama Drive will be re-routed;

Herndon Middle School traffic exiting from 5th Street must turn left (west) on Locust Street and may only then turn left (south) onto Elden Street;

Locust Street access will be restricted on School, Spruce and Grace  Streets;

St Joseph’s Church parking lot will exit onto Peachtree Street and may turn left only onto Elden Street;

Bready Park softball and Herndon Centennial Golf Course parking lots will exit onto Ferndale Avenue towards Herndon Parkway only

Ferndale Avenue traffic will turn right only onto Park Avenue or Herndon  Parkway;

Sterling Road (Route 606) southbound from Herndon Parkway, is restricted to local access only;

Crestview Drive – no access to Sterling Road from Bayshire Lane;

Vine Street will be closed from Ferndale Avenue to Grace Street;

Main Drive will be closed.

Town staff encourage residents to leave their pets at home and bring a blanket or lawn chair. Coolers and bags are subject to searches and alcohol, glass containers and personal fireworks are not allowed.

For fireworks viewing only, it’s best to nab a spot at the Station Street municipal parking lot and watch from the town green. Food is not allowed on the turf field.

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Morning Notes

A busy bee in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A Few Sidelined Metro Trains Return Today — “Metro has previously said riders will first see the trains on the Green and Yellow lines. The transit agency says once they’ve established a ‘steady rhythm of inspections and consistently delivered eight trains for daily service,’ they will increase service on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines to every 15 minutes” [DCist]

D.C. Woman Believed to Be New Victim of Alleged Serial Killer — “A spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Department told WTOP that ‘shopping cart killer‘ suspect Anthony Eugene Robinson is a person of interest in the death of Sonya Champ…found by police around 11:30 a.m. Sept. 7, 2021.” [Patch]

Dulles Toll Road May Phase Out Coins — “MWAA officials say the shift to an all-electronic system will reduce emissions from vehicles idling at the toll plaza. The shift to all-electronic tolling, expected to take place in January, comes as MWAA is considering the first toll increase for Dulles Toll Road users since 2019.” [The Washington Post]

School Board Vote on Student Phone Use Tonight — “Under a proposed revision to the ‘Student Rights and Responsibilities’ handbook, cellphone use for most students would be prohibited during all classes as well as visits to the bathrooms and locker rooms…A  vote on the handbook for next year is scheduled for Thursday night.” [WTOP]

West Springfield Baseball Player Goes Viral — Eric Fila, a catcher for West Springfield High School, shook hands with the home plate umpire after his team lost to Herndon High School in the 10th inning of a June 7 game in the Virginia state tournament quarterfinals. Video of the gesture was posted on Twitter and went viral, even airing during a Phillies-Brewers broadcast. [The Washington Post]

Virtual Mental Health Services Available for Students — “Through August 5, the FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services will offer virtual mental wellness consultations. Parents and students can schedule a 45-minute consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker by phone or videoconference.” [FCPS]

McLean Community Center Reschedules Fourth of July — The center’s annual Independence Day celebration will now take place at Langley High School from 6:30-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. Vienna and Fairfax City have also moved events off of July 4 due to staffing shortages at the company that conducts their fireworks shows. [MCC/Twitter]

Inside Tysons Corner Center’s Princess Diana Exhibit — “Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibit takes a look at Diana’s life as a royal, seen through the eyes of [royal photographer Anwar] Hussein. His work — including never-before-seen photographs of the princess — is presented next to photos taken by his sons Samir and Zak, who both work as royal photographers today.” [Washington City Paper]

It’s Thursday — Possible light rain in the morning and overnight. High of 86 and low of 71. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:38 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Sunrise Senior Living is under construction at 1515 Chain Bridge Road in McLean (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

County Officials React to Oakton Crash — Multiple Fairfax County elected officials expressed devastation at news that two Oakton High School students have died after a vehicle crash in Oakton yesterday (Tuesday). Crisis support services are available for students, according to school board members. [Twitter]

Fire Reported at Prosperity Flats Apartments — “Fire sprinklers extinguished a fire Tuesday night at a high-rise apartment building in Dunn Loring, according to a 6:58 p.m. post on the Fairfax Fire & Rescue Department’s official Twitter account. Fire units were called earlier to the apartment building in the 2700 block of Dorr Avenue after eighth floor residents reported seeing smoke.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Marks Pride Month — “Today, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 2022 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. We urge all county residents, employees and elected officials to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community, and to stand up, speak out and show support for those who face prejudice and discrimination.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]

Police Set Up Car Parts Theft Task Force — “The Fairfax County Police Department has created a Catalytic Converter Task Force to investigate the theft of the converters and any organized regional rings behind the increase in thefts…From January to April this year, 333 catalytic converters were stolen in Fairfax County, compared with just 27 similar thefts over the same period in 2021.” [Patch]

Major Broadband Investment Announced in Springfield — Virginia will receive $219.8 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to expand broadband access, Sen. Mark Warner announced yesterday at Northern Virginia Community College’s Springfield campus. The American Rescue Plan Act funds will be allocated to local governments through grants and could improve access in an estimated 76,873 locations. [Mark Warner]

New FCPS Budget Supports Virtual Mental Health Services — “As part of the $3.3 billion budget, school board officials allocated $500,000 for telehealth mental health services for students. The Virginia county is still in the early stages of identifying a vendor for the services, but county officials said program possibilities include access to physical and behavioral health providers and mobile services that would allow students to use their devices for symptom management or tracking.” [WTOP]

Fairfax City Moves Back Fourth of July Celebration — The City of Fairfax will hold its Independence Day Evening Show on July 5 at Fairfax High School due to a shortage of licensed pyrotechnicians. The city says its fireworks vendor has canceled more than two dozen contracts, an issue that has also affected the Town of Vienna. [Fairfax City]

New Urgent Care Clinic Opens in Lorton — Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic has opened a new weekend urgent care clinic in its Lorton office (10716 Richmond Highway, Suite 101) to help patients with acute bone and joint injuries. The clinic, which has also has offices in Fairfax, Arlington, and at Mount Vernon Hospital, accepts both walk-in patients and appointments. [M2 Orthopedics]

It’s Wednesday — Rain in the evening and overnight. High of 82 and low of 69. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:34 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Signs on Maple Avenue advertising Vienna’s 2021 Fourth of July celebration (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Town of Vienna’s Independence Day celebration will arrive a little early this year.

A staff shortage at the company that provides fireworks for the annual Fourth of July festivities led Vienna to reschedule the event for July 1 to avoid having to cancel it altogether, the town announced late Friday (June 3).

“As much as we were looking forward to celebrating on the 4th of July, the company that provides the fireworks show explained that a shortage of licensed pyrotechnic staff made it impossible to meet the demand for that day, and the company had to cancel multiple contracts, including ours,” Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman said in the news release. “Rather than cancel the event altogether, we worked with the company to find an alternate date, and fortunately the U.S. Navy Concert Band was able to reschedule, too.”

The celebration will take place at Yeonas Park (1319 Ross Drive) as usual, with live music starting at 8 p.m. and a 20-minute fireworks display kicking off at 9:30 p.m. from Southside Park (1317 Ross Drive SW).

The Vienna Little League will open its concession stand, and the town encourages attendees to bring blankets and lawn chairs, though the latter won’t be allowed on the baseball fields. Alcohol, glass containers, sparklers, and dogs will be prohibited.

Parking will be available at Thoreau Middle School and Cedar Park Shopping Center, with spaces for people with disabilities on Patrick Street and Patrick Circle, according to the town’s website.

There will be closures on Patrick and George streets as well as Ross Drive from 7 to 11 p.m.

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