Our View: Local events highlight the fall busy season

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The second annual Old Dominion Boat Club regatta in 2017. A team from The Netherlands won the race, stripping the ODBC/U.S. team of its championship title (Photo Credit: Chantal Eumicke)
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Labor Day didn’t just mark the end of summer – it also represented the start of our region’s busy season.

Those who drove on the beltway or into the District during the past few days encountered an increase in traffic compared with the summer months.

School has started in Alexandria and we welcomed a new superintendent, Dr. Gregory Hutchings, Ed.D., and also the new Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School in the city’s West End.

For those with school-aged children, the coming weeks will be filled with back-to-school nights, class potlucks, parent weekends at colleges and various school events. It’s an exciting, but often exhausting time.

Layered on top of the traffic and school activity is an uptick for most people in the pace of their jobs. While many of us get a bit of a summer respite even when we’re not at the beach, any lull likely ended on Monday.

September also marks the official launch of election season, both locally as Alexandrians prepare to elect their city council and mayor, and also nationally as the “Battle for Congress” is gearing up. Ready or not, negative national election ads are heading for a station near you.

Our local government is also gearing up: the first city council meeting of the fall term is Tuesday. In the coming months, council will consider, and residents will comment on, topics ranging from lights at T.C. Williams High School to ethics reform – by code, a public hearing has to be held on the subject by December – to issues surrounding a new Potomac Yard Metro station. These topics are interesting, but participation is not for the faint-hearted.

Autumn, in addition to eventually bringing relief from the recent sauna-like heat wave, also launches the fall event season. As our story “ODBC regatta returns to the waterfront” beginning on page 1 and events page on 20 illustrate, Alexandrians will have numerous events to choose from that are both charitable and fun.

For starters, there’s the Sept. 15 concert that launches the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s 75th season, and the first under new maestro James Ross.

The King Street Arts Festival returns to Old Town on Sept. 15 and 16, showcasing the work of more than 200 artists from Washington Street to the waterfront. If you attend the free festival, you can stop by the Art League’s Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser at Market Square. All proceeds benefit the Art League’s programs.

Then there’s the American Horticultural Society’s annual gala at River Farm on Sept. 22, with local celebrity and “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” star Monte Durham as honorary chair.

For runners, Ironistic’s Run! Geek! Run! 5K race takes place on Sept. 23, with proceeds going to support the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. Or, if you prefer golf to running, there’s the Alexandria Boys and Girls Club annual golf tournament on Sept. 24 at Springfield Country Club.

And, of course, the above-mentioned regatta will be held during the day on Sept. 22. While the boat race is not an open competition, any city resident can to come to the waterfront and enjoy the sight of colorful boats on the river.

The events listed above are not intended as a comprehensive list of opportunities this fall in Alexandria, just a sampling of what’s taking place. None of the events listed occur at the same time, so it’s conceivably possible to attend, if not participate in, each one.

If anyone pulls off this participation marathon, we’d love to hear from you.

In fact, if you can document your attendance at each event, we’ll provide two tickets to an upcoming Alexandria Symphony concert. Good luck – and happy fall.

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