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  • October 11, 2021 6:00 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

     Alexandria's favorite Halloween tradition -- the Del Ray Halloween Parade -- is BACK!   

        The 25th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade will take place on Mount Vernon Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m., beginning at E. Bellefonte Avenue.   Contests for Best Decorated House, Best Decorated Business,  Best Group Costume and Best Pet Costume will take place online. 

          To limit crowding, we are encouraging FREE advance registration at multiple entrance points. Additional points may be added as these fill up. Click here to register!

         Other favorite traditions -- including the Halloween Scavenger Hunt on the Avenue, and the Halloween costume drive for children in need, will take place throughout the month of October.

        PLEASE NOTE: While the Del Ray Halloween Parade is an outdoor event, we expect a large number of participants. Because children under 12 are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, masks are required for all participants . Thank you for keeping our youngest neighbors safe!   Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no post-party and no goodie bags at the Mt. Vernon Rec Center fields. We look foward to bringing these traditions back in 2022!


    Best Decorated House Contest 

       The deadline for nominations to be submitted for Best Decorated House is Sunday, October 17 at 12 p.m.   Click here to nominate a home (you can nominate a neighbor -- or yourself!); please include if it should be judged during the day or night. Thank you to The Jen Walker Team for sponsoring this favorite Del Ray tradition!


    Best Decorated Stroller/Group Contest 

        The Annual Best Decorated Stroller/Group Contest will take place online, with entries due by Sunday, October 31 at  12 p.m.  Note: We'd love to still see your entries at the parade!  The contest is moving to a virtual format to reduce crowding, and to allow those who may not be comfortable attending in the parade to participate as well.  Click here to enter.  Thank you to the Homes of Alexandria Team of Compass for sponsoring this contest!


    Best Pet Costume Contest  

        The Annual Best Pet Costume Contest will take place online, with entries due by Sunday, October 31 at  12 p.m.  Note: We'd love to still see your pets in costume at the parade!  The contest is moving to a virtual format to reduce crowding, and to allow those who may not be comfortable attending in the parade to participate as well.  Click here to enter.  Thank you to The Dog Store and Your Dog's Best Friends for sponsoring this contest!

    Costumes for Children In Need

          THANK YOU SO MUCH for your incredible generosity -- all costume requests from Community Lodgings and the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club have been filled!  We hope to bring our costume shop for children in need back in 2022 -- drop new or gently used costumes off in the collection box at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (located at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Oxford Avenue) starting Nov. 1! 

    Halloween Scavenger Hunt

          Walk the Avenue (in costume or not!) and find Halloween-themed items in Del Ray's murals and decorated businesses.  The hunt begins on October 22; four winners (randomly selected from all entries) will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite Del Ray business.  Download your scavenger hunt here, or pick up a copy from the witch at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (located at the intersection of Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues).  Thank you to Kinneman Insurance for sponsoring this fun community activity!

       Held year on the Sunday before Halloween, the Del Ray Halloween Parade is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association, which represents the independently-owned shops, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  


  • August 12, 2021 9:00 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Join the Del Ray community for a special summer event, featuring live music in outdoor restaurant venues along the Avenue! Bands & Brews: Del Ray's Summer Bar Crawl takes place on Saturday, August 21 from 1-6pm.   Thanks to Bobi Bomar & Ellen Patrick of the Homes of Alexandria Team of Compass for sponsoring this fantastic event!

    Register now - the first 300 registrants will get a swag bag with a 16 oz souvenir collectors cup! Advance tickets are $15 ($20 at the door), and include specials on cocktails, beer, and food at each of the 16 participating restaurants, live music, and the featured bands at the Main Stage at Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (3:00PM- The Okays 4:30 PM: Practically Einstein), trolley transportation, 50/50 raffles, and a Grand Raffle for 2 Capitals Hockey Tickets. Bar Crawl t-shirts will be on sale the day of the event. You must be 21+ to participate!

    Check-in starts at 12:30 pm at Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap (401 E. Braddock Road) or Northside10 (10 E. Glebe Road)  You must check-in at one of the starting restaurants between 12:30-2:30pm. Participants can crawl to other restaurants starting at 1pm. Late check-in available at Pork Barrel BBQ (2312 Mount Vernon Avenue) only after 2:30pm. 

    Participating restaurants:

    • Northside10 (Live Music)
    • Hops N Shine (Live Music)
    • Piece Out (Live Music)
    • Cheesetique (Live Music)
    • Stomping Ground (*near main stage)
    • Pork Barrel BBQ (*near main stage)
    • St. Elmo's Coffee Pub (Live Music)
    • Del Ray Pizzeria (Live Music)
    • Evening Star Café (Live Music)
    • Kaizen Tavern (Live Music)
    • The Garden (Live Music)
    • Elo's Italian Pop-Up at Live Oak Restaurant (Live Music)(Opens at 4pm)
    • Barkhaus (Live Music)
    • Bella Napoli (Live Music)
    • Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap (Live Music)
    • Spice Kraft (Live Music)

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

  • June 15, 2021 11:56 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         The Del Ray Business Association hosted the 12th Annual Taste of Del Ray from June 4-6, showcasing a diverse collection of Del Ray's top restaurants.   The modified event featured a spirited competition between 13 participating neighborhood restaurants.

         Evening Star Cafe won the Judges' Choice Award with their local coffee custard, while Stomping Ground's cheddar blue corn grits with a pork ragu won the People's Choice Award, as voted by registered attendees.  This year's judges were Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and Chadwicks owner Trae Lamond.

    The complete list of winners:

    People's Choice
    1st Place: Stomping Ground, Cheddar Blue Corn Grits with a Pork Ragu
    2nd Place: Spice Kraft, Raj Kachori Chaat (Indian Street Food)
    3rd Place: Junction Bakery & Bistro, Chiquito Cubanos

    Judges' Choice
    1st Place:  Evening Star Cafe, Local Coffee Custard
    2nd Place: Pork Barrel BBQ, White Chicken Chili
    3rd Place: Live Oak Restaurant/Elo’s Italian Pop-Up, Meatballs made with veal, pork, & beef, with creamy polenta, Pomodoro sauce, and Pecorino
    Honorable Mention: Swings Coffee Roasters, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Nitro Draft Latte
    Honorable Mention: Del Ray Pizzeria, Baked Avocado with Fried Egg & Cheddar

          "We were blown away by the culinary creativity of our restaurants," said Taste of Del Ray chair Karen Johnson.  "But, more than anything, we were so overwhelmed by the support of the community, even though we couldn't hold our traditional in-person event.  This was a difficult year for restaurants, and the neighborhood really came out to celebrate the talented chefs in Del Ray." 

         Held every June in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, the Taste of Del Ray showcases the neighborhood's top restaurants in a spirited competition sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.   Proceeds from ticket sales help fund neighborhood events throughout the year.   

  • May 27, 2021 9:29 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    NOTE NEW DATE DUE TO WEATHER: The Del Ray Business Association presents First Thursday: Unmask Your Superhero on Thursday, June 10 from 6 p.m. to dusk along Mount Vernon Avenue. The event features a wide range of activities that promote community while supporting the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club.

    Wear your favorite superhero gear and participate in the following activities:

    -- Recognize Our Community Heroes: Do you have an employee, friend, neighbor, or family member that has gone above and beyond to serve the community during this challenging time? Share their story -- ten individuals will be recognized -- and each will receive a $50 gift card to Spice Kraft! Click here to enter: https://forms.gle/YYobLcBGkQ9zbXP57

    -- Superhero Art Hunt: Hidden throughout the neighborhood are original paintings of superheroes painted by local artists -- find the painting, and it's yours! Pick up clue sheets at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (intersection of Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues) and at Foundation Fitness (1901 Mount Vernon Avenue) starting at 6pm.

    -- Be A Hero To Kids In Need: Participants are encouraged to donate individually-wrapped children's snacks; mac & cheese cups; fruit or applesauce cups; or juice boxes to the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club. Items will be collected at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (intersection of Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues) and at Foundation Fitness (1901 Mount Vernon Avenue), Del Ray Psych & Wellness (1900 Mount Vernon Avenue), The Dog Store (2301 Mount Vernon Avenue), Waxing the City (2727 Mount Vernon Avenue) through June 10. To make a cash donation, visit https://bgcgw.org/newdonatepage (please select "Alexandria Club" in the drop-down designation menu).

    Held the first Thursday from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit.

  • May 21, 2021 8:54 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       Top area restaurants are slated to participate in the 12th Annual Taste of Del Ray. The event, named one of Virginia Living Magazine's top food festivals in the state, will shift to a weekend-long format from Friday, June 4 to Sunday, June 6.

       Throughout the weekend, each participating restaurant will offer select “tastes” for just $5 each. Restaurants are also encouraged to offer cocktail pairings to complement their dishes. Order a bunch of Tastes to go or enjoy them as an appetizer or part of your meal!

    Online registration for the event is just $5, and includes the exclusive menu of available tastes and specialty cocktails, plus a ballot to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AND FOR THE LATEST MENU ITEMS!

    Participating Restaurants & Ordering Information

    • Participating restaurants to date include Bella Napoli, Cheesetique, Del Ray Pizzeria, Evening Star Cafe, Hops N Shine, Junction Bakery & Bistro, Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, Live Oak Restaurant/Elo's Italian Pop-Up, Pork Barrel BBQ, Spice Kraft, Stomping Ground, and Taqueria Poblano. 
    • Each restaurant has the option of offering up to three food entries in the competition; all entries are available for just $5, and will be available from June 4-6. Restaurants also have the option to offer VIP cocktail pairings (prices vary), which will not be judged.
    • Pre-orders are STRONGLY encouraged to help our restaurants plan ahead. All orders should be placed online or by phone per the restaurants' usual operating procedure for carryout.
    • Special menu items will be available June 4-6 for pick-up at the restaurants during their normal operating hours. Tastes are available for dine-in or carry-out (or both!) depending on the restaurant’s protocols.

    People's Choice Award

    • All registrants will receive a ballot for the People's Choice Award, to the email used for registration. Online voting closes at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 6.
    • The Judge's Choice and the People's Choice awards will be announced on Monday, June 7.
  • April 02, 2021 2:43 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)
         The Del Ray Business Association will host an Alexandria Mayoral Democratic Primary Debate on Wed., May 12, moderated by NBC News 4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey.   The debate will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.   Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg have both confirmed that they will participate. 

         "We look forward to a wide-ranging discussion about the future of our City -- including how we help our small businesses rebuild and thrive after the pandemic," said Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher. "There are few Alexandria residents who know the challenges facing our City better than Julie Carey.  We're thrilled that she'll lead this important debate."

         The Del Ray Business Association will also host a virtual forum with the Alexandria City Council candidates on Monday, May 17 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  All are invited to attend both virtual forums; recordings will also be available on visitdelray.com.  

        Carey, the Northern Virginia Bureau Chief for NBC News4, has covered Northern Virginia since joining the station in 1992. She has covered the governor, the general assembly, and every statewide election since 1993, and frequently moderates debates for local elections across the region, including moderating the first Alexandria Mayoral Debate in 2018, which was sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.

        The Alexandria Democratic primary takes place on June 8.     

        The Del Ray Business Association is comprised of the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, serving as an advocate, representative, and educator.  For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • March 15, 2021 8:54 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Business Association presents First Thursday: Petal Porch Party from 6 p.m. to dusk on Thursday, April 1. In the spirit of Del Ray's summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards.

        Wear your mask, keep social distance, and participate in these community activities:

    -- Decorate your porch for spring!: 
    Del Ray will be part of the National Cherry Blossom's Petal Porch Parade. Decorate your yard, sidewalk, window, or any space visible from the street or sidewalk in a Cherry Blossom theme.The best decorated porch in Del Ray will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite Del Ray restaurant, retailer, or wellness provider. Click here to learn more and to register!  Please note: If you do not see your house on the National Cherry Blossom map, please email drbanews@gmail.com to have your house included in Del Ray's First Thursday Petal Porch contest. We look forward to seeing your creativity!

    -- Join the Cherry Blossom Challenge!  Starting April 1, there will be  Cherry Blossoms hidden in storefronts along Mount Vernon Avenue -- find them all by April 15 for a chance to win $50 to your favorite Del Ray restaurant or retailer, and other fun prizes!

    -- Be a hero to kids in need: Participants are encouraged to donate colored pencils (12-pack), crayons (24-pack), and reusable water bottles (new, kid-friendly, BPA-free sport/water bottles) for Mount Vernon Community School & Maury  Elementary School's Blessings in a Backpack program. On Thursday, April 1, plastic bins will be placed along Mount Vernon Avenue by 4 p.m.   Blessings in a Backpack works to provides food staples to Mount Vernon Community School and Maury Elementary School children in need. 

    -- Support our restaurants: Order dinner and drinks for carryout from one of Del Ray's local restaurants, and have dinner on your front porch, front steps, or front yard!

    -- Share the love: During First Thursday, take a video or post it on your social media accounts with the hashtags #VisitDelRay

         Held the first Thursday from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit. For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • March 10, 2021 7:42 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         The Del Ray Business Association launched a new raffle to thank the community for their year-long support of small businesses throughout the pandemic.  One lucky customer will win a trip to Delray Beach, Florida for a winter escape from December 28, 2021 to January 2, 2022.

       "After a long and difficult year, the vaccine is here, bringing new hope for a safe and gradual return to normal," said Del Ray Business Association President Dr. Lauren Fisher.  "One of the things we're looking forward to most is traveling again.  This fun promotion is a way to say thank you to the community for their tremendous support of our small businesses, and to encourage customers to continue to shop local as we wrap up these tough winter months."

        From March 10-31, customers will receive an entry for every $25 in purchases from an independent, locally-owned small business in Del Ray. The deadline to submit receipts is Wednesday, March 31 at 5 p.m.  Complete details and an entry form is available at visitdelray.com/delraybeach.

         The winner will be announced during the community's first First Thursday of the year, which takes place on April 1 from 6 p.m. to dusk.  

  • February 12, 2021 1:44 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       The Del Ray Business Association presented Dolce & Bean with the 2021 "Heart of Del Award" on Feb. 12.  The annual award, given to the business that represents the heart and soul of Del Ray, is determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers.

        "It's overwhelming -- I'm so humbled by this award," said Petros Ghebre-Egziabher, who opened Dolce & Bean on Mount Vernon Avenue in 2017. "I'd like to express my love to this community that has welcomed me and supported me."

         "The things that people said about Dolce & Bean are exactly what this award was made for -- where do you go, when you walk in, that warms your heart. That's exactly what people said about Petros.  Over and over, people said how welcoming he is, how he knows the kids' names, and that's really what makes a community," said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter.  "Petros’ caring and welcome nature makes you feel like you are his favorite customer each time you visit," said Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher.  

         Patrons cited Ghebre-Egziabher's warm and welcoming spirit.  "Petros is the nicest, most welcoming business owner -- he always greets guests with a smile!  His spirit, even throughout COVID, has put a smile on my face, as well as lightened up the community atmosphere," wrote one nomination.  "He takes the time to get to know all of his customers and has fostered a culture in his store of exactly what I think of when I think of the word 'community,'" wrote another.

          Over 1,400 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker of McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, Del Ray Cafe, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/the sushi bar, and Taqueria Poblano, and Ms. Preeti's 7-11.  A business cannot win the award multiple years.

  • February 03, 2021 1:39 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       Voting is now open for the 2021 Heart of Del Ray award, sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association!       

       Every February, the Del Ray Business Association presents the Heart of Del Ray Award to the business that represents the heart and soul of Del Ray, as determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers. Selection is based on which business best demonstrates their warm and welcoming attitude to the community and customers; their commitment and generosity to the community; and to their overall contribution to the Del Ray community.

         The nominees for the 2021 Heart of Del Ray -- plus comments from the customers who nominated them -- are:

    • DEL RAY PSYCH & WELLNESS:  Their bright blue building is a hub of community activity -- including donation drives for local non-profits, free outdoor yoga, pop-up markets, and more.  "This business has become a neighborhood bright spot and part of its foundation. From how festive the building looks now, to its outside free classes and all the workshops offered to help keep Del Ray happy and healthy, especially now!" wrote one nomination. "The virtual resources that Del Ray Psych has provided during the pandemic have been so, so helpful and accessible.  Community is at the core of everything they do," wrote another.

    • DOLCE & BEAN: Dolce & Bean features delicious desserts -- and one of Del Ray's favorite neighbors, owner Petros Ghebre-Egziabher. "Petros is the nicest, most welcoming business owner -- he always greets guests with a smile! His spirit, even throughout COVID, has put a smile on my face, as well as lightened up the community atmosphere," wrote one nomination. "He takes the time to get to know all of his customers and has fostered a culture in his store of exactly what I think of when I think of the word 'community,'" wrote another.

    • ROCK OF AGES MUSIC (ROAM): Founded by Alexandria native John Patrick, ROAM is an all-inclusive music center that discovers and cultivates artistic talents. “They are building a safe community for our kids, all while embracing the arts. The end results are amazing and fill the kids with such a sense of accomplishment and self esteem," wrote one nomination. "JP and the gang always have the kids best interests at heart, and keeping them occupied and creative through this pandemic," wrote another.

    • ROSEMONT LANDSCAPING & LAWNCARE: While this Del Ray business has seen tremendous growth, they've remained committed to their hometown, volunteering with community projects and cutting lawns at no cost for those who are terminally ill. "This is a home-grown business that is always ready to donate a helping hand to the local community through school donations, playground installations, Rebuilding Together and many more," wrote one nomination. "They are compassionate and passionate about building the best community, yard by yard, playground by playground," wrote another.

    • ST. ELMO'S COFFEE PUB: Known as "Del Ray's Living Room," St. Elmo's Coffee Pub has been a community gathering place for over 20 years; after COVID, they moved from hosting poetry readings and jazz nights to being a collection center for Grace Food Pantry. "When I think of a heart, I think of a beating hub of activity. I think that perfectly describes the role St. Elmo's plays in Del Ray," wrote one nomination. "This neighborhood has been built around St. Elmo's. It’s time to recognize the place that started it all!" wrote another.

    • STOMPING GROUND: Three words are used most often to describe chef/owner Nicole Jones’ Stomping Ground -- friendly, welcoming, and delicious. “Nicole epitomizes the life and love in Del Ray. She’s inclusive, supports diversity, brings southern hospitality, and provides a certain spice that is so rare anywhere else,” read one nomination. "In addition to making amazing food, Nicole is such a champion of other small businesses in Del Ray! She's also so good to her staff and works really hard to make sure they earn a living wage. Through COVID she's put them first and made changes to ensure their safety stays key while keeping her business open."
         Voting is now open at visitdelray.com/heartofdelray; voting closes at 12 p.m. on Th., Feb. 11.  A large heart-shaped award will be displayed on the winning business on Fri., Feb 12 to greet them for the Valentine’s Day weekend.

           A business can only win the award once.  Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker of McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, Del Ray Cafe, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/The Sushi Bar, Taqueria Poblano, and Ms. Preeti's 7-11.

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