Local Commentary

The Little City Weed

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A tiny bin filled with remarkably overeducated, singularly independent, community activists squeezed into the world’s most intense metropolitan region, three times a year hosts an open house where neighbors are invited to sample the all-inclusive progressive paradise of Falls Church City. Memorial Day is one of those times, and here, from an experienced attendee, is how to have the perfect community holiday in The Little City.

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A tiny bin filled with remarkably overeducated, singularly independent, community activists squeezed into the world’s most intense metropolitan region, three times a year hosts an open house where neighbors are invited to sample the all-inclusive progressive paradise of Falls Church City. Memorial Day is one of those times, and here, from an experienced attendee, is how to have the perfect community holiday in The Little City.

First, if your intent is to traditionally honor Memorial Day, take time on Sunday to pass through Falls Church on your way to Arlington National Cemetery or other appropriate locations to pay respects.

Before the sun comes up on Monday, pack provisions on your bike, get into comfortable running gear, and head out along the W&OD trail. As the sun creeps into the western sky, spread your blankets along the parade route on Park Avenue to preserve your space.

Walk from Park Avenue to City Hall to catch up with the people who have been training all year to win the 3K Fun Run. You will recognize the fun runners because it is about 1.3 million people milling about in short pants and pushing strollers. While I have been chased around the city several times by outspoken community activists, technically, under universal writer rules of professional responsibility, I am prohibited from actually running in public. People tend to flee in panic when they see local columnists running … who knows what terrible thing is chasing them. Still, I understand regular people enjoy the fun run.

Next head to City Hall. The vendors and civic organizations will be setting up their booths. Resist the temptation to have the first corn dog of the day, and, instead, help one of the organizations you like set up their booth. Avoid making eye contact with any organization you do not support. This will help set the community spirit feel for the day.

Find someone who works for the city. Ask them if they know where the mayor and grand marshal Edna Frady are having the traditional pre-parade lunch. Stop by and buy Edna a glass of white wine and ice. Grand marshals are people too, and I have a feeling Edna will be grateful for your support.

At eleven o’clock there will be a Veteran’s Ceremony at the Community Center. This is always a special moment in the day. You will be able to judge the organization of the day by whether or not the bands stop playing for a few minutes during the prayers and speeches.

Start the parade! Where every man, women, and child in the city marches … anchored by every man, women, and child in the world who is part of an international dance troupe. Cheer the fire fighters. Smile at the little kids. Marvel at the dedicated public officials. Look suspiciously at the decades old candy thrown into the crowd.

End your perfect day by bringing the family to the secret biker beer garden … which, sorry to say, you outsiders will have to find by yourself.

 


Michael Gardner is a quixotic citizen and founder of the Blueweeds community blog.

 

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