Welcome to McLean. We're happy to see you. Enjoy McLean Day.
Come early. More than 10,000 people came last year. Chain Bridge Road from Great Falls to Westmoreland becomes a parking lot from noon-3pm. Neighborhood parking also fills up after 12. Take a free shuttle bus. Locations below.
Follow McLean Patch on Twitter. We'll update you often on traffic and congestion.
What: McLean Day is the day when thousands of people from around the region visit McLean to enjoy a day outside filled with carnival rides, delicious food and live entertainment starting at 11 a.m. The kids will love the pony rides and face painting. Our neighbor the CIA has a great and popular booth. They give away CIA items but you need to come early.
When: Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for everyone. But McLean residents can vote for members of the McLean Community Center board from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road.
Weather: Don’t worry about it. Nothing stops McLean Day.
Price: Free admission but there are lots of things for sale inside. Cash is required to buy tickets for carnival rides.
Don't Even Try It: Alcohol, cigarettes and other controlled substances are not permitted on the grounds.
FOR OUR NEIGHBORS
Please, Please Vote: If you live generally in the area from the Arlington County line to Difficult Run and the Potomac River and Route 7, you are eligible to vote because you pay taxes that run the center! One hundred percent of McLean and some Great Falls residents live in the special tax district. Last year less about 1,000 votes were cast. The election will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a booth just inside the entrance to the park. Look for it.
FOR OUR GUESTS
Welcome. We're glad to see you.
Parking: There is no parking at Lewinsville Park. Pleeeeeease take the free shuttle. Shuttle buses are running from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:
The McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue. Meet the shuttle at the Center’s front entrance.
McLean Baptist Church, 1367 Chain Bridge Rd, in downtown McLean across from Franklin Sherman Elementary School and Langley Shopping Center. Meet the shuttle at the stop on Brawner Street.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1545 Chain Bridge Rd. Meet the bus at the church entrance.
In addition, the Center also will run a number of small transportation carts, similar to those used in airports, from the rear of the Lewinsville Senior Center, 1609 Great Falls Street. Riders can meet the carts at the stop on Evers Drive, which is behind the Center. Follow the signs to the pickup location on Evers Drive.
The Eats: Four new food vendors are coming to McLean Day this year: Pepper Creek Shellfish Farm, Suya-to-Go and Dee’s Concessions, along with the popular Tysons area food truck, Something Stuffed (http://www.somethingstuffed.com ) will join other favorites such as The Tender Rib (http://www.thetenderrib.com), Minute Man Kettlecorn, Brad’s Concessions and Domino’s Pizza.
Food booths are located throughout the park. Locations and menu selections can be found in the McLean Day map that will be handed out at the information booth just inside the park entrance. There also is a large tent with picnic tables for dining.
At press time, food vendors included:
Anita’s Frozen Cotton Candy
Original New Orleans Style Sno-Balls
Big Fat Daddy’s
Subs, Pork or Beef BBQ, Foot-long Corn Dogs, Turkey Legs, Burgers, Pit Ham, Sausage, Fries
Hamburgers, Nachos, French Fries, Cotton Candy, Sno-Cones, Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt
Dessert Crepes, Chicken Strips, Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, Fish and Chips, Schnitzel, Potato Pancakes
Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza, Cinnastix, Garden Salad, Chicken Caesar, Lava Cake, Soda, Water
Amazing Volcano Drinks
Minute Man Kettle Corn
Kettle Popcorn, Water
Nader’s Bistro and Grill
Greek and American Food
Novelty Ice Cream
Skewered Chicken, Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Egg Rolls, Lemonade
Paradise Ice Cream
Ice Cream, Sorbets, Sundaes
Pepper Creek Shellfish Farm
Oysters, Po Boy Combos, Littlenecks, Deviled Clams, Soda, Water
Rotary Club of McLean (our personal favorite)
Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Chips, Soda, Water
Sherri’s Fun Foods
Crab Cake Sandwiches, Lemonade, Iced Tea
Free-Range, Grass-Fed! Empanadas, Spring Rolls, Seasonal Side Veggies, Fruit Dessert Dumplings
Nigerian Cuisine, Fried Fish, Plantains, Spinach Stew, Jollof Rice, Chicken Wings, Mango Twist
The Tender Rib, Inc.
Brisket, Chicken Tenders, BBQ Ribs, French Fries, Soda
Funnel Cakes, Fruit Smoothies, Lemonade
Carnival Rides: The Game’s the Thing
The young and the young-at-heart will find lots of fun options this year. Games 2U of Huntingtown, Md., returns for a second year of field games, such as laser tag, archery tag and a cannon. Reithoffer Shows is bringing the Orbiter and a number of large carnival rides. Full Tilt, The Ring of Fire, Pharaoh’s Fury, Starship 3000 and bumper car rides are also returning.
Ticket sales for the large rides will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. Tickets must be purchased with cash only.
Most large rides cost $4 (or two tickets). An unlimited ride bracelet can be purchased for $20. Riders are encouraged to arrive early to get tickets as long lines develop.
Other attractions include a rock climbing wall, carnival games, pony rides and face painting. A special area called the KidZone Midway features a variety of small, mechanical rides and bounces that toddlers and small children.
The Entertainment: Music, Martial Arts & More
The McLean Day Stage has something for everyone in the family. The children will love the antics of the talented dogs in the Mutts Gone Nuts Dog Show (http://muttsgonenuts.com/index.html), the energy of the demonstrations by Mount Kim Tae Kwon Do students and the funky tunes of the Bach to Rock bands. Proud parents and grandparents love the Joy of Dance performances by students enrolled in classes at MCC. The headlining act this year will be New Orleans style band Scott Ramminger and the Crawstickers (http://www.crawstickers.com/home.cfm). In addition, the McLean Citizens Association will present its annual Teen Character Award at 3 p.m.
Alcohol, cigarettes and other controlled substances are not permitted on the grounds. Political candidates and other vendors must contain their activities to their assigned booth spaces. Soliciting is not allowed outside of the booth areas or on the grounds of Lewinsville Park during McLean Day.
Help. For festival updates, driving directions, shuttle bus stop locations and a festival area map, call the Center at 703-790-0123/TTY: 711. The Center’s telephone will be answered from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the festival.
Prescription Medicine Collection
Help our community by dropping off unused or expired medications at the satellite parking lot at MCC on McLean Day. It's all part of the Safe Community Coalition's prescription medication safety awareness campaign.
Sponsored by the Safe Community Coalition
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
MCC Satellite Parking Lot
For more information, contact the Safe Community Coalition at 703-371-5995.
A Rich History
The McLean School and Civic League originally sponsored the festival in 1915 as a way to raise funds for a host of school and community projects. The first McLean Day was held in a field adjacent to Franklin Sherman School in downtown McLean. The first festival went on for several weeks, unlike the one-day festival held today.
In the early years, the festival was held on the Saturday preceding the Democratic Primary in August, which made it as popular with political candidates seeking office as it was with the local residents. Attractions included carnival games, a baby show, dancing, performances and a lot of homemade refreshments. A favored event was the “jousting” tournament. Men, dressed as knights from the Middle Ages, rode horses at full gallop while attempting to place a lance through a tiny ring. The winner had the privilege of crowning his “lady” “Queen of Love and Beauty.”
Over the years following, various community organizations kept McLean Day going (with varying degrees of success) until MCC began producing it in the mid-1970s. After MCC was established in 1975, the event was held at the Center in Ingleside Drive.
In 1989, after teaming up with many community groups, including the McLean Business & Professional organization (now the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce), the Center moved McLean Day to its current location, Lewinsville Park, to increase the attraction and interest in the community.