I Love McLean Celebration


Local firefighters and police officers will be honored at the 2023 I Love McLean Celebration on March 11.  Sponsored by the McLean Citizens Association, the celebration will take place at the Community Hall at the McLean Community Center on Saturday, March 11 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at the free event, and arts and crafts activities will be available for children.

“Help us officially honor the people that protect us — our local firefighters and police officers,” the McLean Citizens Association invitation reads. “Our favorite superheroes will be recognized and presented plaques of appreciation around 2:30 p.m.”

MCA is joining with the McLean Project for the Arts to showcase McLean Pyramid Youth Art Show at the “I Love McLean Celebration.” The show will feature work by Fairfax County Public Schools McLean Pyramid students from elementary through high school.

Students from the Art in Motion Dance Studio will perform at the event. The McLean Community Players will also provide a sneak preview of their upcoming production of “The Thirty-Nine Steps,” a funny retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 spy thriller.

The “I Love McLean Celebration” is co-hosted by McLean Community Center, McLean Community Foundation, McLean Project for the Arts, Fairfax County and McLean Volunteer Fire Departments, and Fairfax County Police Department.

Get more local news delivered 

Youth Art Show: McLean Project for the Arts

FCPS McLean Pyramid Youth Art Show

March is Youth Art Month! Join the celebration by attending our annual Youth Art Shows, featuring work by FCPS McLean and Langley Pyramid students from elementary through high school.

The McLean show will be open in our galleries March 1-11, with an Opening Exhibition Reception scheduled for March 9, 4:30-6 p.m., sponsored by Lizzy Conroy & Karen Briscoe.

The Langley Pyramid show will run from March 16-25, with an opening reception March 16, again from 4:30-6 p.m. The exhibitions will also be open extended hours, until 7 p.m. on Friday, March 10, and Friday, March 24.

Learn more at https://mpaart.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

Tysons to host the National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is coming to Tysons this year.

Tysons Corner Center will host a family bicycle ride on April 2 as part of D.C.’s annual celebration of its cherry trees at the Tidal Basin, the Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) announced during its official launch event at Valo Park.

The alliance — a nonprofit organization — has also acquired 20 cherry trees and is now scouting out possible locations around Tysons where they can be planted.

The bicycle ride will last from 8 to 10 a.m. starting in the Tysons Corner Center Plaza, where there will also be arts and crafts and other family-friendly activities. More details, including how to register for the ride, are expected in the coming weeks.

Though this year’s ride will stick to the mall’s footprint, future iterations could expand to other parts of Tysons as the area’s network of streets and trails gets built out.

The bicycle ride is one of several events that the TCA hopes to bring to Tysons, along with a live music series at The Boro, movie nights and monthly happy hours that will bring “like-minded people together to collaborate on TCA initiatives,” according to the press release.

As part of its official launch, the TCA unveiled a new website at tysonsva.org with an event calendar, news, business resources, development updates and other Tysons-related information. It also shared its social media handles at Twitter and Instagram (@tysons_va), and Facebook and LinkedIn (@TysonsCommunityAlliance).

Steering Wheel Lock Giveaway

The Fairfax County Police Department is partnering with Hyundai Motor Co. on a steering wheel lock giveaway at the McLean District Station on Saturday, March 4. Police are holding the event in response to an increase in thefts targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles, which are now getting stolen at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the auto industry. The increase in thefts is partly due to a “TikTok challenge” that shows how to steal cars using a USB charging cord, according to police. Thieves are targeting the Hyundai and Kai models without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices. These electronic immobilizer features are standard equipment in most other vehicles.

At the event in McLean, police said priority for the steering wheel locks will be given to residents who own or lease a Hyundai and Kia vehicle. The event will take place on Saturday, March 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the McLean District Station at 1437 Balls Hill Road in McLean.

Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia began offering a free software update for about 1 million vehicles that will prevent the vehicles from starting using the method of theft popularized by the TikTok challenge.The software updates will prevent thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The February rollout of the free software update was for the model year 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata and 2020-2021 Venue vehicles. The software upgrade is scheduled to be available for the remaining eligible affected vehicles by June. The free upgrades are performed by Hyundai dealers and take less than one hour for installation. Following completion of the upgrade, each vehicle will be affixed with window decals to alert would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced anti-theft technology.

However, some 2011 to 2022 model year Hyundai vehicles without engine immobilizers cannot accommodate the software upgrade. For these customers, Hyundai is finalizing a program to reimburse them for their purchase of steering wheel locks. The car company also is working with local police department like Fairfax County to distribute steering wheel locks.

Calling All Book Lovers

Attention Book Lovers. It’s the quarterly Friends of the Tysons-Pimmit Library Used Book and Media Sale, March 2-5, 2023, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Browse the collection of more than 15,000 books and media for sale in Children’s, History, Fiction, Mystery, Biographies, Self-Help, Home, Sports and Hobbies, Business, Politics, Cookbooks, DVDs and audio books and more. Most are priced between $0.25 and $3.00. Sunday is the very popular Bag Sale – fill a brown paper grocery bag for only $10.

Tysons-Pimmit Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043. Email tysonslibraryfriends@gmail.com for more information.

Proceeds benefit the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library and related activities. Donations of books and media appreciated. Volunteers welcome and needed: Email tysonslibraryfriends@gmail.com for more information.

Meet the KISS Artist

KISS frontman Paul Stanley will be appearing in person at the Westworth Gallery Tysons Galleria this week to promote his original works of art.

Stanley, who designed and created the iconic KISS emblem, one of the most recognized rock logos, will be appearing at the Wentworth Gallery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Wentworth Gallery at Tysons Galleria in McLean.

The public will get a chance to view and purchase Stanley’s works at exhibits around the country. Westworth Gallery has nine locations across the U.S.

“Paul’s artwork really connects with people. In particular, his unique use of colors elicits strong emotions. It is extremely rare to sell an entire gallery of art during a show, but Paul does it regularly. He has become an art phenom,” Christian O’Mahony, principal of Wentworth Gallery, said in a statement.

Since the artist’s last exhibit over four years ago, Stanley has created new original paintings, hand painted signature Paul Stanley Ibanez guitars, mixed media originals, and limited-edition artworks including new works on metal, the gallery said in a news release. Several of the pieces on display come from the Black Series that was originally commissioned in 2020 for museum exhibition. COVID-19 canceled that exhibition, so the series will show up at the gallery instead.

“With the Black Series, Stanley pushes the boundaries of his art by starting with a black canvas and creating vibrance and emotion with his trademark bright colors,” Wentworth said.

As for Stanley as a music artist, KISS plans to continue its “End of the Road” farewell tour in April and possibly play its final show as a band later this year.

Survey: How do you navigate Tysons?

Fairfax County is seeking public feedback to reduce the chances of future residents and visitors confusing Tysons Corner Center with Tysons Galleria, among other potential mix-ups.

The county launched a Tysons Wayfinding and Signage Survey on Feb. 14 in partnership with the Tysons Community Alliance, which formed last fall as the next-stage evolution of the nonprofit Tysons Partnership.

Officially created on Oct. 13, 2022, the Tysons Community Alliance serves as an advocacy organization for residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the area, overseeing the implementation of the county’s comprehensive plan.

The group has been tasked with developing branding for Tysons, supporting its economic growth, placemaking, and improving mobility. Its funding comes from the county budget and an economic opportunity grant, though it will likely be supported by a special tax in the long term.

In addition to conducting the wayfinding survey, the alliance is getting ready to launch an updated logo, website and social media accounts, all of which will be formally unveiled tomorrow (Wednesday), per a media alert.

Talk: Al Berg

In this week’s TALK series, McLean Today sits down with Al Berg, the Langley High School golf coach. Since 1996, Berg has coached his team  — which have been Liberty District Champions for 22 years — to victory. Last season, the co-ed Langley golf team set a new scoring record in a 36-hole competition. The longtime golf coach aided his team to win seven straight state championships which is an all time record as well. 

Q. When did you first pick up a golf club?

I started golfing around 13 years old. My dad was a golfer. I used to go out with him and follow him around. It seemed pretty intriguing to me. I really love sports but I wasn’t particularly big in [them]. I was well coordinated so I found that [golf] really suited me well and I was able to do well with it. I’m still learning. It’s the game that you never really master. It’s a game that’s always challenging you and you can play it way past the point you can play most other sports.

Q. When did you start coaching at Langley?

I started coaching the Langley golf team 26 years ago. I was a teacher at Cooper Middle School which feeds into [Langley High School]. Then the position opened up at Langley and I applied for it and have been there for 26 years. I came close to teaching at Langley but I was perfectly happy at Cooper and I got to meet my future golfers a little bit earlier because I saw them in the seventh and eighth grade. I started coaching golf for the first time when I started my position at Langley, roughly around 1996-1997. 

Q. Can you explain the golf team’s victories from the past seasons?

We’ve had a remarkable stretch and many of those victories have been pretty dominating. Last year was probably the closest one we had. In one tournament, we only won by six strokes but yet we won states by as many as 38 shots which is ridiculous. You just don’t win a state tournament by 38 shots, but we did that year. Out of the 26 years I have coached, we have been Liberty District Champions for 22 years.

Q. Since retiring from teaching, you’re commuting all the way from Richmond to coach. Why not just give it up? What’s the allure?

I lived in Reston until I retired about 12 years ago. I’d already been a coach at Langley, we’d already won one state championship, but we had a really good team coming back. I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity to help the team win the state championship so I decided to see how it went with me commuting up here. I don’t commute back and forth every day, I usually come up once a week and go back after a couple of days. This worked for me [as] the first thing we did was win the state championship that year and we’ve had such great teams in the last year. We won seven straight state championships and I just keep getting some really great players who are very dedicated. Going back and forth on I-95 isn’t a whole lot of fun but the team makes it worthwhile.

Coach Berg and his championship Langley High School golf team

Q. What are your secrets to being a “successful coach”?

The key is to try to develop a program that has some success because when you do that it seems to build on itself without me having necessarily anything to do with it. The kids know that they’re coming to a team that has been the best team in the state almost for decades so they’re very motivated and the competition to be one of the six starters is pretty intense. I try to make it clear to them that even though you might not be one of the six starters, the fact that the team is playing really well, [will] push them to start playing better. I really have been very fortunate to have some of the best players that I’ve ever seen come out of the state. This past year, we had three seniors that started on the state team, and they’re all going to play college golf. I stress to the kids that even though they might be involved in some other sports, they should try to really excel in golf. You really have to keep your game up all year round. It can’t just be a summer sport. 

Q. Do you still play golf for recreation?

Absolutely I still play. It’s a game that I will always play. I just played yesterday.

Q. Who’s your favorite all time golfer and why?

I don’t know if I could pick one, but I would say Ben Hogan. Ben Hogan had to overcome so much and [then] to become as good as he was. After his automobile accident, the doctor said he would never walk again. Not only did he walk again but he actually became the number one golfer in the world after that. He had to overcome all of that and he grew up poor with a family who didn’t have much at all. He just worked so hard. No golfer has ever worked harder than Ben Hogan.

Q. What’s the most challenging part about coaching Langley Golf? The best part?

The best part is preparing for tournaments. I must admit I’m a bit of a nervous wreck when they’re actually playing in the tournaments. But I like preparing them, mapping out the course and giving them some advice. The most difficult part is that I always have some really outstanding [players] who don’t make the starting lineup. Unlike other sports, golf starts off with six players and those are your six players for the day. It’s a little frustrating that I can only play six, I would love to play ten.

Q. Do you have any favorite restaurants you like to go to when you are in McLean?

Rocco’s is a good place. In fact, the person who owns and runs Rocco’s was my assistant coach for two years so I always felt a little loyalty to Rocco’s and I enjoy their pizza. 

Q. Do you have any tips to become a great golfer?

You have to learn how to deal with frustration. Even if you’re really good at something, golf can [be] very frustrating. I’m really impressed with the ability of the teams that I’ve had to be able to deal with the frustration involved because most of the things the golfers do in life lend themselves pretty quickly to effort. You put the effort in and you get rewarded. Golf is not always like that. Sometimes you can be trying so hard but you’re just not quite getting it. It is very difficult and I think it is the hardest game to master. So in order to be great, you have to deal with this frustration.

Q. How do you feel going into the next golf season for next year?

My feeling is that we always have a good team coming back. My goal is to get to the state tournament and be competitive. We were great last year. We had a tremendous run and I can’t speak more highly of how players have performed under pressure. It’s a very difficult game, especially when you’ve got a lot of pressure on you. Every time that it looks like we were maybe in a little bit of trouble, we start playing better. I hope that continues. It’s been a fantastic run.

Dania Reza is the social media content curator for McLean Today. She is a junior at McLean High school and is an assistant design editor-in-chief of her school news magazine, The Highlander. 

Do you know someone in McLean who would make an interesting interview for TALK? Tap us at contact@mcleantoday.org.

Film premiere: Open Secrets 

KeleGod Productions is a local film company based in Maryland.  Red carpet screening at Tyson’s Icon Theater. March 4, 6 p.m. ET

Open Secrets focuses on a young black woman working in a male-dominated field and struggling to deal with the sexual harassment that sometimes goes hand in hand with that kind of workplace. She rises above the men who have harmed her and proves she’s even stronger than she knew.

The film features two strong black leads supported by a diverse cast. Follow the link to purchase your tickets.

To learn more about KeleGod and Open Secrets and to purchase tickets: https://www.kelegodproductions.com/

Job Fair To Connect High School Students With Employers In McLean

The McLean Citizens Association, in partnership with McLean, Langley and Marshall high schools, is hosting a summer job fair on March 18.

The McLean Citizens Association, in partnership with McLean, Langley and Marshall high schools, is hosting a summer job fair for high school students on March 18 at the McLean Community Center.

Students can just walk in to the job fair, with no registration required. Students will have the opportunity to fill out applications on the spot, but they are also encouraged to bring copies of their resumes to leave with potential employers.

Event details for participating employers will be sent out in early March. “With a tight labor market, this is your opportunity to recruit very capable high school students,” the MCA said

Employers with paid summer opportunities who would like to participate in the job fair should contact Mary Barnes, McLean High Career Center Specialist, at mkbarnes@fcps.edu.

The event will take place on Saturday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Hall at the McLean Community Center.

Questions about the event can be sent to e-y_committee@mcleancitizens.org.

The McLean Community Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue in McLean.