All indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities will be open and county liquor stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some Montgomery Parks will be open, but check the Montgomery Parks website for specific schedules.
County offices, libraries, senior centers and community recreation centers will be closed. So will the Gaithersburg Transfer Station, TRiPS Commuter Stores in Silver Spring and Friendship Heights, MCPS and State offices and courts.
Trash and recycling collection will be provided one day later than regularly scheduled for the rest of the week. Parking at public garages, lots and curbside meters will be free.
Ride On, Metrobus and Metrorail will all run on Sunday schedules.
Flickr photo by davidyuweb
The following is a sampling of restaurants with brunch or other scheduled specials. Feel free to add more in the comments section:
American Tap Room (7728 Woodmont Ave.; 301-656-1366) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. endless brunch buffet will be an “eggs-traordinary” Easter celebration with classic and seasonal choices.
Assaggi Mozarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Ave.; 301-951-1988) Open all day, serving regular dinner menu with Easter specials priced individually or on a five-course fixed-menu for $69.
Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.; 301-656-9225) 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. three-course fixed-menu for $30 includes crab stuffed sole, duck cassoulet, leg of lamb, pork tenderloin, vegetarian pasta. Reservations required.
Cesco Osteria (7401 Woodmont Ave.; 301-654-8333) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch buffet of pastas and omelets, seafood bar, deserts, salads and more for $39, $10 for kids under 10.
Geppetto Restaurant/Oakville Grille (10257 Old Georgetown Rd.; 301-493-9230) Easter brunch with complimentary mimosa or champagne with dinner specials.
Guardado’s (4918 Del Ray Ave.; 301-986-4920) Easter brunch buffet for $22.95, also a la carte brunch and tapas menu.
La Ferme Restaurant (7101 Brookville Rd.; 301-986-5255) Special menu.
LIA’s (4435 Willard Ave.; 240-223-5427) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Easter brunch includes mimosas and eggs.
Redwood (7121 Bethesda Lane; 301-656-5515) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Easter brunch buffet including two carving stations, an omelet station, salads and deserts for $34, $15 for kids.
The arrests were made from 6 p.m. Friday through 2 a.m. Monday, part of the county’s increased effort to catch drunk drivers celebrating the holiday.
Police put extra patrols in areas with bars to target impaired drivers and established sobriety checkpoints throughout the county.
In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MCP will specifically target impaired drivers as part of Checkpoint Strikeforce. Enforcement will begin on Friday and run through the early morning hours of Monday, according to a press release.
Police want to remind residents to make a plan for designating a sober driver or contacting a taxi before the end of the night.
California Tortilla, the fast casual burrito restaurant that made its start in Bethesda, is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in its own unique way on Friday with free St. Paddy’s Day green chips and liquid gold queso with any entree purchase.
To get the deal say “lucky,” the magic word.
The Bethesda California Tortilla (4871 Cordell Ave.) moved across the street from its original location last fall. Owners Alan Cohen and Pam Felix and the Chamber of Commerce marked the occasion with a burrito cutting, their unique take on a traditional ribbon cutting.
Quirky promotional events have been a part of the store’s draw since Cohen and Felix opened the first California Tortilla in 1995. The Valentine’s Day special: a chocolate tortilla filled with banana, marshmallow and Hershey’s chocolate — then deep-fried and topped with powdered sugar.
Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are no longer reserved for March 17. Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle (4844 Cordell Ave.) began marking the cultural Irish holiday last weekend and will continue up until the actual Saint Patrick’s Day arrives Sunday.
Ri Ra Irish Pub (4931 Elm St.) is putting on a week-long celebration and Union Jack’s (4915 St Elmo Ave.) is having a St. Patrick’s Weekend, which includes its free buffet breakfast on Sunday morning:
Ri Ra — Monday, March 11: Half-price oysters and $4 Guinness all day; Wednesday, March 13: Half-price burgers and $4 Smithwicks and Harp pints all day. Kevin James, Irish folk musician plays at 9 p.m; Thursday, March 14: Ladies’ Night, $5 cosmos and appletinis. Lenny Burridge, blues and folk musician, plays at 9 p.m; Sunday, March 17: Live music all day and Guinness and Jameson specials.
Union Jack’s — Thursday, March 14: St. Practice Day featuring $1 Killian’s from 4 p.m. to close and $1 drinks during power hour from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, March 15: $1 Killian’s; Saturday, March 16: $1 Killian’s from, half-priced car bombs, $4 Jameson, $3 lucky charm shooters and $1 power hour; Sunday March 17: Free buffet breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with $1 Killian’s from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Leggett Says Ambulance Ride Information Will Be Secure — As Montgomery County begins County Executive Isiah Leggett’s “ambulance fee,” Leggett said billing and personal information of those who use ambulances will be kept private. The fee will charge insurance companies and out-of-county residents for ambulance rides starting in January. [The Gazette]
State Leaders Ask For Gas Tax Raise, Assault Weapons Ban — Local statehouse representatives said they will be looking to raise the gas tax this General Assembly to help pay for transportation projects such as the Purple Line. State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Bethesda-Chevy Chase) will also look to get his package of assault gun controls passed. [Washington Post]
Trash/Recycling Center Closed Next Week — The county’s Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 and will be closed all day on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
State Highway Administration Responding to Wintry Mix — The State Highway Administration issued a list of things to keep with you while driving in icy winter weather. [State Highway Administration]
Flickr photo by ehpien
Assagi Mozzarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Ave.), Bangkok Garden (4906 St. Elmo Ave.), Benihana (7935 Wisconsin Ave.), Bethesda Crab House (4958 Bethesda Ave.), Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.), City Lights of China (4820 Bethesda Ave.), Golden House (8100 Wisconsin Ave.), Legal Sea Foods (7101 Democracy Blvd., Westfield Montgomery Mall), MayFlower Chinese (7925 Norfolk Ave.), North China Restaurant (7814 Old Georgetown Rd.), Passage to India (4931 Cordell Ave.), Positano Ristorante Italiano (4948 Fairmont Ave.), Ruth Chris Steak House (7315 Wisconsin Ave.), Sala Thai (4828 Cordell Ave.), Shanghai Village (4929 Bethesda Ave.), Sushi Ko (5455 Wisconsin Ave.), Tara Thai (4828 Bethesda Ave.) are some of the spots that will be open tomorrow.
Some are reservation only and some will open for dinner only, so call ahead.
Bethesda Row Cinema (7235 Woodmont Ave.) and the Regal Bethesda 10 movie theater (7272 Wisconsin Ave.) will be open as usual for any who have a movie-going Christmas Day tradition.
Bethesda’s three Giant grocery store locations (7142 Arlington Rd., 10400 Old Georgetown Rd. and 5400 Westbard Ave.) will be open until 7 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Day. Safeway (7625 Old Georgetown Rd., 4701 Sangamore Rd.) will be open until 8 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Harris Teeter grocery store in White Flint (11845 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda) will be open until 7 p.m. today and closed tomorrow, same with the Whole Foods Market at 5629 River Rd.
Somewhere in the middle of 86 inflatable Christmas decorations is the house of Bob and Lucy Elliott.
Each holiday season for the last seven or eight years, the Elliott home on Rosehill Drive has become a destination. The collection of inflatable Santas, cartoon characters and Jesus, Mary and Joseph has grown enough to attract neighbors and those who document particularly festive Christmas houses.
This year’s display is the biggest ever. Nearly 90 inflatables dot the home’s front and backyard. Bob Elliott created a lighted path to guide visitors around the many wires and electric cords zigzagging through the half-acre property.
“The density has definitely increased,” Lucy Elliott said.
It’s a hobby Bob Elliott said he started on a whim that has turned into a meticulous exercise.
Each year, on the day after Christmas, he heads to local big box stores that sell the inflatables (which can range from $20 to 150) and buys them at clearance prices.
They become part of the next year’s display, carefully designed, maintained and reviewed every day in case high winds or trespassing deer knock one out of place.
Elliott positions the tallest inflatables between trees so they are more visible from nearby Seven Locks Road.
There is a singing Frosty the Snowman, starfish and poker-playing Santas. There is a Snoopy, Pooh Bear and dozens others, and a scavenger hunt game with a guide.
The display goes up the day after Thanksgiving, what Bob Elliott calls his personal Black Friday. He inflates, ties down and sets up most of the display over that weekend and the visitors start coming by. He’ll incorporate favorites of the couple’s two young children. (The Elliotts ask visitors to stop walking around the property after 10 p.m.)
County offices, libraries, recreation centers, MCPS offices and state offices and courts will all be closed on both days. Trash and recycling collection will not happen on those days, but be provided one day later than residents’ usual day.
Ride On, Metrobus and Metrorail will all use Sunday schedules. Rode On will close early on Christmas Eve with last trips departing terminals at around 10 p.m.
Parking will be free at the county’s garages, lots and curbside meters.
County liquor stores will be closed on both Christmas and New Year’s Day but will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
All recreation centers will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 and senior centers will be closed Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.
In case you haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve, BethesdaNow.com has prepared a guide of some of the area’s top parties and events.
The DoubleTree Bethesda (8120 Wisconsin Ave.) is putting on an American city-themed party with ballrooms based on New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles and more.
Food and drink: Food stations and an open bar are included.
Cost: $99 and up
Website: DoubleTree Bethesda
Union Jack’s (4915 St. Elmo Ave.) will host its annual New Year’s Eve Little Black Dress Ball. The event typically sells out and ticket prices go up as the night approaches.
Food and drink: General admission tickets include three drink tickets and heavy hor d’oeurves from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m, champagne toast at midnight and continental breakfast late night. VIP tickets include that and an open bar from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $35 and up
Website: Union Jack’s
Blackfinn (4901 Fairmount Ave.) is hosting a Vegas-themed “Lucky Number ’13″ party and will be giving away a trip to the Sin City.
Food and drink: The dinner buffet is included form 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., along with Vegas-themed drink features, a midnight champagne toast and one raffle ticket to win a $600 airline voucher for a Las Vegas trip. Upgrade to a $35 ticket and receive three drink tickets and three raffle tickets for the voucher.
Cost: $20 and up
The brand new 4935 Bar & Kitchen (4935 Cordell Ave.) is wasting no time taking over for longtime tenant Tragara’s. The new spot is hosting a James Bond “Skyfall” themed party, complete with 007′s signature martini. 4935 will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Max Love Project for children suffering from cancer. Black tie is recommended and the dress code will be strictly enforced.
Food and drink: Open bar included with all tickets and buffet included with 8 p.m. admission ticket.
Cost: $65 and up
Website: 4935 Bar & Kitchen
On Bethesda Lane, Redwood Restaurant and Bar (7121 Bethesda Lane) is bringing in 2013 with “a night of dinner and dancing in the tropics,” with its “Last Dance in Old Havana” party. The “Havana Party” package includes casino games, access to the heated outdoor bar and a hand rolled cigar.
Food and drink: A three-course price-fixed menu with champagne toast included in the basic package. Add two complimentary cocktails with the Havana Party package.
Cost: $45 and up
Website: Redwood Restaurant and Bar
Not to be outdone are the folks at Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle (4844 Cordell Ave.) who are featuring the Mary Ann Redmond Band in their celebration.
Food and drink: A five-course gourmet dinner with champagne bottle is included.
Website: Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle
The American Tap Room (7278 Woodmont Ave.) on Bethesda Row has your dinner covered. They are offering a three-course, chef-inspired menu for $50 per person. Reservations are recommended.
Flickr photo by cpdulis
As many as four out of 10 Washington area residents will travel in the 10-day holiday period starting this weekend, 90 percent of them using area highways, according to the travel agency.
AAA Mid-Atlantic labeled it “the greatest exodus from the Washington metro area in the 21st Century.”
Much of the projections are based on demographics. The Washington metro area’s population of 5.5 million includes a large number of residents from outside the area, according to a press release. That will contribute to 2.3 million travelers averaging 765 miles round trip, a 2.3 percent increase from last year.
While a minority of those travelers will use the region’s airports (130,400 according to AAA’s projections) that’s still a five percent bump from last year.
Nationwide, AAA says a fourth of all Americans will travel at least 50 miles, a 1.6 percent bump from last year.
Flickr photo by rbcullen
The toy drive, in collaboration with the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, ends today. Unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Glen Echo Park office (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo) on the second floor of the Arcade Building and wil go to children at the Anacostia Comunity Center.
The Partnership and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary are collecting blankets for the needy. Donations will be accepted through next week.
Glen Echo will hold its annual winter holiday celebration tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. More details on that event here.
Flickr photo by ricepeter
The annual “Santa’s Escort Ride,” to benefit the Children’s Inn at NIH arrived in town around 3 p.m. today as MCPD motor officers escorted Mr. Claus into Woodmont Triangle to take pictures and chat in Veterans Park.
The Children’s Inn at NIH provides residences and services for sick kids undergoing treatment at NIH and their families, many who come from across the country to the Bethesda campus. The MCPD officers on the ride will give the kids gift bags and donations the department raised in a party later today at the Inn.
The ride began at the 5th District Germantown Station at 10 a.m. and hit the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Gaithersburg’s Sheehy Ford and Vince and Dominics Pizzeria in Bethesda (10474 Auto Park Ave.) for the annual luncheon.
Police Chief Thomas Manger greeted the officers and Santa at Veterans Park. They’ll head to Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School before departing for NIH, where the party will start around 5:30 p.m.
Each winter, the Division of Solid Waste Services collect Christmas trees (lights, ornaments, tinsel and all decorations must be removed) that are put on street curbs before 7 a.m. on regular recycling collection days.
Those trees are shredded into mulch that is available in January and February as part of the county’s Neighborhood Mulch Preserves program.
The Department of Environmental Protection also suggests residents recycle Christmas tree branches and needles at home by placing them under outdoor trees and shrubs as temporary winter mulch:
Mulch is good to use on woody plants, such as bushes, shrubs and trees; as a cover material on walkways or other areas where vegetation needs to be controlled; and as a carbon-rich addition to home compost piles or compost bins. Because the mulch is “green,” it must be aged for at least six to eight months before it can be used on flowers, vegetables or other plants with tender or shallow root systems.
Apartment and condominium residents are encouraged to check with their landlords or property managers for specific Christmas tree recycling instructions.