Tell Us About : The 3rd Annual Rosslyn Holiday Market : A Conversation with Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick

“Good gracious has Rosslyn changed!” a friend who rarely crosses the river exclaimed to me recently. Yes, it has, and remarkably at that. As a resident of the North Arlington neighborhood above Rosslyn (Courthouse), I have been personally privy to being exposed to the constant progress in retail, corporate and residential over the past several years. It’s been a pleasure to watch and patronize. And no, it’s not nearly done yet. Yet the neighborhood once known simply as “a concrete jungle” is very community focused, embracing its burgeoning number of affluent residents with weekend food, beer, jazz festivals that are family and dog-friendly as well.
Rosslyn BID Holiday Market
Rosslyn BID Holiday Market

In the spirit of the holidays, next up on the festivities docket is Rosslyn Business Improvement Districts’ (BID) third annual Holiday Market, which is scheduled from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursday, Dec. 10 and 10 am to 8 pm on Friday, Dec. 11 in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park.
From innovative jewelry and sweet treats to handmade clothing, the market will provide a festive and exciting one-stop shop right in time for the holidays.  As in past years, the Rosslyn BID will also be overseeing its annual clothing drive as part of the event, with all donations benefitting Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. We caught up with BID President Mary-Claire Burick recently to learn more about the Market:

Pamela’s Punch: How did Rosslyn’s Holiday Market come about? What made you decide to launch the event?

Mary-Claire Burick: Everyone loves holiday markets. I’ve always felt that they can be a great way to channel the positive holiday energy surrounding the celebration of friendship, family, and community. When I first joined the BID in September 2013, I noticed we didn’t have one planned, and I love to shop! So we threw the first Rosslyn Holiday Market together with very little time to plan, and were pleasantly surprised by how successful it was. The holiday season is stressful enough without subjecting yourself to the chaos of shopping malls and department stores. Holiday markets provide a festive, fun alternative to find unique and thoughtful gifts, all while supporting local small business owners. If you ask me, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit. This year’s event will be held in Gateway Park Thursday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and you can see all of the details and a full schedule here:

PP: How has the market evolved since it was started? Why do you think it has changed over the years?


MB: Much like the neighborhood itself, Rosslyn’s Holiday Market has evolved, each year building on past successes and incorporating exciting new elements – from live entertainment to beer and wine sales. All of the elements we have added are designed to bring people together, create a festive environment and have fun as a community. As we’ve added activities and experiences that have people staying longer, the event has evolved into more of a Holiday Festival then just a market. The Rosslyn Holiday Market continues to draw in residents, workers and visitors, and each year we are looking for innovative new ways to create memorable experiences in Rosslyn.

PP: What’s new about this year’s event? Are there any exciting elements that are not to be missed?

MB: This year’s market is definitely different from anything we’ve done before and the event really has something for everyone.

On Thursday, December 10, we’ve scheduled a special Pop-Up Bootcamp so attendees can start the holiday season guilt-free with an hour of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). We also have winter-themed crafts and games, free photos with Santa and a Children’s Storytime hosted by The Reading Connection so you can drop by for some fun with the little ones.

On Friday, December 11, we’ll liven things up with an evening performance by Jeff From Accounting and beer and wine sales from Washington Wine Academy.

Perhaps the most exciting element of this year’s event will be Friday night’s festivities that include a bonfire and D.J. in Gateway Park West, complete with beer and wine sales. We’re even incorporating a mobile event bar, and this type of setup allows us to explore new concepts for our public spaces and move toward semi-permanent structures for events at the park.

The Rosslyn Holiday Market Festival is the perfect event whether you’re looking for an activity to entertain the kids, some live jazz to get in the holiday spirit, or exciting plans for date night.

PP: There’s always a big push to shop local during the holidays. Is that a focus at the Rosslyn Holiday Market?

MB: Definitely. We do everything we can to support local businesses, be they brick and mortar retail stores, food trucks or the increasingly popular fashion trucks that visit the neighborhood.

As in past years, this year’s Rosslyn Holiday Market Festival will feature a host of unique and local vendors showcasing everything from knitted baby hats and hand painted ornaments to jewelry and gourmet holiday popcorn.

Our goal is to give vendors an opportunity to showcase their gifts and provide Rosslyn residents and workers with a one-stop shop where they can meet all of their holiday needs.

PP: Is the Rosslyn BID doing anything to give back during the holidays? Does your organization support any specific charities?

MB: I’m glad you asked! Our annual holiday market would not be complete without the opportunity to give back to our local community.  In the spirit of the holidays, the Rosslyn BID is conducting our annual holiday clothing drive to support A-SPAN (Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network).

As we do each year, we’ll be collecting donations of new or gently used winter coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, gloves and jeans to donate to the organization, so be sure to look for a gift-wrapped donation box in the lobby of buildings throughout Rosslyn. The clothing drive ends on the last day of the market, December 11, and A-SPAN will have a booth at the market so attendees can drop off donations and learn more about supporting the organization.

Details and a full schedule here:

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