County of Fairfax, Virginia
The McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean VA 22101
Media Contact: Sabrina Anwah,
Director of Communication
franklin-sherman 1917: Students of Franklin Sherman High School pose in front of the building in 1917.
history-tournament rules.jpg: There were a number of rules for the popular jousting tournament at McLean Day.
mcleanhistory-postoffice1.jpg: H.A. Storm’s General Store and Post Office, which was located at the corner of Elm Street and Chain Bridge Road.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 5, 2016
McLean Day 101: A Beginners Guide to the Festival’s History
McLean, VA— As McLean Day turns 101 this year, it presents a perfect opportunity to take an entry-level course in the history of the event. It was established in 1915 and was the first festival of its kind to be held in Fairfax County. McLean Day 2016 will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road. Produced by the McLean Community Center (MCC), the event is free and open to the public.
The first “McLean Day” was sponsored by the McLean School and Civic League, with the support of the McLean Volunteer Fire Department. It was held in an open field adjacent to the school. The purpose of the event was to raise funds for various school and community projects. 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.”
While much has changed over the years, McLean Day’s success is still due to the support of the community. Many McLean-based, civic organizations participate at some level every year. After MCC was established in 1975, the event was held at the Center. In 1989, after teaming up with many community groups, including the McLean Business and Professional organization (now the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce), the Center moved McLean Day to its current location, Lewinsville Park. Today, McLean Day is as vital, strong and well-loved by the community as it has ever been. The festival will be held rain or shine.
For more information, contact the Center at 703-790-0123, TTY: 711, or visit: www.mcleancenter.org/special-events.
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The McLean Community Center, an agency of Fairfax County Government, is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services and activities. We will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request special accommodations, call the Center 14 working days in advance of the event. To request this information in an alternate format, call 711.