It’s the Place to Be! McLean Day 2024

McLean Community Center Around Town

Now in its 109th year, McLean Day offers refreshing days of family fun in the sun May 17 and 18

Local families are invited to come out to play on May 17 and 18 for the McLean Community Center’s (MCC) annual party in the park, McLean Day. This year’s festival begins with an expanded T.G.I.F. Carnival Rides event from 2-10 p.m. on Friday, May 17. Some of the new features of the full-day event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 include a beer garden, a relocated main stage and enhanced musical offerings. The festival is held at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd. Admission to the festival is free; ride tickets, food and beverages will be for sale.

109 Years of Bringing the Community Together

McLean Day has been in existence for 109 years. It began in 1915 as a school and community fundraiser put on by the McLean School and Civic League at Franklin Sherman School. Over the years, a host of community organizations kept it going until the mid-1970s when MCC began producing it and then moved it to its current home, Lewinsville Park, in 1988.

Vote for MCC Board Candidates

The McLean Community Center’s 2024 Governing Board Election will be held at the park on two dates this year. Voting will be held on Friday, May, 17, from 4-8 p.m. during the T.G.I.F. Carnival Rides event, and on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the festival.  Fifteen Dranesville Small District 1A residents are running for seats on the board. Ten adults are vying for four vacant adult seats and five teens are vying for two vacant student seats (one for the Langley High School boundary area and one for the McLean High School boundary area). Only residents of Dranesville Small District 1A are permitted to vote in the election. For more information, visit MCC’s website, mcleancenter.org.

Friday Night Activities Expanded

Patrons can enjoy carnival rides on Friday, May 17, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the park. Ticket prices vary, and some rides have height requirements. The rides are in two areas of the park, the parking lot to the right of the main entrance and toward the back of the park, where small carnival rides are located. This year, patrons can also enjoy free climbing walls, bubble ball and laser tag on Friday night. Ride tickets can be purchased in advance from Cole Rides through a link on the center’s website, mcleancenter.org, or onsite on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday Festival Features

The carnival amusements and rides are a big draw at McLean Day. Large rides are in the parking lot at the right of the entrance. The Kids’ Way area of the park offers ticketed rides especially for younger children. Costumed characters, including popular superheroes, will be available to interact with patrons and pose for photos. Other free activities include laser tag, Bubble Ball, two rock-climbing walls, balloon twisters, a magician and a petting zoo.

Live Performances Onstage

Free performances will be offered throughout the festival on the Community Stage, which is now more centrally located closer to the house in Lewinsville Park. Students enrolled in dance classes at MCC will open the show at 11 a.m. by performing several routines they have learned. At noon, (the) Unruly Theatre Project, The Alden’s teen improv group, will perform. MCC dance students will return to perform again at 12:30 p.m. DC Synergy’s young, hip and energetic entertainers will perform the latest songs on the chart and the best dance tunes from the past at 1:55 p.m. McLean Citizens Association will present the Teen Character Awards at 2:45 p.m. DC Synergy returns to the stage for a second show at 3 p.m. and the final performance at 4:15 p.m. will be by the English Channel Band that plays British hits of the 1960s and 70s, along with classic rock and pop. There will also be a Jugglers’ Stage, located in the children’s ride area, with free performances throughout the event.

Food and Beverage Options Abound

New this year is the McLean Day Beer and Wine Garden offering a variety of beer and wine for patrons age 21 or older. In addition, some of the area’s best gourmet food trucks will be on hand to serve the crowds in Lewinsville Park. At press time they include: Big Cheese (Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches), DC Slices (Cheese, Pepperoni, Meat Lovers Pizza), Frosty Softy (Ice Cream, Bubble Tea, Milkshakes, Shaved Ice), Momos and More (Momos, Chowmein, Samosas, Choila, Alu Dum), Peruvian Brothers (Chicharron, Asado, Pollo, Choripan, Fish Sandwiches, Empanadas), Ribeye Philadelphia Steak (Cheesesteaks, Chicken Steakcheese, Hand Cut Fries, Chicken Tenders, Steak Quesadillas, Carna Asada, Cheese Fries), Sweet Frog (Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, Ice Cream), Yummie Food Company (Vietnamese Crepe, Spicy Grilled or Fried Squid, Chicken or Vegetarian Thai Fried Rice, Chicken and Vegetable Eggrolls).

Transportation Options Abound

Parking is not available at Lewinsville Park on the day of the festival. Patrons can take free Fairfax Connector shuttles from three satellite locations to McLean Day. Free shuttle buses will run from the parking sites to the park starting at 10:25 a.m. and running through 6 p.m.

Shuttle Satellite Routes are as follows:

Red – McLean Baptist Church, 1367 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101, McLean, VA 22101. Patrons should meet the buses at the church entrance in the parking lot.

Yellow – McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean VA 22101. Patrons should meet at the main entrance of the center where signage indicates.

Blue – Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1545 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22101. Patrons should meet the buses at the church entrance in the parking lot.

Patrons can also take Fairfax Connector Route 721 to stop ID 5429 for just $2 each way. All Fairfax Connector Shuttles to McLean Day are air-conditioned, ADA and wheelchair accessible, have low floor ramps or are lift-equipped. They also have two bike racks and allow service animals. For more information, visit the MCC website, mcleancenter.org.

Sponsors Help Make McLean Day Happen

McLean Day is produced by the McLean Community Center (MCC). Community-minded local businesses enhance festival offerings. To date, this year’s sponsors are: Wheat’s Landscaping (Park Beautification), Fairfax County Connector (Event Transportation); Fairfax County Park Authority (Venue), Giant Food (Marketplace), MARS, Inc. (Kids’ Way), McLean Properties (Picnic Tent – Food Court), Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (Picnic Tent – Kids’ Way), Northwest Federal Credit Union (Balloon Twisters) and Partner MD (Climbing Walls).

Clean and Comfortable for All

For a third year, MCC has taken efforts to help McLean Day stay clean and green by hiring a company to manage and process all the waste and recyclable materials generated at the event. Patrons are encouraged to help by using the proper bins when disposing of items throughout the event.

Additional Information

Patrons are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activities to MCC staff, Police and Fire personnel. Balloons and controlled substances are not permitted on the park grounds. Only alcohol purchased from the MCC contracted beer and wine garden will be permitted onsite. Patrons are requested not to smoke cigarettes or vape on park grounds. Political candidates, exhibitors and other venders must contain their activities to their assigned booths. Soliciting or pamphleting is not allowed on the grounds of the park during McLean Day.

For festival updates, driving directions, shuttle bus stop locations and a festival area map, visit: mcleancenter.org/special-events or call MCC at 703-790-0123/TTY: 711. The center’s telephone will be answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the festival.


About McLean Community Center

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.

www.mcleancenter.org