On the third Saturday in May, police cars park at the entrance of Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road, in the early morning. It is the McLean Day, the annual family festival in McLean. Rain or shine. Prior to this event day, colorful, big and small carnival rides are set up in the park. In addition to carnival rides, the festival hosts live music, games, food trucks, petting zoo, laser tag, a rock-climbing wall, costumed characters, exhibitors and other entertainment.
When my kids were little, they used to perform on the stage for this day as a little ballerina with their dance class. Ever since we moved to McLean in 2002, we’ve enjoyed this festival every year. I still cherish the picture taken of my older daughter, Jeeho, on her first McLean Day when she wore a red dress with shiny, red shoes and picked the red plane out of the colorful airplane rides. Many more pictures have captured moments such as kids riding on a donkey, screaming on the Viking ride, holding our dog, laughing with friends and so on.
McLean Day has more than a centennial history. On July 31, 1915, the first McLean Day was held on the Franklin Sherman Elementary School grounds and an adjacent lot, where my two kids once played as well. McLean Day became an annual event after the success of the first event. However, 1918 and 1919 missed it because of World War I and the flu epidemic. It moved to Lewinsville Park in 1989. In May 2020, however, there’s no McLean Day: It's cancelled due to COVID-19. Lewinsville Park is still closed. It’s a bright day in May. Blooming roses, chirping birds, and busy bees console me reminding me that life goes on and that McLean Day will return next year.
Yunjung S Ha