Start the Season at Reston Holiday Parade Friday

Reston Holiday Parade/File Photo Courtesy of Reston Town Center The 2013 holiday season officially begins Friday at Reston Town Center with a full slate of festive fun.

Macy’s-style balloons, bands and Santa and Mrs. Claus will take part in the 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade, which begins on Market Street at 11 a.m.

In a nod to Metrorail’s Silver Line, which opens in Reston early in 2014, the parade theme this year is  “Destination: Reston!” Balloons, floats, and costumes have all been inspired by modes of transportation – walking, cycling, trains, planes and automobiles, and more, an RTC spokeswoman said.

One high-profile Restonian who will not be taking part this year: founder Robert E. Simon. The 99-year-old Simon is on a trip to India this week.

Grand Marshal for the 2013 parade is real estate developer Joe Ritchey, who was selected for his philanthropic and community work in Reston. A Junior Grand Marshal, Lauren Spar of Langston Hughes Middle School, will also lead the parade. Lauren was selected because of her service to the community and LHMS.

After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay for visits and photos until 4:30 p.m. and will return to light the Christmas tree in Fountain Square at 6 p.m. The tree lighting attracts a gathering of nearly 5,000 people, who will also join in a half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas songs.

Here is the full schedule of events:

8 a.m. — Reston Town Center retailers and Ice Skating Pavilion open early

8 a.m.  — Gingerbread Man Mile – Fun-run and races for kids, toddler through high school age, to benefit the

charity, Neediest Kids. Free to participate. Registration and information: www.prraces.com.

11:00 a.m. — 23rd Annual Reston Holiday Parade – Theme for 2013: “Destination: Reston!”

12:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Visits and Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Any donation for a 5 x 7 photo will benefit South Lakes High School Choir.

12:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Train Rides. A mini-train will offer rides on Market Street. Any donation benefits Volunteer Fairfax. Departure point is in front of Talbots.

5 p.m.: — Santa’s Frosty FolliesPerformance of music and dance on Market Street, in front of the Christmas Tree.

6 p.m. — Tree Lighting and Sing Along. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to magically light up the huge Christmas tree in Fountain Square, followed by traditional holiday songs led by The Reston Chorale and brass quintet.

6:30 – 10 p.m. — Horse-drawn Carriage Rides. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Fairfax. Pick-up location is in front of Talbots on Market Street. $5 per person, children 5 and under ride free with adult.

All day:

Ice Skating Pavilion –- Public skating on the glass-sheltered ice rink is open every day from early November until March, including all holidays. Hotline: 703-709-6300, and more information at www.restontowncenter.com/skating.

Holiday Gingerbread Village — This annual display can be viewed in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Reston throughout the holiday season.

See all schedules and more details at www.restontowncenter.com. Taking parade pictures? Upload them to our community Flickr page.

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