Friday, Nov. 28 marks the starts of the 2014 holiday shopping season, and Reston Town Center will usher in “the most wonderful time of the year” with a full day of activities.
Here’s the schedule of events:
8 a.m. — Reston Town Center stores and the ice skating pavilion both open early.
8 a.m. — Gingerbread Man Mile, a one-mile kids fun run to benefit Children’s National Medical Center. Online registration closes Nov. 25 at 8 p.m.
11 a.m. — The 24th annual Reston Town Center holiday parade. This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.
The Reston Holiday Parade features 60 groups and thousands of spectators. There will be Macy’s-style balloons, musicians, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, Washington Nationals Racing Presidents, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage.
Honoring the “Home for the Holidays” this year, the parade will have an Americana theme, offering a big welcome to members of the military and their families. Before the parade starts, thousands of American flags and jingle bells will be handed out to spectators lining the route.
The Grand Marshals for this year’s parade also honor our troops.
Grand Marshals: The Cowart Family. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Kris Cowart, his wife Nicole, and daughter Lizzie are from Baton Rouge, La., and reside in Springfield.
Junior Grand Marshal: South Lakes High School student Nathan Rulona, who is the Battalion Commander of the JROTC program, leading 151 students while maintaining a GPA of over 4.0 in the IB diploma program.
Special guest parade emcees will be Angie Goff and Doug Kammerer of NBC4 Washington.
After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay for visits and photos until 4:30 p.m. Any donation for a 5 x 7″ photo will benefit South Lakes High School.
12:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Mini-Train Rides. All donated proceeds will benefit a local charity.
5:00 p.m. — Frosty Follies. Music and dance performance by Metropolitan School of the Arts, on Market Street in front of the tree.
6:00 p.m. — The tree lighting attracts a gathering of approximately 5,000 people to Fountain Square for a half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas songs. 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 p.m. — Horse-drawn carriage rides begin. Proceeds benefit local charities. Pick-up location is in front of Talbots on Market Street. $5 per person; children 5 and under ride free with adult.
Photo: 2013 Reston Town Center Holiday Parade/Credit: Mike Heffner