Reston, VA

This Sunday (Jan. 18), the Liner Notes will perform “Music of the Movement.”

In this performance, the group will explore musical themes and the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

The performance is set to take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

“Always striving to care for its audience, Liner Notes revisits this turbulent time in our history with authenticity, thoughtfulness and integrity, drawing connections and examining the intersections with the adversity still prevalent today,” according to the event page.

Tomorrow (Jan. 18)

  • Book Launch Celebration for Laura Renauld (11 a.m. to noon) — Children’s book author Laura Renauld will be at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) for a meet and greet along with a book signing to debut her new book “Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mr. Rogers.” This event is free and open to the public.
  • Wine Tasting (2 to 5 p.m.) — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market (1871 Fountain Drive) will host a wine tasting with various wines and food. There will be experts on-site to help answer questions and suggest pairings.

Sunday (Jan. 19)

  • Adoption Fair at Just Cats in Reston (1 to 3 p.m.) — Anyone looking for a new furry friend can stop by the Just Cats Clinic (1601 Washington Plaza) to play with adoptable cats and see if they find a good match.
  • Self Guided Painting (3 to 7 p.m.) — Guests will have the chance to work off temples to paint various items during this opportunity for independent creation at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive). The cost for this event is $25.

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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Ordinary Days” will open at NextStop Theatre next month.

From Feb. 20 through March 15 at NextStop Theatre (269 Sunset Park Drive), people can enjoy a production that walks viewers through the lives of four young New Yorkers discovering how their paths intersect.

The event page described “Ordinary Days” as “A simple yet heartfelt story about how we search for and make connections in an increasingly chaotic world.”

This specific production was directed by Jay Brock and will star Bobby Libby, Sarah Anne Sillers, Carl Williams and Anna Phillips-Brown.

Ticket prices range from $44-55 and can be reserved online.

Image via NextStop Theatre

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The 7th Annual Camp Expo in Reston will allow families from around the community to preview options for upcoming summer camps and youth sports leagues.

On Saturday (Jan. 25) people are invited to stop by the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 9 a.m. until noon to check out programming from more than a dozen featured organizations, according to the event’s Facebook page.

A Reston Camps spokesperson previously told Reston Now that January is a popular time for parents to sign their kids up for summer activities.

During the event, there will also be prizes, snacks, music and games for attendees to enjoy, the Facebook page said.

Featured event exhibitors listed on the Facebook event page include:

Image via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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As Lisa Merkel wraps up her final term as the Town of Herndon’s mayor, she took a moment to reflect and talk to Reston Now about her experiences in office.

Merkel made town history as the first woman elected into the position in 2012 after serving as Herndon’s vice mayor during the 2010-2012 term.

According to Merkel, her decision to not seek re-election wasn’t based on any specific motive, besides a wish to spend time with her family and dedicate more time to volunteering around the community.

“I still plan on being involved in the town,” she told Reston Now.

Merkel told Reston Now her accomplishments include implementation of the Metrorail Expansion Project, the ongoing development of downtown Herndon and the establishment of the Economic Development Department.

“I’m really proud we’ve embraced the business community,” Merkel said, adding that — due to her efforts — the tax rate is now split evenly between residential and commercial incomes.

Many of the local businesses even give back to the community by acting as sponsors for official events like the annual holiday parade, which Merkel said is the largest event of the year.

In a press release, Merkel said her other key achievements include marking June as LGBTQ Pride Month, adding Circulator buses to Herndon Station, providing online and on-demand Town Council meeting access and approving construction plans for a new fire station.

“Sometimes it’s really the smaller things that get attention,” Merkel told Reston Now, adding that small projects make a huge difference in the town and help to develop a sense of place.

She gave examples of adding tables and umbrellas to the Town Square, lights on the W&OD Trail and gateway signs to announce entry into the town. The tables and umbrellas, especially, gave people a fun and welcoming place to gather, she said.

Merkel has faced some roadblocks, though, during her time in office.

She said she had trouble communicating with the public that development projects in the town won’t threaten the small community feel, which she said is at the heart of Herndon’s identity.

“There was a fear that if we started building like that at the Metro station, it would trickle into downtown,” Merkel said. “We had to reassure people that Herndon won’t be a bunch of highrises.”

During her final months in office, Merkel said she hopes to oversee the groundbreaking on the downtown Herndon project and continue to work on installing underground utilities around town.

Going forward, Merkel said she won’t endorse any particular candidate for the upcoming election. But she hopes the next mayor will be an effective listener, willing to consider other perspectives on topics and won’t be afraid to seek counsel on issues they aren’t familiar with.

She encourages anyone passionate about their community to run, regardless of their political experience.

“Don’t mix national policy issues with town issues because we don’t have jurisdiction over those things,” Merkel said. “You don’t want to alienate any of your constituents with issues that don’t relate to the job. That’s been my philosophy.”

Photo via Lisa Merkel

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People can take a plunge into ice-cold water to fundraise at the upcoming 2020 Virginia Polar Dip.

The charity event is set to take place Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Lake Anne from 2-5 p.m. People will be able to take turns jumping into the lake.

Each participant is expected to help raise money that will send kids and their families to Camp Sunshine, which serves kids with life-threatening illnesses. The camp is located in Maine.

This year, event organizers hope to raise $100,000, which would sponsor 40 families in the D.C.-area, according to the event page.

Each participant that raises more than $100 will receive a t-shirt.

For people who don’t want to fully jump into cold water, the “Chicken Dip” will let people only dip their feet in, according to the event page.

Image via Manor Works Painting/Facebook

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The Reston Rotary Rise Against Hunger fundraising event this Saturday will donate meals to kids and families in need.

People are invited to pack meals alongside Rotary members at Aldrin Elementary School (11375 Center Harbor Road) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Anyone interested can sign up online for a shift or donate if they are unable to attend.

Once the goal of 10,000 meals is met, extra funds will ensure that kids in the area have the winter clothes they need, help the Reston Community Orchestra, assist kids with scholarships and send books to students in Nyeri, Kenya.

Tomorrow (Saturday)  

  • Make Shift Happen: The Storytellers Experience (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) — This day-long event invites people to learn about themselves and become better storytellers. This event takes place at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) and includes meditation, guest speakers, trust workshops and more. General admission tickets are $200.
  • Jazz (6:30 p.m) — Watch a live performance by pianist Caleb Nei at the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (1612 N. Washington Plaza). This event is free and open to the public.
  • Tween Dodgeball (5 to 9 p.m.) — Kids ages 9-12 are welcome to get some exercise at Life Time Athletic (1757 Business Center Drive). Everyone will be placed in a bracket and encouraged to compete.

Sunday (Jan. 12)

  • Kickstart your Sweatlife 2020 (8 to 10 a.m.) — Reston Town Center Lululemon is hosting workouts and goal setting events for patrons. People are welcome to gather and take a run with instructors Brian and Erica. This event is free and open to the public.
  • 2 Silos Brewing Co. Tasting (noon to 3 p.m.) — Try some beer from 2 Silos Brewing Co. at Safeway (11120 S. Lakes Drive) including Citralicious and Cream Ale brews. There will be giveaways available for attendees.
  • Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30 to 4 p.m.) — The Reston Community Center welcomes people of all skill levels to enjoy an afternoon of cha-cha, swing, waltz or foxtrot dancing. Admission is $5 for Reston residents and $10 for others. Admission includes a short lesson, refreshments and door prizes.

Image via Rotary Club of Reston/Facebook

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This spring, visitors to the Herndon Depot Museum (717 Lynn Street) will be able to enjoy a new exhibit.

The Herndon Historical Society says that a telegraph exhibit is coming to the museum, replacing the current display.

There will be one complete telegraph machine included in the display that will sit on the desk in the bay window of the former station master’s room, according to Barbara Glakas, a historical society spokesperson.

Other aspects of the exhibit will feature antique telegraph parts, such as a telegraph key and a telegraph sounder. Visitors will also be able to learn how the code worked and try it out for themselves.

“People can type out a message on the computer key board and then they will be able to see the message on the monitor as well as hear the message being automatically tapped out in Morse code on the sounder,” Glakas said.

The updates will be revealed with a celebration on Sunday, March 1, which will include a model train show.

Herndon Historical Society member Adam Winsor is responsible for the new exhibit’s design, Glakas said.

With the exception of the Writing Herndon’s History event on Jan. 22, the museum will be closed for exhibit updates until the celebration. Glakas said that the closure is typical this time of year.

In the future, Glakas said the Herndon Historical Society hopes to team up with Historic Vienna and send messages back and forth, since the Town of Vienna wants to set up its very own telegraph exhibit.

Photo via Facebook/Herndon Historical Society

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Four Reston eateries will be participating in the Metropolitan Washington Winter Resturant Week later this January.

Foodies around the area can enjoy lunch for $22 and dinner for $35 from Jan. 13 through 19.

A few places around the D.C.-area offer brunch specials — but not at any of the Reston locations.

Offerings vary from restaurant to restaurant, and places will feature either a specialed menu or a multi-course option.

PassionFish will offer lunch and dinner specials featuring nine different appetizer options like the Peruvian-style ceviche and main courses from their regular menu, as well as one of three desserts such as the almond biscotti crème brûlée.

A few items on their menu, such as the crab cakes, will include a $10 upcharge.

Other participating eateries in Reston include The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive), Founding Farmers (1904 Reston Metro Plaza Drive) and McCormick & Schmick’s (11920 Democracy Drive).

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the deals can either call ahead to reserve a space at the individual locations or make a reservation on OpenTable.

Photo via PassionFish/Facebook

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An apartment fire at The Cosmopolitan at Reston Town Center was sparked by an electrical event in an HVAC unit, according to fire investigators.

The fire broke out on the 14th floor of the apartment building during the afternoon last Friday (Jan. 3).

Though a spokesperson originally told Reston Now that only one person was transported to the hospital, a tweet from the fire department this morning (Jan. 6) said that a second person was also taken to the hospital for a checkup.

A contractor working in the vacant apartment discovered the fire, which was too small to activate sprinklers, according to the latest Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweet.

The fire resulted in around $1,000 worth of damages, according to the tweet.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

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Later this month, the Reston Community Center will host a three-day celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

On Saturday (Jan. 18), Sunday, (Jan. 19) and Monday (Jan. 20), people can attend a variety of events ranging from performances by the Reston Community Orchestra to community service projects, along with a keynote speaker luncheon. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Reston Community Center’s annual celebration.

Each day will feature different speakers and activities at various venues throughout the community.

Though most of the events are free, a few require registration or are accompanied by a fee, like the keynote address by Bakari Sellers. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and can be purchased online.

This year’s community service project includes a winter coat drive for Cornerstones, a local non-profit. The RCC is also seeking volunteers for the community service project, the luncheon and a youth volunteer. Anyone interested can explore details online and register for positions.

A gallery will highlight artwork honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments and life by local elementary school students. The works will be on display at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from Jan. 11-31.

Image via Reston Community Center

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The last holiday festivities of the season will wrap-up with the Post-Holiday Ugly Sweater Fundraiser Party on Jan. 4.

People are invited to come and bring non-perishable food for the South Lakes High Food Pantry to the Lake Ann Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive). The event is set to run from 1-4 p.m., and people are encouraged to dress in their festive sweaters.

Every drink purchased will donate a dollar to the cause.

Tomorrow (Jan. 4)

  • Lake Anne Brew House Saturday Beer Run (9:45 a.m.) — People are welcome to gather in front of Lake Anne Brew House (11424 W. Washington Plaza) and run, jog or walk a lap or two before meeting at the brewhouse for beer, coffee and breakfast pretzels.
  • Winter Bird Count (7 a.m. until 2 p.m.) — At the Walker Nature House (11450 Glade Drive), people can join in the effort to count local birds and enjoy a free lunch. This event is for adults only, and people are asked to register.
  • Herndon Community Center Open House (7 a.m. until 6 p.m.) — The Herndon Community Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary with free admission all day. There will be activities for all ages between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Sunday (Jan. 5)

  • Tea Time (1 and 4 p.m.) — This monthly event invites people to the Elden Tea Shop (714 Pine Street) to enjoy tea, scones and pastries. Tickets are $18.50.
  • Sunday Funday (1-4 p.m.) — The Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will host events for kids and their families. Though activities vary, families can expect to participate in either crafts, a scavenger hunt or another project for kids ages 5-12.
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Updated at 2:40 p.m. — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweeted shortly after 2:30 p.m. that the building has been partially re-occupied.

“Rest of building expected shortly,” the tweet said. “Several units are returning to service. No other reported injuries at this time.”

Earlier: Fairfax County firefighters have extinguished an apartment fire at The Cosmopolitan at Reston Town Center.

The fire was reported shortly before 1 p.m., according to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesperson.

The fire department first tweeted about the apartment fire in the 1800 block of Saint Francis Street around 1:20 p.m., saying crews were trying to determine the source of smoke that appeared from a window on the 14th floor.

One resident was brought to a nearby hospital for a routine checkup, according to the spokesperson, who added that other building residents should be able to return inside shorty.

Shortly before 2 p.m., the fire department tweeted that the “small apartment fire is out.”

“Crews working to remove smoke from 14th floor,” the tweet said.

Image via Google Maps and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

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After serving her fourth term in the Town of Herndon, Mayor Lisa Merkel announced she doesn’t plan to seek reelection in 2020.

Merkel holds the title as Herndon’s first female mayor after she was elected to the position in 2012 during a three-way contested race, according to a press release.

She said in a video published this morning (Jan. 2) that she is pleased with everything accomplished during her time in office and that she is proud of her role in Herndon’s development.

She said her accomplishments included the announcement of June as LGBTQ Pride month, introduction of circulator buses to Herndon Station, the implementation of online and on-demand council meeting access, approval of construction plans for a new fire station and the establishment of the Economic Development Department, according to the press release.

“I’m anxious to see the next generation of leaders step up to serve,” Merkel said. “Fresh faces and new perspectives are what make a town like ours thrive.”

Going forward, Merkel said she plans to spend more time with her children and family.

Photo via Facebook

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A fire that broke out this morning at a townhouse in Reston is now out.

Flames were sparked inside of a kitchen appliance at the 2200 block of Lofty Heights Place, according to a tweet shortly after 10 a.m. from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters have extinguished the fire, according to the fire department.

It is unclear if anyone was injured.

Map via Google Maps

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As 2020 nears, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs around Reston and Herndon catering to people trying to spend their final hours of the year in style.

Here are some of the events in the Reston area where people can celebrate New Year’s Eve.

PassionFish Reston (11960 Democracy Drive) will host a party with no cover charge from 10:30 p.m. until 1:45 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. The event will feature a DJ, a photo booth, a special bar menu and several dining options.

For those seeking an all-inclusive option, there will be an event at Clyde’s of Reston (11905 Market Street) on Dec. 31 from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. For $125, guests can enjoy unlimited appetizers and drinks. There will be a DJ and party favors handed out at the event. This party is for guests 21 or older.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 N Washington Plaza) is offering guests the chance to celebrate with New Year’s Eve DECA Party, beginning at 6 p.m. The $10 charge will include party favors, live DJ, champagne toast and a specialty cocktail. Guests are asked to wear cocktail attire.

In Herndon, Anatolian Bistro (13029 Worldgate Drive) is hosting a dinner party with live entertainment including Turkish music and a belly dancer. The $85 dollar fee will include a three-course meal and a complimentary glass of wine. Times vary throughout the evening and people can make a reservation.

Ned Devine’s Irish Bar and Restaurant (2465 Centreville Road) invites people to come and enjoy New Year’s Eve with a celebration featuring live bands, a feed of New York’s Times Square celebration and free champagne at midnight. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online. The event begins at 7 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m.

The roaring ’20s will return with an event at Bar Louie (13195 Parcher Ave) from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. Tickets are free unless attendees wish to purchase a package for $50, which includes drink tickets, a champagne toast and appetizers.  People are encouraged to dress in 1920s attire.

Photo via Jamie Street/Unsplash

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