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by Katherine Berko — June 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

If you have the thirst to tap into your inventive side, this summer you’ll have the chance to quench it.

In August, homemade cardboard boats will compete in a first-of-its-kind regatta at Lake Anne. All the proceeds will go toward the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

Participating teams of all ages will construct and decorate their own life-size cardboard boats, which will then take to the water in timed heats. Each team will row on a course that leads to a designated buoy before returning to the docks at Lake Anne Plaza.

There will be awards for the fastest cardboard boat in each category as well as an award for the most “Titanic-like” boat, i.e. the fastest one to sink.

The event’s rules include:

  • no pre-treated or coated “waterproof” cardboard
  • no staples, clamps, nails or screws
  • water-based paint or sealer is OK, but not tar, wax, silicone, fiberglass resins, epoxy glues or Styrofoam
  • no motors and no kicking — oars and paddles only

“There is no limit to the number of rowers or participants assisting with the construction of the cardboard boat,” according to a press release. “So throw a boat-building party and get creative.”

The event is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Volunteers are also needed.

For more information or to register a boat, visit the event’s webpage. Team sponsorships for adults start at $100, while children between 10-18 years of age pay $40.

by Dave Emke — June 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

The Taste of Reston festival kicked off Friday afternoon, bringing delicious odors and hungry visitors to Market Street.

The 27th annual event has an increased number of restaurants to go along with its live entertainment, exhibits and much more. One of the early visitors, Andrew Kelly of Reston, said it’s a great tradition for the community.

“It’s nice to see [all the restaurants] out here,” he said. “It’s a nice day to spend out, a nice time for people to come out and enjoy the free parking at the Town Center while they get a little taste of all the different restaurants.”

Parking at the Town Center is free today and will be throughout the duration of the festival.

The event is a fundraiser for the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s INCspire Education Foundation, which helps small businesses grow through educational opportunities. Mark Ingrao, GRCC president and CEO, said there are more restaurants involved this year’s festival than in past years.

“They came out of the woodwork this year,” he said. “We’re thrilled about that.”

There are 30 restaurants at the festival, along with four stages — including three with live music — as well as a kids’ entertainment area. There is also craft beer available along with a “Wine ‘n’ Dine” area and a market.

“We’re looking forward to a great event,” Ingrao said.

Ana Michicol, of Manassas, was visiting for the first time. She said the atmosphere surrounding the festival was just as good as the food.

“You have little puppies that you can pet and everything, and there’s music going on,” she said. “I love it.”

The event is scheduled to go until 11 p.m. tonight, and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. For the full schedule of entertainment, demonstrations and more, check out the Taste of Reston website.

by RestonNow.com — June 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Six folk, bluegrass and blues bands are on the lineup for the first Lake Anne Roots Music Festival.

Scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, July 8, the festival will be headlined by The Woodshedders, a local favorite who has played numerous festivals around the region. According to their Facebook page, they “bring together the diverse influences of American Country, Rhythm & Blues, Old-Time, Bluegrass and Gypsy Jazz.”

Maurisa Potts, spokesperson for Lake Anne Plaza, said the Harpers Ferry, West Virginia-based group has an impressive stage presence.

“I’ve seen them before at another festival,” Potts said. “They have a huge following.”

Potts said the festival is taking the place of the Ukulele Festival, which had been held at the plaza on the second Saturday of July for the past seven years. She said while that festival has been “awesome and great,” the plaza thought it could do even more this year.

“We got a lot of feedback from residents and people who have come to the festival saying it would be great if we could do a roots-style festival,” she said. “People have said they will travel to festivals to go listen to some of these bands. … Once we were able to secure [The Woodshedders], we were able to build from there.”

Other acts scheduled to perform include Catchin’ Toads, Old Town Tradition, Snakehead Run Jug Band, Split String Soup and Eli Pafumi.

The free event is slated for noon to 6 p.m. July 8. In addition to the music, there will be a plaza-wide beer and wine garden, art vendors and more. The festival is sponsored by Lane Anne Merchants and the Reston Community Center.

Lake Anne also hosts a summer concert series, which began last night and will continue each Thursday through Sept. 14.

For more upcoming events at Lake Anne Plaza, visit its website.

Image via www.thewoodshedders.com

by RestonNow.com — June 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm 8 Comments

About 30 restaurants are signed up to participate in this weekend’s Taste of Reston, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Reston Town Center.

The 27th annual event is “expected to draw record crowds,” organizers say. It is put on by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and features fine cuisine, family activities, live entertainment, beer and wine, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, and much more. Parking at Reston Town Center will be free throughout the event.

Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, says this event is different because of its four themed stages and its live music. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the INCspire Education Foundation.

“It’s a way for business to really highlight themselves,” Ingrao said. “We do this as a community give-back.”

Restaurants and vendors who will be lining the streets of Reston Town Center during the festival include American Tap Room, Arlington Donut Holes, Agora Restaurant, Barcelona Wine Bar, Buffalo Wing Factory, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Choolah Indian BBQ, Greenfare Organic Café, Gregorio’s Trattoria, Guapo’s Rotisserie Chicken, Hen Penny, King Street Oyster Bar, Lisa’s Lemonade & More, M&S Grill, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, The Melting Pot, Mom’s Momo, Mon Ami Gabi, Not Your Average Joe’s, Paradise Ice Cream, Pitango Gelato, Punjabi Junction, Robeks Fruit Smoothies, Rocoto Gourmet, Tavern64 Regional Kitchen, Udon Food & Drinks, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, and The Zone.

Entertainment is to be provided by Bach to Rock, Billy “T” Wilde, DJ Edward Daniels, Gary Smallwood, Hilary Veltri, Jason Masi, Jeff From Accounting, DJ Jon Paul, keeton, Ken Wenzel, DJ Moon Man, Sam Gunderson, and The Reflex.

The event is scheduled for 3-11 p.m. Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. For the full schedule of entertainment, demonstrations and more, check out the Taste of Reston website.

The Taste of Reston has been voted Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival by Virginia Living magazine six straight years. Food and drink tickets (24 for $20) are available for advance purchase.

by Dave Emke — June 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

Founded in 1742, Fairfax County was named after landowner Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

This weekend, Lord Fairfax — the 14th, to be exact — is coming back. Lord Nicholas Fairfax, a direct descendant of the county’s name-bearer, will be the guest of honor during Fairfax County’s 275th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the area of the historic Fairfax County Courthouse (4000 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax).

Lord Fairfax’s visit is just one of many items on the jam-packed schedule for the celebration. Among other items on the agenda:

  • Over 80 county historical sites and organizations, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, all Fairfax County Park Authority historical attractions, Fort Belvoir, the Fairfax County History Commission and the Workhouse Arts Center
  • Three entertainment areas with performances and family-friendly activities
  • Various living history encampments and interactive storytelling
  • Historic Fairfax Courthouse tours and talks
  • Children’s activity area with different craft and project opportunities
  • A petting zoo
  • Antique service vehicles on display from county first responder agencies
  • Historical plaque dedication honoring Revolutionary War soldiers from Fairfax County

Both admission and parking at the event, which is scheduled to be held rain or shine, will be free. Food trucks will be available.

Opportunities to volunteer at the event are still available.

For more information, visit the event’s website or find it on Facebook, or email [email protected].

by RestonNow.com — June 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The annual Taste of Reston festival is coming up June 16-17, and organizers are still looking for more volunteers to help make it happen.

There are “a few” volunteer spots remaining each evening for the event, according to the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers receive an event T-shirt and 12 tickets to use on the food and drink available during the festival.

The Taste of Reston has been voted Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival by Virginia Living magazine six straight years. It features two days of restaurants and community food vendors, along with live entertainment on three stages. There are also kids’ activities and a “wine ‘n’ dine” area. Food and drink tickets are available for advance purchase.

The festival is scheduled for 3-11 p.m. Friday, June 16, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Parking will be free for the duration of the event.

To learn more about volunteering at the Taste of Reston, visit its website.

File photo courtesy Reston Town Center

by Dave Emke — June 1, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Reston Station will celebrate summer for the next three months with outdoor concerts, movies and more at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro plaza.

The “Summerbration” event will show off a plaza that has “taken on a form of its own” as more residents have moved in, said Maggie Parker, vice president of communications for Reston Station developer Comstock Partners.

“It gets busier and busier,” Parker said. “The concerts this summer and the movie series should have a whole different feel.”

The summer series will officially kick off Friday night at 7 p.m. with a concert by Battery Lane. Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., the Summerbration movie series will begin with an outdoor showing of Star Wars film “Rogue One”. Concerts and movies will continue, weather permitting, on a weekly basis through the end of August. In addition, yoga classes will take place on the plaza each Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Complimentary parking will be available at ParkX during each of the events, which are open to the entire community.

“It’s a great place to enjoy a great summer breeze and great music,” Parker said. “Everybody is welcome — the commuters can go home, pick up their family and come on back.”

Reston Community Center is a partner of the concert series.

For a full list of summer events at Reston Station, check out the calendar on its website.

by RestonNow.com — May 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

The Reston Masters Swim Team hosted the 30th Annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim on Sunday at Lake Audubon.

According to the team’s website, the swim — which has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1988 — was renamed in honor of McDonnell in 1999. McDonnell, a founding member of the team who was on the committee that first organized the swim, died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma the previous year.

More than 700 swimmers participate each year, according to the team, which makes the event the largest open-water swim in the region. Proceeds from this year’s event were donated to the Lymphoma Research Foundation and to Herndon-Reston FISH Inc.

Results from the event can be viewed here.

Photos courtesy Ryan Dawson

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

The stage is being set for next week’s 37th annual Herndon Festival.

The annual outdoor festival, on Lynn Street in the town, is set for June 1-4. The free event averages attendance of 80,000 annually, according to its website.

“Every year we throw ourselves a big town party,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “Thursday night is a local favorite, where tons of neighbors walk downtown to kick off the festival. The rest of the weekend we welcome people from across the D.C. region. Three stages of entertainment, great crafts and, of course, funnel cake! What’s not to love?”

This year, in addition to the 5K and 10K races, carnival atmosphere and musical entertainment, there will be an event called Country on the Green on the new Herndon Municipal Center stage. The event goes from 11:30 a.m to 6 p.m on Sunday, June 4. The daylong celebration will consist of music, line dancing, barbecue and drinks.

The music stages at the festival are the Cafe Stage, the Depot Stage and the Kids Alley. Concerts range from bluegrass to rock and children’s music. Check out the full entertainment lineup here.

Ticket prices for the carnival will be $1.25 for a single ticket, with bundle deals and an all-day pass available. A minimum of $5 worth of tickets must be purchased for those who want carnival access.

Carnival hours will be:

  • Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
  • Friday, 5-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There is also fun on the docket just for kids. Little ones can enjoy themselves with hands-on art exhibits and projects, children’s entertainers, a model train display, fireworks shows and more.

The festival’s Arts and Craft Show starts Friday, June 2 and continues throughout the weekend, featuring booths selling items such as jewelry, furniture and folk art. In addition to arts vendors, there will be several food vendors selling items throughout the festival, including the Big Cheese food truck, Jason’s Mini Donuts and Robeks Fruit Smoothies.

For more information about the festival, visit its website or call 703-787-7300.

by RestonNow.com — May 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The “Take A Break” summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will feature shows every Thursday night from June 15 to Sept. 14.

The free concerts are presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions. In addition to the music, four of the nights on the schedule (June 15, July 13, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10) are designated as “Dance Nights” that will include dance demonstrations and instruction to accompany the tunes.

The full schedule of concerts includes:

  • June 15: Radio King Orchestra (big band) with swing dance instruction
  • June 22:  Sweater Set (contemporary folk)
  • June 29: Origem (Brazilian jazz with a twist)
  • July 6: Mystic Warriors (world music)
  • July 13: Cedar Creek (country) with line dancing instruction
  • July 20: Cheick Hamala Diabate (traditional West African music of Mali mixed with modern grooves)
  • July 27: Four Star Combo (rockabilly)
  • Aug. 3: Fresh Air (party dance hits) with no dance instructors
  • Aug. 10: Mambo Combo (Latin) with dance instruction
  • Aug. 17: Iona (Celtic)
  • Aug. 24: Anthony Swamp Dog (funk blues)
  • Aug. 31: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet (jazz)
  • Sept. 7: The Barretones (bluegrass)
  • Sept. 14: Texas Chainsaw Horns (R&B)

Each concert is scheduled for 7-9 p.m.

by RestonNow.com — May 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

Reston Town Center has released the schedule for its 2017 Concerts on the Town series, featuring live shows on Saturday nights from June through August.

Performers in the series, which is in its 27th year, will include:

  • June 3 — Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (jazz crooner, former “America’s Got Talent” winner)
  • June 10 — Hard Day’s Night (Beatles tribute)
  • June 24 — Matuto (Brazilian, roots-rock, funk)
  • July 1 — Deanna Bogart Band (boogie-woogie, jump blues)
  • July 8 — Chuck Redd and the International Jazz All-Stars
  • July 15 — The Adrian Duke Project (hits from the 1950s to today)
  • July 22 — Scythian (Celtic, gypsy folk rock)
  • July 29 — Love Canon (bluegrass covers of 1980s hits)
  • Aug. 5 — Incendio (Spanish flamenco guitar, Latin fusion)
  • Aug. 12 — Navy Band Commodores (big band jazz)
  • Aug. 19 — Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience (Grammy winner)
  • Aug. 26 — David Akers and the Soul Shakers (Motown and more)

(June 17 is the second day of the Taste of Reston, which will feature live entertainment throughout.)

A dance floor will also be available for each concert, with the exception of the Navy Band Commodores show.

Each concert is scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m., to be held rain or shine in the pavilion (11900 Market St.)

The series is free, because of a grant from the Reston Town Center Association with support from Boston Properties. Garage parking at Reston Town Center is also free on Saturdays.

File photo courtesy Reston Town Center

by RestonNow.com — May 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Organizers of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, slated for this weekend at Reston Town Center, are expecting a big crowd.

According to information provided by Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE):

“The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for GRACE and attracts over 30,000 visitors from across the region. Participating artists uniformly view the event as one of the ‘top five’ outdoor art festivals in the country, extending high praise to the level of hospitality they receive from volunteers and involvement from a community that appreciates the high quality of the art presented.”

The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the 26th annual event. All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50. The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday. The festival is one of three special events throughout the year during which this will happen. The others are the Taste of Reston (June 16-17) and the Reston Holiday Parade (Nov. 24).

The weather will be decidedly cooler this weekend than it has been in recent days, with forecast highs in the low 70s.

by RestonNow.com — May 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

More than 96 square feet of love will be on display at Lake Anne Plaza for six days in June.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation will bring its “LOVE” display, 16 feet long and over six feet high, to the plaza June 9-14. The artwork is part of the Virginia Is For Lovers campaign, designed to promote vacation experiences throughout the state.

Visitors to any LOVE display throughout the state are encouraged to take their picture with it and share it on social media using the hashtag #LoveVA.

While the display is up at the plaza, handmade artwork will be going down as well. The fourth annual Chalk on the Water festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11.

Artists can participate in four categories: family/elementary, family/junior and senior high school, amateur artists, and professional artists. Cash prizes are available in each category.

Registration is $10 for families and students, and $15 for amateur and professional artists. Only 100 total spots are available.

The festival is sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne, Reston Art Gallery, and Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar.

For more information about this event and other upcoming events at Lake Anne Plaza, visit its website.

Photo at top courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, photo at bottom courtesy Lake Anne Plaza

by RestonNow.com — May 15, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Thousands of area commuters will ride to work Friday during Bike to Work Day, and those in Reston are invited to a “pit stop” to get refreshments, gear and more.

The event is open to all area commuters, who are encouraged to meet up with neighbors and co-workers at one of 85 pit stops across the region, including 13 in Fairfax CountyFree registration is required for the pit stops, which enters attendees into local and regional raffles and guarantees a Bike to Work Day T-shirt.

Reston’s pit stop will be located on the plaza level at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. More than 500 local bike commuters are expected to participate at the local stop, according to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

The regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving. More than 17,500 bicyclists are expected to register across the D.C. area.

“Each year, Bike to Work Day attracts commuters who choose to bike to work for the very first time, and after the event, 10 percent of them continue to bike to work an average of 1.4 days per week,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, in a statement. “That’s an impressive conversion rate and it’s why we are committed to making every Bike to Work Day bigger and better than the one before it.”

File photo courtesy Fairfax County

by Dave Emke — May 11, 2017 at 11:30 am 10 Comments

Citing a wet and dreary forecast for Saturday, Reston Association has canceled this year’s Reston Expo event.

“We want members and exhibitors to have a great experience at this annual outdoor event and rainy, cold conditions just don’t make it enjoyable,” said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director.

The event, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Reston Association’s headquarters, was slated to be an opportunity for area businesses — in the fields of “home, garden and more” — to share their products and services with residents. Food trucks, music and a kids’ tent were also planned for the free event.

Leone said the event went on through light showers last year, but torrential rains are another story. He said exhibitors were “completely supportive” of the decision to call off this year’s event.

“Apparently, there was another similar event in a nearby community last Saturday and many of the exhibitors/vendors participating in our Expo participated in that event,” he said. “The feedback we received was that last Saturday’s event was a ‘bust’ — extremely low attendance due to the rain.”

The most recent weather forecast for Saturday from Capital Weather Gang calls for steady rain, perhaps up to an inch, with brisk wind as the storm passes through.

Leone said RA “hope[s] to find a date to reschedule later this year.”

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