The Fourth of July is coming up this weekend, and with Monday (July 5) as a designated federal holiday, many public facilities and services will be shaking up their schedules.
The Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Friday) that all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be closed on Independence Day, but walk-in services will be available at the Fairfax County Government Center and the former Safeway at Mount Vernon Square in Alexandria on Saturday.
A vaccine site at Springfield Town Center will also be open for walk-ins on Monday.
Here are some other closures that county residents should keep in mind this holiday weekend:
Fairfax County Government
- County government offices will be closed on July 5th
Fairfax County Courts
- The Fairfax Circuit, General District, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District courts will be closed all day on July 5.
County Libraries, Recreation Centers, Parks
- All Fairfax County library branches will be closed.
- All Fairfax County RECenters will operate at their regular hours.
- Colvin Run Mill, Sully Historic Site, Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond, E.C. Lawrence and Huntley Meadows nature centers will be closed.
- The Riverbend Park visitor center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Green Spring Garden’s horticultural center and historic house will be closed.
- Fairfax Connector buses will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday. Check the link for details on specific routes.
- WMATA Metrorail service will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Details on routes and closed stations can be found on the Metro website.
- WMATA Metrobus will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday.
County Trash and Recycling
- There will be no change in the county’s trash and recycling collection.
- The recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed.
- The Reston Community Center Hunters Woods will open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sunday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.
- Reston Community Center Lake Anne will be closed all day Sunday and Monday.
- All Reston Association offices, including the central services facility and the Walker Nature Center’s Nature House, will be closed on July 5.
This coming weekend is the Fourth of July, and unlike last summer when — well, you know — travel is on-the-table for many in Reston and Herndon
Are you planning to head out-of-town this weekend? How are you planning on traveling? List your mode-of-choice in the comments if it’s not a plane or car.
Monday, June 28
- Pride Social, Remembering Stonewall (6-9 p.m.) — Come join the party at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington. With Pride month coming to an end, head over to Northern Virginia’s most popular LGBTQ+ bar for a name tag and some socializing. What’s more, June 28 marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, so here’s a chance to pay respects with others.
Tuesday, June 29
- Hummingbirds In the Morning (6-9 a.m.) — Get up early, grab your camera and head to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna for a golden light photography workshop. Snap photos of hummingbirds, butterflies, or anything else that catches your camera’s attention.
Wednesday, June 30
- Skate Your Heart Out (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) — Take a spin on the newly-opened Mosaic Skateland. This outdoor roller rink just opened earlier this month and will be so until mid-September. So, grab those roller skates (or rent a pair) and roll your way into some fun.
Thursday, July 1
- Fifty Years of Wolf Trap (8 p.m.) — Celebrate five decades of Wolf Trap, the historic outdoor performance arts venue, with opening night performances from Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo and internationally-acclaimed soprano Christine Goerke. All of this will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.
- Footloose (7:30 p.m.) — Put on those dancing shoes and go to Strawberry Park in the Mosaic District for an outdoor showing of the 1984 movie Footloose. Every Thursday night through Labor Day, a classic, family-friendly movie will be played outside in the park.
Friday, July 2
- Darn Good Country (4 p.m.) — Music festivals are back after a year off, and Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville is hosting a “Darn Good Country Weekend.” Headliners include Chase Rice, Dustin Lynch, and more.
Saturday, July 3
- City of Fairfax’s Independence Day Celebration (10 a.m.) — After missing out last year, many local jurisdictions are back to in-person July 4 celebrations this year. The City of Fairfax will commemorate the holiday on both July 3 and July 4 this year with a parade and marching bands on Saturday and fireworks on Sunday.
Sunday, July 4
- Great Falls July 4th (8 a.m.) — Spend all of the Fourth in Great Falls for their celebration. There will be a blood drive, a kids parade, a main parade, a festival, and fireworks at night.
- Firecracker 5k (8 a.m.) — Before chowing down, get some exercise on the Fourth with a 5k at Reston Town Center.
- Herndon Fireworks (9:30 p.m.) — Look to the sky at Bready Park for a firework celebration hosted by the Town of Herndon. Free admission and parking, though there will be no concessions or other entertainment this year.
After a year of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fourth of July fireworks displays will return to Fairfax County.
Lake Fairfax Park will once again host a fireworks display on Saturday, July 3. Fireworks will begin at dark, around 9 p.m., but attendees are encouraged to arrive by 8 p.m. to find a place a park and a spot to watch.
Tickets for the event are now available online for $10 per car and will be $15 on the day of the event. Ticketed entry begins at 10 a.m.
Food trucks will be on the site throughout the day for attendees.
The following day, on July 4, the Town of Herndon will host a free celebratory fireworks display for the public at 9:30 p.m. from the Herndon Centennial Golf Course.
The town’s suggested viewing spots are around the Herndon Community Center and the softball field at Bready Park. The town will have event parking and access to Bready Park starting at 8 p.m., but the park’s turf field will be closed during the event.
Parking will be available at Herndon Middle School, Herndon Community Center, and the municipal parking lot on Center Street. People may also park at the Station Street municipal parking lot and watch the display from the Herndon Municipal Center Town Green.
Cars parked in the Herndon Community Center and Bready Park lots will not be released until the fire marshal and Herndon Police declare the area safe.
Due to the display and parking, traffic in the town may be rerouted beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Herndon’s July 4th Celebration will not have food concessions or other entertainment this year, and spectators in and around the park are encouraged to maintain physical distancing while watching the display.
Pets, alcohol, glass containers, grills or cook stoves, and personal fireworks — including sparklers — are not allowed. For safety reasons, the fire marshal also prohibits any persons on the golf course or in its parking lot from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Several local fireworks and festivities for Independence Day have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Let us know in the poll below what you plan to do for the Fourth of July.
Photo by Sheri Hooley on Unsplash
As people prepare the 4th of July, festivities might look different this year as many places are alternating their plans or canceling events due to the threat COVID-19.
The Town of Herndon announced on its website that it canceled its yearly festivities, which usually features fireworks, craft activities, live music, family games and bingo.
Ongoings include a variety of community-organized events.
For families missing the typical parades and bright displays, they can take part in a drive-through celebratory 4th of July event on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m., an event page said.
People can meet at Springvale Street and Cavalcade Road in Great Falls to join the fun.
“Drive through in the safety of your vehicle while you scan for scavenger hunt items, wave to your neighbors and vote for your favorites,” the event page said.
Great Falls Swim & Tennis Club is offering a celebration including a full meal, poolside activities, swimming and a DJ from 1 to 4 p.m. This event is free for members and $25 for non-member guests, the site said.
Mon Ami Gabi is offering brunch for people to enjoy with friends and family, according to a Facebook event.
Brunch hours are available from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday (July 4) and Sunday (July 5) from 12 to 9 p.m.Reservations can be made at 703-707-0233.
PJ Mulligans is hosting a free 4th of July Concert with Spiral Trine for community members from 6 to 9 p.m. at 2310 Woodland Crossing Drive. The band will be performing a combination of original and cover songs, the event page said.
The Fourth of July is coming up next Thursday, and several festivities are planned nearby.
Here’s where to head in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls for Independence Day events.
Lake Newport Recreation area (11601 Lake Newport Road); noon-4 p.m.
A precursor to fireworks, this free event will include a DJ, contests and pool time. Pizza, popcorn and cotton candy will be available to purchase.
Reston Town Center (11911 Democracy Drive); starts at 8 a.m.
The annual race is now in its 10th year. Refreshments and live music will be offered. There will be cash awards for the top three men and women finishers ($300, $200, $100) as well as $100 for the top master runners.
Great Falls Village Centre Green (776 Walker Road); 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Great Falls has a packed schedule for its Independence Day celebrations, including a 5K starting at 8 a.m.; two parades — a kids’ parade at 9 a.m. and the main parade at 10 a.m.; and food, games and a magic show from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fireworks will start at 6 p.m. at Turner Farm Park (925 Springvale Road).
Bready Park softball field (814 Ferndale Avenue); start at 6:30 p.m.
The free, family-friendly events kick off with games, kids’ crafts and bingo at 6:30 p.m. Then, the ’80s cover band Guys In Thin Ties will perform at 7:15 p.m. The fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Food will be available to purchase from vendors.
This is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.
On the fourth of July last week I rode on a float in the Fairfax City Independence Day Parade, one of the largest in the state, with local Democrats promoting the candidacies of Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Gerry Connelly for re-election and the election of Jennifer Wexton for Congress in the Tenth District. It brought back some pleasant old memories. When I first ran for elective office in the mid-1970s, I was running for the House of Delegates in what was then the 18th District.
It was represented by five at-large delegates. After the courts declared the Virginia redistricting unconstitutional after the 1970 census because it short-changed Northern Virginia in representation, the legislature simply divided Fairfax County into two halves with each half having five at-large members.
When I was first elected in 1978 I was part of a five-person delegation of three Democrats and two Republicans who represented the northern half of Fairfax County from Herndon to Baileys Crossroads including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. These large districts were declared unconstitutional in 1982, and single-member districts including District 36 were put into place and have been adjusted each census to reflect the changing population and a bit of gerrymandering of some districts to protect incumbents.
Except for Fourth of July celebrations political campaigns largely got underway after Labor Day. It seems that now they are perpetual. Door knocking on hot summer weekends was questionable when your body was dripping in sweat. Now there are regularly scheduled canvasses each weekend regardless of the heat. There is no better formula for success than direct contact with voters. In the fall the days get shorter and there is less opportunity to knock on doors in the evenings. Ringing doorbells after dark may lose as many votes as gained. Regardless of the heat, candidates need to be out and about to see voters.
At the parade and at neighborhood canvassing I have visited I have been impressed at the dedication of people who are volunteering to help identify, register and persuade voters. While I am overwhelmingly anxious about the direction of our country, I am encouraged and reassured by the volunteers I meet. They are determined to save our democratic institutions and to put us back on the path of a caring and open society.
When a volunteer comes to your door, please thank them for their work on behalf of our democracy. When volunteers from the other persuasion come by be polite and civil. Have faith that they will eventually see the light and join us. I am sure that we will win the vote in November, and we will go back to living together after that.
Thankfully I rode on a float in the parade because the heat was exhausting. It felt good to hear the cheers and see the friendly waves. Nothing like a parade to cheer you up. When the heat of the election season is past, I am confident that our country will have sent a message that we are returning to the moral values we share.
We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2017 this week. Here’s the final list of our top five stories.
5. The first lawsuit filed regarding Boston Properties’ paid parking system at Reston Town Center in late March had 10,970 views. The suit was initiated by Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food and Lucky Lounge (11927 Democracy Drive). Paid parking continues to challenge local businesses, according to several tenants. Just this week, Appalachian Spring, one of the first tenants of Reston Town Center, announced plans to shutter its Reston location partly due to limited foot traffic that a business representative believes decreased partly due to paid parking.
4. Continuing a similar theme, Boston Properties’ plans to modify its parking system five months after instituting paid parking drew 11,078 views. The company rescinded the payment requirements for users of RTC parking garages after 5 p.m. and also allow one hour of free garage parking for sessions that begin before 5 p.m.
3. An article about where to watch one of the most anticipated professional fights in history gained 14,374 page views. Undefeated box champion Floyd Mayweather went toe to toe with UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
2. The brutal killing of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was killed as she walked to her mosque after night prayers during the month of fasting gained nationwide attention and sent reverberations locally. Darwin Martin-Torres, a 22-year-old, is accused of raping and sexual assaulting Hassanen. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The article gained 15,575 views.
1. A rundown of where to spot Fourth of July fireworks took the top honors of the year with more than 16,000 page views. Turns out finding places to complete the American tradition was especially popular among readers.
It’s been quite a year and we look forward to bring you more stories in 2018.
Photo courtesy of Rick Collier