Reston, VA

Seeing Santa is a Christmas tradition, and there are lots of places in the Reston area where people can meet him and possibly snap a few photos.

Roe & Co. Portrait Studio is hosting a session with Santa from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 14) at their Reston studio (11985 Market Street). People are invited to come and take photos of their families with Santa. Picture packages start at $25.

For people over the age of 21, there will be a Santa-themed bar crawl on Saturday (Dec. 14) from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. beginning at the Reston Town Center (11900 Market Street). Coordinators ask that people bring gifts for Toys for Tots.

The Winter Wonderland at Worldgate Herndon (13037 Worldgate Drive) features a free meet and greet party with Santa on Saturday (Dec. 14). There will be hot cocoa, snacks, an igloo and games on-site. The event will run from 1 until 4 p.m. but attendees must arrive by 3 p.m. if they would like a photo with Santa.

People in Herndon have the chance to take a wagon ride with Santa at Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 West Ox Road) on Sunday (Dec. 15) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and people can help themselves to hot cocoa and roast marshmallows after the half-hour ride.

The following Sunday (Dec. 22), Santa will make an appearance on Sunday at the Reston Farmers Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue) from 2-4 p.m. Admission is free and attendees are welcome to take photos.

If anyone doesn’t get the chance to see Santa in person, people are always welcome to track his whereabouts on Christmas Eve thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook

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A new fine arts academy that was approved by Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors three years is set to transform the rural nature of land adjacent to Frying Pan Farm Park.

The Floris Conservatory of Fine Arts is expected to break ground sometime this month, bringing a 48,000 square foot conservatory with a 300-seat auditorium and music, dance, creative and visual arts classes.

The project is located at the intersection of Centreville Road and West Ox Road, south of the Town of Herndon.

The developer, Scimores Academy LLC, successfully received the county’s blessing to rezone the property, which is located within the nationally listed Floris Historic District, in June 2017. The approval came after more than two years of negotiations with landowners, historic preservation organizations, and educational entities.

Roughly six acres from the eight-acre project were rezoned to allow the project to move forward. Three existing structure on the site will be incorporated into the development.

The academy will be placed at the lowest point of the site in the southeastern corner in order to minimize its visual impact on neighboring areas.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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As we head into Labor Day weekend, here’s a look at some area closings and schedule adjustments for the holiday.

Public schools, library, county offices, the county’s animal shelter, General District Court, and Reston Community Center Hunters Woods and Lake Anne will be closed.

The Fairfax Connector will be operating on a Sunday schedule. Metrorail and Metrobus will also operate on a Sunday schedule, with off-peak fares in effect all day. Parking will be free at all Metrorail facilities.

Frying Pan Farm Park’s farm and indoor arena will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but its visitors center will remain closed. More information about county closures is available online.

Reston Association offices, the Central Services Facility and the nature house will close at noon today (Friday) and remain closed on Monday.

The pool schedule for the holiday weekend is below:

Glade, Lake Audubon, Lake Newport: Noon to 7 p.m.

North Shore, Ridge Heights: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In the town of Herndon, government offices will be closed. Recycling collection will be postponed from Monday to Tuesday. The town’s Labor Day festival is set from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the town green.

Photo via Ben White/Unsplash

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Two resident curators presented their plans to repurpose the historic Ellmore Farmhouse as part of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s resident curator program.

Two applicants proposed uses for the property through the program, which allows individuals and organizations to secure long-term lease agreements in exchange for rehabilitating the park authority’s underutilized historic properties.

Applicants Karl and Jessie Scherm proposed to use the property as a residential home, drawing on his memories and experience of visiting Frying Pan Farm Park.

The Scherms proposed to use the property for several community uses, including hosting members of the Chantilly Bible Church and welcoming widows and their school-aged children into the home.

“Our children, much like the Ellmore and Smith children, have had the opportunity to spend time learning about farming and caring for animals through the 4-H clubs they are in,” according to the application. “Living in the Ellmore Farmhouse would allow us more time to learn and share with others about the original families and animals that lived here on this property.”

The second applicant — a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities — proposed to use the property as a gathering space for its longterm and community integration services program, which serves 15 clients.

“Our solution will maximize heritage conservation efforts for the property to benefit the Fairfax community, including Frying Pan Park visitors, adults with disabilities, and the general public,” according to the application.

The next meeting on the proposals will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 9 a.m. at the Herrity Biulding (12055 Government Center Parkway). The meeting is public but no comments will be taken.

All written comments must be submitted via email to [email protected] by Friday, September 6.

The Ellmore Farmhouse is a two-story home on West Ox Road in Herndon that was first used by William Ellmore, a prominent local politician, until 1935. The successive owners continued to operate the property as a dairy forum until it was sold in 1854. FCPA purchased the property for inclusion into Frying Pan Farm Park in 2001.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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The four-day Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival continues into the weekend. Admission to the fair is free, but parking is $10 per car tomorrow and Sunday.  

The opening ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday).  The carnival is on from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (August 4).

In addition to entertainment throughout the weekend, fair-goers can take part in a number of activities, including goat milking, a carousel, and blacksmithing.

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • Weekly Beer Run (9:45-11:15 a.m.) — Run, jog or walk beautiful paved paths around Lake Anne with “beer runers.”
  • Lake House Open House (10 a.m. to noon) —  The community building is open for community drop-in time and light refreshments.
  • Artist-led Bookmaking Workshop (1-3 p.m.) — Join Homie House Press for a bookmaking workshop at Greater Reston Arts Center.
  • ArtSplash for Adults (2-4 p.m.) — Create a masterpiece in this art workshop for adults led by artists from Abrakadoodle Northern Virginia at Reston Regional Library.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy a performance titled “juggler, balloon twister and glitter tattoos” at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.

Sunday (August 4)

  • Bird Walk at Buttermilk Creek Nature Trail (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders can search for birds in Reston. Participants should park at Uplands Pool.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy Flow Circus at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.
  • Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m.) — The MLO Fusion Project performs contemporary jazz standards with a modern twist at Reston Town Square Park. Performances are free and open to all.
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Friday Morning Notes

Day Two of the 4-H Fair and Carnival Continues — Day two of the 71st annual 4-H fair and carnival continues today (Friday). Parking and admission is free all day. Carnival hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Swingin’ Swamis at Reston Station Plaza Tonight — Experience R&B Rock and work through dance moves tonight at Reston Station Plaza from 7-9 p.m. [Reston Station Plaza]

Hunter Mill Road Now Open — The road between Mount Sunapee Road and Hunting Crest Lane has reopened after an extended closure due to downed wires. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Meet the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Next CEO — “When Victor Hoskins was introduced as the next president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, he tossed out some revelations and showed off his trademark enthusiasm for his chosen profession.”  [Fairfax County EDA]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival Kicks Off — The 71st annual carnival and fair begins today (Thursday) through Sunday. More information on scheduled events is available on the event’s website. [Fairfax County Government]

Hunter Mill Road between Mt. Sunapee Road and Hunting Crest Lane Closed — The road is closed for an extended period as crews repair downed wires. It’s unclear when the road is expected to reopen. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Take a Break Concert Series at Lake Anne Plaza Tonight — IONI, a band that plays Celtic music, performs at the plaza from 7-9 p.m. today (Thursday). The concert is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Dario Piparo

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The 71st Annual 4-H Fair and Carnival returns to Frying Pan Farm Park next week from Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4. The four-day event will feature carnival games, rides, food and fun for all ages.

On Thursday and Friday, parking is free and discounted tickets are available for unlimited rides. Passes start at $16 per person for unlimited carnival rides between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In the evening, ride tickets cost $1. Friday’s feature event is Big Truck Night from 5-8 p.m.

Carnival rides are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The 4-H Fair will also be on throughout the weekend as exhibitors display winning entries and get farm animals ready to show.

Parking is $10 on Saturday and Sunday.

More information about the event is available online.

File photo 

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Frying Pan Farm Park will come to life with music from around the world this summer.

The series, “Hunter Mill Melodies,” kicks off tomorrow (Thursday) and runs through Aug. 22. It aims to celebrate the county’s commitment to diversity and community spirit.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic, blanket and chairs. So far, the schedule, which is subject to change, is below:

  • June 27: Scythian (Irish Rock)
  • July 11: The Reunion Jazz Orchestra (Big Band)
  • July 18: Whiskey Wildfire (New Country)
  • July 25: Bumper Jacksons (Americana, Country, Bluegrass)
  • August 1: Incendio (Latin)
  • August 8: Chopteeth (Afrofunk)
  • August 15: Veronneau (World Jazz)
  • August 22: The United States Navy ‘Cruisers’ (Pop Rock)

For last minute performance cancellations due to inclement weather, call 703-324-7469 one hour prior to the program start time.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority‎/Facebook

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Change of Location for Reston Association Board Meeting — The Board of Directors will meet at The Lake House instead of its usual location at RA headquarters on Thursday. The change was prompted by utility work planned outside of the building that evening. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

Arts in the Parks Continues through August — The series, which organizers describe as a fun alternative to Saturday and Wednesday morning cartoons, offers entertainment for children while teaching them on the importance of protecting national resources. Performances kick off at Frying Pan Farm Park tomorrow. [Fairfax County Government]

Robbery Reported on Last Tuesday on Dulles Court — Two individuals attempted to grab a cell phone from a man who was walking along the 600 block of Dulles Court. on Tuesday, June 18. The suspects are described as Hispanic teenagers. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Lovers of fried delicacies, farm animal exhibits, midway games and more can save the date for the Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival.

The 71st annual fair kicks off on Aug. 1 through Aug. 4 at Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 West Ox Road). The fair will feature livestock exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, games and live entertainment.

Exhibitors can register online. Parking is free the first two days of the carnival and parking is $10 over the weekend.

Carnival ride tickets are $1 each or 24 for $20. Most rides require between three to five tickets. Refunds will not be issued.

The carnival is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1 and Friday, Aug. 2. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Video via YouTube

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The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park is hosting a yard sale next month.

The Community Yard Sale is set for Saturday, June 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the barns at Frying Pan Farm Park.

If you’re interested in selling off your treasures or decluttering your home, you can rent a stall for $30. Tables are $15 each and chairs at $7 each. To reserve a space, register online. Prices rise after June 1.

Furniture, art, plants, bric-and-brac, and kids’ clothes will be offered at the sale. If you’re planning to sell, you can bring your own tables, chairs, bags and boxes for shoppers, and extension cords for electronic items.

Sellers are responsible for paying applicable sales tax. No food or beverage  items are allowed.

File photo

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It’s Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park tomorrow (May 11).

Attendees will have the chance to watch sheep shearing and demonstrations of antique farm equipment.

Crafts, games and activities like cow and goat milking will also be onsite, in addition to a close-up introduction of the farm’s baby animals.

Walk-ins are welcome with a $8 registration fee at 2709 West Ox Road. The event begins at 10 a.m. Online registration is $7.

Tomorrow (May 11)

  • Snakehead Run (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — The band returns to play for the Reston Market in front of Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza-N).
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.)  — Author Sue Fliess reads “The Earth Gives More” to young bookworms at Reston Regional Library. The bookclub explores a new theme each week.
  • Walking Tour of Public Art (2-3 p.m.) — Susan Becker takes walkers on an hour-long tour to scout for public art at Lake Anne Village Center (1609 Washington Plaza-W). The event is free and open to all.
  • Ramadan Cultural Festival (2-4 p.m.) — Representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society host a family-friendly afternoon of activities and games at Reston Regional Library.

May 12

  • Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders will search for birds from Glade Stream Valley to Sapsucker Woods. The walk begins at the Glade Recreation Area (11550 Glade Drive).
  • Reston Youth Triathlon (8 a.m.) — In this event, which is open to athletes between ages 6 and 15, participants will run, swim, and bike a combination of sets. Police and volunteers will be around in multiple areas to direct race traffic.
  • Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skill levels are invited to foxtrot, swing, cha-cha and waltz their way into two hours of dance practice at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Door prizes and light refreshments will also be offered.
  • Mountain Stories and Songs with the Dulcimer (3-4:30 p.m.) — Local musicians Ralph Lee Smith and Madeline MacNeil play traditional songs and share stories of the dulcimer.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

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Frying Pan Farm Park Meetinghouse is one of the oldest racially-integrated Baptist churches in Virginia. In 1791, the congregation built the structure and African Americans worshipped from galleries that lined both sides of the building.

Learn more about this and more at a historical education event at the farmhouse on Sunday (April 28) from 1-4 p.m. The event, “Echoes of the Past: History Comes to Life,” walks attendees through the religious freedom movement in Virginia, the meetinghouse’s role in that movement, and the role of the church in the community.

Here’s more about the meetinghouse from Fairfax County Government:

The Frying Pan Spring Meeting House has survived changing land use, the Civil War, and major 20th century suburban growth to earn designation as a Virginia Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places site.

In 1984, the last surviving trustee of the Meeting House deeded the property to the Fairfax County Park Authority “to preserve the building and grounds for posterity.” The Meeting House and grounds are not open to the public on a regular basis, however special guided tours may be arranged by calling the park office at 703-437-9101.

Some scout badge programs include a tour of the Meeting House. A tour for the public is scheduled each spring and fall.

Change and growth in western Fairfax County have left undisturbed the Frying Pan Spring Meeting House and its adjoining springs, baptismal pond, grounds and cemetery. They have maintained their integrity for more than 200 years.

Attendees can enjoy reenactments, 18th century games for kids and exhibits. The programs is designed for attendees age eight and older. The meetinghouse is located at 2615 Centreville Road.

Registration is open online.

Photos via Fairfax County Government

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Baby critters are eagerly awaiting visitors at Frying Pan Farm Park.

It’s been a busy birthing season this year at the Herndon park. Hokie, the farm’s cow and part-time Virginia Tech mascot, delivered a healthy baby boy last month. Sheep Flufette and Stompey also delivered their lambs in March. Momma pigs Hazel and Puma also delivered their litter of piglets in February.

More news is expected as several sheep and two goats are due this month.

The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can also catch several programs during spring break, including puppet shows, a Bluegrass concert, and farm skills programs. Admission to the park and farm is free, but most activities and programs have fees. For more information, visit the park’s website.

Photos via Yvonne Johnson

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