Reston, VA

Door-to-door greeting and candy distribution is a classic staple of Halloween night, but Fairfax County and health officials warn it might be one of the worst activities to do amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked festivities as low-risk to high-risk, allowing people to gauge what level of risk they are comfortable taking when participating in the holiday.

For those that do plan to trick or treat this year, there are several precautions the CDC recommended taking, including:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Photo courtesy Anne B.`

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Your child is invited to an online Halloween Math Escape Room on Friday, October 30 at 4 p.m.

The Russian School of Mathematics has created this online event where kids will solve mystery brainteasers, spooky riddles and eerie puzzles to find out the way to escape from our chilling adventure.

Join us dressed in your favorite costume and invite your friends to get into the holiday spirit together.

Register now for the October 30 event!

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 26)

Tuesday (Oct. 27)

  • Rainbow Teen Book Club – 7-8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — This is a place for members of the LGBTQIA+ teen community and their allies to read and discuss queer titles, the website said. Discussing All Out by Saundra Mitchell, the group meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Oct. 29)

  • Marina Chamasyan and Students – 2:25-3 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — The program features Dr. Marina Chamasyan and accomplished local high-school students who will present their original compositions, a world premiere and widely admiredDanse Macabre by Saint Saens, the website said. To register, use this link.
  • Better Dens and Habitat – 5-6 p.m. at Hidden Pond Nature Center (8511 Greeley Blvd.) — Using logs, branches, leaves, rocks, and other materials, help our naturalists restore a heavily impacted natural area to provide homes for local critters, the website said. The cost is $7 and adults must accompany children ages 12 and under.

Friday (Oct. 30)

Saturday (Oct. 31)

  • Great Falls Pet Parade – 4-4:45 p.m. at The Arts of Great Falls Gallery (756 Walker Road) — Bring your pet on a leash dressed up in its favorite costume, the website said. Prizes will be awarded for special categories.
  • Great Falls Halloween Spooktacular – 5-7 p.m. at Great Falls Shopping Center (754 Walker Road) — Children up to age 12 are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume, experience the Haunted House, and enjoy trick or treating with local merchants in a safe environment right in the heart of town, the website said.
  • Teen Halloween Party (Online) – 2-3 p.m. – Participants will play Halloween jeopardy, tell spooky stories, and show off their Halloween costumes, the website said. To register, use this link.

Staff photo by Catherine Douglas Moran

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The number of COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County continues to increase with a reported weekly average of cases hovering around the 450-mark. But the data show no signs of acceleration at this point.

In October, the county reported the highest number of weekly cases since Sept. 6, when cases peaked at 494. Since then, 459 cases were reported the week of Oct. 4 and 447 cases the week of Oct. 11. Case rates dipped significantly in June and early August when weekly averages hovered between 308 and 389 cases.

So far, the county has 23,462 confirmed cases, 2,247 hospitalizations, and 606 deaths.

There are no immediate indications of a spike in cases — which is determined when the total confirmed cases are mapped against new confirmed cases per week. In the last month, the familiar story of a slowdown in new cases no longer appears to be the case.

According to county data, in the last three weeks, the rate of new cases charted against the rate of existing cases has stabilized instead of trending downward, which indicates a slowdown in cases.

Fairfax County’s case rate — which is measured by cases per 100,000 people — remains comparable to surrounding counties and health districts. Its case rate of 2,039 cases is slightly above Arlington’s case rate of 1,921 cases. Meanwhile, Alexandria has one of the highest case rates in the area (2,635).

It’s unclear how case trajectories may change throughout the region as flu season and colder temperatures come into full swing.

County health officials are urging residents to take precautions during Halloween and planned trick-or-treating activities, which have been flagged as high-risk activities.

Image via Virginia Department of Health

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 19)

  • Book Bingo — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — Download a bingo card and read along, the website said. Get three books in a row and earn entry to a drawing for prize. Completed bingo cards can be emailed to [email protected].

Thursday (Oct. 22)

  • Herndon Farmers Market – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from April to November on Lynn Street in historic downtown Herndon, the website said.

Friday (Oct. 23)

  • Campfire Fridays — 6:30-8 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park (7500 Accotink Park Road) — The program is $12 per person, the website said. Attendees will enjoy nature walks, interactive activities, animal presentations, and s’mores. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Oct. 24)

  • Watershed Cleanup — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) — Help keep our waterways clean, the website said. Volunteers will collect trash from streams and trails and compile and report results.
  • Making a Scarecrow — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way) — Bring old clothing to stuff with hay, and afterward pose with your new friend and take a picture, the website said. The cost is $2o per family, with each family having 45 minutes to create their scarecrow. To register, use this link.
  • Boo at the Pool — 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Dive into the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center’s Boo at the Pool, the website said. The cost is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for non-residents. Each participating child will receive a goody bag upon completion of the event and those wearing a costume will receive an additional prize. Children must also be accompanied by an adult. To register, use this link.
  • Halloween Family Fun Day — 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Village Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Children should dress in their favorite costume and parents are encouraged to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme to be included in a self-driven Halloween Car Parade at Hunters Woods Village Center parking lot, the website said. Children will also receive a goody bag. To register, use this link.
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Friday Morning Notes

Reston-based Company Lands Huge Contract — “The U.S. Army awarded Reston-based Fortune 100 defense contractor General Dynamics Corp.’s land systems division a potential five-year, $1.22 million contract.” [Virginia Business Monthly]

Committee to Discuss Local Transportation — Reston Association’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committees opening the floor fr comment from residents about the state of transportation in Reston. The meeting is set for Oct. 8 via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

Traditional Trick-or-Treating Not Recommended by County — “Fairfax County government and the health department will recommend against traditional trick-or-treating but will not cancel it altogether. The county’s guidance is in line with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for Halloween and other fall activities.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Fickr

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The arrival of October usually means the beginning of a month full of fall and Halloween festivities. However, in pandemic times, the seasonal celebration might look a little bit different — trick-or-treating in particular. 

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a list of guidelines to take when planning for fall and winter holidays, including Halloween at the end of this month. Festivities were ranked low-risk to high-risk, allowing people to gauge what level of risk they are comfortable taking when participating in the holiday. 

Some low-risk Halloween ideas include carving pumpkins with family, having a virtual costume contest or holding a trick-or-treat style scavenger hunt around your home. 

One-way trick-or-treating with pre-wrapped goodie bags was recommended by the CDC as a moderate-risk activity. Traditional trick-or-treating, however, was listed as a higher-risk activity. 

Considering recommendations regarding pandemic trick-or-treating and the likelihood of children hunting for candy, will you be handing out goodies this year? Will you be doing so traditionally, modifying the candy giveaway, or skipping the activity altogether?

Photo by NeONBRAND/Unsplash

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Thursday Morning Notes

Collect for Kids Campaign Exceeds Goals — The annual campaign, a drive for backpacks or school supplies for students in need, raised more than $28,400 this year. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Campus Commons Moves Forward — “The Campus Commons project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop is moving forward after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave the final okay. It is the latest in a rash of approvals to redevelop office parks close to the Silver Line, but this particular project has provoked a new wave of opposition against long-planned changes–like new housing and offices–in Reston.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Fun at Reston’s Halloween House — “Children three through ten years of age delighted in Reston Association’s non-ghoulish Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at Walker Nature Center, held Oct. 25-26. Even though the association added more tickets for this year’s event, according to Katie Shaw, Nature Center Manager, advance times sold out once again before the weekend.” [The Connection]

Photo via Flickr/vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Make Halloween a Treat, Not a Truck — “Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls will soon be coming out all over the area. Halloween is a festive occasion that we need to celebrate safely. Traditional jack-o-lanterns with candles are a tremendous fire hazard. A better way to light up your jack-o-lantern is to use a small string of holiday lights with yellow and red flashing bulbs. Additionally, small battery-powered candles can be used.” [Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department]

County to Hold Hearing on Real Estate Tax Exemption — “Fairfax County currently provides income-based real estate tax relief to homeowners based on income and disability. A revision to the Virginia Code in July now allows localities to exclude the disability income of disabled relatives living in a taxpayer’s home from the total combined income calculation.”  [Tysons Reporter]

McDaniel College Names Field in Honor of Reston Couple — “McDaniel College hosted the dedication of Rembert Field at McDaniel’s Kenneth R. Gill Stadium in honor of 1961 alumnus Donald Mosby Rembert, Sr., and 1960 alumna Judith Ellis Rembert of Reston, Va. The ceremony took place during the Green Terror football game against Muhlenberg on Saturday, Oct. 26.” [Reston Patch]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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The 10th annual Washington West Film Festival continues through Monday with special screenings at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center.

The festival showcases films from around the world.  Tomorrow’s schedules include a panel discussion about the process of independent filmmaking at 10 a.m.  

The schedule for tomorrow (Saturday) is below and tickets for each screening can be purchased online:

The event on Saturday concludes with an annual party at the Reston Town Center pavilion.

The complete schedule is available online. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger and illness, according to the festival’s website.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • Halloween Face Painting (1-3 p.m.) — Try on a festive look at Reston Regional Library. The event is open for all ages.
  • Reston Friends Jigsaw Puzzle Sale (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) — Puzzle books, games, and jigsaw puzzles are available for sale at Reston Regional Library.
  • Halloween Movie (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Enjoy a screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at Reston Regional Library. Attendees can also enjoy popcorn and hot cocoa.
  • Halloween Family Day (Noon to 2. p.m.) — Come dressed in your favorite custom and enjoy family-friendly performances. The event is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult guardian.
  • Trick or Treat at Reston Town Center (Noon to 4 p.m.) — Kids who wear costumes can get free treats at the town center.

Sunday (Oct. 27)

  • History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Dr. Harry Butowsky of George Mason University continues his six-part lecture series on the history of the war.

Photo via Washington West Film Festival

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Halloween is only two weeks away and there are a variety of events happening around Reston to help people get into the holiday spirit.

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow will guide guests through a trail lined with thousands of intricately carved pumpkins lit up with tiny lights, according to the website. People will also be able to enjoy beverages and food while picking out a pumpkin of their own.

Tickets are $17, and the event will take place on (Friday) Oct. 18 from 6-9 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive).

Halloween Fun Fest invites kids from ages five to 12 to Life Time Athletic (1757 Business Center Drive) for an afternoon of fun costumes and activities on Saturday (Oct. 19) at 6 p.m. Admission is complimentary with a membership.

At the upcoming Trunk or Treet event, all ages are welcome to gather at YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road) from 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 24) for an evening of trick-or-treating, cornhole and a trunk decoration competition.

Tickets are $3 or $25, depending on whether people want to set up a trick or treating stop and participate in the competition. Participants for trunk competition are asked to register through email.

Halloween Family Fun Day is for families with children under eight years old and will feature live performances and carnival games from noon until 2 p.m. at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Saturday (Oct. 26).

Halloween Owls at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will allow attendees to get a close look at live owls in a safe and secure environment while learning about the creatures before touring the Halloween House. Tickets are $15 and can be found online. Times are spaced out throughout the day on Friday (Oct. 25.)

Image via Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

A Guide on How to Handle Peer Pressure — “Everyone has peers. Peers can be your friends who are about your age and have similar interests and experiences. Peers can also be other kids who are about your age and are involved in the same activities with you or are part of a community or group you belong to. You may not consider all of your peers to be friends, but they can all influence you.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

A Legacy to Live on in Reston — “Commissioned by Public Art Reston, Volta took calculated measures during the production phase of the community-inspired project finalized in 2019 to protect the mural panels against sun and element damage as well as vandalism. A few days before the Oct. 17 unveiling of the Public Artwork at Colts Neck Road Underpass, Volta shared, in a one-on-one interview, key processes and materials essential in the successful creation of the paneled mural, and safeguards he took to protect the investment.” [The Connection]

Volunteers Sought for Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail — Reston Association is looking for volunteers over 15 years of age for its annual event. An orientation Is set for today (Wednesday) from 6-7 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center. [Reston Association]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Your guide to Halloween — As ghosts and ghouls prowl the neighborhood streets tonight, here are some safety tips you should keep in mind as you head out and dress up. [Fairfax County Government]

Voting 101 — Election Day is just days away and with more than 70,000 active registered voters in the county, there’s a lot to catch up on. [Fairfax County Government]

Preventing pedestrians crashes — So far, 10 pedestrians have been killed in crashes in Fairfax County and 100 pedestrians have been involved in crashes. Drivers and pedestrians should keep the following tips in mind in order to prevent accidents. [Fairfax County Government]

Photos: Annual Public Art Reston party –– This year’s annual fundraising event for the nonprofit organization took place on the 16th floor of the Helmut Jahn building at Reston Station. [Public Art Reston]

Photo by Ray Copson

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Monday Morning Notes

Changes to Wiehle-Reston Metro service — From 5-6 a.m. this week, Silver Line service to Wiehle-Reston East begins at Stadium-Armory. Customers between Largo and Benning Road should use Blue Line Service, then transfer to the Silver Line at Stadium. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Safety tips for Halloween — As the day of trick-or-treating approaches, here are some safety tips to keep in mind for kids. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Planning by South Lakes JROTC — Students leaders at the JROTC program outlined their goals and plans for the year recently, including a planned Veterans Day dinner for area veterans on Nov. 16. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

A feature on Reston Farm Market — “The legendary Reston Farm Market brings the magic of celebrating time-honored fall fun to families. With an eye toward community focus, owner Bonita Weinstein strives every day, but especially when all things pumpkins rule Reston, to offer opportunities for everyone.” [The Connection]

Metropolis at CenterStage tonight — “Percussionist Tom Teasley performs his original live music accompaniment to a screening of Fritz Lang’s classic science fiction film Metropolis. In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.” [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Mark Bramer

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Hairspray lives up to the hype — A theater critic writes that Reston Community Players’ latest production, Hairspray, lives up to the volunteer-based community theater’s reputation of presenting professional-quality theater. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Halloween 101 — With the spooks just around the corner, the county offers several safety tips for trick-or-treating on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Kids are advised to generally visit houses with their porch lights on or with active Halloween decorations, for example. [Fairfax County Government]

Lake House open house — As efforts to increase revenue from The Lake House continue, Reston Association is continuing its tradition of holding an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Reston Association]

Meet me at the movies — Seniors can enjoy a free screening of Ocean’s 8 today from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Light refreshments will be provided. [Reston Association]

A tale of prison and privilege — This free screening set for tonight highlights the economic and social inequities that divide the country and offers solutions on how separated communities can learn from each other. The screening will be followed by a discussion by Signe Taylor and several formerly incarcerated women who appear in the film. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo of stream cleanup recyclables by vantagehill

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