Sugarland Run Trail Improvements Now Complete

Fairfax County has officially completed improvements to a trail at Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park in Herndon.

Last week, local and county officials held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of improvements and trail maintenance.

The $400,000 project aimed to address general wear and tear, as well as trail damage due to severe flooding.

More than 12,000 linear feet of trail was milled and repaired. New culverts and riprap were also installed.

Photo via Fairfax County Government/website

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A New German-Style Christmas Market is Coming to Herndon

Herndon residents are banding together to host the first-ever “Herndon WinterMarkt,” a traditional German-style Christmas Market with a family focus.

The event, which is set for Dec. 14 from 12 p.m to 8 p.m., will include vendors, food, crafts and entertainment linked to European traditions.

Kevin LeBlanc, an event organizer, said the idea was inspired by the large number of German and Austrian natives living in the area. Discussions to organize the event quickly gained momentum after residents partnered up with the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch the event.

Organizers say Herndon’s historic downtown area naturally lends itself to community gatherings typically held in small grounds and villages.

“Historic Herndon lends itself to that kind of an atmosphere, both because of the historic town center and a strong sense of community that the town house.”

So far, the event will include Gluhwein and German beer. A majority of vendors and entertainers are German or Austrian. and the event will also coincides with the Herndon Model Trail show.

It will take place at the Herndon Depot Museum (717 Lynn Street).

More information will be available on the event’s Facebook page.

Photo via Herndon WinterMarkt/Facebook

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Music Festival in Herndon to Raise Funds for Literacy Programs

During Sunday’s music festival, performers will take to the outdoor stage at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon to raise funds for a local literacy program.

The event, “Turn Up the Volumes,” is set for Sunday (June 9) from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the tavern, which is located at 697 Spring Street in Herndon.

The festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Herndon’s Imagination Library program.

In the program, members mail a book each month to children in Herndon from their birth to age 5.

Since the initiative began in 2005, the club has mailed more than 100,000 books to children.

The event, which features Big Whitson, Catchin’ Toads, Bald Chicken Brown, and Acoustic Mutiny, is free and open to all.

Photo via Turn Up the Volumes Music Festival/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Herndon Festival Kicks Off Today — The first day of the four-day festival begins today from 6-10 p.m. at Northwest Federal Credit Union (200 Spring Street). China Grove will perform at the Herndon Family Medicine Stage and transit Vocal Band will perform at the Parkway Stage from 7:30-9 p.m.  [Herndon Festival]

Police Seek Help to Connect Annandale Man to County Burglaries — Local police believe Stephen Anderson, 55, of Annandale, could be responsible for other burglaries throughout the county. He faces burglary charges and is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Creative Response Led by Co-owner of Bad Saint Set for Today — Genieve Villamora, co-owner of the buzzy Filipino restaurant in the District, will respond to the work of Stephanie William. The presentation will be followed by open conversation. The event starts at 7 p.m. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

A Recap of Reston Live — “The first Reston Live was held at Lake Anne Plaza on Sunday afternoon. This inaugural music festival featured a Children’s Area, a talent competition, a raffle, vendor booths, and special guest performances by Reston band, Catchin’ Toads, and Reston’s own singer/songwriter, Lindsey Hershfeld.” [The Connection]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Annual Herndon Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow with New Location

Mark your calendars for four days of fun-filled activities at the annual Herndon Festival, which has a new location at Northwest Federal Credit Union on 200 Spring Street this year.

The annual festival, which features a carnival, food vendors, an arts and crafts show, and live entertainment, begins tomorrow and runs through June 2.

The location changed in anticipation of construction beginning in downtown Herndon. Although the process was delayed by an unsuccessful appeal by neighboring property owners, the decision to change the location was made one year ago.

Town officials say its unlikely the festival will return to its previous location because the redevelopment of the area will take up more open space.

The entertainment lineup, which kicks off with a performance by China Grove tomorrow (May 30), is available online.

The carnival will be open from 6-10 p.m. tomorrow (May 30), 5-11 p.m. on Friday (May 31), 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday (June 1), and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (June 2). Single tickets are $1.25 and a batch of 30 are for $30.

Kids can also immerse themselves in a hands-on art program, which will be held under the overhang at the rear entrance to Building 200. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday (June 1) and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday (June 2).

Races that take runners through historic downtown Herndon are also planned for Sunday (June 2) at the Herndon Community Center. Online registration closes tomorrow (May 30) at noon. Participants unable to finish the 10K race in 90 minutes and the 5K race in 45 minutes will be transported back to the Herndon Community Center.

A festival map is also available online.

The title sponsor for the event is Northwest Federal Credit Union and platinum sponsors are the Virginia Paving Company and Herndon Family Medicine.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Friday Night Live! Kicks Off 25th Season This Week

Herndon’s signature outdoor concert series, Friday Night Live!, will kick off its 25th season this Friday. Since the first concert event on June 16, 1995, the series has become the longest-running free outdoor concert series in the DC area.

The season runs every Friday through August 23, with the exception of May 31, the day of the Herndon Festival. The Herndon Town Green, which is behind the town’s municipal building at 777 Lynn Street, will once again come to life with local acts from across the East Coast from 6:30-10:30 p.m. On a typical night, most bands play rock and roll covers. Some nights have themes like country and yacht rock.

The series, which is produced by the Herndon Chamber of Commerce, was created to promote downtown Herndon as a destination to visit and live. Since debuting in 1995, the town has put on 398 shows with over 525,000 fans attending. The title sponsor is Volkswagen Group of America.

“We couldn’t hold this event without our hard-working volunteers and the support of our corporate sponsors,” said Doug Downer, the event’s founder and chairman. “If you’ve never been, come on down to the Town Green on a Friday this summer to experience friends, fun, and a true sense of community.”

Food from local restaurants will be available on site and event organizers will offer beer, seltzer and wine. Proceeds will benefit the Chamber of Commerce and a portion of tip money from alcohol sales will go to Herndon High School’s after-prom and all night alcohol-free grad parties.

More information about the weekly outdoor concert series is available online. A schedule is also available on the event’s website.

Photo by Laura Poindexter

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‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Comes to NextStop Theatre Next Month

Director Evan Hoffman brings “Singin’ in the Rain” to life at NextStop Theatr Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) next month.

The show reimagines the golden age musical from Thursday to Sunday from May 23 to June 23.  Tickets are between $40 and $55. The screenplay is by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Songs are by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.

The production is made possible with support from Music Theatre International. The complete cast with their roles is below:

  • Wood Van Meter / Don Lockwood
  • Morgan Kelleher / Kathy Seldon
  • Robert Mintz / Cosmo Brown
  • Carolyn Burke / Lena Lamont
  • Duane Monahan / R.F. Simpson
  • Ethan Van Slyke / Rod/Hollywood Tenor
  • Melrose Pyne Anderson / Zelda Zanders
  • Elizabeth Spikes / Dora Bailey
  • Suzy Alden / Swing
  • Joseph McAlonan / Swing

Photo via NextStop Theatre

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History Comes to Life at Frying Pan Farm Meeting House

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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Easter Egg Hunt in Herndon and More This Weekend

With Easter Sunday on the horizon, there are plenty of local options for egg hunts and celebrations. The Town of Herndon is hosting its annual egg hunt on Saturday at 777 Lynn Street.

Preregistration is $9 until 5 p.m. today (Friday) and $10 the day of the event. Three egg hunts are planned, with the first beginning at 9:45 a.m. Other activities include quilt crafts, decorating a mural, a petting zoo, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, and more.

Parking is free and the event will be held rain or shine. More information is available online.

Tomorrow (April 20)

  • Reston Farmers Market (8 a.m.) — The market, which is located at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza), kicks off with an offering of fruit, veggies, breads and snacks to satisfy your taste buds.
  • Growing Healthy plants with Smart Pots (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — In this free educational workshop, attendees will learn about to grow healthy plants with smart pots. It’ll be held at Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue).
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Young readers are invited to take part in this free book club where a new theme will be explored each week at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Readers can join at any time
  • Fix-it Clinic (2-4 p.m.) — Bring bikes, small appliances jewelry, and fabric items for minor repairs at the library’s first fix-it clinic. The event is taking place as several libraries, including Herndon Regional Library and Reston Regional Library.

Sunday (April 21)

  • One-on-one Computer Help (all day) — Need some help with your device? You can make a one-hour appointment with a tech volunteer. Just make sure the device is fully charged (and don’t forget your password).
  • Restoration Church Egg Hunt  (10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — The church (1501 Becontree Lane) will offer an egg hunt, face painting, food, games and more.  Two services will take place in the morning before the big event.

Photo by Annie Spratt 

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Herndon HS Students Showcase ‘Mind, Heart and Vision’ in Upcoming Exhibit

Art students at Herndon High School have been busy preparing their senior theses. Some of their work will be on display in an upcoming ArtSpace Herndon exhibit next week.

The 9th annual exhibit, “Mind, Heart, Vision,” will include media like fine art photography, graphics and studio art. The school and ArtSpace Herndon partnered to make the exhibit, which displays juried artwork in a professional gallery, possible.

A reception is set for April 24 (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. Art will remain on display from April 23 (Tuesday) through May 11 (Saturday). The exhibit is located at 750 Center Street.

Artwork will be available for purchase.

Image via ArtSpace Herndon

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Baby Season in Full Bloom at Frying Pan Farm Park

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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Giving Circle’s Empty Bowls Fundraiser Set for April 26

The 12th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 26 from 5:30-9 p.m. at Floris United Methodist Church (13600 Frying Pan Road).

By providing a $25 donation, attendees can eat soups, breads and desserts donated by area restaurants and take home what organizers call a “unique artisanal bowl.” All proceeds from the event will help fund, Food for Others, the area’s largest food pantry.

The fundraiser is part of an international effort to fight higher and increase awareness about poverty-related issues. The idea was developed by a Michigan-based art teacher who wanted to find a way to raise funds for hunger relief organizations while giving donors tangible reminds about the problem of food insecurity.

It is hosted by the Giving Circle of Hope, which is part of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. Since the events inception, it has raised $300,000 in the past 11 years. In Fairfax County, six percent of residents live in poverty and 1 in 14 children are food insecure.

For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.givingcircleofhope.org.

Photo via Giving Circle of HOPE

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‘Looming Connections’ Brings Yarn, Cast Iron Sculptures to Herndon

Locals can soon see sculptures combining cast iron and knitting. Hooked?

Artist Alyssa Imes’ solo show titled “Looming Connections” opens tomorrow (March 5) at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).

The mixed media exhibit includes sculptures made from cast iron and other metals covered with knitted fabric, along with earthen colored drawings on raw paper.

Imes, who describes herself as a social person, explores physical bonds and emotional relationships with her artwork — a theme that carries over into her exhibit.

From the ArtSpace Herndon description:

The artist sees the yarn as time and life, and the knots as experiences we share. The looms are the places we meet people. The pieces of fabric are knitted from the sculptures themselves so the iron looms create support and help mechanically weave fabric from an individual strand of string.

A reception will be held on Saturday (March 9) from 7-9 p.m.

“Looming Connections” will run until April 6.

Photo via ArtSpace Herndon/Facebook

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Town of Herndon Wants Locals’ Input at Saturday Roundtable


The Town of Herndon wants residents to share their thoughts and ask questions about anything they want at an upcoming roundtable.

The community roundtable is set to take place 9-11 a.m. at the Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn Street) this Saturday (March 2).

The town council members will be there to engage with residents. Sleepyheads can expect coffee.

Residents are invited to discuss any and all of their Herndon-related questions. At the Town of Herndon’s meeting last night (Feb. 26), councilmembers encouraged locals to come to the roundtable, along with asking for their input on the budget.

Image via Town of Herndon Government/Facebook

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NextStop Theatre Presents Adaptation of ‘East of Eden’

NextStop Theatre Company in Herndon will present its version of East of Eden, the John Steinbeck novel that reimagines the story of Adam and Eve.

Performances kick off tomorrow at 8 p.m. and are scheduled every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Nov. 18.

The community theatre issued the following description of the show:

East of Eden is a re-imagining of the saga of Adam and Eve, and their sons Cain and Abel. Adam Trask is determined to build a new life and world for himself and his young wife, Cathy. Settling in California’s Salinas Valley, Cathy gives birth to twin boys. But a dark past, the seemingly inescapable sins of man (and woman), and the impending danger of World War I threaten their little corner of paradise. It is an American epic examining whether “good versus evil” is our great choice or our unavoidable fate. 

The theatre will also host a book talk with Evan Hoffman, the director of the show, on Nov. 8 (Thursday).

Tickets can be purchased online.

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