The annual Reston Holiday Parade came in sixth nationwide, thanks to people who voted for the country’s top 10 holiday processions in a USA Today contest, according to results released this week.
Reston’s sixth-place slot put it ahead of the Alexandra Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria, Va. Last year, the parade in Reston ranked fourth overall.
Top honors went to Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, one of the longest running traditions in the country. The parade, which roots back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year, includes a colorful procession along Broad Street that features performances by comics, string bands and fancy brigades, according to USA Today.
The complete rankings are as follows:
- Mummers Parade – Philadelphia
- America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
- Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade – Boston
- Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade – Annapolis, Md.
- Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade – Charlotte
- Reston Holiday Parade – Reston, Va.
- Christmas Ship Parade – Portland, Ore.
- Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Alexandria, Va.
- Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – Fort Lauderdale
- McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade – Chicago
USA Today said a panel of experts whittled down a long list of nationwide events to come up with the initial top 20, which were put up to readers’ votes to determine the top 10 holiday parades in the country.
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Reston Holiday Parade Coming in 5th in Nation — Reston Town Center’s annual Holiday Parade is heating up the charts in USA Today’s list of the best in the nation. Previously ranked sixth, the parade is now in the fifth spot, coming in only one slot behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Online voting is open through Monday at noon, and the winner will be announced Dec. 9. [USA Today]
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Photo of ballet performance at Reston Town Center tree lighting on Friday courtesy of Reston Town Center
Macy’s-style balloons, bands and Santa and Mrs. Claus will take part in the 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade, which begins on Market Street at 11 a.m.
In a nod to Metrorail’s Silver Line, which opens in Reston early in 2014, the parade theme this year is “Destination: Reston!” Balloons, floats, and costumes have all been inspired by modes of transportation – walking, cycling, trains, planes and automobiles, and more, an RTC spokeswoman said.
One high-profile Restonian who will not be taking part this year: founder Robert E. Simon. The 99-year-old Simon is on a trip to India this week.
Grand Marshal for the 2013 parade is real estate developer Joe Ritchey, who was selected for his philanthropic and community work in Reston. A Junior Grand Marshal, Lauren Spar of Langston Hughes Middle School, will also lead the parade. Lauren was selected because of her service to the community and LHMS.
After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay for visits and photos until 4:30 p.m. and will return to light the Christmas tree in Fountain Square at 6 p.m. The tree lighting attracts a gathering of nearly 5,000 people, who will also join in a half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas songs.
Here is the full schedule of events:
8 a.m. — Reston Town Center retailers and Ice Skating Pavilion open early
8 a.m. — Gingerbread Man Mile – Fun-run and races for kids, toddler through high school age, to benefit the
charity, Neediest Kids. Free to participate. Registration and information: www.prraces.com.
11:00 a.m. — 23rd Annual Reston Holiday Parade – Theme for 2013: “Destination: Reston!”
12:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Visits and Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Any donation for a 5 x 7 photo will benefit South Lakes High School Choir.
12:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Train Rides. A mini-train will offer rides on Market Street. Any donation benefits Volunteer Fairfax. Departure point is in front of Talbots.
5 p.m.: — Santa’s Frosty Follies. Performance of music and dance on Market Street, in front of the Christmas Tree.
6 p.m. — Tree Lighting and Sing Along. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to magically light up the huge Christmas tree in Fountain Square, followed by traditional holiday songs led by The Reston Chorale and brass quintet.
6:30 – 10 p.m. — Horse-drawn Carriage Rides. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Fairfax. Pick-up location is in front of Talbots on Market Street. $5 per person, children 5 and under ride free with adult.
Ice Skating Pavilion –- Public skating on the glass-sheltered ice rink is open every day from early November until March, including all holidays. Hotline: 703-709-6300, and more information at www.restontowncenter.com/skating.
Holiday Gingerbread Village — This annual display can be viewed in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Reston throughout the holiday season.