Reston Holiday Parade Ranks Fifth in USA Today Contest

The votes are in.

The annual Reston Holiday Parade nabbed fifth-place nationwide in a USA Today holiday parade contest, according to results released today.

Reston’s slot put it ahead of the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Alexandria, Va. and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Last year, the parade in Reston ranked sixth place. In 2016, it came in fourth overall.

Top honors went to America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The city has been hosting the parade since 1924, according to USA Today. 

The complete rankings are as follows:

  1. America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
  2. Sparks Hometowne Christmas — Sparks, Nev.
  3. Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade — Gatlinburg, Tenn.
  4. Ford Holiday River Parade — San Antonio
  5. Reston Holiday Parade — Reston, Va.
  6. Scottish Christmas Walk Parade — Alexandria, Va.
  7. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade — Newport Beach, Calif.
  8. Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade — Baltimore
  9. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — New York
  10. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights — San Diego

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.

Photo via Lesnick Photo

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Friday Morning Notes

It’s the first day of winter — The odds are slim for a snowy Christmas but rain later next week and then a major blizzard may be on the horizon. [Reston Patch]

Drumroll for USA Today’s “Best Holiday Parade” rankings — At noon USA Today will unveil where Reston’s holiday parade fell on this year’s rankings, which are decided by voters. For memories, check out the video below from the Reston Association. [USA Today]

Assistant children’s librarian closes one chapter in her life — Marcia Wine, 71, retired in mid-November from her job at the Reston Regional Public Library. [Reston Connection]

People read these books the most in 2018 — Fairfax County has released the top books checked out of the county’s public libraries. John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” made the list. [Fairfax County]

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Monday Morning Notes

Vote for Reston as “Best Holiday Parade” — Voting closes at noon today for USA Today’s holiday parade contest. Last year, Reston landed in sixth place on the list. [USA Today]

Faulty work on Silver Line — A man who admitted faking records to hide faulty Silver Line concrete panels was sentenced Friday to prison time. [WTOP]

New zoning rules for artisan manufacturers — Fairfax County recently adopted new zoning rules to help more small-scale production businesses. [Fairfax County]

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Reston in the Running for USA Today’s ‘Best Holiday Parade’

Locals have one week left to vote Reston’s holiday parade to the top of USA Today’s nationwide ranking.

The contest has Reston competing against other parades in towns and cities across the country, including Sparks, Nev.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; San Antonio; and Detroit.

USA Today’s 10Best Editors and Local Experts nominated 20 places that “bring holiday cheer in the form of festive floats, dancing elves, Santa and his sleigh and millions of twinkling lights,” according to the website.

The annual event in Reston Town Center is known for its Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more. This year’s parade took place on Nov. 23.

Last year, Reston landed in sixth place on USA Today’s list. Philadelphia claimed the top spot, followed by Detroit; Baltimore; Annapolis, Md.; and Charlotte, N.C.

In 2016, Reston held the fourth-place slot, putting it one spot ahead of the nationally-televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Voters can cast one ballot per day until voting ends on Monday (Dec. 10) at noon.

USA Today will announce the top 10 winning events, determined by the votes, on Dec. 21.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Reston Holiday Parade Returns This Friday

This Friday (Nov. 23), the Reston Town Center will host its annual Reston Holiday Parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Reston Town Center (11900 Market St) and will feature a Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more.

The Reston Holiday Parade lasts for one hour and will travel a half-mile along Market Street. Before the parade starts, thousands of jingle bells will be handed out to the crowd to help welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus.

After the parade, visitors are invited to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a mini-train ride until 4:30.

At 6 p.m., a tree lighting ceremony will be held at Fountain Square, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides around the Reston Town Center.

The parade has been a Reston tradition since 1991.

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Reston Parade Ranks Sixth in USA Today Contest

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:

  1. Mummers Parade – Philadelphia
  2. America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
  3. Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade – Boston
  4. Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade – Annapolis, Md.
  5. Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade – Charlotte
  6. Reston Holiday Parade – Reston, Va.
  7. Christmas Ship Parade – Portland, Ore.
  8. Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Alexandria, Va.
  9. Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – Fort Lauderdale
  10. 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.

File photo.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

2016-rtc-holidays-ballet-credit-rtc

Metro Board Member Suggests Canceling Silver Line Extension — Metro Board Member Corbett Price plans to pressure the agency to scrap the $5.8 billion Silver Line extension in an apparent attempt to push Virginia to pony up more money for the cash-strapped rail system. [Washington Post]

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]

Man Arrested After Assaulting Bus Driver, Biting Cops — A 31-year-old man was apprehended outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station yesterday morning after police said he assaulted a bus driver and a security officer before biting cops who detained him. [Reston Now]

Photo of ballet performance at Reston Town Center tree lighting on Friday courtesy of Reston Town Center

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Start the Season at Reston Holiday Parade Friday

Reston Holiday Parade/File Photo Courtesy of Reston Town Center The 2013 holiday season officially begins Friday at Reston Town Center with a full slate of festive fun.

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 FolliesPerformance 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.

All day:

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.

See all schedules and more details at www.restontowncenter.com. Taking parade pictures? Upload them to our community Flickr page.

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