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Reston Recap: Here’s What You May Have Missed Over the Holidays

Ice skating at Reston Town Center If you traveled or just tuned out from local news during the holiday season, here’s what you may have missed:

Lake House Review: Work has still not begun on a review of how funds were handled to purchase and renovate what is now the Lake House at Lake Anne. It was decided an independent review was necessary after renovations ended up to be roughly three times what was budgeted, and money had to be borrowed from the Reston Association’s operating budget to cover the deficit. The RA Board previously went through months of negotiations with the firm MediaWorld, who had offered to do the review for just $1 if volunteers agreed to help with some of the busy work, but after more than two months of back and forth, it appears negotiations have been stalled or possibly terminated.

Development on the Horizon: Per the usual here in Reston, there are several major developments in the works around town. In particular, just before the holidays, more news broke about Vornado’s planned development near Wiehle-Reston East Metro, Comstock’s hopes for a development near Reston Station, and an approval for planned lofts by Pulte Homes near Reston Station.

Very Little Crime to Ruin the Holidays: Thankfully, very few crimes made headlines in the Reston area over the holidays. There were minor break-ins at the Carlton House condos at Reston Town Center and the Hidden Creek Country Club, and a tragic accident in D.C. involving a Herndon man. In a bit of good news, the community pulled together to help find a teen boy who went missing in North Reston within 24 hours.

Fourth Spot Opens Up on RA Board: Just before the Christmas and Chanukah holidays, North Point District Director Danielle LaRosa of the Reston Association Board of Directors tendered her resignation. LaRosa also serves as the board’s current treasurer. LaRosa’s seat joins three others that are opening up on the board when three-year terms come to an end in April, for a total of four out of the board’s nine seats up for election when voting begins March 3. The candidate elected to fill LaRosa’s seat will serve the remaining two years of her three-year term. A Candidate Information Session will take place tonight for those who want to learn more about running for the board.

As we kick off 2017, what are you most interested in or concerned about around Reston? Tell us what you most want Reston Now to cover in this new year.

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New Year’s Closures in Reston and Fairfax County

Fireworks/file photoNow that Christmas Day is behind us, we can look forward to a new year beginning this Sunday.

That means many things will close early on Saturday for countdown celebrations, and will remain closed Monday in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

Reston Now will be publishing as usual on Monday, Jan. 2.

Reston Association and Fairfax County Government:

  • Reston Association offices and facilities, including the Central Services facility, will close on Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of New Year’s Day. In addition, the Nature Center will close Dec. 31 through Jan. 2, though the trails at Walker Nature Center will remain open.
  • Fairfax County government offices are also closed Monday, Jan. 2.

Public Schools:

  • Fairfax County Public Schools remain on Winter Break, with school resuming on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

County Libraries, Recreation Centers:

  • Fairfax County public libraries are closed Sunday and Monday, Jan. 1 and 2.
  • On Saturday, Dec. 31, all Fairfax County RECenters are open at their usual time and will close at 4 p.m. except George Washington, which is closed. All other sites such historic sites, nature centers, visitors centers and houses are closed.
  • Historic sites, nature centers and Riverbend Visitors Center are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Frying Pan Farm Park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Visitors Center is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Green Springs Gardens Horticultural Center is open 12-4:30 p.m. but the Historic House is closed.
  • On Sunday, Jan. 1, all RECenters except George Washington are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All historic sites and visitors centers are closed.
  • More detailed information and hours for specific locations is available on the county government website.

Reston Community Centers:

  • RCC Hunters Woods is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. and 12-5 p.m. on Jan. 1. The center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 2.
  • The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is open 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 12-4:30 p.m. on Jan. 1. The center is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 2.
  • RCC Lake Anne is closed Dec. 31-Jan. 2.

Fairfax County Courts:

WMATA:

  • On Saturday, Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve, Metrorail will operate on a Saturday schedule from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m. In addition, fares will be waived between midnight and 3 a.m. thanks to a partnership with MillerCoors. Metrobus will operate on a Saturday schedule. MetroAccess subscription rides are canceled.
  • On Sunday, Jan. 1, Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on a Sunday schedule. Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess subscription rides are canceled.
  • On Monday, Jan. 2, Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on a Sunday schedule. Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess subscription rides are canceled.
  • Off-peak fares will be in effect on all three days, and parking fees are waived at all Metro-operated parking facilities.
  • Track work will resume on Monday, Jan. 2 on the Red, Orange, Silver and Blue Metrorail lines.

Connector Buses and Fastran:

  • Fairfax Connector buses will run on a Sunday schedule on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 1 and 2. See details of all routes online.
  • All Fastran neighborhood and community service transportation programs will be closed Saturday through Monday, Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.

Trash and Recycling:

  • Residents should contact their individual service providers to find out their holiday collection schedules. Information about various providers throughout the county are available on the government website.
  • For residents who wish to recycle household items, hazardous waste and items such as Christmas trees, the I-66 Station in Fairfax will be closed on New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1.

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Where to Find Reston-Area Holiday Celebrations

reston-hyatt-gingerbread-village-via-rtcWhether you’re looking for a way to entertain out-of-town guests, or just want to get out of the house for a bit and see some festive sights, there are a handful of holiday-themed events left on the calendar as we inch closer to the end of 2016.

We found a number of events happening in Reston and the surrounding area. Let us know about any events we may have missed in the comments, and let us know what your plans are if you’re staying in the area.

Happy Holidays!

Gingerbread Village — There are still a few days left to catch the Gingerbread Village at the Hyatt Hotel at Reston Town Center. On display in the hotel lobby through Dec. 31 is a Christmas village, crafted entirely of sweets. The display is a long-standing tradition for the local hotel. [Reston Town Center]

Christmas Eve Carriage Rides — Dulles Town Center is offering free holiday horse-drawn carriage rides on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Rides depart from the mall’s main entrance (21100 Dulles Town Circle), with the last ride leaving at 1:45 p.m. [Dulles Town Center]

Chinese Lantern Festival — The light display is open nightly through Jan. 15 at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunters Mill Road in Vienna) beginning at 5 p.m., with the last visitors admitted at 8:40 p.m. Light displays featuring more than 800 lanterns are lit up, alongside multicultural folk art exhibitions and live performances at 6 and 7 p.m. Children 4 years old and younger are free. Tickets for children ages 5-12 are $12.50 and adults are $19. [Roer’s Zoofari]

Hanukkah On Ice — On Sunday, Dec. 25, from 4-6 p.m., Chabad Reston-Herndon will have a Hanukkah celebration with ice skating, a menorah lighting and food at the Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion. [Reston Now]

Hanukkah at Lake Anne — Chabad of Reston-Herndon will have its annual Hanukkah Wonderland celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 27, featuring face-painting, balloon animals, dinner, lighting the giant cupcake menorah, dreidels, chocolate coins, latkes, and many other holiday activities. The event will happen at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N. #A) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. [Chabad of Reston-Herndon]

Family Splash — The Reston Community Center invites will hold its end-of-the-year Family Splash at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30. The cost for families of up to five members is $13 for Reston residents and $26 for non-residents. [Reston Community Center]

Photo of Gingerbread Village at Reston Hyatt via Reston Town Center

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RTC Ice Skating Rink to Stay Open Christmas, New Year’s Day

Ice skating at Reston Town Center Families looking for something to do after presents are opened on Christmas Day can lace up skates at Reston Town Center.

The Ice Skating Pavilion at Reston Town Center (1818 Discovery St.) is scheduled to open every day over the extended Christmas holiday weekend.

Here are the hours over the holidays:

  • Christmas Eve (Saturday): 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Christmas Day (Sunday): Noon to 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 26-29: Normal operating hours.
  • New Year’s Eve (Saturday, Dec. 31): 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • New Year’s Day (Sunday, Jan. 1): 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information on skate rentals, hours and pricing, visit the Ice Skating Pavilion website.

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What’s Open, Closed in Reston for Christmas

Christmas is nearly here. In Fairfax County, many government and Reston Association buildings will shut down for the holiday, with some of them closing today.

At Reston Now, we’re taking a break, too. We won’t publish Monday in observance of Christmas Day, but we’ll return with more local news Tuesday.

According to locals officials, here’s what’s closed in Reston around the Christmas holiday:

Reston Association and Fairfax County Government:

  • Reston Association offices and facilities, including the Central Services facility, will close Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26. In addition, the Nature Center will close Dec. 23-27, though the trails at Walker Nature Center will remain open.
  • Fairfax County government offices are also closed Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26.

Public Schools:

  • Fairfax County Public Schools remain on Winter Break, with school resuming on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

County Libraries, Recreation Centers:

  • Fairfax County public libraries are closed Dec. 23-26.
  • On Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, all Fairfax County RECenters are open with their usual hours. Historic sites, nature centers and Riverbend Visitors Center are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Frying Pan Farm Park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the Visitors Center is closed. Green Sprigs Gardens Horticultural Center is open 12-4:30 p.m. but the Historic House is closed.
  • On Saturday, Dec. 24, all Fairfax County RECenters are open their usual hours except George Washington, which is closed. All other sites such historic sites, nature centers, visitors centers and houses are closed.
  • On Sunday, Dec. 25, all county sites are closed.
  • More detailed information and hours for specific locations is available on the county government website.

Reston Community Centers:

  • RCC Hunters Woods is open Friday, Dec. 23, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Sunday, Dec. 25; and is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.
  • The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is open Friday, Dec. 23, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 24, from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The center is closed Sunday, Dec. 25. The center is open on Monday, Dec. 26 from 12-9 p.m.
  • RCC Lake Anne is closed Dec. 23-27.

Fairfax County Courts:

WMATA:

  • On Saturday, Dec. 24, Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on a normal Saturday schedule. Metrobus will operate on a normal Saturday schedule.
  • On Sunday, Dec. 25, Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on a normal Sunday schedule. Metrobus will operate on a normal Sunday schedule.
  • On Monday, Dec. 26, Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on a normal Sunday schedule. Metrobus will operate on a normal Sunday schedule.

Connector Buses and Fastran:

  • Fairfax Connector buses will run on a normal Saturday schedule on Saturday, Dec. 24, and Sunday, Dec. 25. A Sunday schedule will go into effect on Monday, Dec. 26. See details of all routes online.
  • All Fastran neighborhood and community service transportation programs will be closed Friday through Monday, Dec. 23-26.

Trash and Recycling:

  • Residents should contact their individual service providers to find out their holiday collection schedules. Information about various providers throughout the county are available on the government website.

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Could Reston See a White Christmas This Year?

Snow Day in RestonTo put Reston’s holiday weather forecast in musical terms, the chances are pretty low for a “white Christmas” this year, but hopefully the day will turn out “merry and [at least somewhat] bright.”

Temperatures likely will reach the upper 40s Sunday in Reston, with some peeks of the sun, according to Weather.com.

Christmas Eve is more likely to be wet, though, with a 40 percent chance of rain in the morning. But with the high and low temperatures expected to stay above freezing (47 and 36 degrees, respectively), rain probably won’t turn to freezing rain or snow. The chance of precipitation goes down to only around 10 percent by Christmas morning.

During the past 25 years, the chances of Northern Virginia seeing a white Christmas on any given year have stayed around 25 percent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In fact, the only areas of the U.S. where chances are 50 percent or above are in “the mountainous West, northern New England and the far northern tier,” NOAA says.

Reston and the greater D.C. area have had a white Christmas less than 10 times in the past 127 years, according to Reston Patch and DCist. Snow was last on the ground on Christmas in 2009, after the “Snowpocalypse” hit the area.

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Where to Catch the Holiday Spirit Around Reston

Christmas ukuleles at Reston Town CenterThe Reston area, as well as neighboring Herndon, is full of opportunities to enjoy holiday musical performances through the end of December.

With Christmas Day just two weeks away, here are a number of ways to ring in the holiday spirit between now and then. Events include music performances, theatrical shows and even a holiday-themed puppet show at Frying Pan Park:

Sunrise Valley Elementary School Chorus — The students of Sunrise Valley Elementary will put on a mid-week concert at the Reston Town Center pavilion on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Town Center]

A Showgirl Christmas — NextStop Theatre Company’s production of “A Showgirl Christmas” will feature over-the-top holiday numbers by showgirls in sparking costumes. The show is scheduled to go on this Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. at the theater, which is located at 269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon. Tickets are $25. This show is recommended for adults only. [NextStop Theatre Co.]

Holiday Music by Tim McKee — Singer Tim McKee will perform holiday numbers at Reston Town Center’s promenade this Saturday, Dec. 17, with shows at noon and 1 p.m. McKee will be followed by Catchin’ Toads, a Reston rock trio, at 2:30 p.m. [Reston Town Center]

Happy Vaudeville Holidays — Mr. Vaudeville and friends will put on a spirited holiday singalong at the Reston Community Center’s CentreStage (2310 Colts Neck Rd.) on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for residents or $10 for non-residents. [Reston Community Center]

Holiday Caroling Party — The Closet, a second-hand store that supports local charities, is slated to host a Holiday Caroling Party at the Herndon Moose Lodge (779 Center St., Herndon) this Saturday, Dec. 18, 4-6 p.m. Holiday songs will be sung, and cider and cookies will be enjoyed. Attendees are asked to bring a donation of a nonperishable food to benefit Western Fairfax Christian Ministries Food Bank. [Reston Now]

Nutcracker Fantasy Puppet Show — Puppeteers are scheduled to turn Frying Pan Park into a “Nutcracker Fantasy” land later this month. Performer Bob Brown’s “lively marionettes” will help “put their own twist” on the timeless Christmas story of the Nutcracker during a performance at te park on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $5 for county residents, or $7 for non-residents. Advance registration is recommended. [Reston Now]

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Friday Morning Notes

Morning Notes - Winter

Reston Native Stars in History Channel Show — Britt Ahart, who attended South Lakes High School and lived in the area for more than 30 years, is starring in the latest season of “Alone,” a show about stranding people in the middle of nowhere to see how they survive. [Reston Patch]

A Celebration of Christmas — Reston’s Washington Plaza Baptist Church (1615 Washington Plaza West) is inviting locals to come hear the choir sing festive holiday music at its annual Christmas concert Saturday from 4-5:30 p.m. A reception is scheduled to follow the free concert. The church is also collecting winter gloves for children and cans of food local charities. [WPBC/Facebook]

Know Someone Who Deserves to Be Recognized? — Cornerstones has opened nominations for its annual Best of Reston awards, which honor those who have given selflessly to the Reston/Dulles Corridor communities. This year’s awards include categories for Individual/Family, Civic/Community Group or Nonprofit, Employee-Owned Company or Small Business, Corporate/Large Business, and a special award, the Vade Bolton-Ann Rodriquez Legacy Award, with the theme “Entrusting Our Community’s Future.” [Cornerstones]

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‘Nutcracker Fantasy’ Puppet Show Coming to Frying Pan Park

Bob Brown and puppets, photo courtesy of Fairfax CountyPuppeteers are scheduled to turn Frying Pan Park into a “Nutcracker Fantasy” land later this month.

Performer Bob Brown’s “lively marionettes” will help “put their own twist” on the timeless Christmas story of the Nutcracker during a performance on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 11:30 a.m.

Though the show was originally slated for two performances, one of them is already sold out.

The cost is $5 per county resident. Online reservations are required.

Frying Pan Farm Park is located at 2709 West Ox Rd, Herndon, VA. For more information, call 703-437-9101 or visit Frying Pan Farm Park.

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Reston’s Annual Christkindlmarket Set for This Thursday

Christkindlmarket/Courtesy German Armed ForcesReston residents can experience Germany without buying a plane ticket during a holiday market later this week.

The German Armed Forces is scheduled to hold its annual Christkindlmarket at its office at 11150 Sunrise Valley Dr. this Thursday, Dec. 8, from 4-9 p.m.

Each year around the holidays, the office transforms its parking lot into a traditional German outdoor Christmas fair.

In previous years, the festival has included games, crafts to purchase, entertainment and traditional German food and beer.

Though the outdoor event is free, some of the food, beer and merchandise costs money.

Reston Christkindlmarket/Credit: German Armed Forces

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Walker Nature Center to Host ‘Holiday Open House’ Sunday

Photo via Walker Nature CenterReston residents can get a little holiday cheer while enjoying a “joyous afternoon of songs, crafts, and merriment” this weekend.

The Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) is scheduled to host a “Holiday Open House” event this Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1-3 p.m.

“Making weekend plans? Come get in the holiday spirit with Walker the Woodpecker and the rest of the Nature Center crew,” the nature center wrote in a Facebook post. “See you at the Nature Center on Sunday, December 4th from 1-3pm for a joyous afternoon of songs, crafts, and merriment.”

The event is set to include:

  • Live holiday music provided by MSE Productions (with a sing-along at 2:30 p.m.)
  • Book signing with Kristina Alcorn, author of “In His Own Words: Stories From the Extraordinary Life of Robert E. Simon, Jr.”
  • Free refreshments and handmade shopping bags from Virginia Green Baggers
  • Photo opportunities with Myrtle the Turtle and Walker the Woodpecker
  • Ornament making with natural materials

For more information, email the nature center or call them at 703-476-9689.

Photo via Walker Nature Center

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Lake Residents Invited to Hang Holiday Lights for Charity

Holiday Lights/Credit: FlickrThe area around Reston’s lakes should start looking especially festive soon.

That’s because it’s time for the 4th annual Festival of Winter Lights, an annual event that encourages residents to light up their lake-facing homes or boats with twinkling holiday lights.

The yearly yuletide event from the Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association (LTEA) helps create dazzling displays and also benefits a number of local charities.

From now until the first week of January, donations will be made to local organizations for every lit-up house, townhome, condo or boat facing one of Reston’s four lakes.

LTEA confirms that $10 per boat or home that hangs lights will be donated to Outward Bound Baltimore, an organization that teaches wilderness and survival skills to teens to help build their self-confidence and self-reliance, as well as $10 to Initiative for Public Art in Reston (IPAR).

In past years, the Festival of Winter Lights has raised as much as $10,000 for area nonprofits.

For more information about the challenge or to donate, email James Pan from LTEA at [email protected].

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Town Center walkway

Fairfax County Preschools Will Get More Money — Virginia officials announced yesterday that the commonwealth has secured $17.5 million in federal funding for expanding access to high-quality pre-kindergarten classes for at-risk 4-year-olds. A portion of that money is earmarked for Fairfax County preschools. The U.S. Department of Education gave the preschool grants to eighteen states in total. [Virginia.gov]

Fight Over Silver Line Funding Continues — Metro Board member Corbett Price engaged in “naive political theater” when he suggested scrapping that the second phase of the Silver Line extension in order to save money, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said in a radio interview yesterday. The governor also said the board as a whole was a “joke.” [Washington Post]

Where’s the Best Place to Get a Christmas Tree Near Reston? — Besides the lot at Home Depot, Reston Patch points out a few of the closest spots to Reston where you can pick out the perfect tree for your Christmas celebration. If you prefer to go the traditional versus artificial tree route, tell us in the comments where your favorite place to get a tree is. [Reston Patch]

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Santa to Visit Lake Anne Plaza by Barge This Saturday

Santa at Lake Anne/Courtesy Jingle on Lake Anne

Santa Claus himself will visit Reston this weekend, but he won’t be riding with his usual reindeer or sleigh. Instead, the all-knowing, all-seeing Christmas wizard will arrive on a barge.

St. Nick’s visit is part of Jingle on Lake Anne, an annual family-friendly holiday festival. The big day is set to include carolers, drinks, shopping and cookie decorating this year.

Jingle on Lake Anne is free and will take place rain or shine.

Here is the schedule of events for Saturday, Dec. 3:

  • 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. — Farmers and craft Market
  • 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. — Gifts from the Heart shopping event and reception
  • 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. — Cookie decorating/beer garden/mulled wine/activities
  • Noon — Santa arrives by barge
  •  Noon to 2:00 p.m. — Pictures with Santa
  • 6:30 p.m. — Tree Lighting and caroling

Photo: Santa on a barge/Courtesy Jingle on Lake Anne

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