Spring Farm Day and More This Weekend in Reston

It’s Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park tomorrow (May 11).

Attendees will have the chance to watch sheep shearing and demonstrations of antique farm equipment.

Crafts, games and activities like cow and goat milking will also be onsite, in addition to a close-up introduction of the farm’s baby animals.

Walk-ins are welcome with a $8 registration fee at 2709 West Ox Road. The event begins at 10 a.m. Online registration is $7.

Tomorrow (May 11)

  • Snakehead Run (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — The band returns to play for the Reston Market in front of Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza-N).
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.)  — Author Sue Fliess reads “The Earth Gives More” to young bookworms at Reston Regional Library. The bookclub explores a new theme each week.
  • Walking Tour of Public Art (2-3 p.m.) — Susan Becker takes walkers on an hour-long tour to scout for public art at Lake Anne Village Center (1609 Washington Plaza-W). The event is free and open to all.
  • Ramadan Cultural Festival (2-4 p.m.) — Representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society host a family-friendly afternoon of activities and games at Reston Regional Library.

May 12

  • Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders will search for birds from Glade Stream Valley to Sapsucker Woods. The walk begins at the Glade Recreation Area (11550 Glade Drive).
  • Reston Youth Triathlon (8 a.m.) — In this event, which is open to athletes between ages 6 and 15, participants will run, swim, and bike a combination of sets. Police and volunteers will be around in multiple areas to direct race traffic.
  • Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skill levels are invited to foxtrot, swing, cha-cha and waltz their way into two hours of dance practice at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Door prizes and light refreshments will also be offered.
  • Mountain Stories and Songs with the Dulcimer (3-4:30 p.m.) — Local musicians Ralph Lee Smith and Madeline MacNeil play traditional songs and share stories of the dulcimer.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

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New Trail Celebrates Half-Year Anniversary with ‘Ride for a Cause’

New Trail Cycling Studio is hosting a charity ride to celebrate six months of business at Lake Anne Plaza.

On Saturday, May 18, the business will host its “Ride for a Cause” from 7:30 a.m. to noon. All proceeds from rides will go to local non-profit organizations.

“New Trail is about community and helping other people,” owner Liz Kamp said. “Whether we’re helping someone get healthy or we’re improving a local organization, I want to make sure that New Trail is improving the lives of people around us.”

The event kicks off with six 30-minute rides in the morning. New Trail’s coaches will choose a different organization to benefit from each ride. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase leading up to the event in order to raise funds for each organization.

Riders of all levels are welcome to join for all or one of the rides, but bikes must be booked in advance. Fundraising credits are available online.

As a bonus, any individual or business sponsoring a ride with a mile-to-dollar match will earn a free private ride for up to 20 people.

Giveaways and refreshments are also planned for riders. So far, the lineup is as follows:

Photo courtesy Liz Kamp

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Reston Tailoring’s Disappearance Leaves Clients Hung Out to Dry

Several clients’ clothes are missing following what appears to be the abrupt closure of Reston Tailoring, a local business that has called Reston home for more than 30 years.

An associate for Just Cats Clinic, which neighbors Reston Tailoring at Lake Anne Plaza, told Reston Now that many people have been calling their business to track down their clothes, following Reston Tailoring’s disappearance over the weekend.

“We have no idea what happened,” the associate said.

Reston Now was unable to reach the owners, Berta and Wagner Cordova, after multiple attempts. The property owner of the building also did not respond to requests for comment. Reston Tailoring’s website also went down over the weekend.

The shop moved from Hunters Woods Village Center, its home since 1984, to Lake Anne in 2013.

The store in Lake Anne is empty and no signs indicate what may have happened. It is unclear if the closure is temporary or permanent.

What is known is that Reston Tailoring has been woven into the fabric of the Reston community, serving three generations of customers.

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Kalypso’s Kicks Off Friday Music Series

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern is kicking off a live music series this week.

The business, which is located on historic Lake Anne, released its lineup of bands, which will play on a dedicated stage from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every Friday through July 28.

The complete line up is below:

  • May 10: Free Soul
  • May 17: Bobby Thompson & Friends
  • May 24: Full Plate
  • May 31: Something’s Brewing
  • June 7: The Jones
  • June 14: The Vandelays
  • June 28: Holly Montgomery Band
  • July 5: Chris Timbers Band
  • July 12: Sista Pat’s One Vibe
  • July 19Free Soul
  • July 28: Run For Cover

“Spring and summer is the best time of the year on Lake Anne,” says Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou. “We look forward to welcoming guests, familiar and new, to enjoy this great free music lineup and our menu of flavorful Greek and Italian food.”

The tavern already offers acoustic music on the lakefront patio on most weekend afternoons and evenings. Reston Community Center’s Take a Break Concert Series also returns on Thursdays.

File photo

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RCC Seeks Entertainers for 2019 Reston Multicultural Festival

Reston Community Center is seeking performing arts groups of all ages and cultures for the 19th annual Reston Multicultural Festival. The event takes place on Saturday, September 28 at the historic Lake Anne Plaza.

Applications are due by June 14. Interested groups or individuals should submit RCC’s entertainment application form, which is available online.

All application packets should include audio and video sampling the group’s work. Instead of requiring auditions, RCC will use submission materials to select artists. Samples should be recent and represent work that the individual or group will perform.

The festival’s entertainment committee will review submissions using criteria like artistic merit, production value, evidence of authentic traditions and forms of specific cultures, and overall merit of the performance to the festival. Performances geared toward a specific religion are allowed, but the act should not “proselytize or overtly promote any faith over another,” according to event organizers.

Material should also be suitable for all ages and free of content would be “inappropriate for a diverse, multicultural and multigenerational audience,” according to RCC. Special consideration will be given to Reston-based organizations.

Artists selected for the festival will be notified by July 12. Art vendors, community organizations and food vendors must also submit applications by June 14.

Photo by Reston Community Center

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New Monthly Event Aims to Bring Remote Workers to Lake Anne Plaza

Starting this Friday (May 3), a monthly series will encourage remote employees to bring their work to Lake Anne Plaza.

Lake Anne Brew House will have high-speed wi-fi available for people who decide to work there from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

“This event is the perfect solution for remote employees looking for a collaborative environment to connect with a new coworking network,” the brewery wrote on Facebook.

Workers based in offices can also take advantage of the recurring event to shorten their time working in a cubicle.

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Lake Anne Plaza to Host Second Annual Reston Pride Festival

After a successful inaugural event last year, the Reston Pride Festival is moving from its small home in the Unitarian Universalist Church to Lake Anne Plaza. The event is set for June 1 from 2-7 p.m.

“Last year’s response was so great that we opted for this new location and businesses and the plaza have been very supportive and involved,” Amiee Freeman, one of the festival’s organizers told Reston Now.

Delta Knyght, a DC-based drag entertainer, and Ken Williamson, minister of music for Washington Plaza Baptist Church and a former Las Vegas entertainer, will emcee the event. Elected officials scheduled to speak include Del. Ken Plum and Del. Danica Roem, according to event organizers. Interfaith leaders from the United Christian Parish, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and Restoration Church, will also give remarks at the event.

“Our hope is that this event will not only be awareness-raising, but also a fun and engaging expression of inclusion,” Freeman said.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,200 people and was co-sponsored by more than 20 community organizations. The event is the brain child of Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and co-chair of Reston Pride.

She says the festival aims to “break silence in the greater Reston/Herndon area about LGBTQ+ people and issues.”

“We are thrilled that so many organizations are working together to bring the community the second Pride festival and to launch what we hope will be an annual event,” she said.

Photo by Debra Haffner

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‘Gourmet Dive Bar’ Coming to Lake Anne Plaza This Summer

Signs portending the opening of Local VA at Lake Anne Plaza have raised some eyebrows on what the new business will bring to the plaza.

The business takes the place of Singh Thai, a locally owned Thai restaurant that left the plaza it called home for nine years earlier this month.

Owner Dylan Clark described Local VA as a “gourmet dive bar, unpretentious and comfortable with a neighborhood appeal.” Clark says the service will be “relaxed, very friendly and correct, creating an informal, comfortable environment.”

In an effort to ensure most ingredients are sourced locally, Clark said he is working with brewers, farmers, bakers and other purveyors in the state. The opening date is not final, but Clark hopes to open by June 1.

Singh Thai closed in March after the chefs, the owner’s parents, decided to retire and move back to Thailand.

Photo by Eve Thompson

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Founder’s Day and More This Weekend in Reston

Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964. For the last 54 years, the community has celebrated Founder’s Day in the spring, around the date of Simon’s birthday.

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 55th annual anniversary on Saturday (April 6) with festivities around Lake Anne Plaza.

Founder’s Day this year will include a moon bounce, children’s activities, face painting, a public art tour and exhibits at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum and RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

Attendees can also share their Reston stories with recorded oral histories from 1-3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne. Meanwhile, exhibit enthusiasts can find several around the area including “Fine Lines” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, which features artists’ interpretations of lines.

Tomorrow (April 6)

  • Run or walk (8 a.m.) — The Reston Runners will go for a 3-mile walk or 5-mile run starting at South Lakes High School.
  • You Gouda Brie Kidding!” (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Frying Pan Farm Park will celebrate National Grilled Cheese month with cooks frying up sandwiches and a variety of cheeses to sample. Attendees can also learn how to make fresh cheese at home and about cultural takes on different melted cheese treats. Tickets are $3.
  • Kwame Alexander and Randy Preston (4-5:30 p.m.) — Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will team up for a performance at the Reston Regional Library. The free show will celebrate the paperback release of Alexander’s “Booked” and “The Crossover” in addition to the release of Alexander’s newest picture book called “The Undefeated.”

Sunday (April 7)

  • Bird walk at Bright Pond (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Bird enthusiasts can search for birds at a variety of sites around Reston.
  • History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Harry Butowsky from George Mason University will present the fourth part of his six-part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library.
  • Liner Notes” (3 p.m.) — A show combining live music, poetry and a multimedia design will perform at CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $15 for Restonians and $20 for non-Restonians.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust and Museum

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Reston Then and Now: Icons at Lake Anne Plaza

The Reston Then and Now series is going back to where we started for our penultimate episode: Lake Anne Plaza.

Anyone flicking through the photos overhead — taken from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer — might have noticed that very little has changed at the plaza itself over the years.

But as the Lakeside Pharmacy icons show, there’s been plenty of changes in tenants and aesthetics over the years. While he’s somewhat dismissive of them as historic relics, Wayne Schiffelbein, a local artist and architect who once repainted and fixed up the icons at the owner’s request, said the icons and the damages to them tell the story of earlier unease between Reston and Herndon.

“We had people that lived in and around Herndon who did not take kindly to Reston being there, especially ‘northern folk’, like Jews and Blacks being there,” said Schiffelbein. “The people [in Reston] had college degrees. Not only were the houses more expensive, but they were driving better cars, and people knew that.”

Back in the 1960s, as Reston was first getting started, Schiffelbein said there was a lot of tension between Restonians and Herndon residents who would come into areas like Lake Anne Plaza and cause trouble.

Schiffelbein remembered summers where kids from Herndon would come over to his house by Lake Anne, climb onto the roof and jump out into the lake. Not exactly a campaign of terror, but Schiffelbein said the Reston residents were annoyed by the constant footfalls on the roof.

It was during these early years of class-tension that Schiffelbein said the drug store icons obtained the damages some of them still show.

“They discovered they could carry a sheath knife around,” Schiffelbein said. “The drug store had… soft wood. So the knifes would stick. There were tables in front of the drug store where you could have sat and had coffee while playing chess. They would throw their knives at the walls. It took a couple years, but it took chunks out of pieces of wood from the backing and pieces that were there. Toothbrush took a bunch of hits. Comb didn’t do much better. They dinged the bandaid.”

But it was Vietnam that partially put an end to the local turmoil, with many of the young men from Herndon swept up by the draft.

“Tensions with Reston and Herndon went down over time,” Schiffelbein. “Some of the Herndonites were drafted and some of them just grew up, and we’ll leave it at that. It’s something you do as a 15- and 16-year-old is not as appealing when you’re 22.”

In the 1990s, Schiffelbein said he was contracted to repaint and fix the icons after years of neglect.

“If I squint, it’s a flashback to the drugstore,” Schiffelbein said. “It was a real drugstore. It had a counter, some seats at the counter. It was old fashioned drug store. It was very nice. It was small, everybody knew everybody. But as the community grew that ebbed away.”

In the early days of the pharmacy, Schiffelbein said it catered mainly to the older residents at the Lake Anne Fellowship House.

“The older people used a lot of prescription drugs and that was before insurance companies required you to go to their pharmacy,” Schiffelbein said. “In the early years, they would amble across the road and fill 50 or 60 scripts a day. There was a stream of people going into the drug store. A lot of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites moved to Reston in the early years. There was an old man there who played the races. The owner got racing forms every year. I remember that as clear as a bell, I can still see the man’s face.”

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum currently has a GoFundMe set up to preserve the icons, but it’s not going particularly well.

For more Reston Then and Now, check out these earlier stories and come back next week for final Then and Now:

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New Business ‘Coming Soon’ to Singh Thai’s Lake Anne Plaza Spot

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) A new business is gearing up to take its formerLake Anne Plaza spot of Singh Thai, which closed five days ago.

Lake Anne Plaza posted on Facebook that a business called “Local VA” has a “coming soon” sign up on the door at 1633 N. Washington Plaza.

“Oooh! Looks like we’re getting a new neighbor!” the post says. “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

Local VA describes itself on Instagram as “the next go-to spot for local food, drinks and positive vibes.”

After nine years at Lake Anne Plaza, the locally owned Thai restaurant closed on Sunday (March 31).

File photo

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Small Change Consignment to Close at Lake Anne Plaza

(Updated at 9:30 on April 8) After 38 years at Lake Anne Plaza, Small Change Consignment is set to close its doors on June 29 at 5 p.m.

Shop Owner Susann Gerstein told Reston Now that she opened the shop at the age of 32 with her two friends Kathy Paolini and Margaret Johnson. (Paolini retired in 1989, followed by Johnson in 2002.)

As young moms, the three women wanted to provide families with affordable toys and clothes at Lake Anne Plaza — what Gerstein calls “the heart and soul of Reston.”

“From the beginning, we were hoping to create a community space for families to shop and play and chat and that has been my biggest satisfaction, because it really has turned out that way,” Gerstein said. “It is a true community space.”

The shop originally opened in the space that Dogma Bakery now occupies before moving to its current and larger spot at 1629 N. Washington Plaza.

Even with twice the space, Small Change is nearly bursting with rows of kids’ and maternity clothing and toys, including a large selection of ones from Melissa and Doug. Right next to the front door is the Best of Reston award that the shop won in 1992.

Fast forward nearly 40 years, a “skyrocketed” rent is the reason for the closure in June, which Gerstein announced at the end of a panel on International Women’s Day (March 8).

When asked about the upcoming closure by a customer in the shop today (April 4), Gerstein described it as part of the life cycle of businesses at the plaza.

She is hopeful, though, that the store can survive at a different location under new owners.

“There are so many people who want us to stay open,” Gerstein said, adding that people should keep an eye on the Facebook page for the next few months after the shop closes for any announcements about a re-opening elsewhere.

People can drop off clothes to sell through the third week of April.

The shop also has a range of discounts, which will increase as the closing date nears, Gerstein said. Toys are nearly 40 percent off and winter clothes are 80 percent off. Spring and summer attire will have pop-up sales on different days that will get announced on Facebook

“It’s been such a great adventure,” Gerstein said.

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Save the Date: Founder’s Day Set for This Saturday

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 55th annual anniversary of Reston’s founding with a celebration on Saturday, April 6. 

Festivities for Founder’s Day will run from noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza. 

The event will include a moon bounce, children’s activities, face painting, a public art tour and exhibits at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum and RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

Some highlights from the schedule include:

  • 12:05 p.m: Lake Anne Elementary School Chorus & Orchestra
  • 12:50 p.m: Foley Irish Dance
  • 1:20 p.m: Hughes MS Panther Jazz Band
  • 1:20 p.m: guided public art walking tour
  • 1:30 p.m: meet the authors of “Memoir Your Way”
  • 1:45 p.m: Hunters Woods Elementary School String Ensemble
  • 2:00 p.m: Lopez Studios, American Musical Theater
  • 2:15 p.m: Reston Chorale
  • 2:40 p.m: Reston Community Players performing scenes from “Annie”
  • 2:40 p.m: artist talk with Marco Rando
  • 3:05 p.m: Rick Landers, Folk musician
  • 3:30 p.m: ensemble from Reston Community Orchestra

Attendees can also share their Reston stories with recorded oral histories from 1-3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne.

Exhibit enthusiasts can find several around the area including “Fine Lines” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, which features artists’ interpretations of lines.

Over at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, locals can see Charlotte Geary’s photography in “The Women of Lake Anne” exhibit and also enjoy “Untold Stories and The History of the Sculpture by Zachary Oxman Dedicated to Reston’s Founder.”

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‘Teapot and Cake’ Set to Bring Sweets to Lake Anne Plaza Spot

Purcellville-based bakery Teapot and Cake is coming to Lake Anne Plaza.

Building permits indicate that the bakery will move into 11404A W. Washington Plaza — the former spot of Havana Boutique, a high-end consignment shop.

The menu for the Purcellville spot includes a range of sweets, including cakes, pastries, cookies, cupcakes and tea.

A Facebook post from Lake Anne and Washington Plaza says that the opening date is “TBD” — “to be determined.”

Photo via Facebook

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‘Myths and Monsters’ Among Reston’s Used Book Shop’s Top Reads

In a hunt for good local reads, Reston Now has recently been reaching out to Reston and Herndon book stores for book suggestions about local history or written by local authors.

Reston’s Used Book Shop weighed in with its top local picks for book lovers — all of which can be found on the shop’s shelves at 1623 Washington Plaza.

The book shop has called Lake Anne Plaza home for more than 40 years. Founded in 1978 by Restonians Sue Schram and Sue Wensell, the book shop changed owners in 1999, according to its website.

Readers looking to unearth Reston’s secrets might enjoy the shop’s recommendation of “Myths and Monsters of Reston, Virginia: The Phenomenal and Frightening Findings of Dr. Padraigin W. Thalmeus, PDS.” written by local authors Eric Macdicken and Kristina Alcorn.

Reston’s Used Book Shop provided this book description:

Every town has myths, but not every town has monsters. Reston, Virginia could be the most monstered town in all the world! At least according to the recently unearthed journal of the scholarly yet skittish Dr. Padraigin W. Thalmeus, PDS., circa 1819. Join our team of modern day paranormal researchers as we discover the supernatural creatures that Dr. Thalmeus faced on his perilous quest for a legendary hidden treasure. Perhaps these myths and monsters are still haunting to this day!

Reston’s Used Book Shop had two more suggestions that Reston Now covered in previous bookstore roundups.

The book shop suggested another book by Alcorn — “In His Own Words” — that was previously recommended to Reston Now by the Reston Historic Trust and Museum (Alcorn is the vice-chair of the Reston Historic Trust’s board).

The shop also selected “Reston A to Z” by Watt Hamlett, which was recommended by Mascot Books to Reston Now.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve read these or have other local reading suggestions for book lovers.

Photo courtesy Reston’s Used Book Shop 

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