Reston Community Center will move forward with a planned 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its 37th annual birthday celebration on Jan. 16 and 17.

After taking a hybrid approach last year, this year’s festivities will take place entirely in person at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road), but there will be some public health measures in place, as COVID-19 cases keep climbing in Fairfax County.

Like other Fairfax County public facilities, RCC continues to require that everyone wear a face mask when indoors, except when actively eating or drinking. Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination won’t be mandatory, but the organization “strongly urges” all attendees to be vaccinated and boosted, according to a news release.

In addition, the community lunch scheduled to follow a keynote speech by author and political commentator Heather McGhee on Jan. 17 will feature individual, contained meals, rather than a buffet as in past years.

The event also won’t include a planned live performance by the Reston Community Orchestra, which will instead make other to-be-announced arrangements for presenting its music, RCC says.

“We are carefully returning to a Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration where we can come together as a community to honor Dr. King’s legacy,” RCC Board of Governors Chair Beverly Cosham said. “Now more than ever, it is important to ask ourselves ‘are we keeping the promise?’ We will remember the human rights for which Dr. King laid down his life and replenish our spirits with those who share the passion for justice that fuels the movement toward a truly free society.”

Tickets are required for the community lunch and keynote address. They cost $5 for Reston residents and employees, and $10 for other community members. They are available at the CenterStage Box Office or by calling 703-476-4500.

The full calendar of events is below: Read More


As we approach Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 18, there are a few community and government office closures to be aware of.

Fairfax County

County offices and the County Circuit Court will be closed Monday.

The Fairfax Connector will operate on holiday weekday service. A full list of routes affected is available online.

County libraries will be closed. Colvin Run Mill and Sully Historic Site will be closed.

All county RECenters will operate at regular hours. The following nature centers will be open from noon to 4 p.m.: E.C. Lawrence, Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond and Huntley Meadows.

The visitor center at Riverbend Park will be open from noon to 4 p.m.

The farm at Frying Pan Farm Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the indoor arena will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment. The visitor center at the park will be closed Monday.

Green Spring Garden’s horticultural center will be open from noon to 4:30 p.m., and its historic house will be closed.


The Reston Community Center Hunters Woods will host its 36th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration with events on Saturday, Sunday and Monday that can be found online. The location will also be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.

Reston Community Center Lake Anne will be closed all day Monday.


The town offices and Herndon Community Center will be closed Monday.

Recycling normally collected on Monday will be collected Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Metro, DMV and more

WMATA will have an altered schedule from Saturday through Monday. Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday, trains will run from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. operating on Saturday service frequencies, every 12-15 minutes on the Red Line and every 15-20 minutes on all other lines.

All DMV offices will be closed Monday.

Photo courtesy of Center for National and Community Service


Reston Community Center is moving forward with the 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration with a mix of online and in-person events with the theme “Are We Keeping the Promise?”

However, several pre-announced events are being canceled or rescheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes the keynote address from Ibram X. Kendi, author of the book How to Be an Antiracist (which was very popular this summer at local bookstores). The event is being rescheduled for early 2022.

“We have planned meaningful events that will ask important questions and look toward the future as we as a community and nation reckon with this year’s revelations of the inequitable impact of the pandemic and the continuing systemic racism that is our national reality,” said RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham in a press release. “At the same time, we are dealing with a rise in COVID-19 cases, so it is important to keep public health and safety in mind as we structure the opportunities for our community to tackle these critical issues.”

The celebration weekend is presented by the RCC along with a number of religious and civic organizations including the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church on North Shore Drive, Reston Community Orchestra and Reston Association.

The celebration commences this week with a toiletry drive to support local families with items being provided to the non-profit Cornerstones for distribution.

On Saturday, Jan. 16 and Monday, Jan. 18, there will be a small, socially distant community projects where volunteers can sort items from Herndon’s non-profit thrift shop The Closet, and make bag lunches for those at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

On Sunday, D.C.-native jazz vocalist Akua Allrich is paying tribute to musicians Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba with a performance at the CenterStage at Reston Community Center. Folks can attend, though capacity will be capped at 30% and masks are required.

For those who do not wish to attend events in person, the Reston Community Orchestra is debuting their performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing on RCC’s Youtube page  at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Also on the RCC’s YouTube page, there will be Akua Allrich presenting a performance specifically for Reston schools as well as a number of community leaders offering their reflections on Dr. King and his legacy.

Here’s the calendar of events, after the jump:

Read More


Last day for MLK art exhibit — An art exhibit at RCC Hunters Woods that was created by Reston elementary school students for MLK Day is set to close today. [Reston Community Center]

Dollars and Sense — The free monthly group at Reston Regional Library focuses on business leaders and markets. Tonight’s 7 p.m. discussion will be about Tony Robbins’ “Unshakeable.” [Fairfax County]

Silver Line suit ends with $1 million settlement — “A contractor will pay $1 million to settle a civil case that it falsified test results for concrete panels it built for Phase 2 of the Silver Line Metro extension, the Justice Department announced Monday.” [The Washington Post]

Acquisition for Herndon business —  Herndon-based ePlus Technology, a provider of technology consulting services, recently acquired Virginia Beach-based IT consulting firm SLAIT Consulting. The acquisition is expected to help ePlus expand. [Virginia Business]

“Wicked Fairfax County” — Head to Scrawl Books for storytime and trivia at 7 p.m. from the author of “Wicked Fairfax County.” [Scrawl Books]

Photo via Marjorie Copson


Sahaja Yoga Meditation — Head to the Herndon Fortnightly Library tonight from 7-8 p.m. for beginner’s yoga meditation. [Fairfax County]

Virginia’s public schools earn high marks — Two recent national studies rank Virginia’s public schools as among the highest performing in the nation. [Virginia Department of Education]

Flood Watch PSA — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue shared some National Weather Service safety tips as the Flood Watch continues until 3 p.m. today. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Reston’s MLK Day — Whether you attended the events over the weekend or want to know what you missed, this recap takes readers through the three-day celebration. [Connection Newspapers]

Photo via Marjorie Copson


Reston’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration has full schedules for the three-day event.

The weekend celebration, presented by the Reston Community Center, honors the late American Baptist minister and civil rights activist.

An art exhibit by Reston elementary school students already kicked off last Friday (Jan. 11). The exhibit at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) will run through Jan. 31.

Here’s a breakdown of what is on the schedule:

Saturday (Jan. 19)

Community service projects
9 a.m. at Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road)
1 p.m. at North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive)

Community service projects at Southgate Community Center start at 9 a.m. Indoor projects include making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, sorting and organizing items from The Closet and several other service projects. There will also be outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways and hardscape surrounding the area — weather permitting.

Volunteers get a free lunch around noon. An additional project at the North County Government Center begins at 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed until 3 p.m. to sort and organize the donated items for the Hunter Mill Winter Coat Closet.

All ages are welcome for both events, and participants must register around of time through the Reston Association by contacting RA Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator Ha Brock at 703-435-7986 or [email protected]

Reston Community Orchestra
4 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods

The Reston Community Orchestra will perform a free concert. The tribute will combine traditions of African-American culture and Western classical music. Featured performers will include students from Al Fatih Academy and Beverly Cosham, a Reston song stylist.

Sunday (Jan. 20)

Performance by Crys Matthews 
2 p.m. at the CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods

Matthews, a singer-songwriter from Herndon, is scheduled to perform her songs at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

Voices of Inspiration Program
4 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation (1441 Wiehle Avenue)

The free event is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church and includes many Reston faith communities.

Monday (Jan. 21)

Keynote address by DeRay Mckesson
Noon at RCC Hunters Woods

Mckesson, an organizer, activist and author, will deliver the keynote address. Afterward, attendees can enjoy a family-style community lunch in RCC’s Community Room. Following the lunch, Mckesson will sign copies of his new book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope,” which will be available for purchase.

Tickets for the lunch and keynote address cost $5 for Reston residents and employees.

Especially for Youth Program
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods

Children ages six to 12 can participate in free activities based on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Children will rotate through a series of activities including a performance, an age-appropriate video and arts and crafts.

Parents are encouraged to register their children in advance, although there will be limited onsite registration on the day of the event.

Photo via Center for National and Community Service


Reston Community Center will hold a series of events this weekend to kick-off the 33rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.

Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, will deliver a keynote address on Monday at noon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for all others. A community lunch will follow the speech.

Mallory, a nationally recognized advocate for social justice, worked closely with the Obama administration to push for civil rights, health care, equal rights for women and ending gun violence.

Leila Gordon, RCC’s executive director, said Mallory is among the “new and urgent voices” pushing the country toward realizing Dr. King’s vision.

“Reston’s annual celebration of his birthday has always been designed to reinvigorate our commitments to the goals of the civil rights movement and the values of Reston’s founding. We look forward to Ms. Mallory’s visit and her call to action,” Gordon wrote in a statement.

Tickets are available for purchase at CenterStage box office or online.

A breakdown of events scheduled for the celebration weekend is below.

Read More


Tamika Mallory, co-chair of this year’s Women’s March in Washington, will deliver the keynote address at the 33rd Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 15.

Mallory, a social justice advocate helped organize the march with drew several hundred thousand participants this year. She has closely worked with the Obama administration to advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, health care, eradicating gun violence and eliminating police misconduct.

In a statement, Leila Gordon, Reston Community Center’s executive director, said Mallory’s address will encourage the community’s youth to participate in the celebration.

“It’s clear that civil rights issues are more important than ever and that new perspectives and voices are contributing to the vitality of the movement… Mallory is one of the young people who have stepped forward to advance the cause for universal social justice and equity passionately and effectively,” Gordon said.

The address will begin at noon at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Rd.). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and employees and $10 for all others.

Mallory’s address is part of a three-day celebration at the community center. Events include community service projects, a 12th annual tribute by RCC’s orchestra and other programs. For more information, contact Kevin Danaher, community events director at 703-390-6166 or by email at [email protected]

A full program of the weekend is available on RCC’s website.

Photo via Reston Community Center


For some, this was just a three-day weekend.

But for 100 Reston volunteers of all ages, Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend provided an opportunity to give back to their community. Reston Association and Reston Community Center partnered with Southgate Community Center, Cornerstones and The Closet on several community service projects Saturday.

Among the projects completed by volunteers were an outdoor cleanup; the sorting of donated toys and preparation of bagged lunches for the residents of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter; and the organization of the Southgate Community Center library and kitchen.

“Volunteers demonstrated that we each have the power to make our community a stronger and more vibrant place to live, work, play and get involved,” said Ha Brock, Reston Association’s volunteer supervisor. “Many thanks to everyone that participated in the National Day of Service.”

Brock says it’s not too late to volunteer.

“If you would like to continue to get involved, Reston Association offers a variety of opportunities in our community,” she said.

More information about Reston Association’s volunteer program is available at their website.


Monday Morning Notes

Morning Notes - Winter

Suspect Information Released in Sunday Stabbing — Police have released a description of the suspect in a double stabbing on the soccer fields near South Lakes High School. The suspect is described as a heavy-set Hispanic male with short hair, in his early 20s. He may drive a blue Subaru STI. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Many Places Closed for Martin Luther King Day — Schools, the library, government offices and more are closed today for the holiday. Other services may also be affected. [Patch]

Students Interested in Firefighting Have Opportunity — The High School Firefighter Program is designed to teach Fairfax County students how to battle blazes safely and effectively. A recent open house showcased the program for interested teens and parents. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]


Friday Morning Notes

W&OD Trail -- January 12, 2017

Metro Board Members to Hold Forum in Reston — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce will host Virginia’s WMATA Board delegation Wednesday, Jan. 25 for a public discussion about Metro’s budget. Subjects will include the decision-making process when it comes to increasing fares and reducing train frequency. [Northern Virginia Transportation Commission]

Fairfax County Schools FY2018 Budget Proposed — A $2.8 billion budget for county schools would include $44 million for an average step increase of 2.5 percent for all eligible employees, including teachers and non-teachers. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Sunrise Valley Elementary School Teacher Earns Grant — Six Fairfax County Public Schools teachers, along with five schools, were recently awarded grants from Apple Federal Credit Union. Among them was Sara Balcanoff at Sunrise Valley Elementary School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Number of Local Events Honor Dr. Martin Luther King — Don’t forget there will be plenty to do in Reston this holiday weekend. Scheduled activities include special speakers, performances and community service projects. [Reston Now]


Thursday Morning Notes

Lake Anne Plaza -- Jan. 10, 2017

Metro to Operate on Saturday Schedule for MLK Day — Trains and buses will be moving at different times than usual Monday as the federal holiday is observed. [WMATA]

Traffic Management Solutions Firm Sets Up in Herndon — All Traffic Solutions plans to add 25 employees and create up to 86 new jobs over the next three years, and invest more than $100,000 in its new headquarters at Worldgate Centre. [Fairfax County EDA]

Nominations Open for Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards — The deadline to submit applications to honor outstanding volunteers in any organization, club, school, library or neighborhood is Feb. 3. [Volunteer Fairfax]

Catherine HemleppSilver Alert Issued for Woman Last Seen in Fairfax County — Police are looking for 80-year-old Catherine Hemlepp, pictured here. She is believed to be in a maroon 2017 Ford Escape, with Pennsylvania license plate WR9679P. She was last seen wearing an orange vest, flowered pants and a white hat. She and her husband were traveling from Pennsylvania to South Carolina when they became separated Tuesday. [Virginia State Police/Twitter]


Portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. courtesy of Center for National and Community ServiceReston Community Center is planning three days of special activities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day next month.

Reston’s 32nd annual celebration will include special speakers, performances and community service projects over three days from Jan. 14-16.

The three-day birthday celebration is a collaborative effort by many entities such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church of Reston, Reston Community Center, the office of Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, Reston Community Orchestra, Reston Association, Southgate Community Center, Cornerstones, and many other local business and civic organizations.

See a schedule of events below.

Saturday, Jan. 14: Day of Service, Performances

Service Projects: Reston Community Center is partnering with the Southgate Community Center, Reston Association, Cornerstones and The Closet for a day of community service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Both indoor and outdoor projects will take place beginning at 9 a.m. at Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road). Indoor projects include bagging lunches for local shelters and sorting donated items for The Closet. Outdoor projects include cleaning up walkways and local green areas. Activities conclude around noon, and then free lunch will be served to all volunteers. Volunteers age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. To volunteer, contact Ha Brock at Reston Association at 703-435-7986 or [email protected]

Reston Community Orchestra Performance: The RCO presents its annual memorial tribute concert beginning at 4 p.m. at the Hunters Woods Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). All ages are welcome. Admission is free, but donations to the orchestra are welcome.

‘The Pursuit of Harmony’ Performance: Jewish-American songwriter Michael Hunter Ochs and Muslim Palestinian peace activist and songwriter Alaa Alshaham invite all to an evening of music and conversation with the goal of peace. The evening begins at 8 p.m. at CenterStage at Hunters Woods Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and employees and $10 for all others. The performance is sponsored in partnership with the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).

Sunday, Jan. 15: ‘Voices of Inspiration’

Members of several local faith communities invite all to the 27th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. beginning at 4 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation (1441 Wiehle Avenue). The free event is open to all ages, and is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church of Reston.

Monday, Jan. 16: Seminars, Workshops, Youth Activities

Keynote Address: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson will speak his views on race relations in America, beginning at noon at Hunters Woods community center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Following the address, everyone is invited to the Community Lunch. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and employees, and $10 for nonresidents.

‘Especially For Youth’ Activities: Children ages 6-12 are invited to participate in an afternoon of activities centered around the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr, including a performance, an age-appropriate video and arts and crafts. The activities are free but registration through WebTrac is required. The session will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods community center (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Building Bridges Workshop: Dr. Lisa Sechrest-Ehrhardt will lead a workshop with the aim of exploring how people can relate to one another across all races and backgrounds. Ages 16 and up are welcome. The workshop is free but registration through WebTrac is required. The workshop will take place from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods community center (2310 Colts Neck Road).

For more information on the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, visit Reston Community Center online.




Martin Luther King Jr./Stock ImagesMonday, Jan. 18 is Martin Luther King Day. It’s a federal holiday, so that means no mail delivery, banks are closed and no work for government employees.

Reston Now will not be publishing Monday.

Fairfax County Public Schools have the day off, as well as a student holiday scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Looking for something to do? Entry to all U.S. National Parks nationwide will be free of charge. Here’s a list of parks (some are free anyway;others have fees) in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

There is also a full schedule of events this weekend in Reston.

Fairfax County services that will be affected by the holiday:

  • Libraries – closed
  • Courts – closed
  • Fairfax Connector bus service – holiday weekend schedule
  • Metro – on a Saturday schedule (12 minutes between trains)
  • Fairfax County REC Centers and parks are open. Colvin Run Mill and Sully Historic Site are closed.
  • Reston Community Centers at Hunters Woods and Lake Anne are open

Martin Luther King/Public domain photo


RCCMLKMonday is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday to remember the late civil rights leader and also give back to the community.

Reston Community Center is sponsoring a full slate of activities beginning Saturday. Here is what is on the schedule for RCC’s “Are We Keeping The Promise?” events:

Saturday, Jan. 16

Community Service Projects
9 a.m., Southgate Community Center, 12125 Pinecrest Rd. All ages. Free.

RCC is partnering with Southgate Community Center, Reston Association, Cornerstones, and The Closet on community service projects. Indoor projects include making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, sorting and organizing items from The Closet and several other projects at Southgate Community Center. There will also be several outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways, and hardscape surrounding the area, weather permitting. Read More


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