Rosslyn Jazz Fest 2019 (Photo courtesy of Rosslyn Business Improvement District)

Monday, September 13

  • An International Murals Festival (varies) – D.C. Walls is an international mural festival highlighting public wall art across the city and region. Take a self-guided tour and celebrate the murals that make up the city.

Tuesday, September 14

  • Fermenting Hot Sauce (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) – Head over to maker space NoVa Labs in Reston for a lesson on fermenting your very own hot sauce. The class will teach you about fermenting techniques, styles from across the world, and different types of chilis. You’ll also get a chance to blend your own very small batch sauce.

Wednesday, September 15

  • Country & Western Line Dancing Lesson (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) – Swing your partner round and round at Frying Pan Farm Park. Learn a variety of country and western line dances with the help of the Fairfax County Park Authority. All – singles, partners, and families – are welcome.

Thursday, September 16

  • By the Seashore (10:30 a.m.) – Take a magical journey to the beach in this sensory-filled production at Plenty Amphitheater at Lee District Park in Alexandria. Best for children up to three years old, the show is at an outdoor amphitheater, and runs 20 minutes.

Friday, September 17

  • “Can I Kick It?” Featuring Black Panther (7:30 p.m.) – Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tone Jones take the 2018 Marvel hit Black Panther to the next level by adding a fresh, new soundtrack alluding to martial arts films of lore. Taking place on the Mason Pond Lawn at George Mason University, the event is open to the public.

Saturday, September 18

  • Alexandria Old Town Art Festival (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) – The 19th annual art festival will take place at John Carlyle Square this year. It’s free admission, there’ll be dozens of vendors, and the festival is consistently recognized as one of the top in the area.
  • Buckets N Boards Comedy (5 p.m.) – Take the family to this high energy musical comedy show featuring tap dancing, percussion, and buckets. It will take place in McLean Central Park and run about 90 minutes long.
  • Rosslyn Jazz Fest (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) – One of Arlington’s premier music festivals is back this year with local acts, food, fun and music. Taking place in Gateway Park this year, the 2021 version is a culmination of a series of events in Arlington celebrating jazz. Though the festival is free, registration is strongly encouraged.

Sunday, September 19

  • Korus Festival (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) – This celebration of Korean-American culture, music, food, and dance is back and is now set to take place in the Bloomingdale’s parking lot in Tysons Corner Center.
  • Mutts Gone Nuts (7:00 p.m.) – Dogs make for great comedy. Head on over to the Reston Community Center for a dog and comedy show full of tricks, jokes, and barks. As the listing says, the show will leave you “howling” for more.
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Jazz bassist Mykle Lyons (right) regularly performed around Reston, including at Lake Anne Plaza (courtesy Roxplosion)

To the world, Mykle Lyons was an accomplished jazz musician, a student of the late Ellis Marsalis who played in venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and counted former Vice President Al Gore among his fans.

To residents of Reston, his long-time home, Lyons was also a neighbor, a regular sight at the now-closed Market Street Bar and Grill in Reston Town Center and at local schools where he sometimes volunteered to perform.

Now, in the wake of Lyons’s death in May, Lake Anne Plaza hopes to keep alive his legacy as a musician and valued community member by launching the first annual Mykle Lyons Food and Music Festival on Sept. 18.

“The cultural impact of Reston ripples far beyond its boundaries, and nowhere is this better exemplified than by the contributions of our own Mykle Lyons, an accomplished musician, an educator, a philosopher, and a generous and compassionate soul,” the Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association said yesterday (Tuesday) in a news release announcing the festival’s musical lineup.

Organized by the association in conjunction with Roxplosion and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, the free festival will take place at the plaza waterfront (1609 Washington Plaza) from 5 to 8 p.m. The Chris Timbers Band and Sam Gunderson & The Cactus Groove will perform.

Born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Lyons became immersed in jazz through trips with his father to nearby New Orleans. He and his family moved to Reston when he entered middle school, where he joined his first band, Amethyst, according to Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou.

He later studied with Marsalis while attending Virginia Commonwealth University and formed the Mykle Lyons Quartet, which appeared as the featured act at the 1992 and 1996 Presidential Inaugural Galas at the National Gallery of Art.

Lyons released four professional recordings, including an album called “Heritage” that featured all original music and arrangements, but his primary passion was for live music.

An archived Washington Post feature on pianist Loston Harris II describes Lyons’s bass solo during a sold-out concert that they played at The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria in the late 1990s, saying that “the instrument seems to be alive, bucking and rolling.”

Other collaborators included the Marsalis family, Don Braden, Lew Tabacken, Ralph Bowen, Vincent Herring, Wes Anderson, Eric Alexander, and Victor Goines.

“Through his travels and gigs, Lake Anne remained his home and the Plaza his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said by email.

In addition to putting on weekly shows at the Market Street Bar and Grill until it closed, Lyons performed at a range of venues throughout Reston, from weddings to the United Christian Parish preschool. He even once coordinated a volunteer performance by Lady Gaga’s cellist at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School.

Lyons also left his mark in Reston by creating the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival, which celebrated its 14th year of existence on Saturday (Sept. 4). His band, which expanded into a sextet, had performed at the annual festival in the past.

“Kalypso’s, Roxplosion, and Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association all look forward to honoring Mykle’s contributions by providing an event to celebrate and share the gift of music with our community, just as he would have wanted- in his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said.

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Dog Daze 2021 is coming up at The Water Mine in Reston (via Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook)

Tuesday, Sept. 7

  • An Evening with Martin Taylor (7:30 p.m.) — Vienna’s Jammin’ Java will open its doors at 6 p.m. for a concert featuring British jazz guitarist Martin Taylor, who has been recognized globally for his unique “fingerstyle” way of playing. General admission tickets cost $25, and seating is first come, first served.

Thursday, Sept. 9

  • The Future of Workspace (4-6 p.m.) — Learn about what work will look like once the pandemic is behind us at the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s first hybrid networking event. In-person spots at Office Evolution (205 Van Buren Street, Suite 120) in Herndon are limited, so advance registration is encouraged.
  • Fair Oaks Mall Carnival (5-10 p.m.) — Dreamland Amusements will roll into town with its traveling carnival of rides, games, and food for a 10-day stay at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Admission and parking are free, but ride tickets range from $1.50 for a single ticket to a $99 pre-sale for four unlimited-ride wristbands.

Friday, Sept. 10

  • Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) — The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art’s (Tephra ICA) 30th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is back at Reston Town Center for a weekend of art sales, hands-on crafts, and live dance performances.
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover (5 p.m.) — For $20, get your kid’s favorite stuffie into a night of games, books, and dancing at Scrawl Books. Local author Debra Kempf Shumaker will read her book “Freaky Funky Fish” as the animals get tucked in for the night, and they’ll be ready for pick-up with some goodies at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Movie in the Park (7:45 p.m.) — Doors open at 7 p.m. for “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the latest film to screen at the Hunters Woods pavilion (2501 Reston Parkway) as part of Reston Association’s summer movie series. Bring chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner to enjoy while taking in Steven Spielberg’s adventure classic.

Saturday, Sept. 11

  • 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony (2 p.m.) — Fairfax County will commemorate 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at the Bailey’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department (3601 Firehouse Lane) in Falls Church, which deployed many first responders to help at the Pentagon. The county will also support community service efforts with the 25th annual VolunteerFest.
  • Candlelight Remembrance Vigil (8:30 p.m.) — St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (432 Van Buren Street) in Herndon will hold an outdoor vigil in its parking lot to honor 9/11 victims and their loved ones.

Sunday, Sept. 12

  • Dog Daze 2021 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) — The Water Mine finishes the season by opening the water park up to all pups for swimming and a canine resource fair. Proceeds from the $10 tickets go to the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
  • Twilight Yoga on the Dock (7:30 p.m.) — New Trail Cycling & Strength Coach Kimberly will lead patrons in a sunset flow on the dock along Lake Anne. To book your spot and get a class credit, go to the New Trail website.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook

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A new day care is coming to Reston that will teach kids how to read music, play instruments, and sing.

Cascades resident Tony Wininger is launching a Rock and Roll Daycare at 1835 Alexander Bell Drive, nestled between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road.

“The focus is music,” he told Reston Now.

Wininger’s interest in running the day care, which is looking to open on Sept. 27, was inspired by his 20-year-old daughter Madison, who is on the autism spectrum.

When she was 3 or 4, he decided to learn guitar after a developmental pediatrician told him she wouldn’t be able to speak. He thought that couldn’t be true, and he saw his daughter prove the doctor wrong.

The day care will serve kids up to age 6 with music lessons twice a day, both group and individual sessions.

Kids will learn songs to sing and how to play instruments ranging from drums and musical bells to keyboards and guitars. Students can even take some of the smaller instruments home with them, along with accompanying music books.

Research on the childhood development benefits of learning music has been mixed. Some studies question the existence of a connection, while others show positive effects on the social skills of kids as young as 1 and suggest learning music may encourage faster neurodevelopment than other activities.

For Wininger, seeing his own daughters grow and be influenced by music illustrated how perceptive kids can be. His younger daughter, Hope, showed off her drumming skills at age 5, and when Madison was younger, she could only speak a few words, but now, she can’t stop talking and singing.

One of the goals of the Rock and Roll Daycare program is for children to be able to read music fluently. Unique to Wininger’s locations will be a multicultural program where kids learn to sing songs from different countries each month in the original languages.

“I want this to be the…’it takes a village’ feel,” he said of the Reston day care, which features a main room, six enclosed rooms, restrooms, and an office.

The day care is one of 30 sites that Wininger expects to get licensed by the state. Other locations coming in the near future could include Arlington and Alexandria.

Rock and Roll Daycare was started in 2012 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by two musicians and is now moving to expand across the country with upcoming sites in New York, Indiana, and Texas, along with Wininger’s Virginia locations.

Wininger plans to limit electronic devices in his day cares to what is needed for staff. He also doesn’t want his locations to be limited by the day care environment.

He envisions additional programming, from concerts to date nights for parents, and wants to make use of his drumming and guitar skills for the day care and additional outreach. The kid-focused band Rocknoceros from Fairfax will perform at the Reston site on Sept. 28.

The cost per child will be $2,400 per month, which is higher than usual to retain staff, Wininger says, noting that candidates with education and musical experience are gravitating toward the openings. The day care is planning to hire two employees for every eight kids.

“We’re Montessori-inspired by the way we teach education,” Wininger said.

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Photo by Elizabeth Copson

Monday, August 23

  • Chair Yoga (1 p.m.) — Over the last 18 months, we’ve been sitting in a lot of chairs. Now, learn how to do yoga in them. For students and workers who find themselves sitting a lot, here’s chance to turn that boring place to sit into a exercise location.

Tuesday, August 24

  • Eighteen Days in New York (7:30-9 p.m.) — Local author Bill Lewers discusses his latest book, a historical fiction framed by the backdrop of the 1924 Democratic Convention. This is a make-up event from Aug. 10 and will be held in-person at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna. Lewers will be available for book signings as well.

Wednesday, August 25

  • Dinosaur Explore (9 a.m.) — Bring the little ones for this two-day program on dinosaurs. Learn about fossils, birds, archaeology, and how dinosaurs compare to animals we can find locally today. This program takes place outside with limited attendance at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Thursday, August 26

  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (7:30-8:30 p.m.) — This Grammy-nominated bluegrass band hits the stage at Frying Pan Farm Park for a Thursday night concert, mandolin in hand. In case of last-minute cancellation due to weather, call the hotline at 703-324-SHOW (7469) one hour prior to show start.

Friday, August 27

  • An Act of God (8 p.m.) — The latest production by Herndon’s NextStop Theater Company is a comedy sent by the Almighty themselves. “An Act of God” is a 90-minute production where mankind’s greatest questions get answered. All attendees must show proof of vaccination as well as wear masks while inside the theater.
  • Rock the Block (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — With only a few more left for the season, the City of Fairfax’s Rock the Block concert series is pulling out all the stops with live music, food vendors, beer garden, and more. Bring a blanket and chair, and enjoy this week’s performance from local ’80s tribute band The Reflex.

Saturday, August 28

  • Historic Baseball (10 a.m.) — Learn how baseball used to be played…a century ago. Here’s a chance to sew your own baseball and play a game using “Knickerbocker” rules. This program takes place at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly and is intended for those 7 to 14 years old.
  • Reptile Expo (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Hopefully, you’re not afraid of snakes, because the Northern Virginia Reptile Expo is back. Head out to Manassas in Prince William County to get your fill of lizards, snakes, turtles, and alligators. You could even bring your own reptile to show off, as long as you follow the rules.

Sunday, August 29

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Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House (Photo via Cliff/Flickr)

Monday, July 19

  • Hidden Treasures (1 p.m.) — Trying to decide what family possessions to keep and which ones to give away? Get some (virtual) help from local Matthew Quinn, an antiques expert and a guest appraiser on Antiques Roadshow.

Tuesday, July 20

  • Stories and Songs from Haiti (11 a.m.) — Celebrate Haitian art, song, and culture with a family-friendly performance from Inez Barlatie at Wolf Trap. With themes of community and gratitude, she’ll lead a morning of dancing and singing.

Wednesday, July 21

  • Historic Desserts (6:30 p.m.) — Make 19th-century desserts over an open hearth at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. Cooking like people would in the 1800s will be challenging, but at least there will be a sweet treat at the end!

Thursday, July 22

  • An Evening with Frank Lloyd Wright (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — Tour Alexandria’s Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House with the sun setting. While ehese evening tours are offered rarely, bring a picnic, grab a drink (included in the ticket), and watch on the front lawn as the sun dips below the horizon.
  • Nepalese Indian Cultural Nights (7:30-8:30 p.m.) — Head on over to Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon for a night of Nepalese Indian culture, complete with music and dancing.

Friday, July 23

  • Rock the Block in Fairfax City (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — Fairfax City’s Rock the Block is back for 2021 and this week’s performance is from Trial by Fire, a Journey tribute band. Bring a picnic, a blanket, and never stop believing in the power of rock.
  • Christmas in July (6-8 p.m.) — The weather outside may be frightfully hot, but Santa is here for a summertime bash. Head over to Sully Station and Funland Fairfax for a Christmas in July celebration with the big guy himself.

Saturday, July 24

  • Fairy Festival (10 a.m.) — Put on your best fairy outfit and take a stroll along a wooded trail near Reston’s Walker Nature Center in search of hidden fairies. If you are feeling particularly magical, make a house for the fairies. The best one wins a prize and everyone will receive a fairy gift bag as well!

Sunday, July 25

  • Sunday Art in the Park (7 p.m.) — Relax on a Sunday night in Reston Town Square Park with a performance from Bryan Jones, a professor of voice at Shenandoah University. He’ll be performing a collection from the “songsbooks of our country.”

Via Cliff/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Bob Simon statue through LOVE sign at Lake Anne Plaza (via vantagehill/Flickr)

PIVOT Grant Application Deadline Today — This is the last day for hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses affected by the pandemic to apply for COVID-19 relief funding from Fairfax County’s PIVOT grant program. The application portal will close at 11:59 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Pfizer Seeks Approval for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster — Pfizer will request authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, which it says could boost immunity and help ward off variants if delivered within 12 months. Research suggests the Pfizer shot and other widely used COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant. [Associated Press/WTOP]

Expansion Proposed for Dulles Airport — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is seeking environmental approval from Virginia to potentially build a new three-story, 535,000 square-foot concourse at Dulles International Airport to support United Airlines. The planned facilities would revamp a “temporary” hub that has been in use since the mid-1980s, but cost is a concern. [Airline Weekly]

Friday Night Live! Returns Tonight — After an unexpected cancellation last week, the Herndon summer concert series will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with Turtle Recall, a band made up of South Lakes High School alumni. Food vendors for this season include Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern, Dominos, and Egg Karne, and FNL has partnered with the local breweries Aslin and Mustang Sally Brewing. [Herndon Rocks]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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American Flag
American Flag (Photo via Jon Sailer/Unsplash)

Monday, June 28

Tuesday, June 29

  • Hummingbirds In the Morning  (6-9 a.m.) — Get up early, grab your camera and head to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna for a golden light photography workshop. Snap photos of hummingbirds, butterflies, or anything else that catches your camera’s attention.

Wednesday, June 30

  • Skate Your Heart Out (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) — Take a spin on the newly-opened Mosaic Skateland. This outdoor roller rink just opened earlier this month and will be so until mid-September. So, grab those roller skates (or rent a pair) and roll your way into some fun.

Thursday, July 1 

  • Fifty Years of Wolf Trap (8 p.m.) — Celebrate five decades of Wolf Trap, the historic outdoor performance arts venue, with opening night performances from Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo and internationally-acclaimed soprano Christine Goerke. All of this will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.
  • Footloose (7:30 p.m.) — Put on those dancing shoes and go to Strawberry Park in the Mosaic District for an outdoor showing of the 1984 movie Footloose. Every Thursday night through Labor Day, a classic, family-friendly movie will be played outside in the park.

Friday, July 2

  • Darn Good Country (4 p.m.) — Music festivals are back after a year off, and Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville is hosting a “Darn Good Country Weekend.” Headliners include Chase Rice, Dustin Lynch, and more.

Saturday, July 3

  • City of Fairfax’s Independence Day Celebration (10 a.m.) — After missing out last year, many local jurisdictions are back to in-person July 4 celebrations this year. The City of Fairfax will commemorate the holiday on both July 3 and July 4 this year with a parade and marching bands on Saturday and fireworks on Sunday.

Sunday, July 4

  • Great Falls July 4th (8 a.m.) — Spend all of the Fourth in Great Falls for their celebration. There will be a blood drive, a kids parade, a main parade, a festival, and fireworks at night.
  • Firecracker 5k (8 a.m.) — Before chowing down, get some exercise on the Fourth with a 5k at Reston Town Center.
  • Herndon Fireworks (9:30 p.m.) — Look to the sky at Bready Park for a firework celebration hosted by the Town of Herndon. Free admission and parking, though there will be no concessions or other entertainment this year.

via Jon Sailer/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Inlet Court townhouses (via vantagehill/Flickr)

General Assembly to Hold Special Session in August — “Governor Ralph Northam today [Wednesday] issued a proclamation calling the members of the General Assembly into special session on Monday, August 2. A special session is necessary to fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.” [Office of the Governor]

TJ Admissions Changes Result in Increased Diversity — The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Class of 2025 will include more Black and Hispanic students, more girls, and more economically disadvantaged students than past years, according to Fairfax County Public Schools data. This is the first cohort to be admitted under a new admissions system that ditched the magnet school’s usual admissions test and $100 application fee. [The Washington Post]

Herndon Office Building Sold — The investment company Boyd Watterson Asset Management has purchased a 160,000 square-foot office building at 13651 McLearen Road for $48 million. The McLearen Center is in the same complex as the Transportation Security Administration’s Freedom Center and Nysmith School, and it counts Boeing as a long-term tenant, though the lease is set to expire in May 2022. [Washington Business Journal]

Reston Contractor Reports Medicaid Data Breach — Maximus Corp., a government health data services provider based in Reston, says a data breach that occurred between May 17 and 19 exposed the personal information of more than 334,000 Medicaid healthcare providers nationwide. The incident did not affect information about patients or Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the company. [Information Security Media Group]

Irish Rock Band Joins Arrowbrook Concert Lineup — The D.C.-based Irish rock band Scythian will perform at Arrowbrooke Centre Park in Herndon on July 17 as part of Fairfax County’s Music at Arrowbrook Centre concert series, one of several free summer concert series organized by the county park authority. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Banner for Fairfax County’s 2021 Summer Entertainment Series (via Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook)

It is officially summer, and with Virginia anticipating an end to its COVID-19-induced state of emergency, the next couple of months will bring an abundance of live music for Reston and Herndon residents to enjoy.

The season’s offerings will include the in-person returns of “Hunter Mill Melodies” and “Music at Arrowbrook Park,” two free outdoor concert series organized by the Fairfax County Park Authority for its 2021 Summer Entertainment Series.

Hunter Mill Melodies will be back at Herndon’s Frying Pan Farm Park with performances at Kidwell Farm (2709 West Ox Rd.) at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday in July and August.

Frying Pan will also host a children’s entertainment series at its visitor center pavilion (2739 West Ox Rd.) every Wednesday at 10 a.m. as part of the park authority’s Arts in the Park family-friendly series.

“This free entertainment series features a wide variety of musical acts from across the United States and from around the world,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said in a note. “The variety and quality of the acts is a reflection of Fairfax County’s diversity and community spirit, some of the many qualities that make this a wonderful place to call home.”

Music at Arrowbrook Park will bring eight free concerts to Arrowbrook Centre Park (2351 Field Point Rd.) in Herndon, covering a variety of genres, from folk to funk.

The full Hunter Mill Melodies and Music at Arrowbrook Park schedules are as follows:

Hunter Mill Melodies

  • July 8: Phil Wiggins & Rick Franklin (Piedmont blues)
  • July 15: Elena & Los Fulanos (Latin folk/rock)
  • July 22: Nepalese Indian Cultural Nights (music of Nepal)
  • July 29: Grupo Autoctono Tarkeada Virginia and Tradiciones Bolivianas (folkloric music and dance from Bolivia)
  • August 5: Billy Coulter (roots rock, pop)
  • August 12: Speidel, Goodrich, Goggin & Lille (rock)
  • August 19: The United States Army Swamp Romp (jazz)
  • August 26: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (bluegrass)

Arts in the Park

  • July 7: 123 Andrés (children’s songs)
  • July 14: Blue Sky Puppet Theater (puppets)
  • July 21: Rocknoceros (children’s songs)
  • August 11: Mr. Gabe & the Circle Time All-Stars (children’s songs)
  • August 18: Fairfax Symphony Orchestra — Percussion Ensemble (children’s music)

Music at Arrowbrook Park

  • July 10: The 19th Street Band (country rock)
  • July 17: Scythian (Irish rock)
  • July 24: High Noon (Southern rock)
  • July 31: Daryl Davis (swing)
  • August 7: Black Masala (funk/world)
  • August 14: Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (funk)
  • August 21: Richard Phillips and Friends (folk, Appalachian blues)
  • August 28: Eddie from Ohio (rockabilly)

The Fairfax County Park Authority announced on June 9 that its Summer Entertainment Series would return in person after going virtual last year.

According to the FCPA news release, the county started the initiative to create “a renewed sense of community” in the vein of small-town gatherings around bandstands in local town squares or parks. The performances are funded by private donations given to the Fairfax County Park Foundation.

For additional local live music options, community members can turn to the Reston Community Center, which launched multiple free summer concert series earlier this month, and Friday Night Live!, which will be back in the Town of Herndon starting July 2.

Reston Town Center, however, announced in April that it has canceled its Reston Concerts on the Town series for a second year in a row, citing the continued uncertainty at that time over whether Virginia would still have restrictions on large events over the summer.

Reston Concerts on the Town said that it had retained much of its planned lineup from 2020 and is now working to move those same artists to summer 2022.

“We miss you all and look forward to safely and joyously rocking out together in 2022!” the Facebook post said.

via Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook

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Rainy Lake Anne Plaza (via vantagehill/Flickr)

The rain just keeps coming.

While a Flash Flood Warning issued yesterday (Thursday) for the D.C. region, including Fairfax County, was canceled ahead of schedule at 7:15 p.m., the National Weather Service has extended the Flash Flood Watch that was set to end at midnight through today (Friday).

Issued at 3:03 a.m., the new alert will be in effect through this evening, as showers and thunderstorms are expected to bring two to four additional inches of rain to the area.

Here is the full alert:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING…

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has expanded the

* Flash Flood Watch to include portions of Virginia and West Virginia, including the following areas: in Virginia, Clarke, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax, Frederick VA, Page, Shenandoah, Warren and Western Loudoun. In West Virginia, Berkeley, Eastern Grant, Eastern Mineral, Eastern Pendleton, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Western Grant, Western Mineral and Western Pendleton.

* Through this evening

* Additional showers and thunderstorms capable of producing heavy rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 additional inches are expected to re-develop early this morning and persist into this afternoon.

* More heavy rainfall may cause additional flash flooding.

The weather has already dampened one parade in Reston, as the Reston Community Center canceled the second concert in its “Take a Break” series last night. The band Justin Trawick and the Common Good was scheduled to perform at Lake Anne Plaza from 7 to 9 p.m.

The concert series, one of several that RCC programmed for this summer, will resume next Thursday (June 17) with Origem, which the community center describes as “Brazilian jazz with a twist.”

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A crowd enjoys a concert during the 2019 “Friday Night Live!” music series in Herndon (Photo courtesy Laura B. Poindexter)

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Friday Night Live! — a free concert series held annually in the Town of Herndon — is returning this summer and will be almost back to normal.

After shifting to a virtual season for 2020 due to the pandemic, the series’ 27th season will be in person with 13 concerts between July 2 and Sept. 24.

“We were thrilled with the tremendous support from the community and our sponsors over the past year,” Laura Poindexter, the event’s chair, said in a news release announcing the full series schedule.

The shows will take place on the Herndon Town Green, located behind the town’s municipal building (777 Lynn St.) and adjacent to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Herndon Fortnightly Library.

Most of the bands, featuring popular local acts from along the East Coast, play rock ‘n’ roll covers from classic to modern rock.

Here’s the lineup:

“Friday Night Live!” delayed its start this season, hoping for COVID-19 cases to decline and rising vaccinations to justify normal operations.

While organizers previously planned with the expectation that some capacity limits would be required, Poindexter tells Reston Now that the concerts will essentially operate like they did prior to the pandemic, since Gov. Ralph Northam ended capacity restrictions on May 28 and eased mask requirements for fully vaccinated people with some exceptions.

“We believe the community is ready for some sense of normalcy,” Poindexter said.

The events will also have food from local restaurants, along with beer, seltzer, and wine for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Herndon Chamber of Commerce, which produces the concerts, with a portion of tip money from alcohol going to Herndon High School alcohol-free party programming.

In addition to providing some summer entertainment, Friday Night Live! is an economic development initiative intended to promote downtown Herndon and encourage both residents and visitors to support local businesses.

After some debate, the Herndon Town Council approved $20,000 in additional funding for the series as part of its fiscal year 2022 budget.

“I am looking forward to the July 2 kickoff! ” Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem said. “After the past year I know I am ready to see so many people I have missed during the COVID pandemic. Our citizens and visitors as well as our local businesses are looking forward to this event as well.”

Photo courtesy Laura B. Poindexter (@laurabcreative). Angela Woolsey contributed to this report.

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Tobago Bay performs at Summerbration in 2020. The Alexandria-based Caribbean band will return for the Fab Fridays concert series at Reston Station on August 27. (Photo by Erin Lesnick/RCC)

Reston Community Center is bringing back its free summer concert programming next month after a truncated season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RCC announced last week that, starting in June, it will host more than 50 performances in six different concert series, including a brand-new Family Picnic Day series in August.

With Fairfax County seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases and Virginia set to lift capacity and social distancing requirements on May 28, RCC says patrons will be able to expect “a more typical run of performances at Reston Town Square Park, Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station” than what was available last year.

“The more people are vaccinated, the safer the community is,” RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said. “Measures we have all taken to stop the spread have worked, and we see the public health metrics responding accordingly. We will monitor the COVID-19 data, government guidance and vaccination rates carefully to be sure we provide environments that are consistent with public health best practices.”

All of the events are free and designed to be appropriate for all ages.

Shows may be canceled due to inclement weather. RCC says decisions about cancellations will made up to 30 minutes before show time, and updates will be shared through the center’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. RCC can also be contacted at 703-476-4500.

Here is the full lineup of concerts in store for this summer:

Lunchtime with the Arts at Mason (12:30-1:30 p.m., Reston Town Square Park)

This series features student and faculty performers from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with GMU, the lineup includes:

  • June 3: Mason Steel Pan Ensemble with Director Victor Provost
  • June 10: GMU Faculty Brass Ensemble
  • June 17: Mason Cabaret
  • June 24: Mason Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble

Take a Break (7-9 p.m., Lake Anne Plaza)

These concerts will take place every Thursday night starting on June 3 with the Latin pop and rock band Ocho de Bastos and concluding on Sept. 2 with the David Bach Consort, a contemporary jazz group. Presented in cooperation with MSE Productions Inc. with Lake Anne Plaza hosting, the full schedule can be found on the RCC website.

Summerbration Fab Fridays (7-9 p.m., Reston Station)

The Fab Fridays series returns on June 4 with musical performances at the plaza atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Patrons can get three hours of free parking with validation in the ParkX garage. The full concert schedule, from acoustic and world jazz musician Veronneau to funk band Aztec Sun, is on the Fab Fridays webpage.

Family Fun Entertainment Series (10-10:45 a.m., Reston Town Square Park)

Running weekly from June 19 through Aug. 7, the Family Fun Entertainment Series features everything from music and comedy shows to puppets, magic, and a Unicycle Lady. Garage parking is free at the Reston Town Center garage on Saturdays. The schedule includes:

  • June 19: Classic Comedy by Mark Lohr
  • June 26: Guava Jelly
  • July 3: Rocknoceros
  • July 10: DPT Music!
  • July 17: Unicycle Lady
  • July 24: The Uncle Devin Show
  • July 31: Turley the Magician

Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m., Reston Town Square Park)

Faculty and students from Shenandoah University’s music conservatory will kick off this concert series on June 13 with a tribute to Duke Ellington by the Ellington Caravan. A full schedule of performances, which will continue every Sunday through Aug. 29, can be found on the series webpage.

Family Picnic Day (4-6 p.m., various locations)

Family Picnic Day takes place on Saturdays in August and features family-friendly lawn games as well as live entertainment. A partnership with Reston Association and MSE Productions, the series will move between three different locations:

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Morning Notes

Man Charged in Reston Condo Murder — 24-year-old Alexander Jahelka has been charged with second-degree murder after police found his father, 66-year-old Kenneth Jahelka, suffering from stab wounds in a condominium in the 11800 block of Shire Court on Saturday (May 22). This is the eighth homicide that Fairfax County has seen this year and the third in Reston. [FCPD]

Dead Body Found on Herndon Golf Course — “Detectives from the Herndon Police Department believe that man whose body’s was found Friday morning [May 21] at Herndon Centennial Golf Course had died accidentally, according to Lisa Herndon, HPD spokeswoman…A golf course employee found the body in a pond on the property and contacted police, according to Herndon. HPD identified the body as that of an adult male.” [Patch]

BLM Banner Stolen from Reston Church Again — Unitarian Universalist Church members noticed that the church’s Black Lives Matter banner was missing again on Thursday (May 20). Installed in September, this was the church’s second BLM banner after one raised last June in response to the racial justice protests spurred by George Floyd’s murder was also stolen. [Patch]

Reston Association Reviewing Updated COVID-19 Guidelines — “Until the review is completed, RA will continue to require the use of masks, a pool reservation sign-up system and social distancing at all RA facilities, including pools. RA will inform members of any changes in operating procedures due to the governor’s order as soon as possible. The association’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and members.” [RA News]

Reston Singer Releases New Single — “Emerging singer-songwriter Amanda Cunningham of Reston shares her struggle with personal accountability, power when forming close friendships, and self-esteem in her newest single, “Pattern” (2021). Originally a self-described pop/rhythm and blues [R&B] singer, Cunningham recently admitted her voice and lyrics are turning more country.” [The Connection]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The cicadas are here, along with a new rap about the insects from local hip-hop artist MC Bugg-Z.

“Brood X-cellence” is a deep rhyming dive into the entomology, science, and emergence of Brood X, the periodical cicadas that are just now surfacing from their 17-year slumber underground.

Lines like “I have been chilling underground with my friends sippin on root juices” and “It’s a fitness thing, you’re witnessing predator satiation” will certainly have wings flapping and red eyes darting.

The song is written and performed by MC Bugg-Z, who isn’t just any old bug-loving underground hip-hop artist. He’s an entomologist and biologist who works for Fairfax County.

“I’m part of the Fairfax County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health and, inside the Division of Environmental Health, we have the disease-carrying insects program,” Andy Lima said. “That’s my normal, real-life job.”

Lima has been writing and recording underground hip-hop since his college days in the mid-2000s with a focus on intelligent lyric writing.

“It’s more about the rhymes than the beats,” Lima said. “I love to convey the knowledge about the things I love and the world I know…by putting it into hip-hop song form.”

In Lima’s case, that’s bugs, and this isn’t his first foray into the emerging genre of insect rap.

In 2016, he released “Zika 101” about protecting oneself from disease-carrying mosquitoes. In 2018, there was “Tick-Check 1-2” about checking for ticks and avoiding Lyme Disease, followed a year later by “West Nile Story.”

While cicadas are not known to carry disease, Lima couldn’t skip the opportunity for a new song about a bug.

“Brood X-cellence” is a remix or sequel of sorts to a cicada rap he wrote back in 2004, when the brood last emerged. He was a student at Indiana University back then, and the din of the cicadas could actually be heard in the background of the recording.

“I was going to just re-release that one this year and just felt like there were things about the song that I wanted to change, new information that I wanted to include and, also, some errors,” Lima said. “I’ve learned some stuff over the past 17 years…Now, the focus is much more on the biology of it as opposed to the spectacle itself.”

When he writes songs, Lima takes a reverse-engineered approach. He thinks about how he wants to end a line and then finds a rhyme to match it.

“I don’t shy away from the scientific words because they are multi-syllables,” Lima said. “You can often find a way to rhyme them or, even, define some of these terms [in the rhyme]…like predator satiation.”

It took about two weeks to write, re-work, and record “Brood X-cellence.” The beat was provided by Kelton Williams, another Fairfax County employee who Lima met while helping with COVID-19 emergency response.

“He’s a great musician,” said Lima. “As soon as I heard [his beat], I thought ‘Oh man, this is going down.'”

The main takeaway that Lima wants folks to get from the song is that this cicada takeover is an incredibly rare and amazing occurrence.

“It’s a fleeting event, a miracle of nature,” he said. “It really only occurs in the eastern half of the United States and nowhere else in the world…It’s just so rare that the public is kind of overrun with insects.”

He hopes his bug rap educates, entertains, and allows folks to have a little fun after a difficult year.

With the temperatures warming, particularly in the evening, the cicadas are expected to come out of the ground en masse within a matter of days, looking to play their own song.

“We’re really going to see the surge that’s just beyond,” Lima said. “So, hopefully my song is well-timed.”

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