… no, celebrities will not suddenly become immortal in 2017, putting an end to the sense of shock that envelops social media whenever a famous person dies, though the loss of beloved entertainers like Prince, George Michael, Davie Bowie and Carrie Fisher did certainly sting this year.
Rather, it’s Dec. 30 and it’s time to discuss that persistent frenemy of holiday traditions: the New Year’s resolution.
A good resolution for our comments section might be a bit more civility in 2017. (Though this week the comment section seems to have taken a vacation — where did you all go?)
For us here at Reston Now, a good resolution would be to do an even better job uncovering interesting and important local stories that no one else is reporting.
The departure of our editor Karen Goff for the Washington Business Journal (where she’s killing it, as the kids would say) definitely represents a loss of institutional knowledge. But our incoming editor Dave Emke is a great journalist who will be dogged in his pursuit of local scoops. Reston Now is fortunate to have him at the helm.
Dave starts Jan. 2, but will be taking meetings all around Reston for a week before you begin to see his byline.
As for our readers, we asked on Twitter and Facebook what your New Year’s resolutions are. Here is a sampling:
- “None, because I don’t need to wait until the new year to be inspired to start a goal or change a behavior. Every day is a good day to start! Why wait until next week??”
- “Avoid RTC and frequent other non-pay-for-parking establishments”
- “To go out (happy hour, etc) once a month. I’ve definitely become a home body.”
- “Go to the gym that I pay for but don’t use.”
- “To take up Internet trolling as a hobby.”
- “The same as 2015,2014, and 2013.”
Didn’t get a chance to answer? Let us know what your goals for the new year are in the comments.
Happy new year, Reston! We’ll see you back here on Monday.
Where to Celebrate New Year’s in Reston — Where do you plan to ring in 2017? If you’d rather get out of the house than stay home and watch the ball drop on TV, there are a few places offering special celebrations and dinners. [Reston Patch]
Missing Teen Found Safe — Fairfax County police say that 17-year-old Elliot Byrum, who went missing from North Point Village Center in Reston Wednesday afternoon, was found safe Thursday afternoon, after being missing for more than 24 hours. [Reston Now]
Plan Ahead for Childcare on Snow Days — Fairfax County’s Office for Children (OFC) maintains a database of regulated child care programs in the area on its website, including many that offer the option of occasional or back-up care. OFC invites all local parents of school-aged children to browse the database and line up emergency care now for the inevitable snow days ahead. [Fairfax County OFC]
Virginia State Parks Present Free ‘First Day Hikes’ on Jan. 1 — The Commonwealth invites all to celebrate the first day of 2017 by visiting any of Virginia’s 37 state parks, with free admission. Officials are also reprising their annual photography contest — take a photo while hiking or visiting one of the state parks and post it online, and three winners will be selected. Prizes include gift certificates toward overnight stays and a year of free state park admission. [Virginia State Parks]
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.
- 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 residents may be able to get once again take a free Metro ride on New Year’s Eve.
The transit agency is in the final stages of another partnership with MillerCoors to provide free rides between midnight and 3 a.m. on all six Metro lines this year, as it did for last year’s holiday. The agenda item was up for approval during the Dec. 15 meeting of Metro’s Board of Directors.
According to a staff report, MillerCoors paid WMATA more than $160,000 last year to subsidize all Metrorail and Metrobus rides on New Year’s Eve between midnight and 3 a.m., as part of he company’s Free Rides promotion. The amount was based on expected ridership.
This year, if approved, MillerCoors will pay just over $81,000, as ridership on New Year’s Eve was only about half of what was expected last year. However, the amount is guaranteed regardless of actual ridership, the report states.
MillerCoors has offered its Free Rides program in more than 20 major cities across the U.S. for more than a decade.
“Our partnership with Metro is part of MillerCoors’ overall commitment to help prevent drunk driving by bringing alcohol responsibility programs to more markets,” a MillerCoors spokesperson said during the inaugural promotion in 2015.
In addition to Metro, local New Year’s Eve party-goers can also call for a free taxi ride of up to $30 thanks to the local nonprofit, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program.
Photo courtesy of MillerCoors Free Rides
New Year’s Eve is Thursday. Are you still looking for something to do? The usual Reston restaurants will be open and ready for revelers, but here are a few places with a little something extra for ringing in 2016.
Reston Town Center
Middle Eastern restaurant Neyla is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with a five-course menu, belly dancers and champagne. Seating is at 8 p.m. and is $85 per person. Reservations required.
Clyde’s of Reston
Reston Town Center
The New Year’s Eve Gala includes a premium open bar with heavy appetizers, a DJ and dancing. Champagne and party favors will be provided at midnight. Black tie/cocktail attire. $125. Reservations required.
Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
Lake Anne Plaza
Starting at 4 p.m., Kalypso’s will serve a three-course dinner with wine pairings. A DJ will spin dance music, while more than 30 HDTVs show the ball dropping in Times Square. Complimentary party favors and champagne toast will be provided.
227 Maple Avenue E, Vienna
Want to celebrate with the kids? The ninth annual Rocknoceros New Years Eve Party is a family-friendly event that begins at 1:30 p.m. Popular childrens’ band Rocknoceros will do a countdown with an apple juice toast. A full lunch and drink menu is available. Tickets: $10.
South Lakes Village Center
Red’s is open for dinner New Year’s Eve. There is a fixed-price menu ($69), and the regular menu will be available as well. Reservations recommended.
The Melting Pot
Plaza America, Reston
The Melting Pot has a special three-course fondue meal, including complimentary champagne with dessert.
750 Center Street, Herndon
Herndon’s downtown art center hosts an annual New Year’s Eve arts-focused event with activities for children and adults.
2:00-4:00 p.m.: Children’s Crafts and Dance Workshop
Children ages 5 to 12 will enjoy celebrating the New Year at ArtSpace Herndon’s Crafts and Dance Workshop. The two-hour program includes a fabric design craft activity and children’s dance led by local artist Acoatzin Torres. $5 per child, register in advance.
10:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m.: A Night of New Orleans Jump Blues with Herbie D and the Dangermen
Dance to traditional and New Orleans-style blues while enjoying food and beverages and champagne toast. $25 per person, register in advance.
Photo: Neyla/file photo
SoberRide, a project of The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), is offering its Holiday SoberRide program all through the holidays, up until early on New Year’s Day.
Free cab rides are available for fares up to $30 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
People who have been drinking and need a safe ride home can get their free ride by calling 1-800-200-TAXI toll-free. Those who have AT&T cellular service can also dial #WRAP to get the service.
“Last December, nearly 1,200 Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” said WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson in a statement.
Erickson said on New Year’s Eve last year alone, SoberRide gave 420 rides — or removed a would-be drunk driver from the road every 68 seconds.
To see more specifics on SoberRide (where it will pick up and drop off, participating cab companies), visit the WRAP website.
The free rides are courtesy or Miller Lite’s Free Rides program.
“We’re excited to bring our flagship Miller Lite Free Rides program to Washington, D.C. for the first time on New Year’s Eve,”Diane Wagner, Responsibility Commerce Manager for MillerCoors, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Metro is part of MillerCoors overall commitment to help prevent drunk driving by bringing alcohol responsibility programs to more markets.”
Here is what you need to know:
Free rides will be available on all six Metrorail lines and all Metrobus routes. from midnight until the Metro system closes at 3 a.m.
On the rail system, customers should use their SmarTrip card or a paper fare card to enter and exit the system and will not be charged for the trip.
On Metrobus, riders can simply show their SmarTrip card to board at no charge. For specific route and schedule information, visitwmata.com/bus/timetables.
Photo courtesy MillerCoors
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering its SoberRide program on New Year’s Eve in Fairfax County.
Here is what you need to know:
The program runs from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Customers receive a free cab ride (up to $30 fare). Callers are responsible for fares over $30.
To call for the ride: 800-200-8294 (TAXI). AT&T customers may dial #WRAP from their wireless phones. Important note: All requests for SoberRide service must be called to and dispatched from 1-800-200-8294. Do not call a taxi company directly for SoberRide service as the ride will not be covered under this program.
Callers must be 21 or over.
When waiting for a SoberRide, please watch for a cab from the participating taxi company in the area from which you are calling.
Participating Taxi Companies:
Alexandria Yellow Cab (Alexandria)
Barwood, Inc. (Montgomery County)
Fairfax Yellow Cab (Fairfax County)
Loudoun Yellow Cab (Eastern Loudoun County)
Northern Virginia Checker (Prince William County)
Manassas Cab Company (Prince William County)
Red Top Cab Company (Arlington County)
Silver Cab of Prince George’s County (Prince George’s County)
Yellow Cab of District of Columbia (District of Columbia)
Yellow Cab of Prince William County (Prince William County)
For more than 20 years, WRAP’s SoberRide has helped to ensure greater Washington, DC residents have a safe way home on high-risk holidays. Since 1993, WRAP has provided over 61,002 safe rides home. Currently, SoberRide operates during the December/January holiday season, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Halloween.
Clyde’s at Reston Town Center will host its annual New Year’s Eve Gala from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $125 and include a premium open bar with heavy hors d’oevres, a DJ, and dancing. Champagne and party favors will be provided at midnight. Black tie/cocktail attire. Reservations required.
First Night Vienna, a family friendly event, runs from 7 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday on Church Street in Vienna. Admission is free. There will be food trucks, music, kids entertainment and more.
Kalypso’s at Lake Anne is offering a three-course dinner with wine pairings beginning at 4 p.m. At 8 p.m., DJ Roman will spin dance music, and more than 30 HDTVs show the ball drop in Times Square.
Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro at the Westin Reston Heights is offering a three- or four-course meal, paired with wines by the restaurant’s sommelier. There will also be a live band and a champagne toast at midnight. Reservations required.
ArtSpace Henrdon is hosting a family friendly gala that will celebrate blues music. Events start at 7 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon, 750 Center St. Among them: A bonfire and drum circle and a drum-making art project for kids.
At 10 p.m., there will be a concert and dance party (tickets: $50 per couple/$30 per person) featuring the blues music of Herbie D & the Dangermen. Refreshments will include barbeque by Herndon’s JJ’s Deli, and a complimentary tasting of Lost Rhino microbrews. A cash bar will include microbrews and sparkling wines for toasting throughout the evening.
The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering free taxi rides via SoberRide.
In an effort to decrease drunk driving, the holiday SoberRide program has been operating 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly this holiday season. Patrons can get a free (up to $30) cab ride home by calling 1-800-200-TAXI. AT&T customers can dial #WRAP from their wireless phones.
Last December, nearly 2,000 greater Washington residents used the service, said WRAP officials. On New Year’s Eve alone, 387 people took advantage of SoberRide — which WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson says removed a would-be drunk driver from the roadways every 74 seconds.
Things to know:
- WRAP’s SoberRide provides a free cab ride home up to a $30 fare. Callers are financially responsible for anything over $30.
- You must be 21 or older to use the service.
- You can’t reserve a SoberRide or schedule a pickup in advance. To receive a ride, you must call 1-800-200-8294 (TAXI) during the program hours. A SoberRide call operator will direct your request to the correct participating cab company.
- Calls must be from Washington; Virginia: Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and eastern Loudoun counties; or in the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park; Maryland: Montgomery and Prince George’s counties; or in the cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park.
WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 58,576 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the greater Washington area since 1993.
The service is also offered on St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Halloween. For more information, visit the WRAP website.
Still looking for a place to ring in 2014 right here in Reston? There are a couple of events and specials happening around town.
Vinifera — Four-course Prix Fixe wine dinner at the Westin Reston Heights. $85 per person. Reservations required. 703.234.3550
Mon Ami Gabi — New Year’s Day PJ Brunch. Roll out of bed and head right to Mon Ami Gabi for New Year’s Pajama Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Guests who dine in their pajamas will receive a Mon Ami Gabi certificate equal to the price of their meal. For reservations call (703)-707-0233.
Passionfish — Four-course prix fixe menu will be available from $60-$85 per person. Price varies based on entrée choice. Midnight Champagne Toast and Party Favors for guests in our final seating. Reservations are available from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Reservations: 703-230-3474.
Hyatt Regency Reston — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a four-course dinner Tavern64, champagne toast at midnight, and overnight accommodations including breakfast for two the following morning, and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine. $299/couple. Taxes and gratuities are not included – SPECIAL OFFER CODE: NYEVE. Reservations: (703) 709 1234.
New Year’s Day 5K — Start 2014 with a race at Reston Town Center. Starting time is 10 a.m.
Reston Town Center — Most restaurants will be open for business New Year’ Eve and New Year’s Day. The skating pavilion and Bow Tie Cinemas will be open as usual.
Did we miss anything? Let us know of any other New Year’s Events in Reston by posting them in the comments section.