Reston, VA

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 26)

Tuesday (Oct. 27)

  • Rainbow Teen Book Club – 7-8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — This is a place for members of the LGBTQIA+ teen community and their allies to read and discuss queer titles, the website said. Discussing All Out by Saundra Mitchell, the group meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Oct. 29)

  • Marina Chamasyan and Students – 2:25-3 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — The program features Dr. Marina Chamasyan and accomplished local high-school students who will present their original compositions, a world premiere and widely admiredDanse Macabre by Saint Saens, the website said. To register, use this link.
  • Better Dens and Habitat – 5-6 p.m. at Hidden Pond Nature Center (8511 Greeley Blvd.) — Using logs, branches, leaves, rocks, and other materials, help our naturalists restore a heavily impacted natural area to provide homes for local critters, the website said. The cost is $7 and adults must accompany children ages 12 and under.

Friday (Oct. 30)

Saturday (Oct. 31)

  • Great Falls Pet Parade – 4-4:45 p.m. at The Arts of Great Falls Gallery (756 Walker Road) — Bring your pet on a leash dressed up in its favorite costume, the website said. Prizes will be awarded for special categories.
  • Great Falls Halloween Spooktacular – 5-7 p.m. at Great Falls Shopping Center (754 Walker Road) — Children up to age 12 are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume, experience the Haunted House, and enjoy trick or treating with local merchants in a safe environment right in the heart of town, the website said.
  • Teen Halloween Party (Online) – 2-3 p.m. – Participants will play Halloween jeopardy, tell spooky stories, and show off their Halloween costumes, the website said. To register, use this link.

Staff photo by Catherine Douglas Moran

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 19)

  • Book Bingo — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — Download a bingo card and read along, the website said. Get three books in a row and earn entry to a drawing for prize. Completed bingo cards can be emailed to [email protected].

Thursday (Oct. 22)

  • Herndon Farmers Market – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from April to November on Lynn Street in historic downtown Herndon, the website said.

Friday (Oct. 23)

  • Campfire Fridays — 6:30-8 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park (7500 Accotink Park Road) — The program is $12 per person, the website said. Attendees will enjoy nature walks, interactive activities, animal presentations, and s’mores. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Oct. 24)

  • Watershed Cleanup — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) — Help keep our waterways clean, the website said. Volunteers will collect trash from streams and trails and compile and report results.
  • Making a Scarecrow — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way) — Bring old clothing to stuff with hay, and afterward pose with your new friend and take a picture, the website said. The cost is $2o per family, with each family having 45 minutes to create their scarecrow. To register, use this link.
  • Boo at the Pool — 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Dive into the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center’s Boo at the Pool, the website said. The cost is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for non-residents. Each participating child will receive a goody bag upon completion of the event and those wearing a costume will receive an additional prize. Children must also be accompanied by an adult. To register, use this link.
  • Halloween Family Fun Day — 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Village Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Children should dress in their favorite costume and parents are encouraged to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme to be included in a self-driven Halloween Car Parade at Hunters Woods Village Center parking lot, the website said. Children will also receive a goody bag. To register, use this link.
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Although schools are closed, Aldrin Elementary School Principal Shane Wolfe said he is trying to help his students regain a sense of normalcy by bringing people together through a shared love for storytime and feeling of community.

Wolfe began hosting Facebook Live events on March 18, which he said quickly attracted the attraction of hundreds of kids from Aldrin Elementary and across the country.

During these half-hour sessions, Wolfe typically reads a short storybook that is hand-selected by Wolfe.

At 2 p.m. today, Wolfe announced he will be reading “And Heres to You” by David Elliott. Anyone interested can join the Facebook Live event to listen along.

“I was trying to find a way I could create a connection with the kids back to the school,” Wolfe said, adding that he thinks a sense of community is important to the digital learning environment.

Wolfe says that he does his best to ensure that he can respond to questions from kids that log on.

“The kids have a lot of really good questions that come in too,” he said, adding that they often ask about when the school may reopen and even inquire about their friends.

One of the major questions that Wolfe gets is kids asking when they will be able to return to school and play on the playground. Though Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam canceled all in-person school activities through the end of the semester, Wolfe told Reston Now that Fairfax County is in the midst of creating a distance learning plan for students.

When it comes to recreation, Wolfe said that kids should listen to their parents and respect county guidelines but are still able to enjoy things like soccer fields that allow students to practice the six-feet social distancing rule.

Although the Aldrin Elementary’s Facebook page only has about 250 followers, Wolfe said that sometimes his Facebook Live videos will sometimes end up with upwards of 1,000 views. Once, he even saw that kids from Tennessee and Phoenix, Arizona were following along with the story as well.

In the near future, students and community members can expect an upcoming “virtual teacher parade” that will replace the car parade, which was previously canceled, according to Wolfe.

“We are recording it now and teachers will record themselves singing, being silly and saying hello to the kids,” he said.

The final product will be sent out electronically to the community once complete, Wolfe said.

Photo via Aldrin Elementary/Facebook

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A celebration to celebrate Reston’s upcoming Founder’s Day will take place on April 18 from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. While most of the activities are familiar for frequent visitors and Restonians — including a parade at Lake Anne Plaza — this year’s event features a float parade.

For this year’s celebration, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is asking community members to build mini mobile floats encompassing the theme “Reston: Past, Present and Future,” according to the event page.

Everyone is welcome to create a float but they must be three-feet wide and five-feet long, or smaller, the page said, adding that they can not be motorized and should be based on something like a wagon or skateboard.

Participation in the parade is free, but people must register beforehand and read the community guidelines.

Image via Reston Historic Trust & Museum/ Artwork by Eric MacDicken

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The deadline to participate in Herndon’s Homecoming Parade is approaching.

Monday (Sept. 23) is the last day for organizations to register for representation in the parade on Saturday, Oct. 19. Those wishing to simply watch the parade may line up at 9:30 a.m. around Elden Street on the day of the parade.

“Into the Future” will be this year’s parade theme. Participants are welcome to join the parade with a vehicle-powered float, walking float or a group of people, the application form said.

There will be prizes for floats that demonstrate outstanding creativity and adherence to the theme for the following groups:

  • School Group
  • Performing Group
  • Civic Group
  • HHS Class Float
  • Show Group

Parade organizers want floats to be presentable from both sides, fit the theme and appeal to a wide variety of age groups.

Anyone wishing to volunteer and assist with the parade may sign up online.

More than 58 units and around 1,300 participants took part in the 2018 parade, according to the event website.

Photo via Herndon Parks and Recreation

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It’s the first day of winter — The odds are slim for a snowy Christmas but rain later next week and then a major blizzard may be on the horizon. [Reston Patch]

Drumroll for USA Today’s “Best Holiday Parade” rankings — At noon USA Today will unveil where Reston’s holiday parade fell on this year’s rankings, which are decided by voters. For memories, check out the video below from the Reston Association. [USA Today]

Assistant children’s librarian closes one chapter in her life — Marcia Wine, 71, retired in mid-November from her job at the Reston Regional Public Library. [Reston Connection]

People read these books the most in 2018 — Fairfax County has released the top books checked out of the county’s public libraries. John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” made the list. [Fairfax County]

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Locals have one week left to vote Reston’s holiday parade to the top of USA Today’s nationwide ranking.

The contest has Reston competing against other parades in towns and cities across the country, including Sparks, Nev.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; San Antonio; and Detroit.

USA Today’s 10Best Editors and Local Experts nominated 20 places that “bring holiday cheer in the form of festive floats, dancing elves, Santa and his sleigh and millions of twinkling lights,” according to the website.

The annual event in Reston Town Center is known for its Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more. This year’s parade took place on Nov. 23.

Last year, Reston landed in sixth place on USA Today’s list. Philadelphia claimed the top spot, followed by Detroit; Baltimore; Annapolis, Md.; and Charlotte, N.C.

In 2016, Reston held the fourth-place slot, putting it one spot ahead of the nationally-televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Voters can cast one ballot per day until voting ends on Monday (Dec. 10) at noon.

USA Today will announce the top 10 winning events, determined by the votes, on Dec. 21.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Tonight’s South Lakes High School homecoming parade has been cancelled.

The high school cited safety and health concerns for the cancellations; the forecast tonight calls for heavy rain and cold temperatures, as a Nor’easter storm moves into the area.

Tonight’s South Lakes vs. Yorktown football game is still on for 7 p.m.

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The South Lakes High School homecoming parade is scheduled for Oct.26 (Friday), and students are taking advantage of the opportunity to fundraise for a good cause.

The school’s leadership class will fundraiser for Hungry for Music, an organization that buys instruments for children who cannot afford their own. The class aims to raise $1,000 to purchase 20 instruments for an after-school program. Collection baskets and tables at homecoming activities will be open for donation throughout the week of the parade.

The parade, which is set for 5-6 p.m., will feature student organizations, class councils, clubs, team, community groups, elementary schools, and the school’s marching band, The Spirit of Reston. Student-built boats will reflect the theme of “Tune in to South Lakes.” Each grade will select a music genre and the grand marshall this year is SLHS teacher Chris Moorhead, according to information provided by the school.

The parade begins at 5 p.m. from Hunters Woods Shopping Center. It will continue north on Colts Neck Drive, turn east onto South Lakes Drive and finish at SLHS. A small food court will be set-up in the stadium-side parking lot with food trucks from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The football game against Yorktown High School begins at 7 p.m. shortly after the parade. Admission is $5 and the Class of 1998 will also be on-site to celebrate their 20th reunion.

Photo via Lyn Fiscus

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Saturday, downtown Herndon celebrated its community with its annual homecoming parade.

The parade, which traversed Elden and Lynn streets in the town, featured nearly 1,300 participants in 51 units. Athletes, bands, clubs, performers, scouts, politicians, businesses, community groups and Herndon High School’s Homecoming Court were among the participants.

The theme of the parade was “Across the World,” and included a salute to nations that have hosted the Olympics.

According to the Town of Herndon website, highlights of the parade included the St. Joseph’s School cheerleaders; Herndon High School’s cheerleading, dance and step teams; HHS NJROTC; HHS Best Buddies; Hutchison Elementary students; Herndon-Reston softball; JamBrew with JUXT; and the Class of 1987 riding Herndon’s retired 1955 GMC American pumper truck.

Dignitaries at the event included Mayor Lisa Merkel; Vice Mayor Jen Baker; councilmembers Grace Wolf Cunningham, Jeff Davidson, Signe Friedrichs, Bill McKenna and Sheila Olem; Herndon Police Department’s Capt. Brad Anzengruber; and Herndon High School Principal Dr. Liz Noto.

Trophies were presented to the first- and second-place winners in the Civic, Performing Arts, School, Show and Class Float categories. Judges also selected the Richard F. Downer theme award and the Major Robert C. Church Best in Parade winners.

Civic Group
First Place – Girl Scouts of Herndon
Second Place – Cub Scout Pack #1570

Performing Arts Group
First Place – Herndon Middle School Step Team
Second Place – Percussion Works

School Group
First Place – Herndon Elementary
Second Place – Dranesville Elementary School

Show Group
First Place – Herndon Optimists Youth Sports
Second Place – Herndon Woman’s Club, Wreaths Across America

Class Floats
First Place – Herndon High School Class of 2019
Second Place – Herndon High School Class of 2018

Richard F. Downer Theme Award – Clearview Elementary 6th grade

Major Robert C. Church Award – Best in Parade – Pride of Herndon, Herndon High School Band

More photos from the event can be found on the Herndon Homecoming Parade Facebook page.

Images via Karl Haase/Facebook

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Marching bands, floats and homecoming courts will flood the streets of Reston and Herndon this weekend. South Lakes High School and Herndon High School are both celebrating their annual homecoming weekends.

The festivities will kick off in Reston at 5 p.m. Friday, when a parade will begin near the Hunters Woods Plaza Safeway. The procession will move north on Colts Neck Road and head east on South Lakes Drive to South Lakes High.

The Seahawks will play Thomas Jefferson High School starting at 7:30 p.m. Students will attend the homecoming dance in the school gym Saturday night.

Herndon High School’s carnival-themed parade is set to kick off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Herndon. Participants will begin to march on Sterling Road, head east onto Elden Street, turn left onto Lynn Street and end on Center Street.

“Neighbors, families and friends are invited to line Elden Street and cheer on our home team and the whole community,” the town website reads.

Floats will be judged based on “creativity and theme interpretation,” the site says.

The Hornets will play the Edison Eagles at 1:30 p.m., and then students will attend a dance that night.

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