The annual Reston Holiday Parade came in sixth nationwide, thanks to people who voted for the country’s top 10 holiday processions in a USA Today contest, according to results released this week.
Reston’s sixth-place slot put it ahead of the Alexandra Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria, Va. Last year, the parade in Reston ranked fourth overall.
Top honors went to Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, one of the longest running traditions in the country. The parade, which roots back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year, includes a colorful procession along Broad Street that features performances by comics, string bands and fancy brigades, according to USA Today.
The complete rankings are as follows:
- Mummers Parade – Philadelphia
- America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
- Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade – Boston
- Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade – Annapolis, Md.
- Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade – Charlotte
- Reston Holiday Parade – Reston, Va.
- Christmas Ship Parade – Portland, Ore.
- Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Alexandria, Va.
- Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – Fort Lauderdale
- McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade – Chicago
USA Today said a panel of experts whittled down a long list of nationwide events to come up with the initial top 20, which were put up to readers’ votes to determine the top 10 holiday parades in the country.
Holiday Open House at Reston Historic Trust and Museum — The nonprofit organization is hosting an open house on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will include exhibitions, Reston-inspired gifts, hot chocolate and cookies. Author Watt Hamlet and illustrator Jill Ollison Vinson will also be on-site for a book signing of their book “Reston A to Z.” [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]
Tennis Courts Closures In Effect — The Glade and North Hills clay courts closed for the tennis season on Monday. For more information about Reston Association’s tennis facilities, visit the association’s website. [Reston Association]
Reston Town Center Gears Up for Holidays — On its website, Reston Town Center provides a complete guide of local holiday events, including Toys for Tots, Reston’s holiday parade and tree lighting. [Reston Town Center]
As holiday festivities begin, the 27th annual Reston Holiday Parade is set for Nov. 24 at 11 a.m. The half-mile parade will include Macy’s-style balloons, music, dance, community groups, antique cars and more.
The parade, which takes place along 11900 Market St. will also welcome the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn garage. Jingle bells will be distributed to people along the route of the one-hour parade.
Between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos. Mini-train rides will also run during this time.
The Clauses will then participate in a tree lighting and sing along between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Horse drawn carriage rides will also be offered to the community following the lighting until 10 p.m. Proceeds from photos and rides will benefit local charities, according to Reston Town Center.
USA Today readers ranked the parade the fourth best holiday parade in the country last year. The parade has taken place since 1991, rain or shine.
To register as a volunteer, visit RTC’s website.
The annual Reston Holiday Parade came in fourth nationwide, thanks to people who voted for the country’s top 10 holiday processions in a USA Today contest.
Reston’s fourth-place slot put it one spot ahead of the nationally-televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, according to the contest results that were announced this afternoon.
Top honors went to the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade in Annapolis, followed by the Twinkle Light Parade in Albuquerque and the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston, respectively.
USA Today said a panel of experts whittled down a long list of nationwide events to come up with the initial top 20, which were put up to readers’ votes to determine the top 10 holiday parades in the country. Voting took place over the past month and closed on Thursday.
Rounding out the winning top 10 were events in Calistoga, Calif.; Chicago, Fort Lauderdale; Portland, Ore.; and Disney World in Orlando.
Photos via Reston Town Center
The Reston Holiday Parade will bring larger-than-life inflatable floats, musicians, local dignitaries and Santa Claus himself to Reston Town Center at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.
Although the parade is the main attraction, Reston Town Center will turn the entire day into a holiday celebration, with ice skating in the pavilion, a tree lighting ceremony, mini train rides, a ballet performance and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Kids who arrive early get commemorative jingle bells to ring during the festivities.
Twenty parades across the country are in the running as the nation’s best holiday processions. As of this afternoon, Reston is at No. 6, behind parades in Annapolis, New York City, Albuquerque, Houston and Calistoga Springs, Calif.
USA Today is accepting votes online until Monday, Dec. 5, at noon.
Celebrities, floats and marching bands are scheduled to parade through Reston Town Center the day after Thanksgiving to kick off this year’s annual Hometown Holidays event series.
This year’s parade takes place in the town center on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. The holiday event regularly attracts about 10,000 spectators from across the area.
NBC4 News anchors Angie Goff and Chuck Bell are slated to emcee this year’s parade. Members of the youth organization Amy’s Amigos Serving will serve as the event’s grand marshals, organizers said.
Parade attendees are encouraged to come out early, as thousands of special, commemorative jingle bells will be handed out for children to ring during the fun. Before the parade, bells can be picked up along Market Street and in Fountain Square, or you can find them by Mercury Fountain and in the Pavilion after the event kicks off.
Additionally, thousands of volunteers are needed to make the parade a success. People are needed for jobs like balloon wrangler, line marshal and character assistant. Get more information and register to volunteer on Reston Town Center’s website.
Here’s the weekend’s full schedule of events:
Friday, Nov. 25:
8 a.m.: Gingerbread Man Mile – A one-mile race aimed at kids 14 and under. Registration is only $10. First age group races at 8 a.m.
8 a.m. – 11 p.m.: Ice Skating – The skating pavilion will be open all day with extended hours.
11 a.m.: Annual Hometown Holidays Parade Kick-Off – The one-hour event features “Macy’s-style balloons, marching bands, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, Washington Nationals Racing Presidents and much more,” all building to an appearance from Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves in a horse-drawn carriage. The parade will go on, rain or shine.
12:30-4:30 p.m.: Photos With Santa and Mrs. Claus – Attendees who donate any amount can get a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. All proceeds will benefit the South Lakes High School Chorus.
12:30-4:30 p.m.: Mini-Train Rides – The train rides depart next to Talbot’s (11900 Market St.) All proceeds benefit local organization Cornerstones.
5 p.m.: Conservatory Ballet Performance – A free holiday-themed dance performance in Fountain Square, with the large holiday tree serving as backdrop.
6 p.m.: Holiday Tree Lighting and Sing-Along – Santa and Mrs. Claus are slated to ride up to the tree in their carriage and help light the festive display. The event will be followed by a holiday-themed sing-along led by the Reston Chorale and accompanied by a brass quintet.
6:30-10 p.m.: Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides – Rides, which depart next to Talbot’s (11900 Market St.), are $5 per person, or free for children 5 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. All proceeds will benefit the local charitable organization Volunteer Fairfax.
Reston dignitaries, Macy’s-style balloons, bands, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus return to Reston on Nov. 29 at the 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade.
The parade, which begins at 11 a.m. is an annual day-after-Thanksgiving tradition in Reston.
In a nod to Metrorail’s Silver Line, which opens in Reston early in 2014, the parade theme this year is “Destination: Reston!” Balloons, floats, and costumes have all been inspired by modes of transportation – walking, cycling, trains, planes and automobiles, and more, an RTC spokeswoman said.
One high-profile Restonian who will not be taking part this year: founder Robert E. Simon. The 99-year-old Simon will be on a trip to India over Thanksgiving.
Grand Marshal for the 2013 parade is real estate developer Joe Ritchey, who was selected for his philanthropic and community work in Reston. A Junior Grand Marshal, Lauren Spar of Langston Hughes Middle School, will also lead the parade. Lauren was selected because of her service to the community and LHMS.
After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay for visits and photos until 4:30 p.m. and will return to light the Christmas tree in Fountain Square at 6 p.m. The tree lighting attracts a gathering of nearly 5,000 people, who will also join in a half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas songs.
The parade needs hundreds of volunteers. Want to help? Go to www.restontowncenter.com/volunteer.
Reston Holiday Parade/File Photo Courtesy of Reston Town Center