Reston, VA

(Updated) In the holiday spirit, the Reston Town Center Holiday Performances this weekend are among several events bringing together people from around the community.

The free event tomorrow (Saturday) will feature two performances. People can listen to the Northern VA Ukulele Ensemble. The last performance of the season will feature Rick Landers playing guitar from 3-3:45 p.m.

The performances are set to take place between Market Street and Democracy Drive.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • 4th Annual Children’s Winter Wonderland (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — The kids’ wonderland event will take place at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Families will be able to enjoy crafts, refreshments, face painting, games and a visit from Santa.
  • SBC December Gala (1-3 p.m.) — This event features ballet and musical performances at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for kids.
  • Cissa Paz Music (6:30-9:30 p.m.) — Artist Cissa Paz will perform Brazillian music at the Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (1612 N. Washington Plaza).
  • Christmas Party Ho-Ho-Hoedown (8 p.m.-midnight) — Sully’s Pour House (754 Elden Street) is hosting a holiday celebration with a white elephant gift exchange, raffle and an ugly sweater contest.

Sunday (Dec. 22)

  • Christmas Orchestra (9-10 a.m.) — This free event at the Herndon United Methodist (701 Bennett Street) gives community members a chance to listen to live instrumental music from their fellow community members.
  • Bootcamp, Brunch and Booze: Indoor Winter Series (9-11 a.m.) — This event features a workout from Fitness 2 Go along with brunch from LoKL Gourmet at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Tickets are $25.
  • Storytime Social (11 a.m.) — Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) invites families to a reading of “Let the Children March.” This free event includes snacks and coffee for the adults.

Photo via Reston Community Center Facebook

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) A Vietnamese restaurant, gym and nail salon are planning to come to a new development in Reston.

Alo Vietnam will occupy a 1,746-square-foot space, according to Renaud Consulting. Other newcomers will include A+ Nails and F45, Josh Weiner, the senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm KLNB, told Reston Now.

The Faraday Park development consists of multifamily buildings with ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive.

More from the consulting firm about the restaurant:

The group comprising the team of Alo Vietnam is made up of 4 partners, which includes 2 established local businessmen and 2 famous chefs from Vietnam. Together this group owns and operates 4 well-known restaurants in Saigon, Vietnam.

Alo Vietnam also has a wine and beer license pending for its Herndon location at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite C.

Photo via Alo Vietnam/Facebook

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Leidos Buys Hypersonic Weapons Contractor — “Leidos Holdings Inc. will ring in the holiday season with a new acquisition: The Reston company announced Tuesday it plans to purchase defense contractor Dynetics Inc. in a $1.65 billion cash deal.” [Washington Business Journal]

A Look at Reston’s Battle for Its Soul — “It’s been a fiasco–a rambling, wide-ranging dispute marked by bureaucratic false starts, allegations of manipulated photos, and the widespread belief that Reston as we knew it is slipping away.” [Washingtonian]

Reston Hospital Honored — “Reston Hospital Center this week earned a Top General Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a watchdog organization that reviews heath care safety and quality across the U.S.” [Reston Patch]

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Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, a nonprofit that supports aging in place, recently expanded its programs to help seniors in Herndon and Reston.

The group assists the seniors by providing free rides, social outreach and other resources. The group decided to expand around October, a spokesperson told Reston Now.

Susan Garvey, the executive director of the center, lives in the area and noticed a lack of free resources for the elderly community, the spokesperson said.

“The uptick in ride requests have been promising,” the spokesperson said, adding that people who answer the phones are kept busy. “It was a wise step to take.”

The group announced its expansion to Reston and Herndon in its quarterly newsletter, which was published this fall.

Shepherd’s Center receives its funding from donations, fundraisers and corporate sponsors. Anyone who wishes to donate to the center can do so online.

Seniors or others interested in free rides, programs for veterans and various resources can call the center at 703-281-0538.

Photo via Sheperd’s Center/Facebook

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Reston will participate in an upcoming statewide survey to identify the community’s cultural and historic resources.

The program — which is called the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Survey —  is intended to identify the cultural and historical traits of local buildings built from 1961 to 1978 in order to add them to the National Register of Historic Places and Inventory of Historic Sites, according to Fairfax County.

The process will begin with a meeting on Dec. 17 at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-N Washington Plaza) around 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend this public meeting.

The survey will exclude the Lake Anne Village Center since it was already listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 2017.

When the project is completed, findings are expected to include a map and photos of all the buildings surveyed.

Photo via Fairfax County

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The restoration of Snakeden Branch Stream, which flows into Lake Audubon, is underway after crews broke ground on the project in early October.

The project spans 750 feet down the stream and will improve water quality, protect the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat and remove invasive species around the area, according to the Fairfax County website.

Construction was originally slated to begin this summer but was delayed.

Surveys were done to ensure local endangered bat and foliage populations were not affected by the work.

The project should be completed by October 2020 and will cost around a million dollars, according to Fairfax County, which added the project will be funded by the Stormwater Service District.

Image via Fairfax County

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As work gears up on the new fire station in Reston, construction crews will soon tear down the current one.

The demolition on the old facility (1820 Wiehle Avenue) is expected to begin early this December, William Delaney, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said.

Construction is underway for a temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive to serve the community until the new facility is completed in 2021.

The existing location is too small and does not suit the needs of the community anymore, another spokesperson previously told Reston Now.

The new station will cost $14.8 million, double the size of the station and feature two stories with room for administrative offices, a dayroom, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms.

“I am sure there will be a grand re-opening ceremony when new station up and running,” Delaney said.

Image via Google Maps 

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The YMCA Fairfax County Reston is hosting a fundraising gala in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

This year’s annual gala will be held at the YMCA (12196 Sunset Hills Road) from 6-11 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 16) and feature a dinner party, silent auction and after-party, according to the event page.

“Our mission ensures that no one is turned away from access to ‘Y’ programs and membership,” the page said.

Last year, the gala raised $280,000 for the center, according to the  YMCA’s website.

Individual tickets start at $150 and sponsorships start at $1,000.

Image via YMCA Fairfax County Reston

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Reston environmentalists received an award from Fairfax County last week.

The Reston Annual State of the Environment (RASER), a report compiled by nine people, won an Environmental Excellence Award from Fairfax County.

The report covers air, water, forests, meadows, wetlands, landscaping, urban agriculture, wildlife, hazardous materials, light and noise pollution and education in the Reston region, the Fairfax County website said. RASER was founded in 2017 and consists of professionals and citizen scientists who volunteer their time to synthesize the 325 data sources, the website said.

From the 2018 report, the group said Reston should focus on improving urban forests and community access to nature, which they say improves wellbeing for people in the area. The group sent in an application for the Biophilic Cities Network Program and drafted a pledge that residents can take to become more nature-friendly.

Based on other findings, they followed through on a biological diversity study in the area, called a BioBlitz, which cataloged more than 600 species of plants, animals and organisms.

“Through these and other actions, the RASER Working Group has established a strong foundation for the assessment and enhancement of Reston’s ecological resources and helped to create well-connected urban landscapes where nature and community members can thrive,” the Fairfax County website said.

In total, the report took volunteers more than 2,000 hours to complete, according to the website.

The nine members primarily responsible for compiling the report were invited to a ceremony on Tuesday (Oct. 22).

Photo via Fairfax County

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The Reston Town Center ice rink is set to return next week.

Next Friday (Nov. 8), the public will be able to enjoy the seasonal rink once again. The rink is located near the Reston Town Center Pavillion and will be open until March 15, 2020, according to the rink’s website.

The hours of operation are Monday-Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Admission prices range depending on age.

  • Adult admission: $10
  • Youth (under 12)/senior (55+)/military admission: $9
  • 10-person admission pack: $85

Skate rentals are available on-site and cost $6 on top of the admission price.

For those who don’t know how to skate, the center offers lessons throughout the season on Saturdays and Sundays for $125.

Photo via Facebook

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A new chicken restaurant coming to the VY at Reston Heights will serve up food with a Peruvian flair.

Chicken Rico plans to open a new location at 11830 Sunrise Valley Drive, according to Fairfax County records.

It is unclear when the location will open for business since a company spokesperson declined to share any details, but those curious about the chain can check out the other location in Herndon (1254 Elden Street).

The chain offers customers fast food options including baked chicken, fried plantains, rice, various grilled meats and more, according to its Facebook page.

Chicken Rico is one of several eateries coming to the apartment building, including My Home Thai, Reston Kabob and California-based chain BurgerIM.

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After five years in its current space, a cat-specific care center in Reston plans on expanding.

Just Cats Clinic (1601 N. Washington Plaza) outgrew its original office and decided to take over an empty space next door at Lake Anne Plaza, Elizabeth Chapman, the owner and head veterinarian, said.

Chapman said the expansion will include three more exam rooms — allowing the center to double its cat boarding capacity. In addition, the center plans to offer cat ultrasounds.

With more than 4,500 clients, Chapman said the center is currently at capacity.

“We are busting at the seams really,” she said, adding that the clinic will also look into hiring another veterinarian eventually.

Once the expansion is complete, the vet clinic will be roughly 5,000 square feet, Chapman said.

The center is waiting for permit approval from Fairfax County before kicking off construction. Chapman hopes the expansion will be finished by spring 2020.

Photo via Just Cats Clinic

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The Reston Community Center is expanding its online presence as part of its 40th-anniversary celebration.

The RCC created a series of six YouTube videos that cover local history and growth since the community center’s founding in 1979, according to a press release.

The first episode was posted last Thursday, Oct. 17, and featured the Reston Community Players, a community theatre group.

“The short videos were produced and directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and Reston resident Rebekah Wingert, principal of Storycatcher Productions,” the press release said.

As an introduction to the mini-series, the center highlighted last spring’s production, Annie. The video takes viewers behind the curtain and shows them how to production was created.

Future episodes will highlight other aspects of outreach programs and various programs sponsored by the center.

New episodes are expected to make their debut every other week.

“By using our YouTube platform, we will share how RCC connects to our partners and patrons in these compelling videos,” RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said.

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Fairfax County Police are hosting an open house where people can drop off unwanted or expired prescription medication.

Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout is an initiative that aims to keep unneeded medication out of the wrong hands and the environment, which can lead to abuse or accidental poisoning, according to the Fairfax County website. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 26), community members may drop off their extra medications at safe and confidential disposal at any Fairfax County Police district station.

This service is free and event organizers will accept any medication that is in the form of pills or liquid, no needles or canisters.

There are eight stations in the area participating in the event, including the Reston District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive.)

“Drug take-back programs are important because they are a safe method for disposing of prescription drugs and are organized and closely monitored by local, state, and federal government agencies,” the Fairfax County website said.

More than 42,000 people died in 2016 around the United States from drug overdoses and this drive will help eliminate the risk of drug abuse, the website said.

Anyone struggling with drug abuse can contact the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board for help and support or call Fairfax Detoxification Center at 703-322-9080.

Photo via Fairfax County

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A charity film festival is coming to Reston next week.

The Washington West Film Festival will take place from Thursday to next Tuesday (Oct. 24-28) at various venues around Reston, offering patrons a chance to watch the works of upcoming filmmakers on the big screen and contribute to a charitable cause.

The festival will kick off with a “Star Wars Red Carpet” event at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market Street) at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24. Tickets are free and admission is open to the public.

Since this event celebrates Anthony Daniels, attendees are encouraged to dress in costume as C-3PO — the humanoid robot Daniels’ played. There will be a prize for the attendee dressed in the most gold.

The charity festival was founded in 2011 by Brad Russell, according to the festival website. The festival gives all of its profits to charities, which differ from year to year. This year’s charity recipients are not listed on the website yet.

This year’s festival will feature around 30 films, ranging in genre and length. A schedule of showings and tickets can be found online.

Photo via Washington West Film Festival

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