Happy Thanksgiving!

Reston Now is enjoying some family time today, and hopefully you are too. We will be back on Friday.

If you are heading to Reston Town Center on Friday, read this previous story about the parade, tree lighting and other holiday fun.

If you are heading out to start your Christmas and Chanukah shopping, bring your patience and eye for bargains.

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2013 Run Your Heart Out 5K/Credit: Potomac River RunningThe whole family is invited to burn before the bird on Thursday at the Turkey Day 5K at South Lakes High School in Reston.

There is an event for everyone — a 5K race, a 1-mile fun run, even a tot trot.

Here is what you need to know:

The 5K begins at 8 a.m.; The fun run/walk at 8:50 a.m.; the 100-yard tot trot is at 9 a.m.

Race proceeds will go benefit the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. A contribution will also be made to the South Lakes High School Track and Field team for track upgrades.

There will be prizes. Overall awards will be $300-$200-$100 for the top three men and top three women. In addition, the top 3 in the following age groups will be awarded: 14 & Under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, and 75 & over.

Entry fees: Adults — $40 at the packet pickup Wednesday or at the race Thursday (online registration closed Monday). Visit race site to see fees for kids and for fun run. Advance packet pickup is Tuesday and Wednesday at Potomac River Running at Reston Town Center.

The course will start and finish on South Lakes’ track, as well as go through the woods on Reston Association paths.

Photo: Racing on Reston trails/file photo


Contributions from the community enabled Cornerstones to distribute more than 900 Thanksgiving baskets and grocery certificates to families in need over the weekend.

The Reston nonprofit says that about 100 volunteers, including Individuals, families, and volunteer groups such as scouts, religious organizations, businesses, and schools, helped distribute the items on Saturday.

Each family was provided with a Thanksgiving basket, many of which were decorated by donors with holiday messages and pictures.

The baskets included:

  • 3 cans assorted veggies and 2 cans fruit
  • 1 bottle cooking oil; 2 lb. bag of flour and 2 lb. bag of sugar
  • 1 box instant potatoes or macaroni & cheese or stuffing
  • 1 box rice, 1 box biscuit or muffin mix
  • 1 snack (pretzels, chips, nuts, etc.)
  • 1 box of dessert mix
  • 1 $25 gift card (Giant/Safeway/Shoppers) for the purchase of a turkey/ham entrée

“For many in our community with stressed budgets and financial challenges, a Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t possible,” said Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson.

“Cornerstones has been hosting this annual Thanksgiving food drive for more than a decade, to allow families in need in our community to focus on paying bills, buying food, and remaining in their homes.”

Cornerstones is also holding a winter coat drive and a Gifts for Kids drive this holiday season. Visit Cornerstones’ website for more details.

Photos courtesy of Cornerstones

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Highway traffic/Credit: AAA Mid-AtlanticWith gas prices at the lowest they have been since 2010, the American Automobile Association is expecting more than 1 million Washington-area residents to travel more than 50 miles over Thanksgiving 2014.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says about 1,138,300 of us will travel for the holiday — the most since 2007. Of those, 1,028,500 will travel by automobile. That’s up 3.1 percent from 2014.

“We’re experiencing the lowest gas prices since December 2010, prompting more people to hit the road this Thanksgiving,” said Lon Anderson, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Managing Director of Public and Government Affairs.

AAA Thanksgiving Travel Forecast 2014“Let’s put the magnitude of the Thanksgiving holiday exodus into perspective. Nearly one out of five area residents (19 percent) will be traveling away from the region this Thanksgiving.”

Since 90 percent of Thanksgiving travelers will travel by car, it will cost less to drive than in recent years, says Anderson. Gas is averaging under $3 a gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, says AAA.  The national average for gas is $2.86 a gallon.

Gas prices in Reston range from $2.95 a gallon at the Exxon at Wiehle Avenue and Isaac Newton Square to $2.99 at the Exxon at Glade and Colts Neck, according to Gasbuddy.com.

If you are hitting the road, when is the best time to leave? A recent Washington Post Dr. Gridlock story says roads here may see a holiday travel impact as early as this Sunday.

Thomson cites a study by INRIX, a traffic analysis firm:

Looking at the data on the D.C. area’s traffic for November 2012, the most recent Thanksgiving period for which sufficient information was available, the researchers found that holiday travel has some impact as early as the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and that the impact continues till the Monday afterward.

But the most difficult getaways were  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. The traffic build-up starts early each afternoon, compared to other weeks that fall.

You can also visit this graphic to see how typical Washington-area Wednesday evening traffic compares to Thanksgiving Eve traffic.

Photo Courtesy of AAA


Before you chow down on turkey, burn off the calories in advance.

An organized and family friendly bike ride will once again take place in Reston on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is what you need to know:

All ages are welcome. Meet at South Lakes Starbucks at 8:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.

Contact [email protected] or call 703-966-6182 for more information and to connect with a ride coordinator as there may be rides from other village centers if there is enough interest.

All rides will converge at Starbucks at Reston Town Center.


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