After a successful inaugural event last year, the Reston Pride Festival is moving from its small home in the Unitarian Universalist Church to Lake Anne Plaza. The event is set for June 1 from 2-7 p.m.
“Last year’s response was so great that we opted for this new location and businesses and the plaza have been very supportive and involved,” Amiee Freeman, one of the festival’s organizers told Reston Now.
Delta Knyght, a DC-based drag entertainer, and Ken Williamson, minister of music for Washington Plaza Baptist Church and a former Las Vegas entertainer, will emcee the event. Elected officials scheduled to speak include Del. Ken Plum and Del. Danica Roem, according to event organizers. Interfaith leaders from the United Christian Parish, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and Restoration Church, will also give remarks at the event.
“Our hope is that this event will not only be awareness-raising, but also a fun and engaging expression of inclusion,” Freeman said.
Last year’s event attracted more than 1,200 people and was co-sponsored by more than 20 community organizations. The event is the brain child of Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and co-chair of Reston Pride.
She says the festival aims to “break silence in the greater Reston/Herndon area about LGBTQ+ people and issues.”
“We are thrilled that so many organizations are working together to bring the community the second Pride festival and to launch what we hope will be an annual event,” she said.
Photo by Debra Haffner
Roughly 1,200 people attended Saturday’s inaugural Reston Pride Festival at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston.
The Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister at UUCR, pushed to put together the event after she moved to Reston two years ago and identified what she calls a void in programming for and about the local LGBTQ population.
“I asked where are the gay people in Reston. My congregants told me there were none,” Haffner told Reston Now. “I knew that wasn’t true.”
The event was cosponsored by more than 21 local organizations and included a performance by Reston Community Players and remarks by local elected officials, including state Del. Ken Plum. Many of the attendees were from South Lakes High School and Herndon High School, organizers said.
Haffner’s son, Greg Tartaglione, a drag performer, was the emcee — a role that Haffner said taught event-goers “about the role a drag queen can play in creating community.”
Plans are in the works to continue the festival next year, likely at a larger venue like Reston Town Center or Lake Anne Plaza. Haffner said the community needs to do more to celebrate the local LGBTQ community.
“For the last year, UCR has had a rainbow flag in front of our church. We’re only the freestanding rainbow flag in Reston. We need as a community to do much more and stand up and support and celebrate the LGBTQ community,” she said.
Photos by Kim-Marie Mullen and Debra Haffner
The family-friendly, alcohol-free event aims to support and celebrate Reston’s LGBTQ community, said the Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister at UUCR.
Her son, Greg Tartaglione, will emcee and perform as Mama Celeste, a drag performance artist, at the festival. Mama Celeste will also host Oakland’s first drag festival this month.
“As someone new to Reston, I was surprised to discover that despite Reston’s founding commitment to diversity and inclusion, there had never been a Pride festival in Reston. I am delighted by the enthusiastic response and support we are receiving for Reston Pride, often from groups and organizations that have never spoken out before on LGBTQ issues,” Haffner said.
The festival, which takes place at UUCR, includes more than 10 performers, presentations by area political and faith leaders, exhibits, booths, food, and music.
Reston Community Players will perform “Rock the Ages and “Hairspray” at the festival. State Del. Ken Plum and state Sen. Janet Howell will speak alongside Lisa Merkel, the mayor of the Town of Herndon.
Eighteen cosponsors are supporting the event, including six churches and synagogues, Cornerstones and the YMCA.
Photo via Myers Public Relations
Firing up some love for Reston Olympian Maame Biney – Fire Station 39 in North Point is showing Biney, a short-track speed skater, some love on their entrance sign. She advanced to the 500-meter Olympics quarterfinal over the weekend. [Fairfax County Fire Department]
Class on Insight Meditation and Mindfulness Practices Today — Steady your mind with this guided class on insight meditation, an art that aims to cultivate natural wisdom and compassion. The class will take place atUnitarian Universalist Church in Reston (1625 Wiehle Avenue) from 7:30-8:45 p.m. Newcomers are welcome and registration is free.
If you’re feeling adventurous – Reston’s Tropical Smoothie Cafe is offering a “red hot love” smoothie in celebration of Valentine’s Day through Wednesday. We’re told it’s a mix of green apple, white chocolate and cinnamon candies. [Tropical Smoothie Cafe]
Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.
- ArtSpace Herndon presents a book signing with Eileen Curtis, who recently retired after serving as the Dulles Chamber of Commerce President and CEO for 23 years, on Saturday at 2 p.m. Her book, Chamber Tales: A Memoir of Commerce, Community and Stunning Forces of Change, tells personal details about the leaders with whom she worked over the last two decades.
- On Saturday, children between the ages of 5 and 12 can bring their winter-themed artwork to Reston Regional Library for display. Only one submission per artist per season is allowed.
- Join the Walker Nature Center for a half-day annual bird count throughout Reston from 7 a.m. through noon on Sunday. Volunteers are invited to enjoy a free launch, tally results and swap stories back at Nature House.
- This week’s Sunday service at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston will center around the theme, “The Lives We Lead” at 10 a.m. The church is located at 1625 Wiehle Avenue.
- Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza) is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The store opened on Jan. 7, 1978.
- Restoration Church (1501 Becontree Lane) is also celebrating an anniversary this Sunday form 10 to 11 a.m. The church turns three this year. The celebration will include activities for kids, a photo booth and a birthday cake.
- Reston artist Rudy Guernica’s exhibit “Lost in the Woods” will be in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne from Jan. 9 through February 4. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m.
- In the exhibit, “Paulina Peavy: A Message to Paulina,” Paulina Peavy’s work will be on display through Feb. 17 at Greater Reston Arts Center. Peavy gave up control of her brush to an alien entity named Locamo after attending a seance in 1932. Her work includes paintings, films and texts that she used to better channel Lacamo’s energy.
- Congregation Beth Emeth (12523 Lawyers Road) is holding a free session on caring for caregivers on Sunday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. The program is led by Rabbi Steve Glazer, who has established a consulting firm that specializes in the topic.
Reston-based Federal Contractor Sold to Private Equity Firm — Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc., a contractor with ties to defense agencies, was sold to an affiliate of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but H.I.G. manages $24 billion in equity capital worldwide. [Washington Business Journal]
Parenting Talk Tonight to Focus on Sexuality Education for Children — Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and Cornerstones are hosting Dr. Debra Haffner for a talk about sexuality education. Haffner will discuss her award-winning book, “From Diapers to Dating: A Parenting Guide to Sexually Healthy Children.” The book is a step-by-step guide on how to provide accurate information to children and convey values about sexuality to children. [UUCR]
Registration for Reston-Herndon Little League Now Open — Interested applicants can submit registration online. Applications are due by January 1. The league is open to children between 4 and 12. [Reston Herndon Little League]
Discussion on Sue Wrbican’s ‘Well Past the Echo’ Exhibition Tomorrow Night — Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary for the National Gallery of Art, will give a talk on the exhibition and the overlap between surrealism and contemporary art. The event will take place from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. [Greater Reston Arts Center via Facebook]
There are several marquee events in the area this weekend, beginning with the kickoff of the JamBrew series tonight in Herndon. Aslin Beer Co. will be pouring frosty mugs, Weird Brothers Coffee will be offering tasty drinks, Lake Anne Brew House/Nordic Knot Pretzels “will be vending fresh baked soft pretzels to the masses,” and there will be much more. Live music will be offered from DJ Cihad, Todd Wright and Tammy Gann, and Turtle Recall. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.).
(Lake Anne Plaza’s Jazz & Blues Festival has been canceled due to rain in the forecast.)
Over at Lake Anne Plaza, the 11th annual Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival will go down from 1-9 p.m. Saturday. The lineup of musicians for the festival includes many well-known names in the local music community. The eight hours of music will include performances by Cheick Hamala Dibaté, Sam Gunderson, John Lee & Michael Pavone, Integriti Reeves, Mykle Lyons (sextet), Gigi MacClaughlin, Kriss Funn and Crush Funk Brass.
On Monday in Herndon, the town’s annual Labor Day Festival will feature Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, live music, a craft show, food vendors, lawn games and more. Eight craft brewers will offer tastings, and eight wineries are participating as well. There will also be live music throughout the event and much more. Admission for those participating in sampling wine and beer will be $20, which includes a glass for wine and three complimentary beer tastings. Anyone who won’t be purchasing alcoholic beverages will be admitted for $5, and children 12 and under will be admitted free. The event is slated for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.).
The weekend weather forecast calls for a chance of rain Saturday, a partly sunny day Sunday and then a gorgeous Labor Day holiday. Get out there and make the most of it!
Listed below are some other events that will also be taking place this holiday weekend.
(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)
- Reston Association is hosting a chartered bus trip to the National Book Festival at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday. All ages are welcome, but children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $18 for RA members and $23 for non-members. The bus will depart from RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration can be done through Webtrac, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 703-435-6577.
- Reston Association will have four pools — Lake Audubon, Lake Newport, North Shore and Ridge Heights — open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. North Shore and Ridge Heights will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day; Lake Audubon and Lake Newport will be open from noon to 7 p.m.
- The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
- Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
- Surf Reston is offering the chance to paddleboard to the sounds of the Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Advance registration is required. In addition, there will be SUP yoga from 9-11 a.m. Saturday.
- Unitarian Universalist Church (1625 Wiehle Ave.) will show the film “A Five-Star Life” tonight beginning at 8:30 p.m., preceded at 8 p.m. by a social and snack opportunity.
- Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night; Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
- Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) will also have a pregame party Sunday in anticipation of that evening’s college football game between Virginia Tech and West Virginia at FedExField. The restaurant will also charter a bus to the game, leaving at 3:30 p.m., with tickets starting at $29.99. (Note: That price only includes the ride and the party, not tickets to the game itself.)
- Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Olivia & The Mates tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and from Sam Gunderson during those hours Saturday night.
- Mr. Knick Knack will provide “unique, heart-centered music” for children Monday from 10:30-11:15 a.m. at the Reston Town Center pavilion. Parking will be free at the Town Center for the Labor Day holiday.