Starting over Labor Day weekend, transfers between Metro trains and Fairfax Connector buses will be free.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) said yesterday (Monday) it has partnered with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to provide free transfers on nearly all Connector bus routes beginning on Sunday (Sept. 5).
This lines up with Metro’s new policy of also offering free bus transfers, which was first announced earlier this month.
“Fairfax Connector has historically aligned fare policies with Metrobus and by doing so, helps create a seamless experience for users when moving between transit services provided by WMATA and the County,” FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger wrote in an email. “That’s why we are partnering with WMATA to extend their program to Fairfax Connector bus service to provide good customer service and provide incentives to ride transit.”
The two exceptions will be the Fairfax Connector Express Service and the Wolf Trap shuttle. Both will be discounted by $2, though, with the use of WMATA’s SmarTrip card or app.
This is a pilot program that will operate for the next 10 months, through early July 2022, Geiger says.
Fairfax Connector serves all Metro stations located in Fairfax County. This will include all Silver Line Phase 2 stations once those open, Geiger confirms.
Additionally, the Wolf Trap shuttle will start again operating on Sept. 5. The shuttle runs between the West Falls Church Metro station and Wolf Trap National Park’s Filene Center.
The new policy is part of a larger push to encourage increased ridership on the Fairfax Connector as schools, offices, and other public places reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope that when people go back to their workplaces, they consider returning to or trying transit for the first time,” writes Geiger. “Now, is the time to ride because the free transfer from Fairfax Connector to Metrorail or from Metrorail to Fairfax Connector saves money and because Fairfax Connector continues to provide a safe and healthy environment on buses.”
In May, county officials said they were reviewing possibly reducing or even eliminating fares altogether on the Fairfax Connector.
To help with this, the county was planning to apply for grant funds from Virginia’s Transit Ridership Incentive Program. The application deadline for the program is Sept. 17. Geiger says there’s currently no additional information on the possibility of reducing or eliminating fares.
Monday, August 30
- Take Me Out To The Ball Game (5 p.m.) — Join the Reston Association for a night at Nats Park. All are welcome to grab a ride on the bus (pick-up at 12001 Sunset Valley Drive) and head to the ballpark. Seats are under cover and snacks/drinks are welcomed on the bus.
Tuesday, August 31
- Owl Prowl (8:30-9:30 p.m.) — Head out to Potomac Regional Park in search of the barred owl, Northern Virginia’s most frequently-observed owl. Listen closely to hear their call which sounds a lot like the owl saying “”Whooooo cooks for youuuu?”
Wednesday, September 1
- Yarn-aholics (7 p.m.) — Calling all knitting, crochet, and yarn enthusiasts, head over to George Mason Library in Annandale for a yarn meet-up. Discuss projects, learn from one another, and share yarn!
Thursday, September 2
- Evening Under the Stars (6 p.m) — Peer into the night sky at the George Mason University Observatory. Hear from experts and glance through the state-of-the-art telescopes to see the stars. Note, stargazing might be cancelled if atmospheric conditions do not allow for viewing.
Friday, September 3
- Broadway in the Park (8 p.m.) — Wolf Trap National Park celebrates the return of live theater and Broadway with their own special show, featuring performances from Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry and Tony Award-winning Brian Stokes Mitchell. Plus, a few favorites from Arlington’s Signature Theater as well.
Saturday, September 4
- Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival (1–8:30 p.m.) — Reston’s jazz and blues festival is back after taking a year off. This edition will be the 14th annual with performances from a number of well-known area groups, including the Doc Dikeman Big Band.
- Arlington Festival of the Arts (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) — This two-day arts festival in Clarendon is back on with artists across the country coming to show and sell their wares. Masks must be worn inside the festival at all times.
Sunday, September 5
- Ghost Hunting Tour (8:30 p.m.) — Start the spooky season off early with this ghostly tour in old town Manassas. The “Ghost Doctors” lead the tour through this centuries-old town, while looking and, perhaps even, interacting with spirits.
- Virginia Scottish Games (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) — Piping competitions, terrier races, highland dance, and fiddling performances are just a few of the competitions that are taking place at this year’s Virginia Scottish Games. Head 40 minutes west from Reston for a day’s worth of athletic competitions, bagpipes, and whiskey.
Tuesday, July 6
- Meet the Chief (7 p.m.) — Recently-appointed Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis is meeting with community members and taking questions at the Reston Community Center. Those who can’t attend in-person are welcome to join via Zoom.
Wednesday, July 7
- 123 Andrés (10 a.m.) — Head out to Frying Pan Park in Herndon for a sing-along with this Latin Grammy-winning music duo. Catchy songs will be in both English and Spanish which will surely get the whole family dancing.
Thursday, July 8
- Drive-In Movie Night (8 p.m.) — Take in a flick pool-side at Reston’s Autumnwood Recreation Area. This week’s movie is Disney’s “Raya & The Last Dragon.” Each ticket includes movie, pool time, movie-themed swag, popcorn, and a drink.
Friday, July 9
- Friday Night Live! (6:30 p.m.) — Herndon’s summer tradition is back after a year (and week) off. Join local party band Turtle Recall for a night of fun and music on the Herndon Town Green.
- White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (8 p.m.) — Witness an unrehearsed and undirected one-person show at NextStop Theater Company in Herndon. It will feature a veteran actor reading the script of a well-known play for the first time. This week, Katelyn Manfre will tackle 2019’s version of “Pride & Prejudice.”
Saturday, July 10
- Blue Sky Puppet Theater (10 a.m.) — Help Rufus, a shy little dog, find his owners in this puppet performance for the whole family at Wakefield Park in Annandale.
- Mindful Drawing (10 a.m.) — Learn to use drawing as meditation, to calm your spirit and become one with nature. The program will take place at Huntley Meadows Park.
- Max Weinberg’s Jukebox (8 p.m.) — The former “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” band leader takes to the Wolf Trap stage to perform hits the audience wants and requests. It’s not a concert, it’s a party!
Sunday, July 11
Monday, June 28
- Pride Social, Remembering Stonewall (6-9 p.m.) — Come join the party at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington. With Pride month coming to an end, head over to Northern Virginia’s most popular LGBTQ+ bar for a name tag and some socializing. What’s more, June 28 marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, so here’s a chance to pay respects with others.
Tuesday, June 29
- Hummingbirds In the Morning (6-9 a.m.) — Get up early, grab your camera and head to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna for a golden light photography workshop. Snap photos of hummingbirds, butterflies, or anything else that catches your camera’s attention.
Wednesday, June 30
- Skate Your Heart Out (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) — Take a spin on the newly-opened Mosaic Skateland. This outdoor roller rink just opened earlier this month and will be so until mid-September. So, grab those roller skates (or rent a pair) and roll your way into some fun.
Thursday, July 1
- Fifty Years of Wolf Trap (8 p.m.) — Celebrate five decades of Wolf Trap, the historic outdoor performance arts venue, with opening night performances from Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo and internationally-acclaimed soprano Christine Goerke. All of this will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.
- Footloose (7:30 p.m.) — Put on those dancing shoes and go to Strawberry Park in the Mosaic District for an outdoor showing of the 1984 movie Footloose. Every Thursday night through Labor Day, a classic, family-friendly movie will be played outside in the park.
Friday, July 2
- Darn Good Country (4 p.m.) — Music festivals are back after a year off, and Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville is hosting a “Darn Good Country Weekend.” Headliners include Chase Rice, Dustin Lynch, and more.
Saturday, July 3
- City of Fairfax’s Independence Day Celebration (10 a.m.) — After missing out last year, many local jurisdictions are back to in-person July 4 celebrations this year. The City of Fairfax will commemorate the holiday on both July 3 and July 4 this year with a parade and marching bands on Saturday and fireworks on Sunday.
Sunday, July 4
- Great Falls July 4th (8 a.m.) — Spend all of the Fourth in Great Falls for their celebration. There will be a blood drive, a kids parade, a main parade, a festival, and fireworks at night.
- Firecracker 5k (8 a.m.) — Before chowing down, get some exercise on the Fourth with a 5k at Reston Town Center.
- Herndon Fireworks (9:30 p.m.) — Look to the sky at Bready Park for a firework celebration hosted by the Town of Herndon. Free admission and parking, though there will be no concessions or other entertainment this year.
Monday, May 3
- Puppet Party (2-3 p.m.) — Help Lucky Duck and Mr. Chris find Mini Bunny so that the magic show can start! This virtual puppet mystery hosted by Fairfax County Public Library is for school-aged kids who want to love mystery and want to learn a few magic tricks.
Tuesday, May 4
- Star Wars Nailed It! (7-8:30 p.m.) — May the Fourth be with you while designing the perfect Star Wars cake. Inspired by the Netflix competition show Nailed It!, this event from Chantilly DIY cake decorating studio Cake Time gives participants a chance to succeed (or fail) in elaborately decorating their own cake. Masks must be worn at all times.
Wednesday, May 5
- Rewind Wednesdays (7 p.m.) — Join local musician David Thong outdoors at Jammin’ Java for an all-request, totally improvised show. Get over the hump day by rocking out to everything from No Doubt to Neil Diamond.
Thursday, May 6
- Books for Teachers (4-6 p.m.) — It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and all teachers love books. From May 5-8, any teacher (or librarian and school staff) who shops at Reston’s Scrawl Books will get a discount, a free tote bag, and a gift card.
Friday, May 7
- Who Dunnit (2 p.m.) — Catch a virtual performance of South Lakes High School’s spring musical, a murder mystery written by Mark Brutsche. Can you solve the mystery of who did it?
Saturday, May 8
- FCPL Comic Con (3-4 p.m.) — Learn the basics of drawing comics with award-winning illustrator Wendy Xu, the co-creator of the book “Mooncakes.” This event is intended for middle and high schoolers.
- Soundwalk (any time) — Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and sound artist Ellen Reid curates this unique work of public art at Wolf Trap. Download the free app, walk Wolf Trap’s grounds, and listen to the music that will guide and showcase the natural environment.
Sunday, May 9
- Pups and Pints (12-8 p.m.) — The McLean Metro station’s parking lot is being transformed into a makeshift dog park. So, bring your pup, grab a bite from a food truck, sip a pint, and enjoy live music at this outdoor dog/human festival for all. Masks are required when not eating and drinking.
- Mother’s Day 5K (7-10 a.m.) — Celebrate your mom at Occoquan Regional Park’s third annual Mother’s Day 5k Run/Walk. The course takes you along the beautiful Occoquan River. It’s family and dog-friendly with finisher medals open to runners and walkers of all abilities.
Photo via Unsplash/Jessica Ruscello
Seven art organizations across Fairfax County, including the Greater Reston Arts Center, were recently awarded part of a $105,296 grant from ARTSFAIRFAX.
Dryer’s work “Yours for the Taking” is expected to be available for viewing from January to April, and the Reston Greater Arts Center is set to host a reception and curator talk on Jan. 18 from 4-7 p.m.
Each organization will receive a sum of money between $1,000 to $30,000 to assist with a specific project. ARTSFAIRFAX declined to share the specific grant amounts for recipients with Reston Now.
The seven art centers demonstrated factors including enrichment, economic growth for the area, accessibility to art and the ability to foster individual creativity, according to a press release.
“Project awardees presented innovative and creative means to engage the community and bring people together to experience arts in fresh and unusual ways,” the press release said.
Image via Greater Reston Arts Center/Facebook
Local Meeting on County Budget is Saturday — Residents of the Hunter Mill District will have their chance to weigh in on the proposed Fairfax County FY2018 budget from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Frying Pan Farm Park visitor center. [Reston Now]
‘Monsters’ to Be on Stage at Herndon HS — The Herndon High School Drama Boosters will present “From the Mouths of Monsters,” a Kennedy Center Production inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” March 17-19. [Herndon High School Theatre]
Wolf Trap Summer Lineup Features Big Names — Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow are just a few of the many top acts who will perform this year at Wolf Trap. Mary J. Blige will kick off the summer season with a show May 25, followed two days later by Fifth Harmony. [Wolf Trap]
Reston Association Elections About to Begin — Ballots can be cast starting Monday in this year’s Reston Association Board of Directors election. Eleven candidates in total are vying for four seats on the nine-member board. No incumbents are running. [Reston Association]