The Reston Community Players’ 2017-18 season opens tonight as the curtain rises on their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed through Nov. 11 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
This weekend, the show is being performed at 8 p.m. both tonight and Saturday night. Tickets are $27, with student/senior tickets available for $23.
For more information about the show or about other upcoming events from the Reston Community Players, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3.
There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.
(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.)
- A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Oct. 29 at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
- The South Lakes High School football team, 6-1 on the season and ranked No. 13 in the region by the Washington Post, return home tonight for a 7 p.m. game against McLean.
- “Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
- The Woodland Park Crossing HarvestFest will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in the plaza, located at 12960 Highland Crossing Drive in Herndon. The event will feature strolling performers, tenant giveaways, face painting and entertainment, and participating restaurants will offer specials and samples.
- A digital scavenger hunt is planned in downtown Herndon from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Participants will explore various businesses and areas in downtown Herndon to find what they seek. Prizes will be given to winners who discover all the hidden treasures. The event is open to all ages, but parents must accompany any children who play.
- The bluegrass series at Holy Cross Lutheran Church (1090 Sterling Road, Herndon) will present a performance by The Blue Moon Cowgirls at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $15, with children 12 and under admitted free.
- At 11 a.m. Saturday, kids ages 6-12 are invited to take part in the “Halloween Science Spectacular” at the Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Kids will explore fun Halloween science experiments that are “gooey and foggy.”
- During “Giraffe-toberfest,” celebrate fall with animals at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunter Mill Road) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the zoo’s giraffe, “Waffles.” Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will support giraffe conservation.
- The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
- Fashion illustrator Joanna Baker will be at Scout & Molly’s (11944 Market St.) from 2-6 p.m. Saturday. Her prints will be available for purchase and she will be on hand to answer questions.
- Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include 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; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
(This article was updated at 12:10 p.m. Friday, June 30, with a statement from Rosenthal Properties.)
Customers looking for Panera Bread in the Woodland Park Crossing plaza in Herndon have been surprised recently to find it is no longer there.
The restaurant at 2328 Woodland Crossing Drive has had its outdoor signage stripped. All that is left is a sign posted on the door that reads simply: “Sorry for the inconvenience, We are Closed Permanently.” Nearby locations of the restaurant chain are listed on the sign, including the Worldgate Drive, Elden Street and Reston Town Center cafés.
A Yelp reviewer posted Monday that she “asked an employee at a nearby business [who] said it had something to do with issues with the landlord.”
Woodland Park Crossing is managed by Rosenthal Properties, who list the former Panera Bread’s 4,817-square foot space as available. According to a statement from Billy Orlove, Rosenthal director of leasing, sent to Reston Now on Friday:
Panera Bread’s lease expires today (6/30/2017), and Panera elected not to renew its lease with the landlord.
Rosenthal is actively working with an exciting new tenant to backfill the Panera Bread space, and we will happily share that news with you and the Reston/Herndon community as soon as we can.
The mixed-use Woodland Park East development will include 678 residential units: 74 single-family attached homes, 90 two-over-two stacked townhomes and 515 multifamily dwelling units within two buildings. Two office buildings — 16 stories and 14 stories — that will include 20,000 square feet of optional ground-floor retail are also part of the plan. The property will also include 6.1 acres of public parks and 2.8 acres of private open space.
The county Planning Commission recommended the project for approval in January.
The development is planned to provide affordable housing, with 12 percent of the total units (approximately 81) set aside as affordable or workforce housing.
“It really does reflect the opportunity of need, if you think about the development that has come forward with the workforce there and all of the housing,” said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District). “How do we meet the needs of work and living throughout the tiers of incomes? I really do appreciate working on that. I think this is a very good project.”
Illustration and map via Fairfax County
Those concerns now appear to be a thing of the past, however, as the company has ended its business with The Clarion Project. The decision came last week following pressure from the interfaith community, some of which was seen during the Woodland Park hearing.
Tishman Speyer owns the property, located to the west of Monroe Street and south of the Dulles Toll Road, that is up for discussion. It also leased D.C. office space to The Clarion Project, a group that has created and distributed a number of anti-Muslim films and other materials, until it severed the contract last week.
The Clarion Project is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Speakers at the Jan. 11 public hearing included Colin Christopher, the deputy director of government affairs for Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. Christopher said his mosque wanted the planning commission to delay the vote and take a stand against Tishman Speyer, who he said had to that point refused to address its relationship with The Clarion Project.
“If you don’t think this is a big deal, I’d like you to imagine hundreds of people and faith leaders — maybe from your church or synagogue or mosque — at the next meeting, standing in front of the bulldozers with the local news documenting what’s going on,” Christopher said. “We have that power and we will use it if we have to.”
Christopher said Islamophobia is gaining momentum in the United States and it is the responsibility of citizens and government officials to fight it. His words were echoed by Jeanne Trabulsi, a teacher from Arlington who followed him to the podium.
“Tishman Speyer has chosen to ignore clergy and other citizens who have reached out and who are concerned that allowing a hate group to exist and function in our midst is corrosive to our sense of well-being and to the well-being of others,” she said. “I ask that the board postpone approval of this project until Tishman Speyer becomes a good global citizen.”
Alison Glick, of the DC-Metro chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, also addressed the commission in support of the Muslim community. She said her group had protested at the Pennsylvania Avenue office building in December and 30 interfaith clergy had sent a letter to Tishman Speyer asking them to evict The Clarion Project.
“We want you to know that we understand how important this development project is,” Glick told the planning commission about the Woodland Park Parcel. “But the relationship that we have with the Muslim community… is also important.”
On Jan. 17, the Jewish Voice for Peace said the testimony at the Woodland Park Parcel public hearing was what forced Tishman Speyer’s hand to make its decision regarding The Clarion Group.
“The turning point in the campaign came when JVP DC-Metro partnered with leaders from the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. The Islamic and Jewish organizations collaborated to challenge a major Tishman Speyer development project that was before the Fairfax County Planning Commission. Last week, the Commission was set to unanimously approve the project, until representatives from Dar Al-Hijrah and JVP testified about Tishman Speyer’s ties to the Clarion Project.”
All commissioners who voted on the project did recommend it for approval, but two commissioners — Karen Keys-Gamarra (Sully) and Janyce Hedetniemi (At-Large) — decided to abstain because of the testimony. Commissioner Frank de la Fe, of the Hunter Mill District, explained that what the speakers was asking was outside the purview of the commission.
“I sympathize and empathize with what I heard. Our nation is going through what I would call some difficult times,” de la Fe said. “But we are here to make land use decisions based on what is good for the county as far as the land use process. I think this application meets those requirements.”
The 31.69-acre property, proposed for residential/mixed-use development, is being planned to house 74 single-family attached homes, 90 two-over-two stacked townhomes, 515 multifamily dwelling units within two buildings, and two office buildings, including 580,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to hold a hearing on the project Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m.
The Woodland Park area of Herndon may soon be getting even more crowded.
Currently vacant land to the west of Monroe Street, behind the Woodland Park Crossing Shopping Center, is being proposed for a future residential/mixed-use development. The proposal for the 31.59-acre lot is scheduled to be discussed in a public hearing next week with the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
The property borders the Dulles Toll Road to the north and is very near the planned Herndon Metro Station. On current streets, the drive to the station would be slightly less than 1 mile; on a new crossing with Monroe Street proposed in conjunction with project, it would be only about half a mile.
Developers hope the site will one day house:
- 74 single-family attached homes
- 90 two-over-two stacked townhomes
- 515 multifamily dwelling units within two buildings
- two office buildings, including 580,000 square feet of ground-floor retail
A similar project, the Woodland Park Waterview apartments, was approved last month by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will meet Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 8:15 p.m. in the Board Auditorium of the Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax).