by Karen Goff July 31, 2015 at 10:55 am 6 Comments

 Fairfax County officials said the recent 2015 World Police & Fire Games brought more than $83.85 million in economic benefits to the area.

The estimate exceeds the $50 million economic benefit the organizers predicted just before the Games. The biennial event ran here from June 26 to July 5.

Barry Biggar, president of the Fairfax County Convention and Visitors Corporation, told the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at a meeting Tuesday the figures are conservative and do not include spending by 3,500 volunteers, who received 17,000 complimentary meals but likely spent some of their own money, or overnight stays by from participants Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

Figures are based on Fairfax County’s 6-percent hotel-occupancy and sales-tax rates, he said.

Figures are not available yet on a location-by-location basis and will be tough to calculate, officials said. Reston likely saw a good portion of spending because the Athletes Village was headquartered at Reston Town Center, drawing athletes and their families to visit Reston and spend money here. There were also several athletic events in Reston.

There were 10,000 participants in the Games and about 2,000 of those athletes were local, organizers said. The Games featured competition at 52 venues, most of which were in Fairfax County. The Games were marred by a sad incident, when a Brazilian police inspector was fatally injured in a bike race.

Biggar said that based on the police games success, Fairfax will now pursue the 2019 National Senior Games. The 2017 Police Games will be held in Montreal.

The Supervisors said they were pleased with Fairfax being shown in a positive light at the event.

Photo: Canadian soccer players at Reston Town Center

by Karen Goff July 8, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,013 1 Comment


 Public safety officers from around the region will escort the the body of Brazilian police investigator Carlos Silva from Alexandria to Dulles International Airport Wednesday morning.

Silva, 48, died from injuries suffered in a 2015 World Police & Fire Games cycling race last week. Two other cyclists were badly injured.

A memorial service was held for Silva at Reston Town Center Friday night, and visitors left mounds of flowers at a memorial to Silva near the Mercury Fountain.

The caravan will impact some Reston-area roads.

Fairfax County Police said officers from the Fairfax County Police Department, the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, the City of Fairfax, Prince William County and from the Virginia State Police, will honorably escort Silva and his family to Dulles.

The escort will depart from Metropolitan Funeral Service at 5517 Vine Street in Alexandria on Wednesday at approximately 10 a.m.

The escort will travel on South Van Dorn Street to I-95 South, to the I-495 HOT Lanes North, to Rt. 267 (Dulles Toll Road), then the Dulles Access Road West, to the airport.

An Honor Guard contingent will be awaiting Silva’s arrival, police said.

“We ask the motoring public for their patience and understanding as the escort may cause brief traffic disruptions along the way,” FCPD said in a release.

Police said the community is welcome to join public safety personnel along the escort route in order to express their support for Silva and the other injured athletes, who are recovering at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The World Police & Fire Games, which concluded its 10-day run in Fairfax County Sunday, has set up a Go Fund Me Page to help Silva’s family, as well as the families of the two injured cyclists.

Photo: Memorial service for Carlos Silva at Reston Town Center Friday, July 3/Courtesy WPFG.

by Karen Goff July 7, 2015 at 11:30 am 1,158 5 Comments

An empty Reston Town Center Pavilion after World Police & Fire Games load out.

The World Police & Fire Games’ Athletes Village — site of beer drinking, darts playing and nightly dancing — at Reston Town Center was deconstructed and packed in trucks on Monday. The amicable athletes from dozens of nations were back to their beats in Hong Kong and Germany, Indiana and Arlington.

Overall, the 2015 Games were considered a success, especially in Reston, the hub of athlete social activity.

The Fairfax County-based Games, which brought nearly 10,000 athletes and many thousands more family and friends to the area, were expected to pump about $50 million into the DC-area economy. It will be a while before economic officials tally the impact.

Most Reston Town Center stores were busy during the 10-day event. However, there is no way to gauge whether they were busy as usual or busy because of the crowds there for the Games.

“We’re always busy,” one waiter at Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food and Lucky Lounge said.

Ginger Brookman, who sells cakes, croissants and other treats at Edibles Incredible, says business was booming. The bakery was busy from breakfast at 7 a.m. until closing at 9 p.m.

“People were so nice,” she said. “It was great to meet so many people from so many places. No matter what language they spoke, they all said ‘chocolate’ the same way.”

Across the plaza at the newly opened Neyla restaurant, manager Maroun Wazir said business was steady.

Visitors to Reston Town Center may have noticed a large security detail by town center security and additional Fairfax County Police officers.

“This effort was put in place to ensure the safety of the athletes as well as all those who were visiting Reston Town Center,” said FCPD public information officer Shelley Broderick.

Broderick said the Reston District did not experience any major incidents or arrests, nor did they have an increase in calls for service during the Games.

by Karen Goff July 6, 2015 at 11:00 am 3,244 30 Comments

The 2015 World Police & Fire Games wrapped more than a week of competition and camaraderie in Fairfax County with a half marathon and a closing ceremony Sunday at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Since June 26, athletes from more than 50 countries ran and swam, grappled and rowed, shot and spiked here. They also competed for law enforcement-specific titles such as honor guard and ultimate firefighter.

The games, which cost about $20 million to put on, were expected to pump more than $50 million into the Fairfax County economy.

In Reston, site of the Athletes Village, the games went off without incident. The surface parking lot turned into a daily beer garden, silent disco and concert venue, where NYPD cops played darts with Scandinavian firefighters and personnel from across the globe traded patches and lifted a pints.

Over the holiday weekend, athletes engaged in a raucous wrist wrestling competition in the pavilion and indoor rowing at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

Reston was also the site of Sunday’s final competition, the half marathon. See how the runners finished on this WPFG results page. Law enforcement officials carried the Games’ torch in the half marathon’s final steps. The torch has now been passed to Montreal, site of the 2017 Games.

Reston was also the site where hundreds of visitors and athletes paid tribute to Brazilian police inspector Carlos Silva, who died from injuries suffered in a cycling race accident.

Silva, 48, and the other cyclists (one American, the other Canadian) were involved in a chain reaction accident after a tire blowout on a downhill stretch of a 36-mile course at Prince William Forest Park.

The other two cyclists, who have not been identified, were critically injured.

On Friday night, the Reston Town Center Pavilion was turned into a makeshift chapel, where a public memorial service was held for Silva. All weekend long, visitors and athletes left flowers, candles and police patches near the Mercury Fountain in Silva’s honor.

Also on Friday, Silva, was awarded a posthumous gold medal in the triathlon. Silva had been scheduled to compete in the triathlon in Reston. His teammates accepted the medal on his behalf.

The World Police & Fire Games has set up a Go Fund Me page to help all three families affected by the bike accident.

“The athletes are not sponsored and travel at their own expense,” reads the Go Fund Me page. The families of these athletes will endur extensive costs to come to our area in order to be with their loved ones. In addition, Inspector Carlos Silva of Brazil who was killed leaves behind a daughter.”

Officials said 100 percent of the money raised will be equally divided among the three families. The two injured cyclists remain at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

by Karen Goff July 2, 2015 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

World Police & Fire Games Athletes at Reston Town Center

The World Police & Fire Games are nearly ready to wind down — but not before some big final events take place in Reston.

Here’s what’s happening:

Thursday: Wrist Wrestling, 1 to 7 p.m. at the Reston Town Center pavilion. Kick off your holiday weekend right by watching cops and rescue personnel go hand to hand.

Friday: Triathlon, 7 a.m. to noon. The Police & Fire Games triathletes will follow the same course used by the Reston Triathlon participants each September.

  • Swim portion will take place in Lake Audubon.
  • Biking will be on nearby streets, including Twin Branches, South Lakes Drive, Soapstone Drive, Sunrise Valley Drive and Colts Neck Road.
  • Running will start and end at South Lakes High School and take place mainly on Reston Association paths.

Roads will not be closed, but they may have lanes blocked, so it may be slow going Friday morning. See more course information on the Reston Triathlon website.

Saturday: Indoor rowing in the Hyatt Regency Reston ballroom, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday: Just as the Olympic finale includes the marathon, the World Police & Fire Games will conclude with the half marathon. The race begins at 7 a.m. at Reston Town Center. Runners will be on RA paths as well as Reston streets, so watch for slowed traffic.

To see what is happening at World Police & Fire Games venues outside of Reston, consult the master schedule on the Games’ website.

Closing ceremonies will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. at Wolf Trap National Park in Vienna. There are limited tickets available for the general public.

WPFG officials will pass the flag the torch to Montreal, site of the 2017 Games. After the ceremony, 80s cover band The Legwarmers will play.

by Karen Goff July 1, 2015 at 11:00 am 3 Comments

Toughest Competitor Alive event at WPFG/Credit: Beth Burns

Did you know? Fairfax County’s Channel 16 has a nightly recap of the games? You can also check it out online.

Locally: Fairfax County Police detective Jay LaWalt finished third in men’s 40+ 74KG wrestling. LaWalt is also coach of the Herndon Rattlers Youth Wrestling program.

The Fairfax County Police women’s basketball team won gold on Tuesday.

Bar at Champions SquareFun at Champions Square: Beer is $4 at the pop-up bar in the area set up on the surface lot at Reston Town Center. There is also a mechanical bull, darts, a video arcade and live music. This are is open to the public.

Today’s events:

Ice hockey continues at Reston SkateQuest and Rugby goes on all day at Lake Fairfax Park.

You will have to go farther afield for other competition. Check out swimming, tennis track and baseball at George Mason University and the Ultimate Firefighter at Springfield Town Center.

For the master schedule, visit Fairfax2015.

Photos: Top – Toughest Competitor Alive Competition at Tysons/Credit: Beth Burns; Bottom – Pop-up bar at Champions Square at Reston Town Center.

by Karen Goff June 30, 2015 at 11:00 am 3 Comments

Silent Disco at Reston Town Center/Credit: WPFG

Tuesday will feature two big World Police & Fire Games events at Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park: Rugby, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Cross Country running, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, Ice Hockey continues all day at Reston SkateQuest.

There are many other events today around Fairfax County. Most of them are free and open to the pubic. Check the Fairfax 2015 Master Schedule.

The Athletes Village at Reston Town Center is in full swing. As of mid-day Monday, at least one parking garage at RTC was full, so plan accordingly if you have plans there.


Fairfax County’s Honor Guards took first and second in competition at Reston Town Center.

Fairfax County Police Office Holly Melendez won gold in weightlighting (30-39 year old 67 kg or less).

Did you know you can catch video clips of activities from throughout the Games on our YouTube channel? Check it out at Fairfax2015 YouTube Channel.

Photo: Silent disco Sunday night at Athletes Village at Reston Town Center/Courtesy WPFG

by Karen Goff June 29, 2015 at 11:00 am 2 Comments

After a rain-soaked first full day of competition Saturday, the World Police & Fire Games got a sunnier Sunday for competition all over Fairfax County.

In Reston, police dogs did an obstacle course at Lake Fairfax Park, Honor Guards marched in unison at the Reston Town Center pavilion, and more than 100 open water swimmers went two miles in Lake Audubon.

Fairfax County Police Officer Sean Martin won the 35+ age group in the Open Water Swim (44:01).

Monday’s action near Reston includes:

Ice hockey 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Reston SkateQuest

Weightlifting 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Herndon Community Center

Flag football 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Oakton High School

Billiards, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon

There are many other events happening around the county, including wrestling, baseball, basketball and soccer. See the full schedule on Fairfax 2015’s website. Most events are free and open to the public.

The Athletes Village will also be in full swing at Reston Town Center.

by Karen Goff June 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm 6 Comments

The 2015 World Police & Fire Games get underway with opening ceremonies at RFK Stadium in DC Friday night.

But lots of the action is already in Reston. The Hyatt Regency Reston is the credentialing headquarters, and hundreds of the athletes from 68 countries filled long lines in the Hyatt Ballroom to pick up official IDs and other gear on Friday.

Reston Town Center is also the site of the Athletes Village, where many of the 10,000 athletes and thousands of family and friends will gather each afternoon and evening from Saturday until the Games end July 5.

If you are going to (or near) Reston Town Center, please bring your patience and a sense of humor.

Even as of Friday afternoon — before the Games or the Athletes Village were officially open — parking was not easy to find and Reston Parkway was slow going.

The surface parking lot has been turned over to become Champions Square, a gathering place for the athletes and the general public for the duration of the games. There are games, a climbing wall, refreshments for sale, and entertainment. But note the reduction in parking spots.

Overflow parking is available at the Kiss and Ride lot at 12050 Sunset Hills Rd. (Sunset Hills Road and Town Center Parkway).

Also, a portion of Cameron Glen Drive will be temporarily closed for the duration of the Games. The section from Towne Center Parkway to the drive accessing the Glen will be closed. Access to this area will be from the Bowman Town Drive entrance.

This weekend at the Games:

The full slate of competition gets underway Saturday. Admission is free.

Events in Reston include:

  • Ice Hockey, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Reston SkateQuest
  • Honor Guard, Sunday, 8 a..m. to 4 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Reston
  • Police Service Dogs, Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lake Fairfax Park (Note: Closed to the public)
  • Open Water Swim, Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon, Lake Audubon

To see the full schedule of events all over the region, visit the World Police & Fire website.

by Karen Goff June 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm 1,399 1 Comment

World Police & Fire Games 2013/file photoMore than 10,000 police and fire fighters from around the world will converge on Fairfax County for the World Police & Fire Games beginning later this week.

But, first, the opening ceremonies at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

The opening ceremonies begin Friday at 6 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Admission to the event is free, but tickets are necessary. Visit the Fairfax2015 website to order tickets.

The opening ceremonies will feature a welcome celebration; parade of athletes; lighting of the torch; Athletes’ Oath; and an after-ceremony concert by Sugar Ray.

The games will take place Friday through July 5 at 53 venues, mainly in Fairfax County. More than 200 Fairfax County officers will compete.

Nine sports competitions will take place in Reston, including:

  • Honor Guard — Hyatt Regency Reston, June 27 and 28.
  • Ice Hockey — Reston SkateQuest, June 27 to July 3
  • Police Service Dogs — Lake Fairfax Park, June 27 and 28
  • Rowing — Hyatt Regency Reston, July 3 and 4
  • Half Marathon — Reston Town Center, July 5
  • Open Water Swim — Lake Audubon, June 28
  • Triathlon — Lake Audubon/South Lakes High School, July 3
  • Cross Country Running — Lake Fairfax Park, June 30
  • Wrist Wrestling — Reston Town Center, Hyatt Regency Reston, July 3

Tickets to all Reston events, and almost every sports competition are free and do not require tickets.

Reston Town Center will also be a hub of activity as the Athletes Village for the Games. Athletes will not necessarily be staying in Reston, but the town center will serve as a nightly venue for socializing with organized activities and entertainment for athletes, family and friends. Read this previous Reston Now story to get an idea of what’s planned.

Photo: World Police & Fire Games 2013/file photo

by Karen Goff June 8, 2015 at 11:00 am 1,650 6 Comments

Athletes Village at Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center will be the central location for World Police & Fire Games athletes when they arrive by the thousands later this month.

More than 10,000 police and fire rescue personnel from all over the world will compete in the games, which run from June 26 to July 5 at numerous locations in Fairfax County.

Reston Town Center is the site of the Athletes Village. Athletes will not be housed there, rather, it will be the spot for mingling, evening entertainment, dancing, and other nightlife.

Here is what will be at RTC:

The surface parking lot at Presidents Street and New Dominion Parkway will be Champions Square, for the public, athletes, friends and family. Champions Square will feature a Champions Pub, live bands, vendors, souvenir sales, entertainment and a concierge service.

The Liberty Lawn will be set up on the grassy area between Presidents Street and the Hyatt Regency Reston. This area is also for the public, athletes, family and friends and will feature hammocks for relaxation, lawn games and a “lawncierge tent” to rent soccer gear, volleyball, badminton, croquet, bocce balls and other sporting equipment.

The town center pavilion will be open for credentialed athletes and their guests. There will be a silent disco (dancing while listening to multiple DJs on headphones), a tech lounge, games and bicycles for rent.

Hours will vary at all locations. See the full schedule on the World Police & Fire Games website.

Reston will also be the site of several athletic competitions. Among them: Ice hockey (Reston SkateQuest), Marathon, Triathlon, Police Service Dogs (Lake Fairfax Park), Rugby (Lake Fairfax Park), and Wrist Westling (Reston Town Center).

For complete information, ticket sales and volunteer opportunities, visit the World Police & Fire Games website.

by Karen Goff July 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Competitor at 2013 World Police & Fire Games/Credit: Discover Northern IrelandIt is still one year until the World Police & Fire Games come to Fairfax County, but there is a chance to get in on the fun next weekend at Reston Town Center.

Fairfax 2015 is hosting a community day on Sunday, July 13 from noon to 6 p.m.

There will be a full day of sports, music and fun so visitors can get a sneak peek at the 2015 World Police & Fire Games events, which organizers say is the largest multi-sport competition ever staged in the Washington metropolitan area. 

Among the activities:

  • Live demonstrations of Honor Guard, Muster Carts, K9, Police Motors, Lawfit, Tug of War, Darts, Martial Arts and Sub Grappling — most of which will be competitions in the 2015 World Games next summer.
  • Kids Zone featuring face painting, a visit from Emmie the friendly clown, and an ultimate fire fighter activity.
  • A full lineup of fire engines, police and sheriff cruisers for children to explore.
  • Visit the Sheriff’s Office booth and get a free ID card for your child.
  • A local DJ will perform live throughout.   

From June 26 through July 5, 2015, more than 12,000 officers from police, fire and public safety departments in 70 countries will compete in 60 individual and team sports as well as police-and-fire-specific activities, such as ultimate firefighter.

The competition is held every other year. The 2013 Games were in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Fairfax games will take place at 53 venues in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.  

Reston will play a key role. Reston Town Center will serve as the Athletes Village for the event. Athletes Village is the location for registration, information, competitions, nightly entertainment and socializing with fellow athletes.

Games officials estimate that the Fairfax County economy will see a direct benefit of $60 to $80 million dollars from the event.

Reston will also be the venue for some of the sports competition, though details are still being finalized. Weightlifting and Honor Guard competitions will be at the Hyatt Regency Reston. Officials are also looking into a Dodgeball competition held here, as well as the open water swim and a cycling event.

Photo: Competitor at 2013 World Police & Fire Games/Credit: Discover Northern Ireland


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