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Top of the mornin’ to ya! This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration kicks off in a brand new fashion: with the Potomac River Running Lucky Leprechaun 5K on Saturday, March 16, at 8:30am!

Start your Irish-palooza with a festive 3.1 mile run around Reston Town Center.  The 5k course winds its way on the roads surrounding Reston Town Center, and let it be noted – with a 60 minute time limit en tow.  If that sounds daunting, don’t worry! The average time to walk a mile is 20 minutes, and with this track being just over three miles maintaining an easy pace should get you through! Who knows, maybe you’ll even find some gold.*

Stroller-bound wee ’uns: unfortunately this course is not stroller friendly, so you will have to wait for your care-taker at the finish line; we recommend waiting with another care-taker. For the slightly older tykes, there will be a free Kid’s Fun Run at 9:30am – registration for this portion of the event will take place on the morning of March 16 in front of the Pavilion.

Like proof of your commitment to fitness and all things St. Patty’s?  Register early and snag some sweet swag in the form of a Lucky Leprechaun t-shirt: www.prraces.com/luckyleprechaun.

Ok, so you just ran an incredible race on a Saturday morning through the wilds of Reston. It was harrowing. It was revitalizing. It was the fuel for your healthy Irish heart! And, not to mention it gave some early repentance for the day’s coming food and beverage choices…

So, what are you going to do next?!

Stomp across that finish line and get refueled Emerald Isle-style with the Clyde’s of Reston St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – that’s what you’re going to do! At 10am get your fill with the Bacon & Kegs Irish breakfast, then enjoy Clyde’s food, Guinness beer, and Irish folk dancing all day long.  Kid’s get in the spirit too with activities to keep ‘em going all the live long day, including festive face painting and a moon bounce.

Raise a pint, dance a jig, twirl a lass, and eat your fill. This celebration raves on rain or shine on Saturday, March 16, 10am – 11pm. Sláinte!

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*Reston Town Center does not maintain or manage the existence of gold or its distribution in or around the 5K loop area. That is left for participating leprechauns, rainbows, or Brangelina to bestow upon who they wish.

Yes, chilly winds blow and snowflakes flurry down from the skies, but according to Punxsutawney Phil spring is on it’s way! The celebrity groundhog and Seer of the Seasons did NOT see his shadow, which means we get to dodge an additional six weeks of winter.

We’re welcoming the budding season with open arms here at Reston Town Center, and want to remind you of all of the fun things coming your way!

Embrace your Irish at Clyde's St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

Spring kicks-off with Clyde’s St. Patrick’s Day Party!

March

3/16 Clyde’s of Reston‘s 3rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

3/17 Persian New Year – Nowruz – Celebration & Festivity 

April

4/13 Walk MS 2013, produced by MS Society

4/17 R4 Collection Day – Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Reston!

4/20 Ride to Provide, presented by Lorenzo Alexander

4/21 Northern VA Kidney Walk, presented by the National Kidney Foundation 

4/27 Paul’s Ride for Life, benefits the Washington Regional Transplant Community 

4/27 – 4/28 Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival, produced by Great Grapes!

May

5/4 Pet Fiesta, produced by Gooddogz.org & Reston Dogs

5/5 March for Babies, produced by March of Dimes

5/5 Cinco de Mayo Street Fiesta, produced by Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Cafe

5/17-5/19 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, produced by Greater Reston Arts Center

June

Taste of Reston, produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

Taste of Reston, produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

6/1 Concerts on the Town Series begins, Presented by Reston Town Center and Reston Town Center Association

6/2 Tour de Cure, produced by American Diabetes Association

6/9 Love Your Body – Northern Virginia Yoga and Wellness Day, produced by Beloved Yoga

6/14-6/15 Taste of Reston, produced by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

6/23 Reston Grand Prix Bicycle Races, produced by Evolution Cycling and The Bike Lane

View a full listing of Reston Town Center events at http://www.restontowncenter.com/events


The heat is on! Prepare your taste buds now for the epic chili you will sample this weekend at Oktoberfest Reston at Reston Town Center. It may not be German, but it certainly is delicious, a little spicy, and a savory favorite for the fall months. The showdown is on Library Street, Saturday, October 6, 12-5pm, but the festival is the weekend of October 5-7, 2012, so plan your visit to Oktoberfest accordingly!

And what a spectacular battle of the beans and beef it will be at this year’s Guns ‘N Hoses Chili Cook-off!  The rivalry between the Fairfax County Police and Fire & Rescue departments has reached an all-time high since last year’s cook-off at Taste of Reston.

After the Police Department won last year with their “Reaper’s Stew,” the Fire Department is gunning (or hosing rather?) for the title of chili champ. The winner will be announced at 4pm on Saturday, so be sure to make it down to Library Street before the panel of judges crowns the newest victor. The panel will be voting based on aroma, color, consistency, taste, and aftertaste to award the “Overall Best Chili.”

But they’re not the only ones who get to choose a winner. After sampling all the varieties, you decide who gets the “People’s Choice” award. This sounds easy enough, but with names such as “The Chili Department Reston Road Kill Chili” and “Crime Scene Section Reaper’s Stew” if may be harder to pick a favorite than you think.

Winners receive not only the title of champion and bragging rights in this battle of the hometown heroes, but a coveted trophy. Who will win? Come out this weekend and find out!

The holidays are coming to Reston Town Center on Friday, November 23! We’re pleased and excited to announce the 2012 theme “Come Out to Play!” celebrating the child in all of us with games of every shape and size – from board games and yard games, to card games and organized sports! We’re also delighted to honor Bruce Butler as this year’s Grand Marshal, he recently retired from South Lakes High School where he served as Assistant Principal for seven years and as an award-winning Principal for another  seven! So join us for a playful day of holiday celebrations with activities, festivities and events for the whole family!

Black Friday
We like to think of this day as “Parade day,” but it’s also Black Friday to the rest of the world, so stores open at 8 am instead of 10 am for those who want to do a bit of shopping while the kids are “running” around before the festivities.

The Gingerbread Man Mile
The day starts off bright and early at 8 am with the Gingerbread Man Mile fun run for kids ranging from toddlers to high schoolers. Presented by Potomac River Running, registration is free and all donations benefit Neediest Kids!

8:00 am – 6-7 year olds (1 mile)
8:15 am – 8-9 year olds (1 mile)
8:30 am – 10-11 year olds (1 mile)
8:45 am – 12-14 year olds (1 mile)
9:00 am – High School Division (1 mile)
9:10 am – 4-5 year olds (approx .4 mile)
9:20 am – Tot Trot (2 blocks)

There’s a reason to run as fast as you can; race winners get to take part in the parade following the race!

The Reston Holiday Parade
The event we’ve been waiting for all year starts at 11 am sharp, so “Come Out to Play! ” – we had fun with the logo, hope you do too!   The parade has been a tradition since 1990 with Macy’s-style balloons, marching bands, dance numbers, cars, community groups and more, but most importantly it’s become a family tradition for many who join us year after year to watch the holidays come alive.  And each year Santa and Ms. Claus are featured at the end of the parade, wishing everyone another memorable and joyous holiday season! So come out early for a good spot, and come dressed for any type of weather, as the show goes on no matter what!

It wouldn’t be the Holiday Parade without the bells! Volunteers will be handing them out to children along Market Street prior to the start of the Parade so they can clap and jingle for the participants! Once the Parade has started, any remaining bells will be handed out near the fountain and Ice Skating Pavilion. Our goal is to make sure every child can receive a bell, thus, we strictly limit distribution to children. The 20 and up crowd, we understand your pain, we love the bells too, but we want to make sure the little ones have the most magical holidays and we appreciate your cooperation.

Visits & Photos with Santa
Once Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way over from the Parade, they will be available for visits and pictures from 12:30 – 4:30 pm by the information center. You can take home a 5” x 7” souvenir portrait when you donate any amount to South Lakes High School Chorus, who will be providing volunteers for the event!

Tree Lighting and Sing Along
The day isn’t over yet, Santa and Mrs. Clause still have more work to do! At 6 pm a horse-drawn carriage will whisk the pair down Market Street to the giant Christmas Tree. And as everyone gathers around, the whole crowd will close their eyes, count to three, and with a mighty wish, help Santa light up the tree and Reston Town Center for the holiday season! At that moment, Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Reston Chorale and a brass quintet will lead the merry bunch in Christmas carols and holiday melodies. Song books are provided before the tree lighting and after Santa heads back to the North Pole.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
The sounds of horse hooves clip clopping down Market Street and sleigh bells can only mean one thing … carriage rides! Starting at 6:30 pm, get picked up in front of Talbots on Market Street and enjoy a ride through the newly lit Reston Town Center. Rides cost $5 per person, (children 5 and under ride free!) with all proceeds benefiting Volunteer Fairfax, who also provides volunteers for the evening.  But don’t worry if you can’t get a ride that night, carriage rides will also be available Saturdays in December, 4-9 pm benefiting different local non-profits.

December 1, benefits Reston Rotary
December 8, benefits Character Counts! Reston
December 15, benefits Reston Interfaith
December 22, benefits Volunteer Fairfax!

Volunteer
This special day wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of faithful volunteers each year. So if you want to experience the holiday celebration from “inside,” email volunteer@restontowncenter.com for more information on volunteering!

Ice Skating
The sparkling ice skating rink will be open from 9 am – 11 pm for those whose holidays aren’t complete without some winter fun on the ice. Any skating supplies you may need are available in the Skate Shop next to the Pavilion.

Gingerbread Village at the Hyatt Regency Reston
Don’t forget to visit the Gingerbread Village, a tradition as old as the Parade, on display in the Hyatt Regency Reston lobby from November 21 – December 27. Let the sweet aromas of gingerbread and candy take you back in time as you look through the intricate holiday village made completely of confection. The village takes five days to make and consists of 100 pounds of flour, 2 gallons of molasses, 2 gallons of honey, 145 pounds of sugar, 1 ½ pounds of cinnamon, 1 ½ pounds of nutmeg, 15 pounds of pretzels and 90 pounds of candy. So go and literally feast your eyes!

We look forward to seeing you there, and if you’d like to see more pictures of last year’s festivities, check out our Facebook page!


Get ready to fill your tankards and sing some German folk songs; Oktoberfest is coming back to Reston Town Center October 5-7, 2012! Hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the 3-day event includes a Saturday morning 5K, food, wine & beer, a carnival, a chili cook off and live entertainment including traditional German music and dance. Whew! Sounds like a quite a weekend, so let’s get down to details, shall we?

The festival opens on Friday, October 5 at 3 pm. That means the carnival will be up and running with rides like the tilt-a-whirl and games to win fantastic prizes for the kids and the kids-at-heart who can’t resist. The food will also be underway with tasty treats like Japanese potstickers from Obi Sushi, Autumn Gnocci from Paolo’s Ristorante, Italian sausage from Il Fornaio, mac & cheese from Uno Chicago Grill, and lots more dishes from participating restaurants! (Carnival tickets will be available to purchase online soon and all-you-can-ride wristbands for Saturday morning will be available for purchase at The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce starting September 17.)

Of course the beers and wines will also be available throughout the festival. In true Oktoberfest fashion, seasonal beers like Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat and Dominion’s Oktoberfest  will be available along with some perennial favorites  such as Beck’s, Bud Light, and Widmer. For those who love microbrews, there will be a couple craft beers on tap near the Library Street stage! And for those poor souls who can’t or don’t like beer, Market Cellars and The Wine Cabinet will have wine available near the Pavilion!

Saturday features a few activities unique to the Oktoberfest weekend!  The morning kicks off at 8:15 am with the Anthem Pumpkin 5K, offering a quick route around Reston Town Center and the surrounding community.  The 5K is followed by the Pumpkin Smash Mile, a non-timed mile long party with Halloween costumes and tons of enthusiasm. Participants with the BEST costumes will be awarded prizes, honor and bragging rights. And lastly, the smallest ones get to decorate pumpkins and compete in the Pumpkin Dash, which also encourages fun and costumes! Online registration is open through October 2, otherwise, you can register at packet pickup on October 5, or on-site before the races on October 6.

Since the runners loop back to the Pavilion prior to Oktoberfest kicking-off, the Scrambled Legs Breakfast will be open for post-race refueling, including fall brews of course, and the carnival will open early and offer unlimited-ride wristbands!  Of course, runners are encouraged to stay and enjoy all the festivities – Oktoberfest opens at 11 am!

If you’re still hungry after the Scrambled Legs Breakfast, you won’t have to wait very long before the Guns ‘n Hoses Chili Cookoff at noon where the Police Department and the Fire Department square off in a battle of brute cooking skills. You will need to taste the competition very, very carefully before deciding on your “People’s Choice” vote. The award ceremony starts at 4 pm, so make sure you’re there when they announce the champion!

It wouldn’t be a festival without live entertainment! Traditional German music and dance will fill the streets all three days. Then at night, the Pavilion will rock out to this line up: Friday night, Gonzo’s Nose, music from the 80s to today; Saturday night, 2U, a U2 tribute band; Sunday night, Almost Journey, as you could guess, a Journey tribute band.

And, as with any great event, volunteers are always a must! If you would like to participate in the event in a slightly different way (and get a few free tickets and a tee-shirt for your efforts!) sign up here.

This is the fall festival that really has something for everybody, so come ready to drink some brews, eat good food, ride the rides and get in the autumn spirit. For ticket sales and other updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, OR, follow Oktoberfest on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you at Reston Town Center – Prost!

It’s only been a few months since Reston Town Center hosted the spring Great Grapes Wine, Arts & Food Festival, but now the cooler weather is about to set in, it’s prime wine season and the fall festival is coming up September 8 & 9!

For Restonians, the festival is a seasonal staple with more than 200 wines from 20 Virginia wineries, delicious food with live gourmet demonstrations, crafts, a kids’ activity area and live entertainment. But let’s get down to business and talk about the real reason we’re all here: the wines. We went through the participating wineries and picked a few of our favorites. (We by no means claim to be expert sommeliers, these just struck our fancy!)

Here are a few of our top wines to watch:

  • Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, VA won eight awards with their 2010 Norton Reserve. Made of 100% Norton grape, it has a deep purple color and a robust burst of fruity, silky flavor and tannins that are best tamed by letting it breathe first.
  • Mattaponi Winery in Spotsylvania, VA, is best known for its Odeimin (meaning strawberry) wine that has won seven awards. It is a light dessert wine made from local strawberries that hints of the fruit starting sweet, but not overly sweet, and finishes with a tart lingering flavor on the palate.
  • Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston, VA, has an eight-time award-winning wine, the Velvet Revolution Reserve 2009, which is a varietal with an explosive complexity that’s a mixture of cherry notes, deep tannins and a nutty, dry-yet-still-fruity finish. The equal parts Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Merlot and Petit Verdot round it out for a well-balanced wine.
  • The Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg, VA, has their barrel-aged Acte12 Chardonnay 2010, which is an eight-time award winner. It is a smooth, toasty chardonnay with a strong buttery finish that leaves a creamy sugary taste on the palate.
  • Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery in Stafford, VA, has the best Viognier of the East Coast according to the Beverage Wine Institute. The Richland Reserve Viognier 2009 has a golden yellow color with gentle, yet complex aromas of tropical fruits such as citrus, and dragon fruit yet with a creamy banana and coconut custard finish. This is a well-balanced wine with a crisp medium-to-full-body taste.
  • And lastly, don’t miss the Unicorn Winery in Amissville, VA – we can’t speak to their wines, we just love the name!

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So now you know about a few of the great wines that are going to be at the festival, grab your tickets (a percentage of the proceeds go to Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation!) and get ready to uncork the fun!  If you can’t make it to the festival this season, don’t worry, Reston Town Center has plenty of delicious wines to taste at our restaurants or grab a bottle at our specialty shops like Market Cellars!

This summer is an exciting one because it’s finally the summer Olympics again! The whole country has been anxiously watching the trials since June, picked the favorites and now we’re ready for the real deal starting this Friday, July 27, 2012.

If you weren’t able to snag a ticket to London but still want to watch the Olympics with a cheering crowd of people, there are some great restaurants in Reston Town Center  just brimming with good food and drinks and plenty of fun people to watch the games with.
Ziegler of the U.S. poses with her bronze medal for the women's 800m freestyle final at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai
As you cheer on our fellow Americans, be sure to root for Kate Ziegler, a Fairfax County local who is returning to the Olympics for the second time to swim the women’s 800-freestyle. At only 24, Kate is also the current World Record Holder in the 1500 meter freestyle and a 4-time World Champion  – way to represent Fairfax County!

 
While the Olympic Games may not be coming to Reston Town Center any time soon, the 2015 World Police & Fire Games are! From June 26 to July 5, 2015, Reston Town Center will become the Olympic village to more than 10,000 police officers, firefighters, customs and correction officers. They’ll come to Fairfax County from more than 60 countries around the world to showcase their athletic excellence in over 65 sporting events. The Hyatt Regency Reston will be one of the host hotels for the games, and there will be nightly entertainment for athletes, WPFG officials and their families at Reston Town Center. Additionally, Presidents Park and Hyatt Park will form an area of the Athletes’ Village for athletes’ social events. How exciting is that?!

The 2015 games will mark the 30th anniversary of the event while also coinciding with celebrations in Washington, D.C. for the Fourth of July. It’s going to be quite the special occasion! If you’re looking to get involved in this historic event, more than 5,000 volunteers are needed for the games to run smoothly, so find out how you can help.

The World Police & Fire games may be 2 years away, but the London Olympics are this week, so get ready, get excited and go team USA!

ImageCalling all Foodies! Not to brag, but Reston has some of the best restaurants in Northern Virginia and we get the honor of showing them off each year. Last weekend Reston Town Center was crowded and bustling with sights and smells from Taste of Reston & Carnival, presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and voted “Northern VA’s Best Food Festival” this year by Virginia Living.

ImageOver 20 restaurants participated, giving the festival a broad culinary palette fit for any gourmand. A few favorites were Clyde’s of Reston’s Asian chicken sandwich covered in a teriyaki glaze which won top prize from the panel of Chamber of Commerce judges.  Paolo’s Ristorante captured third place with their sweet yet spicy and savory meatball spiedini – traditional Sicilian meatballs skewered for an Arabic cooking style. Il Fornaio’s mozzarella caprese was a beautifully presented classic – fresh mozzarella and a whole basil leaf seasoned and served on half a tomato – as an example of Italy’s simplest flavors combined. Sweetgreen’s cesar salad/wrap was light and refreshing featuring Sweetgreen’s locally sourced ingredients, which is the secret to their crisp success.

The newest features of the festival were the Wine ‘n Dine cooking demonstrations and wine tastings. Some of the top chefs in the area demonstrated their favorite cuisine and cocktail recipes to taste along with wine pairings. Learning how to re-create a delicious meal at home is the highest form of flattery a foodie can pay to a chef’s skill and creativity.

And if you missed the festival, don’t worry, it’s hosted at Reston Town Center every June, and in the meantime we have loads more mouth-watering restaurants to try like M&S Grill that has some of the most fresh, complex gazpacho in town with its glory of crab and avocado toppings. Busara Thai Cuisine is known for its traditional Pad Thai, Pad Woon Sen, and vegetarian tofu dishes with that authentic Thai kick to them. And if you’re craving Mexican, you can’t go wrong at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café with their margaritas, fajitas al carbon or BBQ chicken quesadillas, gooey with cheese and sauce, but only served on Mondays and Fridays.

So explore Reston Town Center’s culinary offerings, you won’t be disappointed, and bon appetit!

We have lots of shows here at Reston Town Center; movies, art exhibits and concerts abound. Creating a community with family-friendly entertainment and activities is one of our biggest priorities. Families that play together stay together, right?

One of our biggest musical events is the Concerts on the Town Series in the Pavilion on Saturday nights, June – August, hosting musicians of all styles. From big band music to bossa nova and red-hot Bayou music, along with reggge and doo-wop, you are sure to find a style that makes you want to dance along. And as you can see, most people bring picnics or lawn chairs and make an evening of it.

Of course there are lots of other performances held in the Pavilion, like Mr. Knick Knack’s morning children concerts on Mondays from 10:30-11:15am and Community Concerts like School of Rock’s performances by future rock stars-in-training on Friday nights – all free!

Bow Tie Cinemas, a four-generation family owned company, also provides several fun programs to bring any and everybody to the movies. Super Tuesdays cause a stir because all seats for regular films are only $6, and all seats for 3-D films are only $9. Meet Me at the Movies: Senior Movie Day occurs on the 4th Monday of each month and offers refreshments and door prizes before the chosen film – free for those 55+! Kids can also catch a free movie this summer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am with parents during Kids Club Film Series so you get the theater experience with some of their favorite popular movies. Bow Tie Cinemas haven’t left the cinephiles out either – for those who miss the good old days of movie magic, there’s the Cine Classics Series on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am with favorites like “Jaws,“ “The Sound of Music,” “Back to the Future” and “The Maltese Falcon.”

If you’re looking for something more interactive, check out Reston Town Center’s art scene. Art programs at Greater Reston Arts CenterIn its mission to engage the community in contemporary art, Greater Reston Arts Center  has interactive art exhibits, art programs, and educational programs for all ages. Receptions and gallery talks are open to the public for each new exhibit, and they have extensive youth and family programs like family gallery weekend workshops where the whole family can create art together.

So instead of sitting on the couch watching TV this summer, grab those family and friends and check out the nostalgic, creative and fun events at Reston Town Center!

“Run, run, fast as you can! Can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Can YOU run like the Gingerbread Man?

Once you’ve stocked the refrigerator with your turkey and pumpkin pie leftovers, kick off the 2011 holiday season by running the inaugural Gingerbread Man Mile for Kids!, an event that we are sure the whole family will love. Join Potomac River Running and Reston Town Center for a little bit of running and a whole lot of shopping! Registration is FREE and all donations benefit Neediest Kids.

Kids can run like the Gingerbread Man at the Kids Mile Fun Run. The course covers a 1-mile loop around Reston Town Center. Once kids finish, they can enjoy delicious gingerbread cookies.

Registration and Information at http://www.prraces.com/gingerbread/

Holidays are HERE! at Reston Town Center

After a thrilling morning of tiny tots racing down Market Street, get set for a day full of holiday festivities!  Stores open at 8 am for the early Reston Town Center shopper, and the Ice Skating rink is open all day – as is the Hyatt’s giant gingerbread village, on display in the lobby! Beginning at 11 am is the 21st Annual Reston Holiday Parade, complete with Macy’s-style balloons, floats, community groups, antique cars, and more!  From 12:30-4:30 enjoy visits and photos with Santa.  He’ll be checking his list right next to the Skate Shop before heading back out to light up Reston Town Center and the holiday tree at 6 pm.  Join him in Fountain Square for the official start of the Holiday Season, sing carols along with the Reston Chorale and hop on board  a horse-drawn carriage to round-off  wonderful wintry day!

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