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Walking into the Hyatt Regency Reston before the holidays is like walking into a candy wonderland. Every year as you enter the lobby, the smells of baked spicy gingerbread and the sugary sweetness of frosting and candy invite you to explore every delicious detail of their Gingerbread Village. This sweet vignette can make anyone feel like a kid again – made entirely of edible treats the scene depicts a rustic snowy mountain village with a train whisking through it.

For five days Executive Chef Edward Deng, Executive Pastry Chef Vincent Key, and their team of engineers meticulously craft the highly detailed candy structures the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, carrying on a 22-year-old tradition that began when the Hyatt opened in 1990.

We all wish we could take a big bite out of it, but this magical creation may even be too sweet for Willy Wonka, amazingly containing:

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
90 pounds of candy

And the result is spectacular!

 

So come by the Hyatt Regency Reston day or night, November 21 through December 27, and join in the holiday spirit with a favorite holiday tradition in Reston Town Center!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 no real surprise to people already living in Reston, but the rest of the world is being reminded that Reston is one of the best small cities to live in America! Our master-planned community ranked seventh in the recent poll by CNN Money – go Reston!

Ranked on factors like strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime and plenty to do, it’s no wonder Reston was rated so highly. Our “uber-urban downtown,” (aka Reston Town Center!) offers shops, restaurants, live concert series, wine and beer festivals, seasonal ice skating and family events year-round. Add in our unique, creative neighborhoods with sidewalks and quiet streets and ongoing recreation of pools, miles of trails, parks, lakes and the W&OD winding through it and you wonder how we didn’t make number one! With new companies moving into the area creating new jobs all the time, it’s also a great place to start a career.

Recently ranked as one of Four Square’s “Top 10 Romantic Spots in the US,” Reston offers its visitors and residents a unique setting that is both intimate and urban. Designed as a community to foster connectivity, relationships both new and old can grow while a steady stream of new people keeps life and experiences fresh. After all, the people you are with are often what add the ‘awesome’ to where you are!

As the locals know, Reston is only 30 minutes outside Washington D.C. and acts as a respite from the bustling city life. It’s also a mere 10 minutes from Washington Dulles Airport and within the next few years, the new metro extension will connect all three easily.

Thank you to all the Restonians for making Reston the “best place to live”!  For those unfamiliar, come visit and see for yourself!

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!

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