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Some of the great things about the day after Thanksgiving: you have leftovers for days, you’re finally able to listen to Christmas music without earphones, but best of all, there’s a full day of activities going on at Reston Town Center! In case you’re not the type to get up at 3 am after eating all that food to go shopping (there will be plenty of time for that later), it’s time to “Come out to Play” with friends and family on Friday, November 23, featuring the Reston Holiday Parade at 11 am!

Imagine standing next to a giant Christmas tree along Market Street (at an hour where the sun is out), cradling a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate (depends on how grown up you feel that day), while you excitedly wait for the Emerald Society Pipe Band to signal the beginning of the parade as the opening banner makes its way down Market Street toward you. Pipes blaring, you cheer, clap, and join in with hundreds of children ringing their jingle bells as legendary creator of Reston, Bob Simon, rolls by.

Dancers, musicians, acrobats, antique cars and more parade pass by while a few groups, like “Gotta Swing” and “Dynamix Salsa Dance Group” stop to really show off what they’ve got. There’s so much to see, but there’s no way you’ll miss those monstrous Macy’s-style helium balloons as they slowly float by, marveling in their wake. The line-up is different every year, but the nostalgia, camaraderie and merriment remain the same!  So come out and see what spectacles await!

And then FINALLY, after all the balloons, merriment and performances … Santa and Mrs. Claus, the ones we’ve been waiting for,  come clip-clopping into view down the street in their horse-drawn carriage waving, and bringing the magic of the Christmas spirit with them. And as you feel that tingly emotion all over, you know, officially, Christmas has arrived and it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

For more pictures of last year’s parade, check out our Facebook album!

We also invite you to join the rest of our memorable day – with the Gingerbread Man Mile (for kids!) at 8am, Visits & Photos with Santa 12:30-4:30pm, Tree Lighting and Sing-Along at 6pm, Horse Drawn Carriage Rides 6:30-10pm. More information at www.restontowncenter.com/holidays! And for a little preview of what the day is going to look like, check out this news clip with Reggie the Bear!

Whatever you do, we hope you and your family create a holiday season worth remembering for years to come!

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!

This year Reston Town Center celebrated the holidays with Disney Princesses, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, and even the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar! We are excited to announce our largest crowd ever, estimated at around 15 thousand people gathered down two blocks of Market Street! We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day and a more thrilling turnout.

The day began with the Gingerbread Man Mile Run, a fun run for kids to race around Reston Town Center and then enjoy delicious Gingerbread Man cookies.

Next was the 21st Annual Reston Holiday Parade celebrating the theme, “Storybook Magic!”  Characters from our favorite childhood stories marched, floated, and danced down Market Street alongside community groups, schools, and entertainers.  Chili and Carson from MIX 107.3 were the official emcees of the parade, keeping the crowds excited and informed of all the parade participants.  Santa Claus was once again the guest of honor, riding through last on his horse-drawn carriage and spreading with him tidings of joy for the new Christmas season.

Throughout the day were visits and photos with Santa, Ice skating, and a fantastic Gingerbread Village on display in the Hyatt Lobby!  Five days in the making, this delicious creation consists of 145 pounds of sugar, 100 pounds of flour, 2 gallons of molasses and honey, 1½ pounds of cinnamon and nutmeg, 15 pounds of pretzels, and 90 pounds of candy!

To round-off the perfect beginning to the holiday season, Santa and Mrs. Claus led thousands of spectators in the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in Fountain Square.  With the help of all who believe, Santa lit the tree on the count of three, and then led the crowds along with the Reston Chorale in a holiday sing along.

View live footage of the 21st Annual Reston Holiday Parade on Comcast Channel 28  in Reston on December 3,4,10,11,24, and 25 at 11am.  Also, view online at www.rctv28.com.

See all our pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/restontowncenter

“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!

Hyatt’s Market Street Bar and Grill contains more within its walls than customary fine dining. Four times annually, the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) swaps out the artwork on the walls of the Hyatt’s elegant restaurant, giving it a local touch and a creative energy, while allowing Hyatt to give back to the community.

On July 18, local artist Laurie Fields’ art show, “DiscARTed,” went on exhibition at Market Street Bar and Grill! The recipient of many of Gulick Group Design Studio’s discontinued items, which would have otherwise been recycled, Laurie put many materials to work in this show. The result of Gulick Group’s donation and Laurie’s creativity was “DiscARTed,” which, hence its name, features many unique collage pieces made from an array of materials.

Laurie explained how rather than having a prior inspiration, and then appointing the materials she would utilize, she takes a more backwards approach than most artists. “For me, a walk through Home Depot is as inspirational as watching a sunset. The aisles filled with cement, grout, plaster and building materials stir my imagination, as I think about new ways to use them,” she said.

Laurie arrived at Market Street Bar and Grill last Monday with GRACE gallery manager Erica Harrison to replace the current art display. Dozens of works to be taken down, and dozens more to hang also required the presence of two Hyatt engineers. Erica’s expertise in art display was apparent throughout the process, as she took many factors into consideration to determine the exact position of each work of art. She focused on creating groupings where the pieces involved would “communicate,” or compliment each other. After many different grouping, height, lighting, and other positioning attempts, the final arrangement was discovered and “DiscARTed” was officially in place!

Laurie Fields’ exhibition will be on display through October 17! All works in her exhibition are available for purchase through GRACE. Any purchase directly supports the artist and GRACE’s mission of enriching community life by promoting involvement and excellence in contemporary visual arts.

 

More than just “snap,” “crackle,” and “pop,” were present at Friday and Saturday’s Taste of Reston. Also in the mix were, “munch,” “crunch,” “sizzle,” “slurp,” “gulp,” as well as lots of, “yum’s” and “mmms”—and it should be noted that none of these guests of honor had anything to do with Rice Krispies!

27 of the Reston area’s favorite food accommodators, 24 sponsors of positive living, 12 supporters of prosperous work lives, as well as numerous entertainers gathered in RTC for Taste of Reston—a tasty and fun-filled festival to benefit the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Market Street was lined by dozens of white tents full of delectable smells. Tickets were the currency to tantalize one’s taste buds—whether used for hamburger sliders and crab cakes, or berry pound cake and gelato. Taste, however, was not the only sense to be satisfied, as warm breezes carried a feast for the ears, transporting pleasant sounds from the various music stages and artists throughout the premises.

President’s Park was the site for the Living Well Expo, which featured dance classes, sporting games, healthy living sponsors, and other activities to encourage physically healthy lives! From bubble-blowing clowns to Redskins Girls line dancing with civilians, many performers were present in the Living Well Expo to create a more interactive experience.

Just down the hill, in the North East parking lot lurked a festival overflowing with fun for all ages! Rides, carnival games, and cotton candy, set the scene for this section of Taste of Reston, adding just a little more flavor to the event.

Spicy seasonings perfumed Library Street on Saturday afternoon, as the Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-Off went down between our favorite hometown heroes: the Fire Department versus the Police Department. The Police Department’s “Reapers Stew” took the gold this time, leaving the Fire Department ready to bring it in 2012!

The event ended with a bang, as the Texas Chainsaw Horns took center stage. The zesty horn-based funk band was bursting with energy, able to capture the audience with their jazzy, soulful arrangements and vibrant attitude!

Thanks to all who came out to support the Reston Chamber of Commerce at the 21st annual Taste of Reston Event.  We hope to see everyone back in 2012 to see how the tastes of Reston evolve in the coming year!

For photos of the event, click here!

It’s here!

Once again one of Reston’s favorite festivals, Taste of Reston, will be lining Market Street with booths from dozens of area restaurants, live entertainment, kids activities and more!

Taste of Reston, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival, takes place Friday-Saturday, June 17-18 at Reston Town Center.  The event features delectable samplings from the region’s favorite eateries, live music both days, beer and wine gardens, fun and games at the Taste of Reston Carnival, competition at the Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off, and lively advice from the Living Well Expo.

Brave Contestants in the "Guns and Hoses Chili Cook-off"

In addition to the restaurant samplings, the “Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off” will pit area cops against firemen – the ultimate battle of the heroes – in Reston’s spiciest competition.  Together, a panel of five judges vote using the following categories: Aroma, Color, Consistency, Taste, and Aftertaste to determine the “overall best chili”. In addition to the award for best chili according to the taste tester judges, Taste of Reston attendees vote for the “People’s Choice.”  Last year the cops took it, defeating the firemen in what was certainly a heated battle.  Who will take it this year?  Will the hoses find retribution against the blazing guns?

The Living Well Expo is taking place during Taste of Reston at Reston Town Center! Presenting entertainment for families and children, exercise and cooking demonstrations, a Smoothie Shakedown, and Radio Disney! In their second year, they are the area’s first regional Health Expo, showcasing local and regional health organizations that will inspire you and your family to live well!

The Taste of Reston Carnival

Everyone’s favorite carnival will also be returning to turn up the fun for both the young and young at heart! Wind your way over to the festivities featured in this fun-filled festival zone to take a spin on your favorite ride. Carnival tickets are available on site and cost $1 per ticket, or $20 for 24 tickets (each ride takes 3-5 tickets to ride).  Take advantage of the carnival bonus day on Sunday, June 19, open 10am-8pm and purchase an unlimited access wristband for $25.

Restaurants include: American Tap Room, Big Bowl, Cookology, Vinifera, Jackson’s, Mon Ami Gabi, Clyde’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, M&S Grill, Il Fornaio, Obi Sushi, Finnegan’s, Flippin Pizza, Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern, Paolo’s Ristorante, The Counter, Melting Pot, Mamma Lucia, Buffalo Wing Factory, Milwaukee Frozen Custard, and more! On Friday, June 17, 5:30-10:30pm, The Fabulous Dialtones will entertain from the Town Center Pavilion. On Saturday, June 18, 7:30–10:30pm The Texas Chainsaw Horns will be lighting up the stage. The Family Fun Zone! will feature fun activities, interactive games, demonstrations, and arts and crafts for all ages.

Admission is free! Food tickets $1 each

Taste of Reston Festival: Friday, June 17,  3-11pm; Saturday, June 18, noon-11pm

Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off: Saturday June 18, noon-4pm

Carnival: Friday, June 17, 3-11pm; Saturday, June 18, Noon-11pm; Sunday, June 19, 10am-8pm

www.RestonTaste.com

Produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

Warmth! Sunshine!

The frozen tundra is starting to thaw, and it’s the perfect time to give that worn-out sweater a break and mix up your look with something new and fresh. Sure, the tropical breezes might be short lived (this is Northern Virginia, home of the March 1st heat wave and March 2nd blizzard), but with Reston Town Center’s fantastic outdoor social atmosphere there is no better place to enjoy this spring preview.

Get set with a new look from any one of our premier shopping venues. Looking for something straight from the runway? Are you a bargain hunter looking for a great sale? The stores at Reston Town Center offer a wide range of apparel that fit any need or desire. Lighten up your look with a pair of leggings and sleeveless trench dress from Banana Republic (as seen here) and top it off with the bright and vivid jewelry found in Anthropologie’s new collection (look here).



After you found the perfect ensemble, don’t be afraid to strut your stuff down Market Street and celebrate your success with a  delectable dinner or maybe embrace this wild weather and skip right to the gelato…you deserve it!  Also, don’t forget to check out our events calendar for the latest happenings and nightlife here in Reston Town Center!

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It’s here!

Once again market street will be lined with booths from dozens of area restaurants, live entertainment, kids activities and more during one of Reston’s favorite festivals, Taste of Reston.

Taste of Reston takes place June 18-19 at Reston Town Center featuring more than 30 area restaurants, a full line-up of musical entertainment, a kid’s activity tent and, for the first time, a chili cook-off pitting police against firefighters.

In addition to the restaurant samplings, the “Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off” will pit area cops against firemen – the ultimate battle of the heroes –  this time in aprons in front of chili pots.  Attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice” chili. A panel of food writers and critics will determine the “overall best chili”.  The event’s masters of ceremonies will be MIX107.3’s Tommy McFly and NewsChannel8’s Katherine Amenta.

Restaurants include: Chef Geoff’s, Vinifera, Jackson’s, Mon Ami Gabi, Clyde’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, M&S Grill, Il Fornaio, Obi Sushi, Texas de Brazil, The Melting Pot, Mamma Lucia, Buffalo Wing Factory and Milwaukee Frozen Custard. On Friday from 5:30 until 10:30 pm The Fabulous Dialtones will entertain from the Town Center Pavilion. On Saturday, June 19, from 7:30 – 10:30 pm C.J. Chenier & the Redhot Louisiana Band will  perform. The Kid’s Corner tent will feature face painting, games and crafts for children.

Admission is free! Food tickets $1 each

Friday, June 18 – 3-11 pm; Saturday, June 19 – noon-11 pm

Guns n’ Hoses Chili Cook-off, Saturday June 19, noon- 4:30 pm

www.RestonTaste.com

Produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

Yes, it’s going to snow at Reston Town Center this weekend (view photos from the last snow here.)  But, as you well know, Super Bowl Sunday is almost upon us! What you might not know is that we’ve got you covered with some super-fun options for the big game come dusting or downpour!

Paolo’s Ristorante is having a Superbowl buffet tailgate party this Sunday from 2 – 11pm. Chefs are going to prepare a 22-foot tailgate buffet packed with all of your favorites! Paolo’s is located right next to the fountain and you can reach them at 703.318.8920.

McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant is serving an “all you can eat” buffet during the big game for only $20!  You get the buffet plus a cooked to order men featuring Prime Rib, Gourmet Burgers, and BBQ Pork.  They’re decked out with 6 TV’s and a large Projection Screen in the backgroom. You’ll definitely need to make reservations for this one. 703.481.6600.

And, if you’re staying home for the big game, Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café will be offering party packs to-go that include a savory selection of tasty Mexican cuisine. We’re told that their party packs can accommodate any group size, from a family of four to a group 30 football fanatics! Selections include: Plato Gordo Party Pack, Fajita Party Pack, Enchilada Party Pack, Soft or Crispy Taco Party Pack, Appetizer Party Pack and Tamales. For information and pricing, you can call 703.904.0703.

American Tap Room and Market Street Bar & Grill are also having Superbowl Watch Parties with game day specials and a game time menu.

Come snow or shine more snow, this is sure to be one great weekend!

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