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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!

Everyone is gearing up for going back to school, including the shops here at Reston Town Center – especially Be Right Burger!

Starting Monday, August 20, brb is swapping backpacks for burgers. For every new, durable backpack donated, (no wheels or logos please!) you get a complimentary, fresh, juicy burger with lettuce, tomato and American cheese. (Sorry, all their other gourmet toppings will be a minimal fee.) We do feel the need to tell you that it’s absolutely worth a little extra for their locally sourced veggies and delicious sauces like sriracha mayo or chipotle ketchup. We’re drooling already.

You have the whole week from August 20 – August 24 to make your burger swap. Bring in a book bag every day and you can have lunch all week or get the whole office involved for a backpack and burgers lunch. The best part is that the book bags go to support Reston Interfaith’s back to school goals, which include equipping thousands of students in the Reston-Herndon area for school, grades K-12. Their resources go to Reston Interfaith clients as well as local students, who receive free or reduced cost meals at school.  Think about how excited some lucky child will be walking into school with a cool new backpack knowing someone cares about their education.

The whole event culminates in a brb Burger Bash on Friday July 24, 5 – 9 pm in the Pavilion, where there will be a DJ, dancing, kids’ activities, giveaways and prizes! Backpacks will be accepted through the festivities. So stop by to donate during the week and come by on Friday for the Burger Bash!

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!

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