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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!

Staying fit and taking care of your body is no easy task, but with a little motivation and lot of variety, it can at least be fun. Reston Town Center  has so many creative fitness events that the hard part is choosing which ones you want to do.

Variety in exercise regimes (aka cross training) is very important to a well-balanced muscular system and broadens your physical abilities, says Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., FACSM, associate professor, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at Southwest Missouri State University in an About.com Women’s Health article.  Different workouts also provide a variety of “good” stress on the body, like aerobic, anaerobic, isometric, strength or resistance training.

For example, a cyclist may want to switch it up with a yoga class or swimming to challenge their cardiovascular system and increase flexibility to improve their stamina and prevent injuries.

Switching up your routine also prevents boredom, which can ruin your motivation and create a plateau of physical performance according to the American Council on Exercise. So don’t get stuck in your routine; grab some friends and head to Reston Town Center for events like these:

Lov
e Your Body, on June 10, 2012, cultivated and celebrated yoga and holistic wellness. 40 yoga studios, wellness centers and vendors shared  ways to Love Your Body with free classes for the whole family, massages, henna and alternative healing therapies demonstrations such as Reiki, chiropractic, massage, and yoga therapy.Down Dog on Love Your Body Day in the Pavilion

Athleta hosts events in the Pavilion to celebrate the strength of the female form. The Power of She, was a 3 day event, June 19-21, 2012, filled with activities featuring local gyms, trainers, clubs, professional athletes, health and beauty consultants and local restaurants and eateries with classes like Hoopnotica, Belly Dancing, Turbo Kick and Hip Hop to stay active and fit. Throughout the month of July join Athleta for a myriad of fitness activities, including Yoga Fridays, July 13 & 26, at 8am; and 9:30am Sunday Meet-up groups for running (July 8), walking (July 22), and cycling (July 29)!

Potomac River Running  also hosts Fun Runs, a weekly running group on Thursday nights at 6:30 that traverses through the W&OD trail for beginners and competitors to have a social work out. It’s perfect for groups of friends or family who want something to participate in together.

RTC Grand Prix RaceFor you cyclists, Reston Grand Prix was last weekend, but is hosted at Reston Town Center every year in June. If you want to test your speed and reflexes, sign up for the Grand Prix presented by The Bike Lane  for the 1.25K 8-turn course through the heart of Reston Town Center.
 

Feeling fit yet? Coming up tomorrow, July 4, is the Firecracker 5k hosted by Potomac River Running. This event is a great way to celebrate our nation’s birthday with the whole family. There’s T-shirts, little kids fun run after the race, a post race breakfast, free massages, live music, race photos and cash prizes. Registration is still open, so sign up now for a discount.

So whatever your sport is, branch out, challenge yourself and try something new – and bring your friends and family with you!

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