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Where you’ll want to be Saturday: Rink-side sipping hot coco while your children let loose on the newly opened Reston Town Center Ice Skating Rink. The best part – it’s all in the name of charity.

By the end of the week the Pavilion will be transformed into a glistening Ice Skating Rink.  And in keeping with the longtime tradition, on opening weekend, Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4, 50% of proceeds go to support Character Counts! Reston Coalition.

So lace up your skates, because we’re out to raise funds for one of the biggest character education programs in the nation. Character Counts! Reston Coalition directly impacts our local students with programs like Ethics Day for South Lakes High School seniors. This non-profit initiative is designed to help youngsters and adults develop and practice the six pillars of good character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

The wishes tossed into Mercury Fountain are donated regularly to Character Counts! Reston Coalition, but this weekend we want to mix philanthropy with fun while making a lasting impact on our children.  (Parents, this can also be a springboard into a conversation with your kids about why character counts and how to develop it!)

Excitement is high because installation of the rink has already begun with the glass dasher boards installed, but we are waiting for clearer weather to start up the underground chilling system and begin the flooding to transform the Pavilion floor into the spectacular ice rink! And don’t worry if you’re a little rusty on the ice, the Reston Town Center Skate Shop has any rentals or lessons you may need!

For those who would rather meet their Saturday morning cartoons than watch them, there’s a Saturday Morning Cartoon Skate 11am – 1pm. Also, don’t miss Friday Night Rock ‘n’ Skate every Friday night 8-11pm with a live DJ, games and prizes. There’s lots of fun to be had at the Ice Skating Rink, so bundle up and kick the season off with us this weekend!

One of many colorful balloons at the Reston Holiday Parade in 2008.

One of many colorful balloons at the Reston Holiday Parade in 2008.

Reston Town Center presents the 19th annual Reston Holiday Parade on Friday, November 27 at 11:00 AM, launching the festive season with Macy’s-style balloons, musical groups, dancers, antique cars, and more, in a one-of-a-kind, one-hour parade along Market Street, welcoming the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. The parade is on rain or shine. (See full schedule below.)

At least seventy groups, with one to fifty in each group, are anticipated for the 2009 parade. Popular favorites from past years that are returning this year include The Hogettes, The Jokesters, GottaSwing dancers, Reston Conservatory Ballet, Bull Run Street Rods,

South Lakes High School Marching Band, Langston Hughes Middle School Panther Cheerleaders, Northern Virginia Firefighters’ Emerald Society Pipe Band, Regimental Drums & Fifes of Northern Virginia, Children of the Light dancers, Paul Mitchell School, ArtInsights, F.I.S.H., a team of horses from the Misty Brae Farm Pony Club in Aldie, antique and classic cars from the National Capital Jaguar Club and Mustang Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, fire trucks, VIPs, including Reston founder Robert E. Simon, Jr., and much more. For event information, visit www.restontowncenter.com, or call 703-689-4699.

Holidays are Here! November 27 is a full day of events full of holiday cheer and charity at Reston Town Center:

  • 8 AM: Reston Town Center retailers opening early
  • 8 AM: Run with Alan Webb: 9th annual races for tots to teens to benefit Neediest Kids. Donation of $5 for participation encouraged. Participants can register at www.neediestkids.org.
  • 11:00 AM: 19th Annual Reston Holiday Parade
  • 12:30 – 4:30 PM: Visits and Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Located on Market Street, next to Talbots. Donations will benefit local charities.
  • 6:00 PM: Tree Lighting and Sing Along. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to magically light up the Christmas tree, followed by traditional holiday songs led by Reston Chorale and brass quintet.
  • 6:30 – 10:00 PM: Horse Drawn Carriage Rides. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Fairfax. Pick-up location is in front of Talbots on Market Street. $5 per person, children 5 and under ride free with adult.
  • All day: Ice Skating Pavilion. Open every day for public skating until March.

Santa’s Studio: Santa Claus will be at Reston Town Center in his portrait studio throughout the season. Dates and times vary, November 28 until December 24. His schedule is posted at his location on Market Street next to Talbots, and at www.restontowncenter.com.

Holidays are Here! All through December, Reston Town Center will host performances of music and dance by community groups at Fountain Square, and strolling on Market Street. Horse drawn carriage rides are scheduled for Saturday afternoons, December 5, 12, and 19, from 12 PM until 4 PM. All proceeds benefit local charities. $5 per person, children 5 and under ride free with adult. The Ice Skating Pavilion is open every day until March. See the schedules and more details at www.restontowncenter.com.

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Established in 1990, beautiful Reston Town Center is an acclaimed outdoor venue offering more than 50 retail shops, 30 restaurants and a 13-screen cinema. At the center’s hub, the Pavilion hosts special events, concerts, festivals throughout the year and ice-skating in winter.  For more information on shopping, dining and events at Reston Town Center, visit www.restontowncenter.com, find it on Facebook, follow on Twitter (RestonTownCntr), read the blog “WhereOutsideIsIn.com”, or call 703-689-4699. Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190

Directions: From I-495, take I-66 west to the Dulles Toll Road (Exit 67, Route 267 West) to Reston Parkway (Exit 12). Turn right on Reston Parkway then left on New Dominion Parkway (4th light).

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