Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
By Jessica Godart
Looking for the best time this Independence Day? This round-up of NoVA festivals and fireworks range from Circus shows to ’80′s themes and contests and more. Celebrate America’s big day the way you want with your pick of celebrations.
Starting off with a morning parade at 10, Historic Downtown Leesburg will celebrate America’s birthday with American Originals Fife and Drum Corps and plenty of walking participants ranging from dancers to classic cars and a roller derby group.
Twisting it up this year, the town will also be spinning by to ’80’s with their themed banners, music, signs and bright atmosphere. Eighties tribute band, The Breakfast Club, will be performing Friday evening in Leesburg as part of the celebrations. The band is known for their embodiment of the MTV generation in the decade. Festival goers are encouraged to dress as retro as they can to participate in the theme.
A food court of festival favorites such as ice cream, grilled food, sweets and funnel cakes will also be set up during the celebration. Music will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Fourth of July Celebration
25 West Market Street
Set up for couples who would like to celebrate the anniversary with a little mood lighting, Mansion Lawn at Morven Park will be lit up for the fourth. Catering by Vintage will provide light snacks and refreshments for visitors as they set up blankets and chairs throughout the lawn.
Fireworks and Romance
17263 Southern Planter Ln.
Old Town Herndon is known for its big celebrations, and the Fourth of July is no exception. Starting at 6:30 p.m., kids, parents and friends will have the chance to take part in free face painting, bingo, crafts and more at Bready Park. The Plaids Band begins playing at 7 p.m. as festival food and drinks will be arranged for attendees.
The celebration is meant for all ages, and this year Herndon will not only be celebrating Independence Day but will also be hosting the grand opening of the new playground in Bready Park.
Fireworks will begin at dark and are uniquely choreographed to music.
Pyrotechnics company, Zambelli Fireworks, will be choreographing the firework show to music selected by staff at the Herndon Community Center. Rock music mixed with patriotic grooves will be in sync with the fireworks to the point where some of the shapes of the explosives go along with the lyrics to the songs.
Old Town Herndon Celebration
814 Ferndale Ave.
Watermelon, apple pies and fireworks – oh my! Historic Manassas will host an evening of competitions and celebration as the sun goes down and attendees prepare for fireworks.
Located in the area surrounding the train depot, Harris Pavilion and Manassas Museum, the part starts at 4 p.m. and goes till 10 p.m. with an explosion of fireworks lighting the sky at 9:15 p.m.
If sitting around and waiting isn’t your style, register today for the apple pie-baking contest; the top three winners will receive a gift card from Historic Downtown Manassas (First place- $100, Second place – $75, Third place – $50). There will also be a watermelon eating contest at 5 p.m. in the pavilion where hungry celebrators will chow down till there’s only one winner left.
For kids less interested in the sweets or fruits, they can decorate their bikes in red, white and blue and prizes will be given out for best decorations.
With a great, open area historical Manassas will light up just right to show off its beauty as the nation celebrates the Fourth.
Old Town Manassas Fireworks
9431 West St.
From pooches to antique car, the Vienna Community Center will be full of activities as they ring in the Fourth. Starting at 11 a.m., the festival will feature the Vienna Community Band, arts and crafts, chili cook-off, a car show, one-ring circus and not to mention the Pooches on Parade. Pets will be dressed in costumes and paraded proudly through Caffi Infield. This will only be the second year the puppy parade has come to the festival, but the parade will offer a wading pool and sprinkler set up specifically for the pooches.
The Old Bay Circus Show will be performing for the first time at the festival. A great family-oriented show, the circus was brought to the festival with the children that attend in mind.
The fireworks scheduled to set off at 9:15 p.m. will be located at Southside Park, a short bike ride or drive from Vienna Community Center.
July 4th Festival and Fireworks Show
120 Cherry St SE
Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
By Ariel Yong
Looking for World Cup-inspired drinks while you watch the games? Here are 6 local places with drinks to get you in the soccer spirit.
What: The Red, White and Blue Cocktail is a combination of Leblon Cachaça, VeeV Açaí berry liqueur, raspberry puree and lime juice, served over ice and topped with sweet lime foam and fresh blueberries
When: Offered during televised games from June 12 to July 13
Where: 4021 Campbell Avenue, Arlington
GRAFTON STREET RESTAURANT & IRISH PUB
What: “World Cup Spotlight Beers” which include Dos Equis, Newcastle Brown Ale, Heineken Lager and Kilkenny Irish Ale
When: Offered during televised games from June 12 to July 13
Where: 7380 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville
By Robby Osborne
Golf is often considered the sport of leisure, but its also has a reputation as the crossroads of business, where titans of industry can comfortably craft deals away from the boardroom.
With such nuanced negotiations afoot, it’s important to on top of your game. Here are two public courses to sharpen your skills on the links.
With undulating greens and gently rolling fairways, this par 71 course is something special. The grounds include a driving range full of 14 hitting stations, a 11,000-square-foot putting green and a full set of target pins in the chipping area.
Herndon Centennial recently completed an extensive renovation, with retooled sand bunkers, an improved the driving range and made the course overall better suited for rain. If you find that 18 holes works up an appetite, there’s award-winning food and beverage service provided by JJ’s Deli.
Herndon Centennial Golf Course
909 Ferndale Ave, Herndon/herndongolf.com
13 miles outside Fairfax; $33 on Weekdays, $47 on Weekends
While a par 72 championship golf course may seem intimidating to first-timers, the Gauntlet presents a fun challenge, regardless of skill level. The course itself was designed by P.B. Dye, who has crafted more than 30 courses.
Most of the holes are target-oriented, rather than straight forward, so spending time on the driving range and mastering that hook shot would be time well spent. The signature hole (No. 4) is considered unforgiving with a green ringed by water hazards.
This app is a must-have for golfers, as more courses catch up to the 21st century, so must golfers. This app acts as a digital yardage book, includes a built in digital score card, sends news, events and promotions, and depending on the golf course, allows you to set up your tee time directly from the app.
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, April 17th, 2014
By Robby Osborne
The Easter Bunny has laid eggs throughout the world, often with treats inside. Who will find these eggs? What will be in them? Only you can solve the mystery. Here are a few Northern Virginia hunting grounds.
On Saturday, the Herndon Parks and Recreation department will be holding an old-fashioned Easter party beginning at 9 a.m. The Easter Bunny will make an appearance, bringing cheer wherever it hops. There will be an baby-animal petting zoo, which will delight festival goers of all ages. The hunt itself is divided by age groups, which stagger start times depending on the age of the little hunters. Children ages 5-to-7 begin their hunt at 9:30 a.m., 3-to-4 at 10:15 a.m., and toddlers-to-2 begin at 11 a.m. The only requirement for children to participate is that they are walking.
Herndon Municipal Center, 777 Lynn Street, Herndon
April 19, 9 a.m. to noon; $9
For the fourth time, The Marshall House plants their unique crop of 2,500 treat-filled eggs around the grounds. From 2 to 4 p.m., children will search throughout the area to see how many eggs they can store in their bags. While the day is free, and walk-ins are more than welcome, the house would not turn down a $5 donation per family. Along with the hunt, there will be face-painting stations, bag decorating and a raffle.
217 Edwards Ferry Road Leesburg, 2017
(703) 777-1301, georgecmarshall.org
April 19, 2 to 4 p.m.; $5 suggested
For those who feel that they may too old to hunt for eggs, Hogback Mountain adds a more mature element to the great hunt: Paintball guns. Hogback Mountain Paintball is holding their annual Easter Bunny Hunt, who will be making its appearance throughout the day, mixed in between normal weekend games. While providing tempting target, if players pay too much attention to shooting the bunny, they might find themselves shot by the opposing team. Along with the bunny, Easter specific games will be on rotation throughout the day, where players can find eggs that will be filled with anything from vouchers, to raffle tickets, to just plain old candy.
20267 Hogback Mountain Road Leesburg, 20175
(703) 777-0057, hogback.net
April 19, 10 a.m.; $20
By Janeé Williams
Police released new photos of missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd
Southwest to more than double their flights at Reagan National Airport
Herndon business owner wins $3 million in lottery
Report: Increase in Thefts on Metro
Hardly anyone would choose to sit on the couch when they can watch a game live. The feeling of solidarity as you’re surrounded by the colors of your team, and the thrill when your team scores. The only problem with being at the stadium (besides the beer prices) is that you lose control over stats and information that watching on television provides you.
Skybox is an app for Google Glass which will allow fans to see real-time stats, in-game highlights, and instant replays all in real time without missing any of the action. The Capitals and the Verizon Center will be the flagship team and stadium for the Skybox app.
When asked about why APX partnered up with the Capitals, Brian Ballard, the CEO of APX Labs said, “Monumental Sports & Entertainment has a history of employing state-of-the-art technology to bring the best experience to their fans at Verizon Center. When we sought out a team and venue to work with, Monumental Sports was the ideal local partner. It’s also a great point of pride that our home town team can highlight how D.C. is a leader in sports and technology innovation.”
Google Glass, first introduced in 2013, is the most recognized smart glass platform out there. Resting on your head like a pair of glasses, Google Glass allows you access to the utility of a smart phone without interrupting your life.
“Skybox for Google Glass creates an amazing, visual experience for fans at the game,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s chief marketing officer Joe Dupriest. “In working with APX Labs to test their new pro sports fan engagement app we’re able to provide our fans a way to customize their own experiences while at the game. They can stay connected, access team stats and highlights, and watch the game all in real-time.”
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 9th, 2014
The Farmer’s Almanac has projected that Virginia will experience a particularly snowy winter this year. It’s about time.
One of our favorite past times during the winter months is enjoying the simple pleasure of gently gliding down a hill of powder on a comfy sleigh. Or nestling with the family on a Toboggan and holding on a long stretch down the slopes. Or speeding like a bullet down the steepest plunges around. Whatever your speed, sledding is a must this winter. Be prepared. —Robert Cameron Fowler
Sonic Snow Tube
When you climb into a tube and tilt yourself over the precipice, you’ve given yourself over to fate, blasting down the slope without any control. Which is why you want something sturdy and insulated, like L.L. Bean’s Sonic Snow Tube, built to last for years and able to zip along any type of snow, be it packed or powdery. Speed: Whoa! Control: It’s in God’s hands now.
Lucky Bums Wooden Toboggan – 48 in.
Get the entire family on the happiest of road trips—straight down a wintry slope. Toboggans are the most beautiful of sleigh rides, and the Lucky Bums Wooden Toboggan has all the features you want: built from smoothed wood, front curl to the leader of your pack to slot their feet into, and a comfy sled pad your family to sit back and enjoy the fun. Speed: Whoa! Control: Make sure you have a clear path.
PT Blaster Sled
Some slopes require the deft touch. When you are gliding past trees and jutting rocks, maneuverability is essential. The PT Blaster Sled, constructed from high-impact plastic and complete with steering, is a great way to navigate the more treacherous hills. Speed: Moderate Control: Easy to pilot.
Pelican Kinder Sleigh
Plastic is efficient, but it lacks winter magic and polish. This nostalgically crafted sleigh by Pelican Sports is perfect for your children, a safe and durable little sleigh that recalls the wooden sleds of yesteryear to mind. Speed: Moderate Control: Make sure you have a clear path.
Snow Sled Saucer Heavy Duty
If you are the straight-forward kind of rider and just want to zip down the slope at awesome speeds, go with a saucer. The Snow Sled Saucer Heavy Duty by MH Sleds is an incredibly sturdy and affordable dish for you to surf the snow on. Speed: Whoa! Control: Surrender to fate on this one.
Enjoy the winter wonderland of the best local hills for a sleigh ride.
A cherished favorite amongst Reston and Herndon residents, this broad and expansive hill beside the Unitarian Church provides enough open space for people of all ages
to glide down the packed-in snow at thrilling speeds. 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston.
The Big Hill at Wolftrap
A quintessential sledding destination, this big ol’ hill will accommodate an army of sleigh-riders. Expect a smooth, long ride down the slope, which is not to steep and makes for a great time for the entire family. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna.
Do not take the name lightly. This short-but-steep slope will have you jetted off into high speeds—into a condo resting at the bottom of the hill if you’re not careful. Only true thrill seekers should take on this gnarly hill—and make sure to be riding on a sled that is very, very sturdy. Martha Custis Drive and Preston Road, Alexandria
While not as perilous as Suicide Hill, this hill is not a good idea for beginners. Popular and packed, it’s a great destination for more seasoned sledding families to go and enjoy some great powder. 7550 Magarity Road, McLean.
Wintry sledding locales don’t get much cooler than a Civil War monument. Head over the Stone House in Manassas Battlefield Park and you’ll find a hill between 300-400 feet of smooth riding. Speeding down the snow with cannons overlooking on the precipice of the hill is an exciting way to spend your winter holiday. Intersection of Sudley Road and Lee Highway.
Posted by Editorial / Saturday, January 4th, 2014
We stick with that is comfortable. Patron the tried and true. And we’ve all said,” Why go there? What’s there to do in (insert name of other Northern Virginia neighborhood here)?” We’ve got your answer: a quick field guide to the little known centers in the smaller hoods. -By Anthony Baracat, Robert Fowler, Brandon Payton and Cassandra Sturos
Get a drink
Blue & Gray Brewing Co. (blueandgraybrewingco.com) – All beers brewed in Fredericksburg.
Battlefield Brewery (brewpubfredericksburg.com) – Over 16 beers on tap including beers the brewery brews themselves.
Kybecca (kybecca.com) – Handcrafted cocktail concoctions.
Cheesetique (cheesetique.com) – Enjoy a wedge of cheese to compliment the taste of good wine or beer. Check out the day in the life of the owner, pg. 112.
Evening Star Cafe (eveningstarcafe.net) – Craft brews and cocktails in the upstairs lounge.
The Curious Grape (curiousgrape.com) – Have a tantalizing sip from a vast assortment of wines, beers and fine foods.
Cap City Brewing Company (capcitybrew.com) – Signature brews year round, and worldly seasonal options.
WK Hearth (thewinekitchen.com) – For the cozy ambiance of home, have a glass of wine to warm you in this restored farmhouse.
Grandale Farm Restaurant/868 Estate Vineyards (grandalefarm.com) – 120 acres that houses both a fine-dining restaurant and a winery with tasting room.
Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern (jimmystavern.com) – Herndon’s very own version of Cheers, check out this local tavern for a laid-back evening and enjoy some of their famous chicken wings.
Stone’s Cove KitBar (stonescove.com) – Offering a dozen indulgent cocktails, 20 vino pours and a list of draft beers.
The Auld Shebeen (theauldshebeenva.com) – Celebrate Ireland at this pub and restaurant featuring live music, English football, karaoke and an eclectic menu.
The Wine House (winehouseonline.com) – Check out this locally-owned wine bar and downtown bistro, combining New Zealand, Napa and European flair.
Cup o’ joe
Blackstone Coffee Company (blackstonecoffee.com) – This wife-husband duo roast their own coffee for the freshest taste in town.
Hyperion Espresso (hyperionespresso.com) – Coffee from around the world—Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, Indonesia and more. And, great people watching.
Swing’s Del Ray Coffeebar (swingscoffee.com) – A vast variety of finely made coffees, complete with a turntable for music.
Caboose Café (caboose-cafe.com) – Indulge in a delicious muffin while sipping on hot delicious coffee at this homey café. St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub (stelmoscoffeepub.com) – Enjoy the heat of organic and freshly roasted coffee.
Best Buns Bread Company (greatamericanrestaurants.com) – Those sweet-treats of rolls you get at Sweetwater, Artie’s, etc., these guys make ‘em; and eat up the slew of other goods at this bakery, along with a cup o’ joe.
BusBoys and Poets (busboysandpoets.com) – Books, art, live performances, all to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or organic, fair-trade tea.
Loco Joe Coffee (locojoecoffee.com) – Check out this coffee shop that pays attention to detail, featuring tasty drinks with beautiful latte art.
Market Street Coffee (marketstreetcoffeeshops.com) – This coffee-shop is dubbed Loudoun’s living room for a reason. Sip on freshly brewed coffee in a quaint atmosphere.
Green Lizard Cycling (greenlizardcycling.com) – A cycling shop meets coffee shop; a perfect stop for your morning cup o’ joe and a bike ride.
American Bistro and Coffeehouse (abcoffeehouse.com) – Find daily-ground beans and fresh sandwiches and salads at this local shop.
Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolate (9639 Fairfax Blvd.) – The newest local coffee shop in Fairfax City, opening this past October, has a range of java options along with many housemade chocolates, bakery goods, granola and frozen yogurt.
29th Parallel Coffee and Tea (10160 Fairfax Blvd.) – Delicately-prepared drinks prove mesmerizing, especially the 29th’s noted pour over coffee.
The Boutique at Caroline Street (theboutiqueatcarolinestreet.com) – All of your designer brands at a low price.
Heritage Gifts and Imports (300 William St.)- A local import store with pizazz. You’ll find ties to cameos to books and jewelry.
Bluebird Studio Stained Glass (bluebirdstainedglass.com) – Anything from custom stained glass projects to repairs. You can also take lessons.
Potomac West Interiors and Antiques (evolution-home.com) – Browse through gorgeous home furnishings both vintage and modern.
Amalgamate (amalgamated-clothing.com) – Dress like a spiffy fellow from times past.
Kiskadee (kiskadeeshop.com) – Of-the-moment finds (attire, accessories, home goods and gifts)in this little yellow brick house.
Le Village Marché (levillagemarche.com) – Romantic ambience, Parisian-themed market, where you can find a wide assortment of charming home products.
Periwinkle (periwinkleshop.com) – Newly revamped with the latest in women’s attire..
Bloomers (shopbloomers.com) – Chic undergarments for everyday.
Everyday Elegance (everydayelegancepville.com) – From women’s wear to home décor to vintage finds, this shop has something for everyone.
Around the Block Books (aroundtheblockbooks.com) – Get your reading on at this cozy bookstore whose motto is, “We encourage loitering!”
Roaches in the Attic (roachesantiques.com) – With a name like Roaches in the Attic, you have to check out this family-owned antique store that features early American glass as well as an ample supply of records.
The Factory Tees and Vintage Apparel (thefactorytees.com) – Vintage pieces from the 1950s-80s, plus original t-shirt designs and vintage inspired tees.
Eminence Jewelers (eminencejewelers.com) – These full-service jewelers sell, repair and design custom and quality pieces just for you.
Fair Trade Winds (fairtradewinds.net) – Shop fair-trade jewelry, wedding gifts, accessories and more.
A. Smith Bowman Distillery (asmithbowman.com) – Walk through the bourbon making process. Make your own and taste it by tour’s end.
Funland (centralparkfun-land.com) – Go karts, rock walls, laser tag, bumper boats, arcade games, putt-putt. Need we say more?
909 Saloon (909-online.com) – Casual food, craft beers, Virginia wines and a pretty good line-up for live music.
Signature Theater (signature-theatre.org) – Boundary-pushing, Tony Award-winning theater.
Artfully Chocolate (thecocoagallery.com) – The chocolate confections at this venue are as artful as the paintings that adorn its gallery.
Del Ray Artisans (thedelrayartisans.org) – Come pour your eyes over the artwork by local artists at this longstanding venue.
Franklin Park Arts Center (franklinparkartscenter.org) – Music, improv, ballet and theatre—the Franklin Park Arts Center has got it all.
Catoctin Creek (catoctincreekdistilling.com) – Take a tour of this working distillery, see how whiskey is made and then have a glass.
FOR: THE REEMERGENCE OF CHIFA
Will Chifa become the next trendy cross-culture cuisine? With Jose Andres, the Washington area’s celebrity chef, announcing the opening of his China Chilcano, a Chinese-Peruvian restaurant next spring, the mash-up food of Lima-based Chinese immigrants from the 19th century could spawn plates of fried rice the region over. Herndon has a head start.
Waku Chicken first opened in Baltimore and then debuted in Northern Virginia this past summer— and three more Virginia shops are planned, with ten total in the area.
The menu offers classic Peruvian with charcoal rotisserie chicken (a solid version, but a side of yuca was undercooked) and ceviche and saltado. The arroz chaufa with seafood proved greasy rice speaks many languages—for the better— and is filled with shrimp and squid and the requisite fried egg bits and scallion slices.
Crispy fried chunks of pork packed into a sandwich with soft sweet potato is savory and homey but brightens with the DIY act of adding the side salad of peppery and vinegary sliced raw onions (salsa criolla). But for authentic hotness, you must ask for the rocoto hot sauce, a pure harsh heat.-Stefanie Gans / 458 Eldon St., Herndon
Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 6th, 2013
The holidays are in full swing and you are most likely up-to-your-neck in gift shopping. The tired treks through malls and sterilized shopping excursions at department stores will leave even the most seasoned holiday gift giver a tad worn down. Where has the unique thrill of giving something singular and special to loved one when so many people are clamoring for impersonal things like the flavor-of-the-season Xbox One or Kindle Fire HD 7? While I advise you to gift me said items immediately, it’s still a shame that so many of our gift options nowadays like charm. So, for this weekend, skip the mega-retailers and digital dojos and opt for an adventure, shopping around at these blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em markets to find something special for that special someone (or even Craig, that guy who works next to you at the office).
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