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Centreville Day is Set for Sept. 13

September is almost here, and that means school, football and the 12th annual Centreville Day celebration. Sponsored by the Centreville Community Foundation, this year's event is Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The fun begins with a gala parade and continues throughout the day with various events in three locations — Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center, Centreville's Historic District and at Centreville's Fire Station 17.

The theme is "Main Street Centreville, Past and Present. There'll be live bands, craft vendors, business and community exhibits, contest, games and concessions — lots to do for people of all ages and interests.

THE PARADE STARTS at 10 a.m., traveling from Centreville High along Union Mill and Old Braddock roads to Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center. Participants should arrive at the school by 9 a.m., and children with decorated bikes, wagons, scooters, etc. are welcome to join in. See www.centrevilleday.com for more information.

The Centreville American Legion organizes the parade and helps out at the staging area. Member Bill Judd is serving as parade chairman for the second year, and he says this year's parade should be terrific.

"I expect several hundred participants," he said. "The parade seems to be growing bigger, every year."

Sure to please the crowd will be the Centreville and Westfield high school marching bands, as well as perennial audience-favorite, Jim Moyer's Oak View Circus Club, featuring children riding unicycles, tumbling, balancing, juggling, stilt-walking and doing acrobatics.

The Knights of Columbus Color Corps will lead the way. The Baha'i Faith of Centreville will participate, as will the Moms Club of Clifton/Centreville South, the Lane's Mill Chapter of the DAR, and Virginia Greyhound Adoption (which finds good homes for greyhound dogs).

THE FAIRFAX COUNTY Sheriff's Office will bring motor units, a cruiser and two bicycle units, plus the sheriff riding in a convertible. Personnel from Centreville fire stations 17 and 38 will ride in fire trucks, engines and ambulances, and a police motorcycle escort will flank each end of the parade.

Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts usually participate and, with everyone up for re-election in November, the parade will also be chock-a-block with local politicians smiling and shaking hands with the voters.

Centreville Day opening ceremonies will be at 11 a.m., with parade awards and Centreville's "Citizen of the Year" presented from the Fairfax County showmobile at the shopping center. And at noon, Fire Station 17 on Old Centreville Road will hold a memorial service dedicated to the Fire Department of New York firefighters who lost their lives in the World Trade Center tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001.

Tours of the Historic District will run from noon-5 p.m., with shuttle buses ferrying visitors between there and the shopping center. Girl Scouts will provide assistance in the information booth, and Boy Scouts will offer tours of the historic sites. These include: Royal Oaks House, Spindle House, St. John's Episcopal Church and cemetery, Mount Gilead, Havener House and the Old Stone Church.

There'll also be a Bull Run Civil War Roundtable display, and Susan Gray of the Fairfax Historical Society will be on hand to answer questions. And at the Mount Gilead house, Ted McCord and the Historic Centreville Society will give docent-led tours.

MEANWHILE, at St. John's, authors of Civil War books will sell and sign their work, historic Centreville afghans will be sold and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries will host a Christian rock concert. Cost of admission will be items for the WFCM's food pantry.

Live bands will entertain at the showmobile between 1:30-6 p.m. Harmless Prank and Southern Xcess — which was a big hit at last year's event — will perform a wide variety of music from slow to fast, soft to hard, and everything in between.

Station 17 will host games and a scavenger hunt, plus a photo exhibit showcasing its 53-year history. And in the shopping center, New Life Christian Church and Oliver Entertainment will provide fun for children, 5-11: A moonbounce, pony rides, face painting and games.

Also planned are limbo and hula hoop contests, pie-eating and watermelon-eating competitions, a water-balloon launch and a wacky sports relay. Offering food will be the Fair Lakes Rotary Club and local restaurants.