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Votes

Worth Noting

<cal1>NOW THROUGH JAN. 3

<cal2>Santa, angels, the universe and an enchanted forest — the Miracle of Lights — Northern Virginia's only drive-thru holiday light show is now open from 5:30-10:30 p.m. until Jan. 3, 2004. It features holiday theme groups, including Planet Holiday, Victorian Virginia, Noah's Ark, Santa's Woods, The Angel's Playground and The Enchanted Forest and more than two miles of lighted entertainment. Admission is $12 per carload (1-14 people), $25 per commercial van (15-34 people) and $50 per busload (35 or more). Discount coupons are available at www.miracleoflights.com. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Medical Care for Children's Partnership. At Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville. Call 703-709-KIDS (5437) or visit www.miracleoflights.com.

<cal1>NOW THROUGH DEC. 24

<cal2>Santa will chat with youngsters at Fair Oaks Mall now through Dec. 24 in his holiday home — a 36-foot Fountain Court Tree House growing in the middle of a garden filled with life-sized and life-like animals. Children who visit Santa will receive a complimentary gift. Photo packages are available starting at $10.99 each.

<cal1>NOW THROUGH DEC. 31

<cal2>Sully Decorated in 18th Century Elegance: Experience the main house at Sully while accented with greens and gracefully decorated for an 18th century season of celebration. In the exhibit room, relive the 1885 holiday memories of a young Sully guest seeing the tree decorated in Victorian splendor. House tour included. Everyday except Tuesdays and Christmas Day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sully Historic Site, 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Groups require reservations. $5/Adult, $4/Student, $3/senior or child.

<cal1>THURSDAY/DEC. 11

<cal2>Glory Days Grill in Centreville is sponsoring Tip a Cop to Support Special Olympics on Thursday, Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to midnight. Join 94.7 The Arrow's Mark Kessler, along with the Fairfax County police department, as officers serve complimentary chips and salsa to guests. Tips generated by the officers and Glory Days staff will be donated to Special Olympics. Glory Days Grill is located at 13850 Braddock Road. Visit www.glorydaysgrill.com or www.classicrock947.com.

<cal2>Are you interested in increasing your knowledge of national and local affairs? Would you like to help promote civic responsibility through the active and informed participation of all citizens in government? If so, join members of the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA) for their monthly meeting in December as they plan the programs and the topics to be discussed by League members throughout the United States during the coming year.

League meetings will be held at 14 locations throughout Fairfax County and City on Thursday, Dec. 11, including the Mason District Center, the Reston Museum and the Kings Park Library. Meetings are free, guests are always welcome and no registration is required. For specific times and locations, call 703-658-9150 or visit the LWVFA Web site at www.lwv-fairfax.org.

<cal1>DEC. 12-14

<cal2>Encore Theatrical Arts Project of Chantilly will perform an original holiday show, "Let it Snow," the next two weekends, at the Ernst Community Cultural Center on NOVA's Annandale campus. Tickets are $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults; they're available at the door, or call 703-222-5511.

This family-friendly, musical tale of Santa's elves at the North Pole will be presented Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13, at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m.

<cal1>Dec. 12-13

<cal2>Candlelight Tours—Sully Historic Site: Stroll the candlelit path to the elegant 1794 house of Richard and Elizabeth Collins Lee and discover the spirit of Christmas past through Sully’s 200-year history. The buildings, decorated for a season of celebration, will glow with the splendor of natural candlelight. Seasonal music will echo throughout the halls during the evening. In the main house, engage costumed characters from the past as you encounter the gentry class of the 18th century and see the Victorian Christmas tree. Learn about the holiday traditions of Sully’s enslaved African American community and gather by the fire to hear about life at the quarter. Visit with Confederate troops by the campfire as they recreate a Civil War Christmas in the field. Light refreshments will be served. Friday, 6-8:15 p.m. (last tour)/Saturday, 4:30-8:15 p.m. (last tour). Sully Historic Site, 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Prepaid reservations required. $7/Adult, $5/senior or child.

<cal1>FRIDAY/DEC. 12

<cal2>The Home & Garden Club of Virginia Run is sponsoring the eighth Holiday Home Tour. Get into the sounds of the season by touring six Virginia Run homes dressed for the holidays. The Candlelight Tour begins at the Community Center on Friday, Dec. 12, with a wine and cheese reception from 6-8 p.m. The tour is from 6-11 p.m. and the participants are Bill and Pat Duke, Wayne and Chris Hobbs, Larry and Megan Megale, Chris and Diane Mullins, Mike and Katherine Petty and Nancy O'Shea.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from Mary-Rose Woodward at 6106 Oakengate Way from 7-9 p.m. Tickets will also be sold at the community center at the wine and cheese reception, from 6-8 p.m. Make checks payable to the Virginia Run Home and Garden Club. Contact Mary-Rose Woodward 703-222-2489 or Lvtoocook@aol.com or Judy Kelsen 703-263-0576 or Judy@Kelsen.com.

<cal1>SATURDAY/DEC. 13

<cal2>Girl Scout Cadets from Troop 3623 will hold a pancake breakfast and homemade craft gift shop on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Centreville United Methodist Church. The Scouts are raising money for a trip to Europe in 2005. Tickets are $5/adults, $3/kids ages 3-12, and free for 2 and under.

<cal2>Holidays at Walney Farm: Discover the food eaten and gifts exchanged by the Machen family during the holidays at Walney Farm in the mid-1800s. Drink hot apple cider to drive away the cold while walking to the smokehouse and other outbuildings to see where food was stored and prepared. Ages 10 years and up. 1-2 p.m. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (Walney), 5040 Walney Rd., Chantilly. 703-631-0013. Reservations required. Free.

See Santa's Trains — The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders Inc. will be holding an open house on Saturday, Dec. 13 from noon until 4 p.m. Come and see the action on Northern Virginia's largest fixed operating "HO" scale model railroad. Featuring award-winning scenery, digital control, sound, smoke, Christmas specials.

The club is located in the historic "Washington & Old Dominion Railroad" station, 231 Dominion Road (on the WO&D Trail) in downtown Vienna. Admission is free. However, donations will be donated to the NoVA Fairfax Ronald McDonald House. Visit the Web site at www.nvmr.org or by e-mail at nvmrinc@hotmail.com, or by calling 703-938-5157 on the day of the open house.

<cal1>DEC. 13-14

<cal2>The Center for Ballet Arts presents The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax in "Nutcracker in a Nutshell" once again this holiday season. Now in its 11th year of production, this condensed version of the Hoffman Christmas tale is sure to delight. Guest artist Peter Swan will perform the "Grand Pas de Deux" with BAE ballerina Julie Fox. Three performances will be presented Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at Fairfax High School Theatre, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. Tickets are available at the Center for Ballet Arts in Fairfax at $12/adults, $11/students, $10/children (12 and under) and seniors (60 and older). Tickets may be purchased at the door on performance day, all seating reserved. Call 703-273-5344.

<cal2>Centreville High School's PTSA will sponsor the fifth annual Mia Saunders School of Ballet benefit performances of The Nutcracker this December at Centreville High School. Half of the proceeds from the two performances will go to scholarships for graduating Centreville seniors. Last year four $750 scholarships were awarded to Morgan Gammon, Katherine Hahm, Andrea Palombella, and George Panagakos. The other half of the proceeds will go to a charity of Ms. Saunders' choosing. This year she has again selected Western Fairfax Christian Ministries Emergency Services Fund for families in need in Western Fairfax County.

Performances are held in the Centreville High School auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors, and $6 children/students. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Francine Fuhrer at 830-2558 or Christine Marshall at 222-2988.

<cal1>MONDAY/DEC. 15

<cal2>Centreville Toastmasters is the place to improve your communication and leadership skills. The club meets from 7-8:15 p.m. on Mondays at the Centreville Regional Library. Guests are welcome. Prepared speeches, oral evaluations and impromptu speeches (table topics) will be on the agenda. Upcoming meetings: Mondays, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, and Jan. 26. Call Lynn Griesmer 703-263-2468.

<cal1>TUESDAY/DEC. 16

<cal2>The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area presents "More Power to You." The program, comprising sessions explaining how local government works and how it relates to state government, will take place once a month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Fairfax Government Center. The next session will be on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The program costs $25. Those who complete the program will receive a certificate. Pre-registration is required; call 703-227-2231.

<cal2>New Mothers Luncheons are held every Tuesday for mothers and newborn babies to 8 months old. The group meets for lunch, speakers, discussions and fun — a different program every week. Bring a friend or come alone — it's a great way to meet other new moms and babies in the area. Meets Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Il Lupo Italian Restaurant, 4069 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax. Lunch is $20; four-lunch series is $75. Reservations required. Call Rochelle Goldberg at 703-961-9179 or email: eventbuilders@hotmail.com.

* Tuesday, Dec. 16 — Allergies — Your Questions and Answers, Food allergy and Anaphylaxis Network;

* Tuesday, Dec. 23 — No lunch;

* Tuesday, Dec. 30 — No lunch;

* Tuesday, Jan. 6 — Resources for Freebies and Discounts with Rochelle Goldberg;

* Tuesday, Jan. 13 — Attachment — What it is and why it is important for your baby with Lisa Friedman, Ph.D.

* Tuesday, Jan. 20 — Kindermusik with Pam Phillips, Kindermusik of Fairfax;

* Tuesday, Jan. 27 — Sign Language for Infants with Stephanie Steffer of Time to Sign.

The Swan Ballet Dance School of Chantilly will holds its 13th annual performance of "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 1:30 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. These performances will take place at the Ernst Theatre at NOVA Annandale. Call 703-425-9400.

<cal1>THURSDAY/DEC. 18

<cal2>Mothers First — Centreville/Chantilly is a support group for women making the transition from careers to at-home motherhood. Activities include lectures, field trips, moms night out, etc. The next December meeting is Thursday, Dec. 18 at 10:15 a.m. at the Centreville Regional Library. Call 703-827-5922 or visit www.mothersfirst.org.

<cal1>SATURDAY/DEC. 20

<cal2>Christmas caroling on horseback: Members of the Clifton Horse Society will parade through the Town of Clifton on horseback, singing Christmas carols, Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. Snow postponed the event until this date, but it's a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

<cal1>Monday, Dec. 22

<cal2>Sully Holiday Craft — Make A Pomander: Tour the house, which is decorated in the Federal for the holidays. Add spice to your visit by making a clove-studded pomander. Pomanders were used in Colonial times to freshen rooms and storage spaces with the fragrant scent of citrus and spices. Enjoy a holiday treat in the open hearth kitchen. 1:30 p.m. Sully Historic Site, 3701 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Pre-paid reservations required. $6/adult/$4/child.

<cal1>MONDAY/DEC. 29

<cal2>The Ship's Company Chanteymen will perform on Monday, Dec. 29 at 2 and 3 p.m. at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly. This jolly band of sailors will perform "A Visit from White Beard," among other favorites. Refreshments will be served in the original 18th century kitchen. All concerts include a house tour. Seating is limited and prepaid reservations are required. Tickets are $7 per seat. Call 703-437-1794.

<cal1>TUESDAY/DEC. 30

<cal2>The Celtic powerhouse IONA will perform Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Experience the powerful vocals, compelling flute, whistle and unique harp as they bring the music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and France. Bagpipes and Scottish dancing add to the mix. Refreshments will be served in the original 18th century kitchen. All concerts include a house tour. Seating is limited and prepaid reservations are required. Tickets are $7 per seat. Call 703-437-1794.

<cal1>JAN. 10-11

<cal2>The Institute of Performing Arts for Youth, a dance company in residence at Creative Dance Center II in Ashburn and Creative Dance Center I in Chantilly, will be sponsoring its annual children's production of "Nutcracker in a Shell — All Jazz'd Up!" This production is a shortened version of the Nutcracker, and includes ballet, lyrical dance, tap and jazz. It will be performed by children from the Ashburn and Chantilly studios. The performances originally scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 have been changed to Saturday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 and 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 11 at 3:30 p.m. All tickets previously sold for December 2003 postponed performances will be honored for January 2004. Tickets are adults $8, children (3-10) $6, seniors (+55) $ 6, with children 2 and under free. Call Margaret Otto at 703-724-4900 or Ginny Frye at 703-378-1800.