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Festival Prepares Move to Town Center

Annual celebration of Reston set to kick-off on Saturday, July 12.

From hockey lessons to salsa dance concerts, the 2003 Reston Festival offers up something for everyone from its new location at Reston Town Center.

After a long successful run at Lake Anne Washington Plaza, the annual celebration of Reston has moved for the first time from the community’s traditional town center to its modern day commercial hub. The festival will open its new doors on Saturday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The town center brings with it a higher profile and "a little more breathing room," and organizers from the Reston Citizen’s Association, Reston Association and the Reston Community Center have responded with two days packed full of hands-on activities, music and food, lots of food.

The festival sponsored by the Reston Citizens Association (RCA), began in the late 1960s and continued for more than 20 years until it was discontinued, in part, because of complaints from Lake Anne merchants regarding rowdy behavior. The Reston Citizens Association, in concert with Reston Association and the Reston Community Center, re-opened the festival in 1998. The newest incarnation of the festival included more activities geared towards children.

Lake Anne's loss was the Town Center's gain and Carrie Shearin, a center spokesman, said the Town Center is extremely excited to officially welcome the Reston Festival into its fold in July. "This is a great way to bring the entire community together," Shearin said, when the move was announced in February. "This is the center of Reston, so it makes sense to be celebrating Reston here. We can't wait."

The annual festival celebrates Reston’s diverse community and nowhere is that diversity more evident than this year’s entertainment schedule. From the ethnic-flair of groups like The Java Kings and the Salsa Fuego Dance Company to the acoustic sounds of the Dreamscapes Project and Terri Hendrix. Saturday morning, the Difficult Run Jazz Band will get the free concert series going on the festival stage. Austin Lounge Lizards, rock-country-bluegrass satirists from Texas, will headline the night when they take the stage at 7:30 p.m. In between, festival visitors will be treated to acts featuring everything from jazz and blues to rock and folk.

On Sunday, local high school students will open the festival stage when members of South Lakes High School theater arts department perform songs from their various shows at 12:05 p.m. The corVairs, a ‘50s cover band, will close out the two-day festival entertainment schedule when they do-wop onto the stage at 5:30 p.m. In between, the stage will host the toe-tapping tunes of a local clogging company, the rhythmic beats of a percussion ensemble, and the throwback sounds of a barbershop chorus, among others.

As in years past, organizers promise that this year’s festival will feature an array of arts and crafts vendors including hand-made jewelry, stained glass and baskets. There will also be plenty of activities for the young festival-goers (and the young-at-heart) like hockey lessons, a moon bounce, puppet shows, carnival-style games and face painting.

For more information, visit the festival’s Web site at www.restonfestival.com.