Dear Newcomers:

Welcome to Herndon! My name is Linda Waddell and Herndon is the town I have called "home" all of my life. It has been home to my parents, as well as my grandparents. I attended Herndon schools as did my mother before me and my daughter after me and Herndon High is where I met my husband. Therefore, as you can see, I am not just a long time resident — my roots are here.

Let me tell you a little about my hometown. Herndon is approximately four square miles square and is full of activities for people of all ages and interests. In the next few paragraphs, I will try to give you an idea of some of the many opportunities available that help make Herndon such a special place to live.

Having worked at the high school for the past 12 years, I certainly would be remiss if I didn't begin by mentioning the many entertainment opportunities available there for all of Herndon's population. You don't have to have a student to enjoy these activities. The high school football, basketball, baseball and soccer games can keep even the most avid sports fan busy. You can enjoy an assortment of plays as well as choral and musical concerts performed throughout the year. Believe me, you will be pleased (and maybe a little surprised) at the level of professionalism of the performances of these young people. And please don't miss the Herndon Homecoming Parade. The parade takes place in the morning before the homecoming game (generally sometime during the month of October) and includes a variety of participants such as the high school band, cheerleaders, and homecoming court, unicyclists, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and many other groups of varying ages from all over the area.

THERE ARE ALL KINDS of sports activities available for children and adults alike, through numerous youth and adult leagues and through the community center. The community center is also the location for some fabulous craft shows, antique shows, etc.

The Town of Herndon Parks and Recreation Department stays busy planning many wonderful activities made available in our town. One of the largest and most popular activities is the Herndon Festival. This is something you won't want to miss. The festival takes place in the downtown area and consists of concerts, carnival rides, crafters and food from some of the town's most popular restaurants. This is a yearly event that people from all over the region come to enjoy. The festival isn't the only time you can catch the concerts however. Each Friday night throughout the summer, you can enjoy a variety of free concerts on center stage in the middle of town. Just bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy. You will also want to check out Runnymede Park, just off Herndon Parkway, or the Civil War reenactment, and by all means, the Fourth of July fireworks.

WITHIN ABOUT a 20 minute drive, you can be at any one of four major shopping malls and several smaller ones. Now that's what I call convenience. And if you want to eat out, within our town you have the choice of just about any type of ethnic food, fast food, or just plain good restaurants. Some of my favorites are The American Cafe at Worldgate, Hunan Herndon, Outback and, of course, Sylvana's.

And then there's biking or walking on the W&OD trail, or just a short trip to take in swimming or a train ride at Lake Fairfax Park, or to go hiking at Great Falls Park, or maybe even take in a concert of your favorite performers at Wolf Trap. Herndon is conveniently located within a short drive of beautiful Skyline Drive, the city of Washington, D.C., the Inner Harbor of Annapolis, or a little longer drive to the beaches of Virginia Beach or Ocean City. Wow, the list is endless. Now maybe you'll understand why I have lived in Herndon all of my life. There are still things I want to do and to see.

Although it has definitely grown and has changed from the sleepy little town it once was, Herndon still maintains that small town atmosphere. I hope you enjoy Herndon, my home town. I certainly do.

<1b>— Linda Waddell