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ViVa Vienna Kicks Off

Tonya Zitterich lives and breathes carnivals. She was born into them through her father, who had been in the carnival business all his life. From April to October, the 25-year-old North Carolina native travels to small towns in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, hosting the dart throwing game.

To her, Vienna has the distinction of being a small town surrounded by lots of traffic. But each carnival is enjoyable just the same.

"It's pretty fun," Zitterich said.

Zitterich's game was one of many amusements at the annual ViVa Vienna festival held along Church Street during Memorial Day weekend. The three-day festival, sponsored by the Vienna Rotary Club with additional help by the Town of Vienna, the Navy Federal Credit Union and other local businesses, is the Rotary's annual fundraiser for local and international charities.

Visitors to the festival could go on amusement rides, eat corn dogs, gyros or crabcakes, watch various music acts and peruse vendors of arts and crafts.

"The food and the music," explained Vienna resident Dennis Bergin, on what keeps him and his family coming back to ViVa Vienna every year for the past ten years.

Although entertainment, food and rides were available at the start of ViVa Vienna on Saturday evening, the opening ceremonies began at noon on Sunday with a presentation by the Vienna Police Honor Guard and the singing of the national anthem by area local Mike Cotter. All of Vienna's Town Council members and mayor were present, as well as Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, state delegate Jeannemarie Devolites and U.S. representative Tom Davis.

While drizzle on Sunday and the muddy festival grounds may have dampened some revelers, the cool weather suited Vienna resident Fern Morrison just fine.

"I like the weather, because a lot of times, it's so hot and crowded," said Morrison, who has been to 14 of 15 ViVa Viennas. She came out Sunday with her grandson. "Although I feel sorry for the people working here."