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Centreville Day is Sept. 13

Get ready for fun! It's time for 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.

Kicking off the fun is a gala parade, with the festivities continuing throughout the day with a full slate of 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.

"We're looking for a huge turnout," said Centreville Day chairman Jim Intihar, owner of Dulles Minuteman Press in Chantilly. "We're really excited about it, and we're also excited to have it at the shopping center again."

"We're going to create a main-street atmosphere and feel," he continued. "Events [at Old Centreville Crossing] will be located much closer together than last year, requiring less walking and freeing up more parking for Centreville Day attendees and shopping-center customers."

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, Cox Farms and the Book Cart Drill Team from Centreville Regional Library.

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.

There'll be a photo exhibit showcasing the station's 53-year history, as well as games and a scavenger hunt for children. Attendees will also see a demonstration of how victims are extricated after a car crash.

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 people may tour 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, history professor Ted McCord and others 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 at St. John's at noon. Admission cost will be items for the WFCM's food pantry. And at 2 p.m. at St. John's, longtime residents Kenyon Davis, Claudette Ward and Rita Koch will share their personal and family stories of life in post-Civil War Centreville.

Music will also fill Old Centreville Crossing, where live bands will entertain at the showmobile between 1:30-6 p.m. Harmless Prank and Southern Xcess will perform a varied array of music from slow to fast, soft to hard, and everything in between.

Also in the shopping center, New Life Christian Church and Oliver Entertainment will provide a wide variety of fun-filled games, contests and activities. But they're not just for young children — students in middle and high school will have a good time, too.

BESIDES INFLATABLE SLIDES, moonbounces and an obstacle course, there'll be pony rides, face painting and games such as speed pitch and soccer kick. Also planned are limbo and hula hoop contests, pie-eating and watermelon-eating competitions, a water-balloon launch and a wacky sports relay. Clowns, costumed characters and sports-team mascots will also appear.

"New Life Christian church really did a great thing, coming in and sponsoring the family and children's part," said Intihar. "They stepped up in a big way, this year."

In addition, he said, "Carteret Mortgage has been a rock-solid sponsor and continues to be. Stanley Martin is also a key sponsor; it contributed $2,500 toward the prizes given to the high-school bands. And the Westfields Marriott is a new sponsor, providing the shuttle buses." The Historic District booth will be near the information tent at the shopping center, and shuttle buses will take passengers between there and the Historic District.

Offering food will be the Fair Lakes Rotary Club and local restaurants including Glory Days Grill, Red Rocks Cafe, Little Italy Deli, Dairy Queen, Chick-Fil-A and Papa John's Pizza. Funnel cakes and cotton candy will also be available.

Although organizing an event as mammoth and complex as Centreville Day is definitely time-consuming, Intihar says it's all worthwhile. "I love team-building and working with people," he explained. "And I enjoy giving back to the community, so it's fun for me."

Centreville Day proceeds will go toward the renovation and promotion of the Historic District, youth-group scholarships, beautification of the Routes 28/29 area, SYA and its "Fields of Dreams" youth sports complex, maintaining and promoting Centreville's "electronic town hall" — www.centrevilleva.org, and promoting tourism in Centreville.

The Centreville Community Foundation (CCF) is a nonprofit service organization that supports community improvement for the benefit of the citizens. To volunteer or for more information, call 703-322-9770, write to CCF, P.O. Box 1813, Centreville, VA 20120 or see www.centrevilleday.com.