Come one, come all to Centreville Day. This year's celebration, the 13th annual, is Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The fun begins with a colorful parade kicking off at 10 a.m. from Centreville High and traveling down Union Mill Road to Braddock Road, ending at the Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center.
But that's just the start — the festivities then continue in Centreville's Historic District, off Route 29 and Braddock Road. It's the first time the event has been held there, but organizers believe it's a fitting venue since it contains Centreville's roots.
Just ask Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully). "Centreville Day is family-oriented and a one-of-a-kind celebration," he said. "And this year will be even more fun because it's in the Historic District. Most people aren't aware of what the Historic District has to offer — the churches, old homes, etc. — so I hope this helps promote awareness of what we have saved and what we need to continue to preserve in the future."
Actually, the event begins Friday, Sept. 10, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 5649 Mount Gilead Road. At 6:30 p.m., attendees may enjoy a Colonial dinner featuring foods from the 1800s — turkey pot pie, salad, biscuits, cake and beverages.
HISTORIC MEMORABILIA and artifacts will be displayed at 7:30 p.m., followed at 7:45 p.m. by oral history presentations and demonstrations by people in period costumes. Participants include Mary Robinson Ewell, a descendant of Gentleman Jim Robinson, the first freed slave in the local area. For dinner reservations, call 703-803-7500.
Parade participants include Centreville High's marching band, Frey, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-11th), fire and rescue vehicles and personnel from stations 17 and 38, the Knights of Columbus, Citizen of the Year Bill Ritchie, Centreville Regional Library employees dressed as storybook characters, the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office, the Lane's Mill DAR and the Old Dominion Historical Fire Society with a restored, antique, fire hose wagon.
Cox Farm, Chevy Chase Bank and Centreville Presbyterian Church are entering floats, and the Bahá'í's of Centreville will be marching, as will Boy Scout Troop 1995 and Centreville Dogs (promoting an off-leash dog park). Also participating will be members of the Centreville Regional Art Guild, Sully District Democrats and Republicans and, as always, children with decorated bikes, scooters and wagons are welcome.
Organizing the parade is Centreville American Legion Post 1995, and member Bob Hartman is parade coordinator. "It's always fun," he said. "And it's never too late to participate."
During the celebration, Mount Gilead Road and part of Wharton Lane will be closed to traffic, and parking will be at The Trinity Centre, Centreville High and Centreville United Methodist Church. Shuttle buses will ferry people to and from the Historic District.
The Centreville Community Foundation (CCF) is putting it on, and its chairman Marvin Powell will welcome the crowd at 11:30 a.m., along with Centreville Day Chairman Sue Davis. Frey will present awards, and a special, 9/11 memorial service by the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department will remember loved ones lost that day — especially local residents Bud Boone and Karl Teepe who perished at the Pentagon.
There'll be live performances from noon-6 p.m. by the Black Cat Blues Band, Carpe Pisces, Emerald Guard and Kingley Winter Band. And county police will showcase their bomb squad, tactical team, classic cruisers and K9 teams.
CHILDREN'S FUN ZONES will contain arcade games and rides ($1-$3), pony and train rides, moonbounces, face painting and other activities. Hands-on activities for children feature sand art and interactive environmental displays.
Craft vendors will sell items including: Handmade quilts, handwoven baskets, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, candles, wood crafts such as ships, fossils, minerals, crystals, clothing, handbags, wrought-iron products, Italian Murano glass, pottery, rubber stamps and Vietnamese needlework.
Nonprofit, religious, community-service and business organizations will also have information booths and exhibits. Providing the food will be Catbo (Cajun, Mexican and Creole), Chick-Fil-A (chicken), O'Toole's Roadhouse Restaurant (American cuisine) and Oliver Entertainment (funnel cakes, sno cones and cotton candy).
From 10 a.m.-6 p.m., the Historic District will offer self-guided tours of historic sites such as: Newgate, Eagle Tavern, St. John's, the Old Stone Church, Spindle House (Sears kit home), Havener House, old post office, Harrison House, the tanyards leatherworks, Mount Gilead house, Royal Oaks Plantation, Civil War earthworks and the Stone House.
The CCF and Frey expect a good turnout for the event. "Centreville Day is the only true celebration of our community," he said. "It's put on by the community for the community."