Increasingly, people in large metro areas such as ours seek a place where their identity matters, where they know their neighbors and where they can actively participate in the formulations of government. The concept of the American town is once again in great demand. Such a place is Herndon, a town of 22,000 residents that ranks as the third largest town in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It straddles two of the fastest growing counties in the United States, and brings its traditions and stability to this high growth area of Northern Virginia.
Herndon is also home court for many of the industries driving today’s economy. It is the home of the commercial internet vis-à-vis the domain name caretaker of the day, Network Solutions. The Town is grounded a mere three miles distant of Dulles International Airport, one of the world’ busiest airports. The not-insignificant third economic driver for Herndon and surrounds is, of course, the Federal Government and an army of government contractors.
It is no surprise that a host of supporting businesses have likewise expanded. Financial services, hospitality, healthcare, software and niche technologies thrive here. At the same time, many home-based business entrepreneurs have taken up residence in Herndon, due to its business-friendly ordinances. Another infusion into the labor force arrived with the many new immigrants. Herndon became an ethnic mosaic of Latinos, Southeast Asians and Mid-Easterners, and restaurants, groceries and services sprang up to serve these communities.
For families, Herndon is an outstanding community, rich in amenities such as an active community center, a senior center, an 18-hole public golf course, beautiful new library, several beautiful parks and swimming pools dotting the neighborhoods. Its schools are part of Fairfax County’s public school system, ranked best in the nation, and three area elementary schools offer Japanese and French immersion programs. Herndon likes to serve as a gathering place, hosting the huge annual Herndon Festival the first weekend in June, along with summer concerts at Friday Night Live! put on by the Herndon Chamber of Commerce and Saturday night concerts on the green. The Labor Day Jazz Festival, the Christmas Tree Lighting, the W&OD Trail and the seasonal Farmers’ Market all invite people to outdoor activities.
Downtown Herndon actually has its own museum cradling a fascinating collection of memorabilia, much of it drawn from the Civil War and the raids of Colonel John Mosby. Just a few miles away stands the monumental Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, housing aviation icons such as the Enola Gay. The history of Herndon lies also in the registries of the families who have lived here for generations and today provide the Town with a sense of living history. This Victorian-bedecked town is a gentle tip of the hat to yesteryear, and an oasis for all who seek its charms.
<b>By Eileen Curtis</b>
President & CEO
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce