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Two More Weeks to Chantilly Day

Fun, food, music, a car show, children’s fair and parade — they’ll all be part of the first-ever Chantilly Day. It’s slated for Saturday, May 12, and its organizers have high hopes for its success.

"Chantilly Day is a great way for area businesses to say thank you to our community for supporting us every day," said Saharnaz Farivar, president of SF Design Group of Chantilly. She had the initial idea for this event, and now it’s becoming a reality.

She’s also the coordinator of the Chantilly-Centreville Chamber of Commerce, and this organization and the Westfield Business Owners Association are jointly sponsoring Chantilly Day. The family festival will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Sully Place Shopping Center (near Babies R Us and K-mart), followed by a free concert from 4-6 p.m.

First, though, there’ll be a parade along Metrotech Drive, starting at 9:30 a.m. The grand marshal will be Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), and both the Chantilly and Westfield high school marching bands will perform.

The parade is open to all residents; people from Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fair Oaks, Fair Lakes, Fairfax, South Riding, etc., are welcome to participate. Just e-mail the organizing team at info@chantillyday.com. People with pets and children with decorated bikes, scooters, etc., are also invited to march in the parade.

The festival is expected to attract thousands of people and more than 100 local businesses. Restaurants will offer some of their tastiest dishes at the Taste of Chantilly, and the children’s fair will include face-painting and other activities. There’ll be onstage performances from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with a deejay making announcements and playing music during breaks. Then from 4-6 p.m., local band The Merchants of Cool will give a free concert.

The fun also includes a pet parade, plus a pet adoption from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The car show will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and the Taste of Chantilly will be offered from 11 a.m. to 5:30 or 6 p.m. Awards for Educator of the Year, businesses and nonprofit groups will be presented between 11:30 a.m. and noon. Farivar will honor essay-contest winners, and a people’s-choice award will be given to the favorite car in the show.

The theme for Chantilly Day is "Remember Yesterday, Celebrate Today, Embrace Tomorrow." Besides giving the town more of a cohesive identity, Farivar wants to promote its businesses, art, education and science. She also wants attendees to be able to learn more about their community — past and present, appreciate what it has and "work for a better tomorrow."

Toward that end, people will also be encouraged to visit Sully Plantation and the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, and shuttles will be available that day to take them to and from the festival and Sully Plantation.

Both Westfield and Chantilly High will have tents in the business expo area. Westfield is still finalizing the particular attractions it will offer, but Chantilly will feature its performing arts, Hispanic Leadership Club, Art Department, athletic boosters, PTSA, and The Chantilly Academy. For example, cosmetology students will do hair braiding and extensions, carpentry students will show a picnic table and shed they constructed, and members of the Robotics Club will bring the robot they built.

In addition, both the Westfield Jazz Band and Chantilly Jazz Band will perform onstage; and at 3 p.m., Chantilly’s Junior Air Force ROTC drill team will dazzle the crowd with its precision marching.

While planning this event, Farivar contacted entities in the area’s namesake of Chantilly, France, apprising them of the details and inviting them to attend. And, she said, "I am absolutely delighted that two representatives from the mayor’s office in Chantilly, France will come. They’re giving an award and will also have a booth where they’ll talk about their city."

Sully Place Shopping Center owner, Beatty Management Co., donated the space for the day’s festivities, and Roy Eppard, Beatty’s director of property management, is looking forward to the event. "We’re thrilled that Chantilly Day will take place [there]," he said. "This will be the best event of the year."

Visit www.chantillyday.com for registration information, plus more ways to get involved. Anyone interested in marching in the parade, entering the car show, participating in the business expo or volunteering should contact the event organizers at info@chantillyday.com.

Said Farivar: "Chantilly has a lot to offer, and our business community is planning this festival to show the community how wonderful our town is."