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Get Ready for Centreville Day

20th annual event features a parade, crafts, music, food and history.

Looking at antique cars near a historic home during last year’s Centreville Day.

Looking at antique cars near a historic home during last year’s Centreville Day. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

— Children’s activities, a parade, food, live entertainment, historic homes, a trick-or-treat trail, crafts and outdoor fun in the fall — there’s something for everyone at the 20th annual Centreville Day celebration.

It’s slated for Saturday, Oct. 20, and the good times begin with the Zombie Slouch 5K Run and Walk at 9 a.m., followed by the Centreville Day parade at 9:45 a.m. Then comes a slew of activities in the Centreville Historic District until 5 p.m.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and have a great day, learn something about local history, do a little holiday shopping and bring the kids outside for some fun and games,” said event organizer Cheryl Repetti. “They’ll also get to meet their neighbors and local businesses — all the people who make up their community.”

This year’s theme is “Celebrating 220 Years of Community” because it’s the 220th anniversary of the chartering of the Town of Centreville. And both admission and parking are free.

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From left: Centreville residents Mya Baptiste, Emely Avalos and Victoria Ornelas pose with cotton candy and balloons during last year’s Centreville Day celebration.

New this year is the first annual Zombie Slouch 5K Run and Walk, which kicks off outside Colin Powell Elementary, 13340 Leland Road in Centreville. Check-in time is at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. Proceeds benefit DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation which supports local children with cancer, as well as their families.

It’s a family-friendly event, and strollers and dogs are welcome in the one-mile walk. See www.DCCAndlelighters.org, go to Current Events, and click on the Centreville Day link for registration in the Upcoming Events section. Registration is $20 for runners; $15, walkers; and $25, families. Pick up race packets at the Virginia Runner store in the Colonnade at Union Mill Shopping Center. Online registration closes Oct. 15.

“We’re really pleased to be partnering with the DC Candlelighters on this,” said Repetti. “Even though it’s a national organization, it has a special, local connection here and the work it does is so important.”

Participants will travel along Leland Road to Pickwick Road, around to Braddock Road, across Mount Gilead Road and Wharton Lane, back to Pickwick and around to Braddock again, ending on Mount Gilead in the Centreville Historic District.

Since this event is happening so close to Halloween, walkers and runners are encouraged to come in costume. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative adult, most creative child, plus the fastest male and female runners and the fastest runner under age 12.

PARADE, ENTERTAINMENT

Families, friends and pets in costume are also welcome in the American Legion Parade, at 9:45 a.m., also starting at Colin Powell Elementary. A Centreville Day tradition, the parade is organized by American Legion Post 1995.

This year’s affair will include Chantilly High’s Air Force JROTC, SYA Cheer, Centreville Dance Theatre, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) and the truck-pulling team at 123Junk. The fire engines of Centreville Volunteer Fire Station 17 will make their annual appearance, as well, and the Cox Farms float may also return this year.

Organizations and groups may register to be in the parade at www.centrevilleva.org; cost is $15. It’s free for families and individuals not needing to be announced as they pass the reviewing stage, but they should still register at the Web site. “They just need to click on ‘parade,’ put in their names and the fee will be waived,” said Repetti. “It’s just to let us know how many people will be in the parade.”

Following the parade, the focus shifts to Historic Centreville Park in the Centreville Historic District — 5714 Mount Gilead Road — where the Centreville Day festivities will all take place. Attendees may park at the Trinity Centre at 5860 Trinity Parkway in Centreville, and free shuttle buses to and from the Historic District will be provided by Centreville Baptist Church.

The opening ceremonies will be at 11 a.m. at the Showmobile stage, where Westfield High freshman Sara Berrios will sing the National Anthem. Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) will join Honorary Chairs Eileen Curtis, president of the Dulles Chamber of Commerce, and Shak Hill, Centreville Trustee of the Family and Children’s Trust Fund, to welcome attendees. Then Mountain View and Centreville high schools, plus the Centreville Rotary Club, will present awards.

The JMU Alumni will begin the day’s entertainment with a traditional Chinese Dragon dance. The Showmobile stage will also showcase the talents of DJ Myra Flemister, Centreville Dance Theatre, Mia Saunders Ballet, Alliance Theatre, Epic Quartet, singers Alberto Ramirez and Benito Raymundo Chavez, SYA Cheer, Harmony Road Orchestra and Hallelujah Mission Tae Kwon Do.

“We’ve got some good entertainment lined up,” said Repetti. “There’s a good mix of adult and youth performers, and they’re all local people.”

VENDORS, CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES

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Photo contributed

Deejay Myra Flemister teaches some children a dance at Centreville Day 2011.

A community marketplace will feature a variety of crafters, businesses, churches and organizations. There’ll be a food court highlighting local restaurants, plus festival fare, including: hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork and funnel cakes from Mrs. P’s Concessions; chicken sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A; fudge and chocolates from Gotta Have Chocolate; baked goods, ice cream and hot chocolate from Simplicity Ice Cream; and street tacos from Centreville’s newest restaurant, the Coyote Grill. The Korean Central Presbyterian Church will offer cotton candy.

Children of all ages will find fun things to do. “We have a ton of free activities for the children,” said Repetti. Vendors will hand out candy, stickers, tattoos and other goodies, and SYA Cheer will give out bags for children to fill as they follow pumpkin symbols along the trick-or-treat trail through the Historic District and vendor marketplace.

“G&C Auto is returning as our gold sponsor this year and will be handing out wristbands for free rides on our two, large inflatables,” said Repetti. “One is an octopus slide and the other is a wizard castle that has an obstacle course inside it.”

The nZone will provide additional rides and games. Children can also enjoy old-fashioned fun at the children’s area sponsored by Alpha Delta Kappa. There’ll be a pretend cow to milk, and Miss Charlotte and her friends will give children knitting lessons and help them make pot holders, weave mats and create scratch art.

They can also play games such as Witch’s Hat Ring Toss and pumpkin bean bags and compete in tug-of-war and sack races. There’ll even be word puzzles, coloring pages, stories and face painting.

Also planned is a Faces of Centreville scavenger hunt. People’s photographs will be displayed, and children have to guess where in Centreville the pictures were taken. They can find the answers at the historic houses and win prizes.

Performance Schedule

11a.m. – Opening ceremonies: Westfield High student Sarah Berrios singing the National Anthem, Chantilly High’s Air Force JROTC doing the flag ceremony, plus various presentations

11:30 a.m. - Chinese Dragon Dance

Noon – Mia Saunders Ballet

12:30 p.m. - Centreville Dance

1 p.m. - Alliance Theatre

1:30 p.m. - Epic Quartet

2 p.m. - St John's plaque presentation: Dedication of the Sesquicentennial Civil War Trails sign

2:30 p.m. - Harmony Road School of Music

3 p.m. - Tae Kwon Do and Hispanic singers

3:30 p.m. - Alberto Ramirez, Benito Chavez and the Flock of Eagles band

4 p.m. - SYA Cheer

4:30 p.m. – Creative Dance Center

HISTORIC HOMES, ACTIVITIES

On the lawn of the historic Mount Gilead house, living history first-person interpreter Beverly Pelcher will reprise her portrayal of Cornelia Peake MacDonald and present a woman’s view of the Civil War. The Swordmasters of the 18th Century will offer fencing lessons, and Sully Historic Site and Frying Pan Park interpreters will help visitors dip candles and make butter and roof shingles. They’ll also demonstrate how to weave and cut silhouettes.

In addition, several of Centreville’s historic homes and churches will also be open to the public. Visitors may step back in time while touring Mount Gilead, built in 1785; the Spindle House, ordered in pieces from a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue in 1933; the Havener House, the Old Stone Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Several antique cars will be on display. And Civil War buffs will enjoy browsing inside the new Stuart-Mosby Cavalry Museum. “We’ll dedicate the second Civil War Trails sign at St. John’s, since it’s about that church during the Civil War,” said Repetti. “The ceremony will be at the Showmobile stage at 2 p.m., followed by the ribbon-cutting at the church.”

The Rev. Howard Kempsell will officiate, joined by Frey, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Sully District History Commissioner Debbie Roberson. The first sign is at the Old Stone Church.

GUIDED AND GHOST TOURS

E.C. Lawrence Park staff members will offer guided tours of Civil War Centreville. Two are by van and two are family-friendly, walking ghost tours. Morning and afternoon tours will start at E.C. Lawrence and end in the Historic District and will include the Civil War museum. However, available spots are limited, and those interested in taking these tours must register in advance at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/ecl.

Centreville Day is organized by the Friends of Historic Centreville in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Centreville Day Planning Committee. Sponsors beside G&C Auto include Apple Federal Credit Union, KCPC, Kiddie Academy, WestStar Mortgage, Walgreen’s, Burke & Herbert Bank, Bryan Hunt CPA, Centreville Signarama, RulyScapes, Centre View and the Trinity Centre. For more information, go to www.centrevilleva.org.

All in all, said Repetti, “We’ve got a full day of free fun planned. Centreville has been a community for 220 years, and we want people to come enjoy it and set the tone for the next 220.”