The inflatable castle and the rock-climbing wall had lines, although the caterpillar and obstacle course offered quick access.
Photo by Donna Manz/The Connection
Traditionally, hundreds of families come out for the Town of Vienna’s annual Independence Day festival and fireworks show. This year was no different.
“Vienna has the best local 4th of July celebration,” said Adam Braucher of McLean, accompanied by wife Heather and 20-month-old daughter Gracelyn. “We love Vienna. There’s nothing in McLean.”
Everything from an inflatable rock wall, to an inflatable caterpillar and obstacle course, craft vendors outdoors and indoors at the Community Center, food vendors, all-day live classic pop music and a classic car show as well as the always-popular American Legion beer-and-food tent rounded out the five-hour festival on the grounds of the festival along Cherry Street.
The first-ever “Pooch Parade” drew more than 50 entries, most of who were dressed in their most spectacular July 4th attire. Human companions accompanied the dogs as they paraded a loop around Caffi Field as lines of paparazzi snapped their photos. Vienna’s animal control officer came out to make certain the dogs stayed in line (they did—literally and figuratively).
Children looked especially patriotic in their red, white and blue dresses and shirts, and, occasionally, very little ones were pulled in flag-decorated wagons. The Optimists of Greater Vienna sold tickets to the kids’ attractions and, occasionally, a mature couple braved the heat to dance to the party music of Ron Moody and the Centaurs.
The Vienna Police Department Color Guard presented the colors and stood at attention as the national anthem played. Festival-goers paused in silence, many with hands over hearts.
Every year the festival hosts a chili competition to benefit the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department and chili specialists come from throughout the region to promote their spicy products with samples.
No rain, no thunderstorms … just heat and humidity, neither of which kept the crowd away.
Later in the evening, Fat Chance performed at Southside Park in a prelude to the highlight of Independence Day … fireworks at Southside.
“It’s a tradition to come here,” said lifelong Vienna resident Gina Scinta, who noted she graduated from Vienna Elementary School, just “around the corner.”
“We’ve been coming since we were little kids. It’s fun and a good way to see your neighbors.”