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ViVa! Vienna! Returns Memorial Day Weekend

Three-day festival features live entertainment, carnival food, rides and 300-plus vendors.

Toddlers and younger preschoolers enjoy a gentle twirl secure in swings.

Toddlers and younger preschoolers enjoy a gentle twirl secure in swings. Photo by Donna Manz.

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If you’re looking for adventure at ViVa! Vienna!, you can bungee jump.

ViVa! Vienna! is back: Carnival midway, live entertainment and food vendors kick-off the three-day Memorial Day weekend festival on Saturday, May 25. And that’s just the beginning.

On Sunday, more than 300 vendors—selling crafts, goods and services—converge along the historic Church Street corridor, hosting upwards of 50,000 visitors to the festival sponsored by the Rotary Club of Greater Vienna. Favorite local restaurants, as well as carnival fare vendors—and yes, that means deep-fried candy bars and turkey legs—offer a selection of sweets, treats and eats. About 30 vendors will sell their specialties during the three-day festival.

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From deep-fried pickle chips to deep-fried candy bars, there’s a deep-fried something for every deep-fried taste.

“We wanted to create a festive atmosphere and what better way to do that than have live music, food, carnival rides, a midway and shopping bazaar spread out over almost-three days,” said ViVa! Vienna! Chair Butch McGonegal.

McGonegal noted that there is extended entertainment on the schedule this year. Once again, as in the past, there is a children’s stage featuring popular childrens’ acts.

Rocknoceros, the Beatles of kiddie-pop, plays on the main stage Monday at 11 a.m.

“This is a family-focused festival, a celebration of the Town of Vienna,” said McGonegal. “It’s carnival, it’s vendors, it’s fun. There’s something for everybody here.”

VIENNA ROTARY uses the net proceeds from ViVa! Vienna! for community distribution, giving back to Vienna schools, nonprofits and service clubs approximately $170,000 of its net proceeds from the 2012 ViVa! Vienna!

“The festival draws on the sense of community that Vienna has,” said McGonegal.

There’s more to ViVa! Vienna! than rides, marketplace and live entertainment, too.

Navy Federal Credit Union sponsors an E-waste recycling drop-off in the back lot of James Madison High School. On Sunday, May 26, from noon to 6 p.m., and on Monday, May 27, from noon to 6 p.m., representatives of Navy Federal will accept electronic equipment, including computers, to be recycled.

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The food court at ViVa! Vienna! always has hungry folks—as well as not-so-hungry folks—waiting for carnival fare.

Free parking and shuttle bus service is available between the James Madison High School parking lot to and from ViVa! Vienna!

Rotary’s Memorial Day tribute has been enhanced and expanded this year. Beginning at noon on the Town Green stage on Monday, May 27, Rotary—in cooperation with the Town of Vienna and U.S. armed forces—presents a Memorial Day commemoration focusing on Vietnam veterans and families who lost a veteran in the war. Major General James T. Jackson (ret.) is keynote speaker for the tribute. U.S. Armed Forces present the colors, the Vienna Choral Society sings a medley of patriotic songs and U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly presents Major General Jackson.

FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR, Vienna Idol, supporting the Kristin Kyllo Memorial Scholarship Fund, holds its semi-finals on Sunday, May 26 in the afternoon in the parking lot in front of Caffe Amouri/Church Street Pizza/Vienna Dance Academy. Vienna Idol volunteers invite all festival-goers to stop by the set-up where local talent competes to be the next Vienna “idol.” The 2012 winner, Ethan Schafer, will be on-hand.

“We wanted to create a festive atmosphere and what better way to do that than have live music, food, carnival rides, a midway and shopping bazaar spread out over almost-three days.”

-- ViVa! Vienna! Chair Butch McGonegal

ViVa! Vienna! features 24 rides, from kid-friendly to adult-oriented. The amusement rides are open Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Childrens’ rides take three tickets per ride, and adult ride charge is from three to five tickets per ride.

One ticket costs $1. A sheet of 24 tickets is $20, and a sheet of 48 tickets is $40.

A wristband covering all rides for a single day is $35.

“There’s great entertainment for the children, on the stage and rides,” said ViVa! Vienna! Publicity Chair Shirley Buford. “It’s really wonderful for families.”

For ViVa! Vienna! details and entertainment schedule, go to http://www.vivavienna.org/.