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ViVa! Vienna! Returns Memorial Day Weekend

Rides, food, entertainment, kids’ activities and Memorial Day tribute celebrate community spirit.

If you fry it, they will come …

If you fry it, they will come … Photo by Donna Manz.

Memorial Day is a time to honor America’s fallen and to celebrate life. ViVa! Vienna!, a three-day family-focused festival covering Memorial Day weekend, does both with fun activities and a Memorial Day tribute. ViVa! Vienna!, sponsored and hosted by the Vienna Rotary club, in partnership with the Town of Vienna and Navy Federal Credit Union, opens on Saturday, May 24, with food vendors and amusement rides for all ages. On Sunday and Monday, 350 vendors converge in the historic Church Street corridor and on the Town Green. Church Street closes down and nonstop live entertainment is presented on a children’s stage and a main stage. The Rotary Club returns its profit from the festival back to the community. It is awarding more than $165,000 to local nonprofits and schools in 2014.

“ViVa! is a traditional family and community festival and the funds we raise go right back to local charities, schools and nonprofits,” said ViVa! Vienna! co-chair, Kathleen Snisky-Miller of Rotary.

HERE’S BIG NEWS for this annual extravaganza. The Food Network is filming a segment there on Saturday and Sunday for its new program “Carnival Eats.”

And for anyone familiar with “Frozen,” a special guest is coming your way. Stonegate Remodeling is bringing Elsa from “Frozen” to their ViVa! Vienna! booth. Elsa will be available for photos and chatting. Kiddie-rock favorite Rocknoceros rocks both stages at 11a.m. on Monday. At noon, Rotary presents the annual Memorial Day tribute to fallen troops.

Families return to ViVa! Vienna! year after year. Many of the young parents toting their children came to ViVa! Vienna! as children themselves. It’s memories like that that inspire Rotary to nurture the community emphasis of the festival. “We’re trying to keep everything focused on family and community,” said Snisky-Miller. “We have lots of rides and activities for young kids. We’re trying to bring in more local businesses and to offer more activities for teens. And we have lots of food vendors.”

The food vendors play a promotional role this year with the Food Network’s participation. The television producer interviewed vendor candidates from a list that Snisky-Miller and co-chair Greg Bernhard gave the production team. Throughout Sunday and Monday, tasters will evaluate signature dishes from those vendors.

Cole Shows Amusements operates 24 rides and gives kids an opportunity to earn a free ticket by coloring a print and presenting it at the festival. Free ticket is awarded with purchase of tickets. Ride tickets sell for $1 each. Kiddie rides take three tickets; major rides take three to five. A strip of 24 tickets is $20 and a strip of 48 tickets is $40. Access the link for free ticket from vivavienna.org.

Sandy Spring Bank is, once again, children’s stage sponsor, and Massage Envy sponsors the main stage. Multiple businesses in Vienna are counted among ViVa! Vienna!’s dozens of sponsors and supporters.

ViVa! Vienna! Schedule

Saturday, May 24: food, rides and entertainment, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 25: food, rides and entertainment 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Vendors 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, May 26: food, rides, entertainment and vendors, 1 0a.m. to 6 p.m. Ride tickets sell for $1 each and rides take one to three tickets. A strip of 24 tickets is $20 and a strip of 48 tickets is $40.

SCHEDULE of activities and events for Viva! Vienna! is Saturday, May 24: food, rides and entertainment, 10a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 25: food, rides and entertainment 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Vendors 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, May 26: food, rides, entertainment and vendors, 10 .m. to 6 p.m.

While there is dedicated parking for ViVa! Vienna!, it’s more traditional for festival-goers to take on the challenge of finding parking around Vienna. Office buildings that are closed for business fill up. Dedicated parking and shuttles are listed at www.vivavienna.org.

For details, including entertainment schedule, vendor map, and free mobile app, go to www.vivavienna.org. See https://www.facebook.com/ViVaVienna for updates and news.