A Winter Wonderland of Holiday Festivities

Friday, November 23, 2018

28th Annual Reston Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting, Sing Along, and so much more!

Strike up the bands and break out the jingle bells because it’s time again to welcome the return of the holiday season at the Reston Holiday Parade! Voted one of the “10 Best” holiday parades in 2016 and 2017 by USA Today Travel, the Reston Holiday Parade attracts thousands of spectators from near and far. The season of celebrations begins at Reston Town Center with a one-hour procession of Macy’s-style balloons, marching bands, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. A cast of more than 1,400 performers and groups from around the region will play, sing, dance, and drive in this half-mile, one-of-a-kind parade. In keeping with this year’s “Winter Wonderland” theme, the stilt-walking Snow King and Queen will be at the front of the procession leading 2018’s Grand Marshal, 14-year old stage, movie and TV actress, Sissy Sheridan of Reston. At the two grandstand locations on Market Street, other local celebrities will be on hand as special guest-MCs Angie Goff and Doug Kammerer of NBC News4 will announce the parade proceedings.

Before the parade’s 11am start, 10,000 commemorative jingle bells will be handed out to children lined up along the route. Earlier in the morning, another favorite parade-day tradition returns when hundreds of tots and teens participate in the Gingerbread Man Mile Races, presented by Potomac River Running and benefitting children’s charity. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for visits and photos in their pop-up workshop next to the Skate Shop, and mini-train rides will be offered throughout the afternoon on Market Street (12:30-4:30pm). Angie Goff will return to the Fountain Square podium to “officially” introduce the Clauses at the Tree Lighting at 6pm and start the half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas carols and songs, led by The Reston Chorale and a brass quintet.  But the day’s not over yet, as horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from 6:30 until 10m.

The Reston Holiday Parade is presented with major support from the Reston Community Center with balloon sponsor, Reston Town Center Association, providing additional support. Hundreds of volunteers from in and around Reston donate their time each year to make this community event a success, serving as line marshals, costumed characters, assistants, and more. Teams from a variety of organizations take on the balloon-handling jobs that require strong arms and a minimum weight of 120 lbs!

Keeping the Merry Going in December 

The fun doesn’t end yet, as festivities at Reston Town Center will continue on weekends through December 23. Horse-drawn carriage rides on Saturday evenings and mini-train rides on Sunday afternoons—to benefit local charities—keep the holiday spirit building, and just off Market Street on The Promenade a variety of free music performances will be presented by the Reston Community Center every Saturday and Sunday in December. And it wouldn’t be the holidays without the renowned Ice Skating Pavilion adding more sparkle to the season, open for public skating every day until March.

Reston Town Center has the celebrations that will elevate your season!

For all the details, visit restontowncenter.com.

Reston Holiday Parade at the Reston Town Center

On the day after Thanksgiving, the holiday season begins at Reston Town Center, with a full day of cheer and charity including:

8:00 am
Gingerbread Man Mile Races

Fun-run and races for tots and teens 14 and under to benefit Children’s National Medical Center.

Registration and information: www.prraces.com/gingerbread

Reston Town Center Ice Rink

Skating Pavilion opens early on Friday, November 23 until 11:00pm, then open every day through March 10th, 2019.

11:00 am
28th Annual Reston Holiday Parade

A festive, 1-hour procession of Macy’s-style balloons, bands, characters, community groups, VIPs, and more on Market Street.

12:30–4:30 pm
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town!

Let the merriment begin as Santa and Mrs.Claus head to their workshop next to the Skate Shop, where they will be available for visits and photo ops.

All voluntary donations benefit local charity.

6:00 pm
Tree Lighting and SingAlong

Arrive early!

Count down to the moment when everyone closes their eyes and says 1…2…3…WISH! to help Santa magically light up the tree and Reston Town Center for the first time in the 2108 holiday season. With the lights twinkling, Santa & Mrs. Claus will help the Reston Chorale and a brass quintet lead the signing. Song books are provided at the holiday tree in Fountain Square prior to the tree lighting.

6:30-10:00 pm
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides

Take a romantic ride around the Center, with all proceeds benefitting local charity.

Photos credit: Mary Jeanne Cincotta

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