Tysons, VA

People will have the chance to take a sneak peek at historic and luxurious homes around McLean in a few days.

The Woman’s Club of McLean is hosting its annual Holiday Home Tour with several properties near Ballantrae Farm this Thursday (Dec. 5). Tours will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., starting at the Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd).

This year’s event will highlight a roughly six-acre estate, along with two nearby homes.

The main estate was built in 1925 and has been renovated since. The surrounding grounds feature tennis courts, a swimming pool, a soccer field and a treehouse, according to a press release, which added that guests will also be able to see the Little Ballantrae farmhouse located on the property.

The two other homes included with the tour sit on Benjamin Street and were built around 2010.

The homes provide an example of “casual elegance with a nod to traditional southern living,” the owner said.

The yard attached to the properties also qualifies as a National Wildlife Sanctuary, according to a press release.

After guests tour the homes, they can return to the church to shop from a selection of local holiday vendors featuring crafts, freshly baked goods and holiday decorations.

Tickets cost $30 online and in advance or $35 a the door. If people want to purchase tickets in person beforehand, they can visit Mesmeralda’s (1339 Chain Bridge Road), Karin’s Florist (527 E. Maple Ave) or Great Dogs of Great Falls (9859 Old Georgetown Pike). All proceeds will benefit local charities and the Woman’s Club of McLean.

A shuttle to the homes is included in the ticket price for admission.

Photos via Woman’s Club of McLean

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A man fainted while working at a construction site for a new house near downtown McLean, according to the building company.

The incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. today (Tuesday) at 1605 Wrightson Drive. A sign for Reston-based Green Logic Builders was on the lawn of the site.

“A worker just fainted on his own,” Ned Malik, the founder and CEO of Green Logic Builders, told Tysons Reporter.

The worker was inside a trench with four other people when he fainted for about 30 seconds, Malik said, adding that the man was rescued by the Fairfax County firefighters and taken to the hospital.

HBC Group has the six-bedroom house listed at $1,769,000.

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(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) Fairfax County police say Georgetown Pike is closed in McLean due to downed wires.

Georgetown Pike is closed between Bellview and Kimberwicke roads, police tweeted shortly before noon today (Tuesday).

“Officers are on scene to assist with traffic control,” the tweet said. “Please use an alternate route.”

A vehicle crash caused the utility pole to fall down, according to an alert from Fairfax County. Repairs on the pole are expected to take about four to six hours, the county said.

First photo via FCPD/Twitter, map via Google Maps

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A crash early this morning led to a power outage and closure of Kirby Road that is still affecting people in McLean.

“A crash took out the pole” near the intersection of Kirby Road and Freedom Lane shortly after 11 p.m. last night (Monday), Sgt. Erica Webb, a Fairfax County police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

The Fairfax County Police Department tweeted about the road closure at that intersection shortly this morning (Tuesday), adding that people can expect the closure to last “for an extended period due to downed wires.”

Police urged people to avoid the area and find another route.

As of 9 a.m., a police spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that the intersection is still closed.

Dominion Energy’s power outage map shows two outages in the area – one affecting 247 customers at the intersection of Kirby Road and Powhatan Street and another one affecting 214 customers spanning from Birch Road to Old Dominion Drive.

Both outages are expected to be resolved before 5 p.m., Peggy Fox, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, told Tysons Reporter.

Fox said that repairs will include replacing the pole and wires.

Map via Dominion Energy 

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people are beginning to put up holiday decorations — including Christmas trees.

There are several places around the Tysons area that carry a variety of tree types to fit the needs of decorators.

McLean

Saint John’s Academy is hosting a Christmas tree sale for people who want their purchase to benefit a good cause. Until Dec. 22, Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church (6420 Linway Terrace) will be selling trees Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Tree prices start at $50. Garland and wreaths will also be available.  All proceeds will benefit students at the church’s school, according to the website.

The Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd) will also be selling trees. Hours of operation are Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 until 6 p.m. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the church’s youth group and Boy Scout Troop 869.

Merrifield 

The Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Hwy) offers shoppers eight different types of Christmas trees, including Scotch Pine, White Pine, Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Nobile Spruce, Turkish Fir and Fraiser Fir as well as artificial trees.

The center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The store also has locations in Fair Oaks and Gainsville, according to the website.

The Home Depot in Merrifield (2815 Merrilee Drive) has a selection of fake trees that customers can pick up at the store or order online for home delivery. Though they do not have live trees available at individual stores, they will ship them for free from a storage warehouse for free, according to the website.

Photo via Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Welcome to December! It’s time again for holiday light displays! Holiday lights really do make everything look more beautiful, unless you love yourself some tacky lights!

I’m redoing and updating my best holiday light displays list from last year to include some new additions. Make sure you check the hours of these light shows if it’s not just a decorative yard.

Vienna

  • 10203 Lawyers Road — Lawyers is a busy road, so you’ll have to drive slowly because there’s nowhere to pull over, unless you go to the street across from the house (Galloping Way).
  • 10000 Garrett Street — Also on the corner of Lawyers road and Garrett, this a beautiful corner lot with white lights and décor. Very pretty!
  • 117 Hickory Circle SW — This is usually a large draw for animated lights but they’ll be dark in 2019. The front of the house will have some lights and blow ups, but no show this year. Follow them on Facebook.
  • 117 Kingsley Road SE  This location is blow up heaven! They have so many favorites on display including Disney characters, Santa in a sleigh being pulled by his reindeer suspended mid-air above their roof and more. Plenty of street parking so you can easily take a walk by the house.
  • 118 James Drive SW — 12.5 ft tall Christmas Ferris wheel with riders! If you get out of the car, they also have a magic button to start the display. Lights and sounds on 4:30-10:30 p.m.
  • 2438 Cedar Lane  Beautiful and abundant light display, including a dancing tree of lights. No music from what I could tell, but beautiful.
  • 2528 Drexel Street  The Ni Family Light show is one of the hits of Vienna. There’s plenty of street parking to pull over and watch. They have a playlist that accompanies the choreographed light show. Running a new playlist for 2019 including Baby Shark, A Million Dreams from the Greatest Showman, and You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch. The show runs 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
  • 317 Patrick Street SW — Lots of lights and blow ups. On 5-10 p.m.

Other homes with lights and blow ups: 1419 Cottage Street SW, 1405 Cottage Street SW, 922 Cottage Street SW, 401 Hillcrest Drive SW and 517 Hillcrest Drive SW.

  • 1801 Beulah Road — This house has an amazing front yard that is completely decked out, including a mailbox for “Letters to Santa!” I’m not sure where those letters go, but this Christmas décor is stunning! There’s a pull off and a street across from it (Chestnut Farm Drive) if you want to pull over to take it all in.

Honorable Mention: The Vine Church (2501 Gallows Road) — The Ni Family also helps with this light show, which has over 10,000 pixels (it’s huge!)

McLean

  • 1201 Balls Hill Road — Light show animated with music and blow ups.
  • 7815 Birnam Wood Drive  The show runs 7-9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 6-11 p.m. on weekends. Completely covered in lights, even the lawn has light displays and blow ups.
  • 6530 Heather Brook Court — Show runs from 5 p.m. to midnight daily. There is a start button and a radio station to listen to music while watching the light show. The display includes lights and tons of blow ups.

Remember, don’t go on the lawns! Stay on the sidewalk or the street and enjoy the display safely.

Are there any homes that were missed? Any other neighborhoods in the area worth a visit? If so, leave a comment with details.

Also, don’t forget about the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Garden. There’s also the Bull Run Festival of Lights where you can drive through the display.

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Westbound Georgetown Pike by the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is closed after a brush fire broke out.

All of the westbound lanes are closed on Georgetown Pike near Swinks Mill Road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Fairfax County sent out an alert about the lane closures at 3:15 p.m.

Traffic has already backed up severely along Georgetown Pike as of 3:30 p.m., according to Google Maps.

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) With the holidays approaching, there are plenty of events happening around the Tysons area for people looking for some festive fun.

From tree lightings to shopping events, Tysons Reporter compiled a list of events across the community in the coming weeks.

Tysons

Breakfast with Santa will take place on Saturday (Dec. 7) from 8-11 a.m. at level three of Tysons Corner Center. There will be entertainment by “Those Funny Little People” (featured on “America’s Got Talent“), a balloon artist, holiday crafts, free breakfast and Santa.

Tysons Corner Center will also host a Holiday Storytime PJ Party on Thursday (Dec. 12) from 6 to 8 p.m. on level one. There will be storytime, sweet treats and entertainment provided by Dee Vinchey Entertainment. This event is free and open to the public.

Town of Vienna

The Church Street Holiday Stroll takes place on Monday (Dec. 2) this year from 6-8:30 p.m. Santa will arrive on a Vienna Volunteer Fire Department 1946 fire engine and spend the evening visiting with kids around town.

Mayor Laurie DiRocco is set to help Santa light the town’s Christmas tree around 6:20 p.m. at the Freeman Store and Museum (131 Church Street NE). There will be live music throughout the streets and several businesses will be serving hot cocoa and warm beverages.

The town is also hosting a competition encouraging local businesses to put up holiday decorations. The theme is “Home for the Holidays” and all decorations must be put out by Friday (Nov. 29).

McLean

The McLean Woman’s Club is set to host its annual Holiday Homes Tour on Thursday (Dec. 5) from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., highlighting four houses — two at the 6-acre Ballantrae Farm estate and another two on Benjamin Street in Langley Forest. Tickets are $35 and food and drinks will be provided. Guests will also have access to a craft show at Trinity Church. All proceeds go to charity.

The 11th annual McLean WinterFest will take place this year on Sunday (Dec. 1) and feature a parade beginning at 3:30 p.m. between Fleetwood and Elm streets on Old Chain Bridge Road. Beverly Road and Fleetwood Street to Old Chain Bridge Road will be closed to traffic along with the parade routes beginning at 2 p.m. that day.

Falls Church

Nova Lights Chorale will host a free global holiday concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (3439 Payne Street) on Sunday (Dec. 8) at 4 p.m. The performance will feature songs in more than seven languages and from different cultures.

The Annual Lighting of the Trees will take place on Monday (Dec. 2) at Mr. Brown’s Park (W. Broad Street) around 6 p.m. Santa will be in attendance, escorted by the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department. There will be live music from the George Mason High School Chamber Singers and free hot cocoa.

The Holiday Craft Show will take place at the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls Street) on Saturday (Dec. 7) from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday (Dec. 8) from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Mosaic District

People can get their selfies with Santa in the street-level lobby of the Target building (2905 District Avenue, Suite 400) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between Nov. 30-Dec. 23, Friday (Nov. 29) and Monday (Dec. 23).

A Holiday Gift Fair is coming to Mosaic District on Friday (Dec. 6) from 3:30-8:30 p.m. The fair will feature more than 50 vendors selling handmade and vintage goods.

On the same day, people can also watch the Holiday Tree Lighting from 5-7 p.m. in Strawberry Park.

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Hozier Gives Shout Out to Local Shelter — Irish musician Hozier, who is known for the song “Take Me to Church,” gave the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue a mention on Twitter, along with a video of an adorable puppy. [Twitter]

A Look Inside a Tysons Software Engineer’s Wallet — As part of Refinery 29’s money series, a software engineer in Tysons gave readers a glimpse into how she spends her $100K salary. [Refinery 29]

Staying Home for Thanksgiving? — Here’s where to find local restaurants that will be open. [Patch, Our Community Now]

Vienna Residents Mad About Chopped Down Trees — “Neighbors are furious Wawa cut down three 100+ year-old maple trees that were not on the company’s property.” [WJLA]

Local Tech Company Growing — “McLean-based AppTek, which makes speech apps for enterprises, on Tuesday announced its acquisition of Ignite-Tek… The merger adds to a significant growth streak for AppTek, which says it has doubled its team in 2019.” [DC Inno]

Church and Retirement Center Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner — “Lewinsville Presbyterian Church and the Lewinsville Retirement Residence are teaming up for a community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28 at noon at the retirement facility, 1515 Great Falls St. in McLean.” [Inside NoVa]

Part of Dominion Square Sold — “Capital Automotive Real Estate Services Inc. has sold part of its 18-acre Dominion Square development site near Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons for $60.2 million after taking the larger 3.6 million-square-foot mixed-use project through Fairfax County’s entitlement process.” [Washington Business Journal]

Another Raccoon with Rabies Found in Falls Church — Earlier this month, a raccoon with rabies was euthanized by police — the second one found in the city in recent months. “While there were no human exposures to the animal in this case either, the community should be cognizant of the rabies threat at all times.” [City of Falls Church]

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Fairfax County police have arrested the owner of a development company in connection to a teen boy’s death at a McLean construction site.

On July 23, a ditch collapsed on a residential construction site in the 1800 block of Solitaire Lane, trapping two people, police said. Spencer Lunde, a 16-year-old, died and an adult man received non-life-threatening injuries.

“The manner of death has been ruled accidental with the cause being asphyxiation,” police said in August.

“On Monday, evidence was presented to a grand jury who indicted Thomas Digges, 48, of McLean, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and cruelty and injuries to children,” Fairfax County police announced today (Thursday).

Digges is the owner of McLean-based Digges Development Corporation. The construction site where the teen died was a small housing project that Digges was building, WUSA9 reported.

Police said Digges turned himself into the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center this morning (Thursday) and has since been “released on his own recognizance.”

Second photo via FCPD 

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