Newsletter
Kids have fun with hula hoops at Vienna’s 2019 Oktoberfest (courtesy Vienna Business Association)

After a year off, Oktoberfest will return to the Town of Vienna tomorrow (Saturday), bringing with it a beer and wine garden, live entertainment, and a slightly pared-down assortment of food, craft, and retail vendors.

Now in its 13th iteration, the festival will unfold from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in its customary site between Maple Avenue and Ayr Hill Road, with the biergarten and main tents set up in the parking lot next to the Red Caboose.

Vienna Oktoberfest is organized by the Vienna Business Association, serving as the chamber of commerce’s main annual fundraiser, but it also depends on the support of dozens of local community groups, VBA Executive Director Peggy James says.

“We are so grateful to huge amount of participation we have received from our local Vienna non-profit organizations for their volunteer support and sponsor support in the festival this year,” James said. “As always, our goal is to provide a safe and fabulous festival that is welcoming to people of all ages. The enormous amount of support we have had this year will ensure this happens.”

Many groups, such as the Rotary Club of Vienna, the local Shepherd’s Center, the Stroke Comeback Center, and even James Madison High School’s crew team, have members volunteering at the festival. Others are participating through sponsorships, which range in cost from $200 to $5,000 for the platinum title.

This year’s food court sponsor is One Neighborhood Foundation, the nonprofit that Vienna VA Foodies co-founder Lydia Russo started in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to help local restaurants by delivering meals to first responders and food-insecure residents.

Russo says the foundation “is very excited” to be part of Vienna Oktoberfest for the first time after providing “thousands and thousands” of meals over the past 18 months or so through its own efforts and by organizing fundraisers for other nonprofits.

The group raised $20,000 in just one day in June 2020 when it turned to the Vienna VA Foodies Facebook group to support Martha’s Table, a D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to healthy food, education, and other resources for families.

Even after all that work, though, Oktoberfest will represent the first opportunity to meet in person for many of the community members who have gotten involved with One Neighborhood Foundation.

“We plan to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere, all while staffing our tent which will be fundraising for future food deliveries,” Russo said by email. Read More

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Singer-songwriter Damien Jurado (via Abby Gillardi/Flickr)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Sept 27)

  • Free Movie Mondays — ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1667 Silver Hill Drive) — The movie theater at The Boro continues to offer free movie passes every Monday. Tickets must be reserved in person day of show and are available one hour before showtime.

Tuesday (Sept. 28)

  • 123 Andrés — 6-6:50 p.m. at Alden Theatre at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — The Spanish-speaking duo will give a free performance and teach children about rhythm and musical instruments. Registration is required.
  • “I Love You More Than Coffee: Essays on Parenthood” — 7-8:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Ave. East) in Vienna — Author Melissa Face describes the rollercoaster of emotions that parents face in her debut collection of essays. Books available for sale and signing.

Friday (Oct. 1)

  • Sean McConnell at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) — He’s crafted songs for Brad Paisley, Christina Aguilera and more, but now, the Nashville insider has some new songs of his own after releasing another album last month that showcased his signature folk and country music. Proof of a vaccination or negative test for COVID-19 is required. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $27 plus fees.
  • An Intimate Evening with Josh Groban at Capital One Hall — 8 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) — Tysons’ newest performance venue, tied to Capital One’s headquarters, hosts the Tony-nominated singer as its first performer. Tickets start at $89 plus fees.
  • Sunset Cinema — 7:45-10 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — Falls Church City’s outdoor movie series finishes its one-month fall run with “A League of Their Own.” Visitors are encouraged to grab blankets, bring picnics, and/or enjoy snacks, drinks, and popcorn for sale.

Saturday (Oct. 2)

  • McLean 5K Run — 8 a.m. start at McLean Square (6627 Old Dominion Drive)– The annual race for runners of all abilities will span parts of Old Dominion Drive, Chain Bridge Road, and other local streets. Pre-registration is currently $45. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit McLean Community Foundation. Packet pickup is at 1440 Chain Bridge Road.
  • Vienna Oktoberfest — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Church Street — The Town of Vienna’s annual celebration returns after a year off with beer, entertainment, vendors, and kids activities. Free admission.
  • Damien Jurado with Okkervil River opening at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) — The two songwriters make their debut at this intimate venue, giving audiences a taste of their different indie folk styles. Proof of a vaccination or negative test for COVID-19 is required. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $27 plus fees.

Sunday (Oct. 3)

  • MPAartfest — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Boulevard) — Artists, musicians, and food vendors come together for the McLean Project for the Arts’ 15th annual showcase for visual artists from across the mid-Atlantic region.

Photo via Abby Gillardi/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Plea Deal in Sexual Assault Case Rejected — A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge rejected a plea deal that would’ve sentenced a man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl to three years in prison, stating that it did not “remotely reflect the magnitude of the defendant’s misconduct.” Prosecutors said they offered the deal because they feared a trial might end in acquittal due to issues with the Herndon police investigation. [The Washington Post]

Bias Incident Reported Near Mosaic District — “8300 block of Lee Highway, 9/19/21, 1:55 a.m. After a traffic altercation, the victim was approached by an unknown male who spat in his face and made derogatory statements regarding his race.” [FCPD]

Tractor Stolen from Vienna Softball League Shed — According to the Vienna Police Department’s most recent weekly report, a Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation employee reported that, around 1:41 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 22), someone broke into a shed that the Vienna Girls Softball League owns in Southside Park (1317 Ross Drive SW). A league representative responded to the report and said that a tractor had been stolen from the shed. [Vienna Police]

Scotts Run Fire Station Is Important Step for Tysons — Fire Station 44 “will be an important piece of the public-safety puzzle as the county continues its long-term transformation of Tysons from a suburban office center to an ‘urban lifestyle’ community,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said at the grand opening ceremony on Sept. 18. The station, which is in Tysons East, will eventually be complemented by Station 29 on the western side of Tysons. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Vienna Oktoberfest Still Looking for Volunteers — The Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna are still seeking volunteers to assist with the 13th Vienna Oktoberfest on Saturday (Oct. 2). The festival is in need of people 21 and older to serve as ID checkers and beer garden ticket sellers. Interested volunteers can sign up online for two-hour shifts, though anyone who volunteers for five hours or longer will get a meal voucher. [VBA]

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A man drinks beer at the Town of Vienna’s 2018 Oktoberfest (courtesy Vienna Business Association/Facebook)

Break out the beer steins and lederhosen.

While the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, has been canceled for a second year in a row, the Town of Vienna is bringing back its iteration of the annual folk festival on Oct. 2 after it got stricken from the calendar last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vienna Town Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Vienna Business Association (VBA), which helps organize the event, as part of the consent agenda in its meeting last night (Monday), setting the terms of their partnership.

Oktoberfest serves as the VBA’s main fundraiser, according to Executive Director Peggy James, who says the revenue it generates is crucial to keeping the organization going and enabling it to maintain low membership fees so that small businesses aren’t excluded.

“Our goal is to have a safe, outrageously fun event that raises lots of money so that the VBA is able to continue to support our community and the wonderful service organizations that help make this Town so special,” James said by email.

Like previous versions of the festival, the 13th annual Vienna Oktoberfest will be held around Church Street and the Town Green. It will last from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a beer and wine garden, food vendors, live music, children’s activities, a marketplace, and more.

Since the novel coronavirus remains a concern, this year’s festival will likely have fewer vendors and more spacing, James says.

Additional measures could include scheduled cleanings in the kids’ area and dining tents, signs and ground markers with social distancing reminders, and a mask requirement for volunteers. If current recommendations hold, masks will be strongly suggested for attendees when they’re not actively drinking or eating.

The VBA’s MOU with the town commits it to adhering to all local, state, and federal health guidelines related to COVID-19.

“If the CDC guidelines change, we are prepared to alter our event to be fully compliant,” James said.

Oktoberfest will benefit from the Town of Vienna’s growing experience with organizing large outdoor events amid the fluctuating conditions of the pandemic, from ViVa Vienna — which became the first event of that scale in Fairfax County when it returned at the end of May — to the 2021 Virginia State Little League Majors Tournament in July.

Most recently, the first Chillin’ on Church block party drew approximately 2,500 people on Aug. 20, according to Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman, who says the return of major events “has gone very well” so far.

“Viva Vienna required extensive planning in order to abide by the regulations of the [governor] of VA and recommendations of the Fairfax County Health Dept and CDC in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Herman wrote in an email. “Due to Viva Vienna’s extensive planning, the Vienna Business Association is able to utilize that event’s model should there be similar restrictions in October.”

In past years, Oktoberfest has gotten between 20,000 and 25,000 visitors over the course of a day, according to James.

Organizers anticipate having about 60 vendors, though applications are being accepted until Sept. 7.

Proceeds from wine and beer sales will go to the VBA Foundation, which supports local nonprofits and community service organizations. James says the foundation has especially focused on efforts to address food insecurity over the past 17 months.

Other Oktoberfest revenue, including vendor and sponsor fees, will cover the costs of putting on the festival and help the VBA support other events in the Town of Vienna, including the Halloween Parade and Taste of Vienna.

Organizers say the festival also helps the town by bringing in meals taxes from participating food vendors and attracting visitors.

“Vienna Oktoberfest also attracts visitors from outside the Town of Vienna, thereby showing off our Town and encouraging them to revisit and also to shop/eat at our local businesses,” Oktoberfest Committee Chair Kathy Georgen said by email.

Courtesy Vienna Business Association/Facebook

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(Updated at 12:15 p.m. on 10/6/20)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 5)

  • Tysons Virtual Game Night (Online) — 7 -10 p.m. — Trivia, Charades, and drawing over video, the event description said. To register, use this link.

Tuesday (Oct. 6)

Wednesday (Oct. 7)

Thursday (Oct. 8)

Friday (Oct. 9)

  • Oktoberfest — 3:30-8 p.m. — The Boro Tysons (8350 Broad St.) — The Boro is partnering with URBNmarket for a festively fall and socially distant Oktoberfest (maximum 6 people per registration), the event description said.

Saturday (Oct. 10)

  • Oktoberfest — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — The Boro Tysons (8350 Broad St.) — The Boro is partnering with URBNmarket for a festively fall and socially distant Oktoberfest (maximum 6 people per registration), the event description said.
  • Falls Church Farmers Market — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall Parking Lot (300 Park Ave.) — Enjoy fresh, local produce, meat, dairy, flowers & plants, honey, music, and so much more at the Falls Church Farmers Market, the website said.
  • Vienna Farmers Market — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Vienna Community Center Parking Lot (120 Cherry Street SE) — Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna, the Vienna Farmers Market features approximately 30 vendors from across the region offering locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and homemade eats, the website said.

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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Officially, there is no Oktoberfest in Vienna this year.

Unofficially, Caboose Tavern in Vienna (520 Mill Road NE) is preparing to launch a weekend of German food and Caboose beers starting tomorrow (Friday).

“Vienna Oktoberfest may be cancelled this year, but you can still enjoy some German inspired food and some Caboose beers all weekend long!” Caboose Tavern said in an event listing. “Join us October 2-4 at Caboose Tavern!”

The event is scheduled to run daily from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Among the beer selection is Oktoberfest Marzen, described as a malty German amber lager.

The celebration comes after a summer of hardship and fundraising for Caboose, which ran a food donation program to help local families.

Image via Caboose Tavern/Facebook

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Grab your steins and face masks and prepare for a socially distant Oktoberfest event at The Boro in Tysons on Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10.

The event — held in collaboration with URBNmarket — will run from 3:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 10 at The Boro, 8359 Broad Street. Masks will be required at the event, unless you are seated at your table in the biergarten, and hand sanitation stations will be in place.

The event will feature an assortment of seasonal beverages in a pop-up biergarten, and vendors, local artists and crafts as a part of the URBNmarket. Open to all ages, the event will also include a kids zone featuring crafts, cornhole, a nine-hole mini golf course, live entertainment and more.

URBNmarket and the kids zone will be limit the number of guests in each area, and will be based on a first come, first serve basis. Crafts and games for the kids zone will be sanitized throughout the day. Face masks are required for everyone over the age of 5.

Reservations for the biergarten can be made at eventbrite. Each reservation is $25, which includes four free drinks in addition to a $5 donation to a local charity from every reservation. A maximum of six people will be allowed per table reservation, in accordance with Fairfax County COVID-19 regulations.

Additional beverage costs include $5 for beer, $6 for wine and $5 for non-alcoholic drinks from an onsite bar.

Visit The Boro Tysons website for directions, parking and reservations.

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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Although Halloween in Vienna will look a little different this year, COVID-19 isn’t stopping the town from holding socially-distanced fall festivities. 

Currently, the town is collecting donations for “Halloween in a Bag” until Oct. 1. The collection, based on their “4th of July in a Box” over the summer, will deliver 750 bags with enough supplies for two kids per household to celebrate Halloween from home.

The bag will include a pumpkin decorating kit, Halloween candy and treats, festive crafts, recipes and activities, vampire teeth and an assortment of Halloween fun, according to the Vienna Voice. Bags are $20 each.

Then, the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna will host Distanz Oktoberfest — a twist on the usual Oktoberfest celebration — from Oct. 2-4.

The celebration will feature various festivals that fall into four different categories: Festival Food, Beer & Wine, Market Platz/Retail and Business Expo/Professionals. 

On Oct. 31, the town will host the “Halloween Wave Parade.” At 10 a.m., locals can expect 10-15 floats to travel through the four quadrants of Vienna. 

The parade is looking for more sponsors — businesses can apply to be a sponsor on the VBA website. Sponsors will have their logos displayed as the parade moves across town.

Photo by David Menidrey/Unsplash

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(Updated 9:30 a.m.) The Vienna Business Association’s Oktoberfest and several Town of Vienna events are no longer happening due to the pandemic.

The town announced today (Tuesday) that events through Oct. 3 are canceled and alternative Halloween celebrations are under consideration.

The canceled events include:

Kathy Georgen, who chairs the Oktoberfest planning committee, said in the town’s announcement that Oktoberfest had to get axed because it depends on hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees.

“We could not in good conscience move forward in this current climate,” Georgen said.

Instead, the VBA plans to promote Distanz Oktoberfest, which is described in a press release as “an initiative that encourages VBA-member and other Town businesses to host in early October German-themed events and promotions at their own location.”

Nearby, the City of Falls Church took similar precautions, canceling its Falls Church Festival in September and Farm Day in October. The rest of the city’s events for 2020 “will take place if a safe event format can be created.”

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Sept. 30)

  • Mr. Brown’s Park Dedication — 6-7 p.m. at former Downtown Park (100 block of W. Broad Street) —  This event celebrates the transition from Downtown Park to Mr. Brown’s Park, which will now be named after the oldest business in the City of Falls Church. Local officials will be on-site commemorating the renaming.

Thursday (Oct. 3)

  • Tysons Reporter Happy Hour — 5-7 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Celebrate Tysons Reporter’s first anniversary. Community members will have the chance to grab a drink or a slice of cake with the journalists behind the site. The first 50 attendees will receive a free drink. Rumor has it that there will also be free swag.

Friday (Oct. 4)

  • Vienna Oktoberfest — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Historic Church Street (131 Church Street NE—  This 12th annual event offers visitors a variety of vendors, live music acts, food, kids activities and alcoholic beverages. It is free.
  • WellieWishers™ Friendship Tea Party — 2-4 p.m. at American Girl Store (8090 Tysons Corner) — Kids 5 and up are welcome to gather for an afternoon of dining, crafts and a cupcake-decorating. Tickets are $13.50 per person.
  • Block Party — 3-7 p.m. at Capital One Center (1640 Capital One Drive) Capital One is hosting a block party with City Works Eatery and Pour House to celebrate the new mixed-use development space. There will be live music, games, food and drinks available. Admission is free and includes a free drink. There will be over 90 beers on tap.

Saturday (Oct. 5)

  • Ribbon Cutting for Synthetic Turf Field — 10 a.m. at Larry Graves Park (300 Hillwood Avenue— This event celebrates the grand opening of a field in Larry Graves Park that includes striping for several different sports. All are welcome to attend this free event.
  • Moon Festival – Tet Trung Thu — noon-5 p.m. at Eden Center (6761 Wilson Blvd) This Vietnamese festival invites the community to gather for an afternoon of colorful lantern displays, music, cultural performances and food. It is free and all ages are welcome to attend.

Sunday (Oct. 6)

  • MPAartfest –10 a.m.-5 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) — This free event invites community members to check out pop-up art galleries, hands-on exhibits, food vendors and live music.
  • Tysons Singles Seated Speed Dating — 7-9 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike)  Singles in the area are invited for an evening of mingling at the Tysons Biergarten. Event organizers request that attendees arrive before 7 p.m. for check-in. Tickets start at $15.

Image via Facebook/Eden Center

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