Tysons, VA

Thanksgiving is tomorrow (Thursday). For people in the Tysons area, some government facilities will be closed and public transit options will be operating on modified schedules.

Here’s a list of public services that will be affected by Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

County-wide

  • Fairfax County government offices will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.
  • Public libraries run by Fairfax County will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are on break from today (Wednesday, Nov. 27) to Friday.
  • The Metrobus and Metrorail will run on holiday schedules for Thanksgiving and resume typical service on Friday.
  • The Fairfax Connector will operate Sunday service on Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekday service on Friday.
  • United States Postal Service offices will be closed on Thanksgiving.

Vienna

  • The Vienna Community Center will be open on Friday (Nov. 29) from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The Town of Vienna’s government offices will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.

McLean

Falls Church

  • The City of Falls Church’s government offices and buildings, the community center and the Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Falls Church Community Center will be closed Thanksgiving and open from 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday.

Speaking of closed offices, Tysons Reporter will be on a break as well on Thursday and Friday.

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With Thanksgiving nearing, are you planning on staying in the area or going away for the holiday?

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, nearly 1.35 million people living in the D.C. area are expected to travel during the upcoming holiday period around 50 miles or more away from home.

About 91% of all D.C. area travelers will travel by car, compared to 7% traveling by air, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

For people staying — or coming — here, forecasters predict the weather will be partly cloudy.

Let Tysons Reporter know what your travel plans are for the holiday weekend.

Photo by Element5 Digital on 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.

So begins the holiday season of 2019.

I’m thankful for the year I’ve had both personally and professionally. I’ve gotten to meet some great new people thanks to this column on Tyson’s Reporter as well as helping 34 families move this year. I am headed to the blistering cold of upstate New York for Thanksgiving, but when we return, I can’t wait to take my kids to some of my favorite events every December.

Here’s a roundup for you to enjoy:

Reston Thanksgiving Parade — Friday, November 29, 11 a.m.
Floats, dancers, antique cars, characters, Santa and Mrs Claus — they hand out bells to everyone before the parade begins, so make sure to get one!

McLean Winterfest Parade — Sunday, December 1, 3:30 p.m.
Food trucks, parade stage and includes Santa on his firetruck.

Church Street Holiday Stroll — Monday, December 2, 6 p.m.
Santa arrives at 6:15 p.m. on his fire truck to help light the Holiday tree on Church Street. Live music, marshmallow roasting and more.

James Madison Tiny Tots Holiday Concert — Thursday, December 5, 7 p.m.
Showtimes also available for 10 a.m. on December 5 and 6. This is a great, family fun activity with carols, characters, the JMHS band and surprise flurry ending. PJs are encouraged on Thursday night!

Merry Mosaic Tree Lighting — Friday, December 6, 5 p.m.
Festive celebration on the green including a Tree lighting ceremony.

Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long — Saturday, December 7, 4 p.m.
Free concert along with the US Marine Band, local choirs and vocal groups lead a sing-along of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs. Please bring a donation for Toys for Tots.

The Polar Express – PJ Party — Sunday, December 8, 10 a.m.
Tickets are very limited, so if you can’t get them this year, mark your calendars for next year. There’s one at Mosaic and there’s another at the Tyson’s AMC.

Channukah Celebration — Friday, December 29, 4:30 p.m.
Menorah lighting on the green with the JCC of NoVA, including a sing a long, entertainment, jelly doughnuts and dreidel games.

If you’re new to Vienna or McLean, you may not know that sometime in December you’ll have a rockin’ party in your street with Santa riding on his antique fire truck and the volunteer firefighters from both stations. They break it up by neighborhood, so make sure you check the schedules so you’re not caught off guard like we were the first year we lived in Vienna (I ended up ripping my son from his bath and running like a mad woman outside so he could see it and he has loved it every year since then).

Check the McLean Schedule or the Vienna Schedule.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving and Holiday season!

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

With Thanksgiving upon us next week followed closely by the December holidays, it’s important to know that due to the high cost of living in Northern Virginia, there are many families in need this holiday season.

Whether you’re looking for an in-person volunteer opportunity to do as an adult or with the family, or if you’d prefer to work behind the scenes and donate something, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in our community at the local level.

Please check out some of the organizations and their needs at this time of year:

SHARE of McLean 

Share has a Holiday Celebration which is their biggest event of the year. They need volunteers, as well as donations. You can also sign up to host a food drive to help stock their pantry which they use to give food and gift cards to families in need. They have in person volunteer hours which may include moving furniture, sorting clothing, or restocking the shelves. If you want a more hands-on interaction, you can also greet and register the clients.

Committee for Helping Others (CHO) of Vienna 

CHO hosts a Christmas Store on December 7 for families in need in the Vienna and Oakton areas. They’re looking for new toys, gently used clothing and gift cards. Gift cards can be dropped off to the church office on the 2nd floor (Vienna Presbyterian Church — 124 Park Street NE ,Vienna). All other physical items can be dropped off by December 1 to the bins outside of the the VPC Narthex. You can find a list of their needs on their website.

Women Giving Back (Sterling, Virginia)

WGB is an organization that supports women and children with the basics to get back on their feet. They are collecting new, unwrapped toys for their children to be donated by December 13. You can drop them off locally at First Excel Title just outside of Oakton at 3201 Jermantown Road Suite 350, Fairfax, VA 22030. The store throughout the rest of the year needs clothing, accessories, shoes and kids clothes. Learn more.

You can also search more volunteer opportunities throughout Fairfax at Volunteer Fairfax.

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Vienna Turkey Trot Tips

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

The annual Vienna Turkey Trot is the Sunday before Thanksgiving on November 24.

The race starts at the Fire House on Cherry Street SE across from Waters Field. Here’s a brief overview of the event and some tips below.

The race begins with everyone lining up in the street by the Fire House. There’s music playing, everyone talking, and cheering. There’s a very enthusiastic man dressed in a Turkey Suit that will lead the race. There is a group stretch before the race, then they have the fun run line up to kick it off!

  • Register early! You can pick up your packet before the race to make the morning easy the day of. The registration packets often include some fun things like a sweet treat, tattoos, jelly bands and if you registered early a t-shirt. They do have day of registration starting at 7 a.m. if you decide to jump into the race that day.
  • The Kids Fun Run starts first at 8 a.m. The 5k/10k starts when that’s over at 8:30 a.m.
  • Plan to park in one of the approved lots: The Community Center, Vienna Elementary, Patrick Henry Library, The lot BEHIND the Vienna shopping center, Town Green lot or Caboose Parking Lot.
  • Strollers are welcome! But dogs are not. Leave Fido at home.
  • My family and I always love to watch the other runners after we do the Fun Run and we stay to cheer them on. Stay to cheer people on! You can line up on Center Street or Cottage to cheer them on. I think most of them appreciate the cheering.

For more information on prices, age groups and course information visit the website.

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Here at Tysons Reporter, we’re thankful to have you as a reader.

This Thanksgiving, as we take the long four-day weekend off after a busy two months since our launch, we have just one request: as you gather with friends and family this holiday season, tell any fellow locals about Tysons Reporter. We greatly appreciate all email referrals as we work to deliver professional, daily local news coverage to the community.

Whether you’re traveling or staying in town — our poll suggests it’s about 50/50 among readers — we hope you stay warm, eat well (or not) and have a very happy Thanksgiving.

We’ll see you back here on Monday.

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Morning Notes

Long Lines at Local Whole Foods — If you ordered turkey or anything else for Thanksgiving dinner from the Whole Foods Market in Idylwood Plaza, expect long lines this morning. [Instagram]

County Offices Closed for Holiday — Fairfax County Government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, the Fairfax Connector will be running on a modified holiday schedule both days. [Fairfax County, Fairfax County]

Turkey Frying Safety Tips — “Using a turkey fryer this year to cook your Thanksgiving dinner? Please make sure you fry the turkey and NOT your home!” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

‘Political Transformation’ in Fairfax Co. — “A group of younger candidates is gathering in the wings, frustrated by crowded classrooms, traffic congestion and the rising cost of living in the county of 1.1 million — Virginia’s most populous jurisdiction and its undisputed economic engine.” [Washington Post, Erika Yalowitz]

Holiday Stroll Planned in Vienna — “The 22nd annual Church Street Holiday Stroll is slated for Monday, Nov. 26 along historic Church Street in Vienna. Santa is expected to glide into the area on a 1946 fire truck at 6:15 p.m., then help Mayor Laurie DiRocco light the holiday tree at 6:20 p.m.” [InsideNova]

Big New Development for West End of Falls Church — “The development team of EYA, PN Hoffman and Regency Centers was chosen by the Falls Church City Council Monday night to orchestrate a dense and diverse $500 million development of 10.3 acres of City-owned land where its George Mason High School currently sits,” near the West Falls Church Metro station. [Falls Church News-Press]

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The day is here — the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest car travel days of the year.

More on just how bad traffic will be from AAA Mid-Atlantic:

Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. is virtually “Zero Hour” if you are traveling clockwise on the Capital Beltway when traffic speeds will be down to about 7 miles per hour (mph), as you crawl toward your Thanksgiving destination, according to projections by INRIX, in collaboration with AAA. Tuesday, the eve of Thanksgiving Eve, is also the absolute worst time to be caught on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway, especially during the evening rush hour at 6:15 p.m. Here, travel delays will increase nearly 100 percent and travel speeds will drop to 23 miles per hour, as holiday travelers and commuters co-mingle and converge at one of the biggest bottlenecks in the Washington metro area.

Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 21, is the worst day and time to travel for holiday travelers taking Interstate 95 North, Interstate 270 North, and U.S. 50 East, according to data from INRIX. There are 15 freeway segments to eschew. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Then there are the hotspots to circumvent and circumnavigate during the getaway period. […]

“With 1.2 million Washington area residents hitting the highways for the holiday, travel delays will become a contagion on area freeways and highways on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Eve, as virtually everyone experiences a significant increase in travel times and traffic congestion,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Holiday traffic, and any poor soul caught up in it, will creep, crawl and slither along. Given this, holiday travelers will be forced to add ‘extra buffer time’ to their trips to reach their Thanksgiving destinations on time.”

That brings us to our poll question: we’re wondering if Tysons Reporter readers will be heading out of town for holiday, despite the big traffic rush, or staying here. Also, while we’re at it, what about Christmas travel?

Regardless of whether you’re driving, flying or otherwise, let us know if you’re heading out of town for the holidays.

Table via AAA Mid-Atlantic

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Morning Notes

‘Fish Taco’ Coming to Boro in Tysons — “Fish Taco, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant with three locations in Maryland, plans to open its first Virginia store at the Boro development in Tysons… by June next year. A rep for Fish Taco tells Eater the new location in the mixed-use development will have space for 60 customers to consume taco platters, salads, rice bowls, burritos, and quesadillas — all utilizing local and seasonal ingredients.” [Eater]

Mall Hours for Black Friday — “Tysons Corner Center… will be open for 28 hours straight. This year, the mall opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22 and will remain open Friday, Nov. 23 from midnight-10 p.m. Across Chain Bridge Road, Tysons Galleria will be closed on Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, hours will be 8 a.m.-9 p.m.” [Patch]

Dulles Toll Road Rates Going Up — “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board of directors voted Nov. 14 to increase rates on the toll road again, starting this coming January. Drivers of two-axle vehicles, who now pay $2.50 at the main toll plaza, will see that rate jump to $3.25, and those entering or exiting tolled ramps will pay $1.50, up  from the current $1.” [InsideNova]

Herndon Site Still in the Running for Apple — Though Apple is “seriously” looking at a site in Tysons for a large new East Coast office, the company is also eyeing some other locations, like the 26-acre, state-owned Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon and sites in Raleigh, N.C. and Atlanta, Georgia. [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Blood Drive Was a Success — “With the holiday season quickly approaching, hospitals are continuously using blood products faster than donations are replacing them. With an urgent blood drive, sponsored by McLean Dermatology and Skin Care Center, volunteers and staff aimed to reach a goal of getting 40 donors during this Sunday’s drive — in which the goal was met.” [WJLA]

Parks Dept. Riffs on Facebook Outage — A tweet this morning from Fairfax County Parks: “Facebook and Instagram are down. Seems like a great excuse to take a walk and enjoy some face-to-face conversation in a park.” [Twitter]

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