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Celebrate Fairfax will split annual festival into smaller events across county

A water tent at the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival (via Fairfax Water)

The Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, a summer highlight featuring bands, carnival rides, and more at the Fairfax County Government Center, once again won’t occur — but this time, there’s a replacement.

The nonprofit Celebrate Fairfax!, Inc. announced Friday (April 1) on Facebook that it will switch the festival from one large event to different events staged throughout the county.

“Similar to many other organizations we are embracing change as we evolve,” the organization’s announcement said. “Along those lines, we will not be hosting the traditional Celebrate Fairfax! Festival at the Government Center. Instead, we will be focusing more broadly on Fairfax County as a whole, by bringing a part of the festival into each of the County districts.”

In the past, the annual three-day festival has drawn some 70,000 attendees and featured nationally known bands, including All-American Rejects, Everclear, and Third Eye Blind, but it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, Celebrate Fairfax has been organizing block parties, craft markets, and other events at The PARC at Tysons, the former Container Store space on Leesburg Pike that has been repurposed as a community event venue.

The reimagined festival will likely be similar to the Tysons block parties. The nonprofit said it’s working on hosting 12 events, one in each of the county’s magisterial districts.

It’s unclear whether Celebrate Fairfax will continue to book bands in the new format, though it confirmed there will still be karaoke contests. Officials didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Commenters on the Facebook announcement expressed disappointment at the change, saying they hoped the organization would bring back the usual format.

“During the past year, Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. (CFI) had the opportunity to re-envision how we, as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, fulfill our mission to celebrate Fairfax County and its communities,” the organization said. “CFI has been a staple in the Fairfax County community for nearly 40 years.”

Celebrate Fairfax said to check its website for a list of upcoming events.

Photo via Fairfax Water

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