Reston Town Center seeks approval for more ‘sip and stroll’ events

Kids watch a unicyclist at a Reston Town Center event (courtesy Reston Town Center Association)

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Reston Town Center Association wants to increase its number of sip-and-stroll-style events in the town center.

But RTCA needs the approval of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to increase the number of licenses it has per year for designated outdoor refreshment areas. The matter heads to the board for a vote tomorrow (Tuesday).

If approved, RTCA would have permission to host up to 50 events — up from 16 — with Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) licenses.

The association will work with the Fairfax County Police Department for security purposes. It is also working with an on-site security team to maintain the perimeter where alcoholic beverages are allowed.

The request comes after the association hosted several sip-and-stroll events last year in the town center, allowing individuals to purchase alcoholic drinks at participating restaurants into the streets or park.

The association’s board has approved similar events for this year, including at least 12 Darden and Friends jazz events for the spring and fall. There will also be 14 Reston Concerts on the Town, a concert series that returns this year after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic and renovations at the pavilion and Mercury Fountain.

Another half-dozen events are proposed on Saturdays.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) can increase the frequency and duration of events after Fairfax County adopts an ordinance formally requesting an increase, according to a county memo.

“I don’t think there is any controversy here,” Robert Goudie, RTCA’s president said. “ABC is aware that we would be seeking an increase to the cap. Last year’s events were well-received and well-managed.”

RTCA is expected to reach its 16-event limit by July. In 2021, the General Assembly amended state code to create the licenses. A licensee is currently only allowed up to 16 events — each of which can last up to three consecutive days.

RTCA’s board is expected to vote on the issue on May 9 at 4 p.m. following an introduction of the proposal at the board meeting tomorrow.