Email signup

Herndon officials grapple with ways to expand cultural festivals

Town of Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Town of Herndon officials are exploring ways to expand the number and quality of cultural festivals in the town.

At a Herndon Town Council meeting on Sept. 5, council members considered the option of providing funding for community cultural festivals if applications meet specific qualifications.

“Often referred to in discussions with Town Council as ‘mini-festivals,’ the desire is to add to the town’s already robust community event opportunities, with focus placed on highlighting and celebrating the town’s culturally diverse community,” according to the policy statement.

In order to be eligible to town funds, the event must be held on public property, be free and open to all, and celebrate and reflect the cultural diverse of the Herndon community.

Funding requests are limited to $5,000 per event per fiscal year.

At the meeting, council members honed in on process improvements for the disbursement and approval process. Others struggled to reconcile how involved the town should be in cultural programming.

Council member Pradip Dhakal said that the town should consider being an active organizer, not just a passive donor for cultural events.

“Let’s own this a little bit,” Dhakal said.

Dhakal also said that some applicants may not have ironed out details of proposed events, especially if the town allows applications one year before the event takes place.

“A lot of organizations who are planning to host certain events may want to apply and at least get the funds approved so that we don’t run out of the funds,” Dhakal said.

Council member Keven LeBlanc also encouraged staff to hone in on the semantics of proposed requirements — including what qualifies as a public event and public property and what defines a cultural activity.

“Is a Herndon grad party culture?” said LeBlanc, adding Juneteeth events as another ambiguous example.

Others like council member Cesar del Aguila noted that the town should consider restructuring some events like Friday Night Live! and the weekly farmers market in downtown Herndon.

Mayor Sheila Olem also noted that pooling volunteers is challenging for festivals. Town manager Bill Ashton II emphasized that seeking overtime hours from staff or the police department is often challenging, especially if additional security is needed.

“We’re going to have a really hard conversation about this,” Ashton II said.

The funding mechanism is intended for to support events that happen in downtown, encourage nonprofits to host more cultural festivals and encourage events that celebrate the community’s cultural diversity.

The concept was first introduced as a council initiative in 2022. The fiscal year 2024 budget includes $70,000 in funds for cultural festivals.

Recent Stories

With Virginia’s presidential primary elections just around the corner, one candidate is hoping to whip up some support in Fairfax County before polls open next Tuesday (March 5). Former South…

Carrabba’s Italian Grill has officially shuttered in Reston after more than two decades of business. A sign on the door of the chain restaurant at 12192 Sunset Hills Road thanks…

For the first time since it was established in 1921, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has expanded its vehicle fleet to three ambulances.

The newest ambulance began operating out of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 1 (1455 Laughlin Avenue) on Feb. 21 and will get an official, public reveal this Saturday (March 2) at the annual “I Love McLean” celebration.

Eviction cases continue to rise in Fairfax County as the millions of dollars in financial and legal support allocated during the pandemic run out, county staff say. Without the nationwide…

Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.

Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.

Minimum Requirements

  • Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches

  • Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.

  • Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.

  • Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

The Van Metre 5K Run

Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and

Active Bystander: Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Training

The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.

Similar to FEMA’s


Subscribe to our mailing list