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Good Friday evening! Today we published 7 articles that were read a total of 11171 times on FFXnow alone, so far.

📈 Top stories

The following are the most-read articles for today (Dec 2, 2022)…

  1. NEW: Abrupt Haulin’ Trash closure sends county residents scrambling for new collector
  2. Comstock angles to redevelop Koons auto dealerships in Tysons
  3. Winter Lantern Festival will light up Tysons this month in D.C. area debut

Since it’s Friday, we’ve also compiled a list of the most-read Arlington articles of the week, below.

  1. UPDATED: One dead after multiple vehicle crash in Tysons shuts down Beltway (15038 views)
  2. Roofing company to relocate from McLean to Reston, bringing 400 jobs (5344 views)
  3. Police: FCPS instructional assistant stole over $10K from Chantilly Target (5116 views)
  4. Mixed-use ‘donut’ building floated to replace Idylwood shopping center (4438 views)
  5. NEW: Developers propose turning Reston’s golf courses into open space with housing (3514 views)
  6. Pedestrian killed in crash on Route 29 outside Centreville shopping centers (2679 views)
  7. Electronics trading store to open in Reston’s Home Depot Center (2483 views)
  8. BREAKING: Man killed by SUV after collision on I-495, closing toll lanes (2227 views)
  9. Fairfax County warns budget could be ‘challenging’ due to slowing real estate market, rising staff costs (2052 views)
  10. FCPD takes person into custody after shooting in Mount Vernon (1966 views)
  11. NEW: Abrupt Haulin’ Trash closure sends county residents scrambling for new collector (6674 views)
  12. GW Parkway road diet and Mount Vernon Trail widening proposed in southern Fairfax County (1564 views)
  13. Jason’s Deli to close after 14 years in Idylwood due to rising rent (1539 views)
  14. Fairfax County considers turning vacant commercial space into emergency homeless shelters (1483 views)

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Saturday in Fairfax County, from our event calendar.

And here are the events planned for Sunday:

☔ Saturday’s forecast

Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 60 and low of 32. Sunrise at 7:12 am and sunset at 4:48 pm. See more from Weather.gov.

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

We hope you have a great weekend! Feel free to discuss the most-read stories of the week, the upcoming weekend events or anything else of local interest in the comments. 👋

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The D.C. area’s first-ever Winter Lantern Festival is coming to Lerner Town Square at Tysons II (courtesy Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group)

Thousands of lanterns will take over Lerner Town Square at Tysons II this winter.

Based in New York City, the Winter Lantern Festival will bring over 10,000 Chinese-style lanterns to Tysons for a nearly two-month stay from Dec. 16 through Feb. 12. This will be its first-ever stop in the D.C. area, the festival announced Wednesday (Nov. 30).

“We are thrilled to debut the Winter Lantern Festival, expand to new locations, introduce all visitors to the beauty of these artisan installations, and have the show become part of the DMV’s cultural holiday tradition,” said Haokun Liu, partner of Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group, which organizes the annual festival.

Founded in 2018 as New York Events & Entertainment, Kaleido Arts assists companies, nonprofits and others with events that promote “global cross-cultural communication,” according to a press release.

The New York City festival has drawn over 150,000 guests annually over its three years of existence. It’s expanding to five different locations this year, but Tysons is the first and only site outside of New York state.

The outdoor venue at 8025 Galleria Drive, which hosted Cirque du Soleil this summer, will be filled with displays made out of painted lanterns to resemble animals, such as polar bears and penguins, as well as figures out of Chinese myths and legends.

All of the lanterns are handmade by over 100 artists, who fit silk cloth over steel wire frames with LED lights using techniques that date back to the Han dynasty, per the festival website. The displays can reach up to 30 feet in height and will span 60 acres.

“Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture and history for thousands of years, honoring our ancestors and celebrating peace, prosperity, and good fortune,” Liu said.

The festival will also feature interactive light swings, see-saws and tunnels, along with live entertainment and food vendors.

Tickets are now on sale for $31.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids 12 and under, including a $2 service fee. For now, customers can get a 30% discount if they use the code EARLYP.

The festival will generally operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but it will be open daily between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1, 2023. Hours will be 5-10 p.m.

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Here’s a look at some of the open houses taking place in Fairfax County this weekend:

  • 1574 Westmoreland Street, McLean
    6 BR/6.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Two car garage, finished basement, deck
    Listed: $2,549,950
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Mohan Uprety – Spring Hill Real Estate, LLC)
  • 214 Locust Street SW, Vienna
    5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Fireplace wall, finished lower level, rear yard
    Listed: $1,899,900
    Open: Saturday, 12-4 p.m. (Jon Appleman – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty)
  • 4636 Wood Wren Court, Fairfax
    5 BR/5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Electric fireplace, gourmet kitchen with island and cafe
    Listed: $1,416,764
    Open: Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Shawn Evans – Monument Sotheby’s International Realty)
  • 1044 Ware Street SW, Vienna
    5 BR/3.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Renovated, fenced backyard, wood burning fireplace
    Listed: $1,275,000
    Open: Saturday, 2-4 p.m. (Megan Fass – EXP Realty, LLC)
  • 6900 Fleetwood Road #204, McLean
    1 BR/1 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Private brick patio, hardwood floors, kitchen island
    Listed: $899,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Laura Mensing – Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc)

See all Fairfax County open house listings here.

Want your open house to appear here? You can now submit sponsored listings.

1044 Ware Street SW

* Denotes sponsored listing

1044 Ware Street SW image via Google Maps

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A public art piece inspired by the connectivity and energy of atoms has been erected in Reston Town Center’s Hyatt Park.

Called “Vidustria,” the installation is drawn from the word “vigor” and the Latin term “industria,” or energy. It’s the brainchild of students from South Lakes High School’s STEAM Public Art Program.

Local officials and sponsors gathered last Friday (Nov. 25) to celebrate the work’s installation.

“We started this project over three years ago…and then something called the pandemic intervened,”

Tysons Warren, Hyatt Regency’s general manager, also approved using the site to renew the project for future art projects. Hyatt allowed the project team to use the space and power — to light up the artwork — at night.

Robert Goudie, Reston Town Center Association’s executive director,  said the project would not be possible with community partners. For example, power Service ran electric and secured conduit and writing for free and Commercial Concrete poured six concrete piers to secure the installation, along with bolting the beams to piers. Yellowstone Landscaping helped transport and install the sculpture at no cost.

“It has been an amazing community effort, supporting the dedication and commitment of dozens of students under Marco’s inspirational leadership over almost three years, interrupted by the pandemic, to make this happen,” Goudie said.

The structure is made from aluminum composite panels, acrylic panels, LED lights, screws, spray paint, vinyl print and wood. The sculpture features figures in motion on one side and a collection of human irises floating like celestial bodies on the other.

Here’s more from Reston Town Center Association describing the art work:

Atoms are minuscule particles, fundamental building blocks which combine to create all tangible objects in this universe. Alone, they are nothing. Together, they are everything. People, especially the students who made Vidustria, can be compared to these atoms due to their interconnectivity, a recurring theme within this sculpture. However, atoms have one deficiency: they do not compose energy, only maer. This is where the students of South Lakes High School have the upper hand. The unique, individual energy that each person has put into Vidustria is what elevates this artwork above the molecular foundations of the cosmos.

On one side of the sculpture is a series of figures in motion, while on the other side, a set of human irises, floating as if they’re celestial bodies. Both of these representations are meant to be universally recognizable. Interconnectivity is intertwined with one’s humanity, by simply inhabiting a body and perceiving this world (whether visually or not), people naturally gravitate toward one another based on these shared experiences. It should be easy to see yourself in Vidustria, to acknowledge the relationships you forge with other people and the energy that these relationships establish.

The school’s STEAM Club has created many art installations in Reston, including several projects on Lake Thoreau. It’s run by SLHS art teacher and local artist Marco Rando.

The sculpture will likely remain on the site until the spring of 2024.

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Daily Debrief for Dec 1, 2022

Good Thursday evening! Today we published 8 articles that were read a total of 27348 times on FFXnow, at least so far.

📈 Top stories

The following are the most-read articles for today (Dec 1, 2022)…

  1. UPDATED: One dead after multiple vehicle crash in Tysons shuts down Beltway
  2. NEW: Developers propose turning Reston’s golf courses into open space with housing
  3. Fairfax County considers turning vacant commercial space into emergency homeless shelters

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Friday in Fairfax County, from our event calendar.

🌤 Friday’s forecast

Windy overnight. High of 49 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:11 am and sunset at 4:49 pm. See more from Weather.gov.

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

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6638 Langdon Court (via Google Maps)

There are homes you can actually afford, and then there are homes that are just fun to look at.

Our list of the most expensive recently-sold homes in Fairfax County, below, is definitely the latter for all but the most well heeled.

Image via Google Maps

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A special remembrance ceremony is slated for this weekend (via Google Maps)

More than 920 military veterans laid to rest at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Herndon will be honored during a special ceremony later this month.

The Town of Herndon is working with the Herndon Woman’s Club and Wreaths Across America for the remembrance ceremony, which is open to the public and begins at noon on Saturday, Dec. 17.

First established in 1872, the 25-acre cemetery is the final resting place for veterans dating back to the War of 1812. The historic cemetery was deeded to the town in 1997 by the Chestnut Grove Cemetery Association, which operated the cemetery from the early 1950s.

“This event has been going on in the Herndon community for many years, and everyone thinks it continues to be a wonderful way for the community to show respect for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” town spokesperson Reid Okoniewski said.

The woman’s club is a nonprofit organization that aims to support local, state, national and international causes since it was established in 1939.

Individuals unable to attend the event can sponsor a wreath for $15. Checks can be made payable to the Herndon Woman’s Club and sent to P.O. Box 231, Herndon, VA, 20172.

Photo via Google Maps

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The Georgia-based pizza restaurant Mellow Mushroom will open a location in Vienna (courtesy Shannon Curl/Mellow Mushroom)

Mellow Mushroom is officially coming to the Town of Vienna.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based pizza restaurant has signed a franchise agreement to open a new location at 444 Maple Avenue, the four-story, mixed-use development replacing the now-demolished Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel and Tequila Grande at the corner of Nutley Street.

FFXnow’s sister site, Tysons Reporter, noted early this year that Mellow Mushroom was featured as a leased tenant in a property brochure for the project, but the business didn’t confirm that the location until Monday (Nov. 28).

“We are extremely excited to bring the Mellow Mushroom brand to Vienna,” franchise owner Jay Shah said in the press release. “The support of this community and the Mellow Mushroom team have helped us grow four successful Mellow Mushroom restaurants.”

The restaurant will be operated by the franchisee Vienna Pizza LLC, whose owners also have Mellow Mushrooms in Short Pump, Chantilly, Virginia Beach and Fredericksburg.

Founded in Atlanta in 1974, Mellow Mushroom now has locations in 21 states, including restaurants in Herndon and Chantilly. In addition to pizza, it sells calzones, hoagies and other sandwiches, burgers, salads, and both cocktails and “mocktails”:

Each Mellow Mushroom is unique in its design and décor and frequently captures unique aspects of the local community. The cornerstone of the Mellow Mushroom menu is stone-baked pizzas featuring a crust made from five simple ingredients, including water from Appalachian Mountain springs. Other menu highlights are freshly made salads, handcrafted cocktails, and a wide selection of beers, many of them local.

Mellow Mushroom didn’t return an inquiry about a possible opening timeframe by press time.

The vacated hotel and Tequila Grande buildings were razed this spring, but nothing appears to have been built on the 2.79-acre site yet. Developer Hekemian & Co. estimated in February that construction would take 18 to 20 months.

The 444 Maple project will consist of a four-story, 151-unit residential building with approximately 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, supported by plazas and two levels of parking.

In addition to Mellow Mushroom, Hekemian’s marketing brochure indicates that space has been leased to the restaurant Tom Yum Thai and Gloss Nails salon. There are still three available commercial suites.

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The Boro in Tysons will kick off its winter holiday festivities this Saturday (courtesy The Boro)

Updated at 5:45 p.m.With rain in the forecast for this Saturday, “Rudolph’s Rockin’ Reindeer Games” has been postponed to Saturday, Dec. 17, The Boro announced today.

Earlier: Officially, winter won’t come for another three weeks, but as far as the Tysons area is concerned, its spirit is already in the air.

This weekend will bring a number of festive, mostly Christmas-oriented events to usher in the colder weather and upcoming winter holidays, from a dance party at The Boro to the previously announced McLean Holiday Art and Crafts Festival.

Winter Boroland

The Boro in Tysons will kick off its festivities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 3) with Rudolph’s Rockin’ Reindeer Games, which it describes as the “ultimate holiday dance party.”

“Get your groove on with friends, families and neighbors at this holiday-themed dance party featuring a live DJ,” the development said in a press release. “Move and sing to your favorite seasonal tunes while sipping hot cocoa, doing arts and crafts and capturing memories (with Santa photo ops!) for your holiday card. Take part in a special scavenger hunt and compete in reindeer games like freeze dance, red light green light and limbo!”

Santa will be present for photos from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The festivities at Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) are free, but advance registration is encouraged.

Winter Boroland will continue on Dec. 10 with a Holiday Movie Pajama Party at ShowPlace ICON Theatre, which will screen three films that morning:

  • 9:45 a.m. — Arthur Christmas (2011)
  • 10 a.m. — The Polar Express (2004)
  • 10:15 a.m. — Elf (2003)

Tickets cost $8 but include admission, a small popcorn, an apple juice, a goodie bag with candy and a holiday craft, and a photo booth opportunity.

Reindog Parade

Over in McLean, the annual “Reindog Parade” will return to the Langley Shopping Center for a 25th year on Saturday.

Hosted by the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce, the event invites community members to dress up their pet dogs for a parade that will start at 8 a.m. outside Flowers & Plants Etc. (1378 Chain Bridge Road).

Prizes will be determined by a panel of judges, including Del. Marcus Simon (D-53). Dominion Energy spokesperson and former WUSA9 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Peggy Fox will serve as emcee.

In addition to the parade, the 90-minute event will feature gift bags for participants, hot chocolate and donuts, music by Bristol Sounds, and an appearance by Santa, per the chamber of commerce. An antique McLean Volunteer Fire Department engine and Dominion Energy bucket truck will also be at the scene.

The fire department will have holiday ornaments for sale as a fundraiser, the chamber told FFXnow.

As in past years, the chamber is asking participants to bring two cans of dog food that will be donated to a local animal shelter as a form of “admission.”

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Deli Italiano will open a restaurant in the Town of Herndon (courtesy Deli Italiano)

Deli Italiano is planning to open its location in the Town of Herndon in early- to mid-December.

The pizza shop — which originally was slated to open in early September — was hit by staffing shortages and ongoing renovation work. It will be located at 700 Elden Street.

“To keep our vision for what the Herndon community needed we delayed the opening,” Bianca Moskaitis, a spokesperson for the company, told FFXnow. “Between staffing shortages which is being felt across many sectors in the local workforce and making sure our renovations of the space were conducive to our business future potential, we were not able to keep our original timeline.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony and opening day offers are planned once the opening date is determined.

Meanwhile, the Reston location is still undergoing renovations. Located at 1631 Washington Plaza, that spot plans to open at Lake Anne Plaza in early 2023.

Deli Italiano serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, subs, pastas, and calzones. The menu is available online.

The restaurant has other locations in Leesburg, Sterling, Great Falls, Arlington and Burke.

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