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11925 Triple Crown Road is one of eight houses in the 2022 Reston Home Tour (courtesy Reston Museum)

Visitors will have a chance to step into an assortment of Reston lifestyles at the Reston Home Tour this November.

A ticket unlocks self-guided tours of eight homes, according to a press release from the tour’s host, the Reston Museum. These include the new Lake Anne House and a home close to Lake Audubon that is filled with art.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Though the home tours are self-guided, attendees can keep an eye out for docents equipped with information about particular rooms and home features.

The tour is a little bigger this year to recognize the event’s 20th anniversary, Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell told FFXnow in an email. Typically, there are six or seven homes on display, compared to the eight featured this year:

From the press release:

This year’s featured homes include an award-winning modern masterpiece tucked back in a wooded oasis, a beautifully-landscaped personal “club house” offering amazing views of the golf course, a newly-renovated Reston Town Center townhouse with a water view, and an art-filled home near Lake Audubon with soaring ceilings and a delightful garden pond. Highlighted homes also include a renovated colonial near North Point with lots of unique personal touches, brand new EYA model townhouses with elevators near the Wiehle Avenue Metro and the newly-constructed Lake Anne House for seniors.

Tickets are available on the Reston Museum website or in-person at the museum. In addition, The Wine Cabinet, Chesapeake Chocolates and the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art will sell paper tickets, according to the press release.

Tickets cost $30 until Oct. 17. After that, the price increases to $35.

In addition to the Reston Home Tour, the Reston Museum hosts the Lake Anne Cardboard Regatta and Reston Founder’s Day, among other events. The home tour continues to be the Reston Museum’s biggest fundraiser, Campbell wrote.

In past years, tours have featured work by a local architect and a Marilyn Monroe bathroom, among other attractions.

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The son of one of Reston’s first 500 residents is paying homage to his family and hometown with the launch of a new Belgian-inspired gastropub at Lake Anne Plaza.

Owner Jan Carlos Byl plans to open Common Ground in the next six months at the space formerly filled by Local VA, another local restaurant that abruptly closed up shop earlier this year at the plaza.

“This is a way for me to honor my father, my father’s legacy at Lake Anne and fulfill my childhood dream of one day owning a restaurant,” Byl told FFXnow.

Byl returned to Reston after his father, Adhemar Byl, became ill in 2021. After his death, Byl launched the business, which has the motto “good vibes, great food.”

“This is to honor my father and our very special Lake Anne community,” he said. “The Lake needs more watering holes and gathering places where you can break bread and drink with your neighbors and loves ones from just a short walk away.”

The son of a Belgian father and a Nicaraguan mother, Byl hopes to marry different culinary cultures from remote regions and bring together his exposure to different culinary traditions in one place.

Byl moved to Europe at age 21 and remained in Amsterdam for 10 years before returning to the U.S., where he became an investor and creative partner in some D.C.-based transitional bars and restaurants, he says.

In Europe, he spent nearly a decade managing platinum recording artists from around the world, he says.

For now, Byl returns to his roots. The name of the new restaurant fittingly pays homage to a daycare that occupied space above what is now Reston Community Center’s Lake Anne facility years ago: Common Ground Daycare.

It’s also where he and his brother went for daycare. An exact opening date is still pending as work continues on the site.

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By the water at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Lake Anne is welcoming a new festival on Sept. 10 at the plaza (1609 Washington Plaza North) in Reston.

The first annual Reggae at the Lake Festival will feature international reggae bands, food, crafts and family activities.

Ramon Pardo — a local realtor with Terra Properties and member of the Lake Anne Washington Plaza Merchants Association (LAWPMA) — created the festival after Culture Reggae Band, an internationally known band, performed at his wedding in Jamaica.

“Their performance just made the day even more magical for them,” the association said in a statement to FFXnow. “He wanted to bring some of that magic to Lake Anne because of his love for the Plaza and its balance of nature and architecture, residents and businesses, and to give back to the community. He proposed the idea of a reggae festival and led a small committee of LAWPA members to make sure it happened.”

The event will run from 1-9 p.m.:

  • 1 p.m. — Proverbs Reggae Band
  • 2:30 p.m. — Eclipse International Band
  • 4 p.m. — Ras Lido & the Regg’Go Band
  • 5:30 p.m. — Kurlou Reggae All-Stars
  • 7 p.m. — Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill

The festival will take place at the waterfront of the plaza and is free for all. If needed, a rain date will be announced at a later point.

“We feel this is a perfect festival for Lake Anne because its residents and business owners are so diverse with many ethnicities and cultures melding into one community,” LAWPMA said. “Music and dance brings people together, and we are happy to provide opportunities to make that happen.”

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The Lake Anne Plaza fountain is temporarily closed due to repairs (via Reston Association)

Frequenters of Lake Anne in Reston will notice a change in the waters of the lake. 

The lake’s fountain is currently not in operation after a mechanical issue was discovered, according to Reston Association.

Mike Leone, RA’s spokesperson, said that the fountain’s pump and motor burnt out. 

“Replacement parts have been ordered and right now we are being told it will be three to four weeks, if not longer, to receive the replacements parts,” Leone wrote in a statement to FFXnow. 

The timeline could change depending on supply chain and delivery demands, Leone added. 

The fountain was inspired by Jet d’Eau, a 140-meter single geyser fountain on Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

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Thousands of spectators converged at Lake Anne Plaza over the weekend for the annual Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta.

This year, the event returned after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. More than 40 boats took part in the race, with Hunters Woods Elementary earning first place in the cadet category.

The annual event is organized by the Reston Museum, which is based at 1639 Washington Plaza North. The event is designed to encourage community pride in Reston. Teams construct and their life-sized cardboard boats, which take part in timed heats.

“We could not be happier with how the return of the Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta went!” Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell wrote in a statement to FFXnow. “The boat designs were amazing and it was wonderful to connect with the community again through this favorite event. This event always brings joy, but this year’s race was truly something special.”

YMCA won the navigator race, while Cinder won the skipper race. The people’s choice award — selected based on attendee votes — went to Mr. Matt and the WildFlowers. The Titanic award went to Terraset Elementary School.

Pre-registration for next year’s event is already underway. It will be taken through Saturday and the race will be held next year on August 12.

This year’s title sponsor was 123 Junk.

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Morning Notes

A frog statue looks up at Giant in University Mall (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Army Nurse Thanks Fairfax County Firefighters — “Sunday, August 7, was a powerful and inspiring day at Station 11, Penn Daw, C-Shift. U.S. Army Captain Paul Petrie, an OR Nurse at Fort Belvoir, stopped by to thank the shift for their role in saving his life in May. Injuries he sustained are fatal a vast majority of the time. Watch to learn more!” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Long-Term Fix for AT&T Service Issues in Reston Coming — A permanent proposal to restore full cell service in the Lake Anne area isn’t expected to come until later this fall, according to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn. Alcorn says AT&T is looking at installing equipment on the new Fellowship House roof, but that will require approvals from Fairfax County and the Reston Association Design Review Board. [Patch]

Fairfax County Parkway Targeted for Traffic Enforcement — “Officers from our Motor Squad are focusing on traffic enforcement on the Fairfax County Parkway this month. On the first day of this enforcement campaign, an officer stopped a car going 108 MPH on the County Parkway at Barta Road, a 50 MPH zone!” [FCPD/Instagram]

Vienna Trail Closed for Repairs — “The Wildwood Park trail that runs between Follin Lane SE and Niblick Drive SE, along with the Mashie Drive Park entrance, will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 9, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for repairs. Please use caution when in the area and plan for detours.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Police Seek Help with Centreville Cold Case — “One of the DNA-analysis companies that Fairfax County Police in Virginia have been working with is Texas-based Othram, which is now crowdfunding help to identify a woman who was found dead…nearly 30 years ago. Even today, there isn’t a lot that police know about the woman, whose remains were found in 1993 near a cedar tree around what’s now the corner of Sharpsburg Drive and Calvary Place in Centreville.” [WTOP]

Connector Buses Not Affected by Metro Shutdown — The closure of several Blue and Yellow Line stations next month will have no impact on Fairfax Connector routes, but instead of taking a train, passengers will transfer to free shuttle buses. Drop-off and pick-up locations at the Huntington, Van Dorn Street, Franconia, and Crystal City stations may also be slightly different. [Fairfax County Government]

Reminder to Get Kids Immunized for School — “Parents, you’ve probably reminded your kids about summer reading and started purchasing school supplies. Have you booked your immunization appointment yet? Don’t wait until the last minute, make sure your children are up to date with their school required immunizations.” [Fairfax County Health Department/Facebook]

Maryland Toll Lanes Project on Hold — “A key federal agency has delayed Maryland’s plan to build toll lanes on the Capital Beltway and I-270, the latest setback for the star-crossed project. The move was immediately criticized by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who said the delay will imperil the state’s efforts to ease one of the nation’s worst bottlenecks.” [Maryland Matters]

It’s Tuesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 94 and low of 78. Sunrise at 6:18 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Boats docked at Lake Anne Plaza (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Cellular service issues continue to plague residents in the Lake Anne area of Reston, but a recently added, temporary truck will at least ensure AT&T customers can call 911.

A spokesperson for AT&T said that since Friday (July 29) — when information about the outage was first released — the company has been trying to restore an antenna in the area.

AT&T says it is working on placing a temporary cellular support truck in the Lake Anne area to help give customers a boost and improve service until the issue is resolved.

“We have deployed temporary emergency coverage for first responders, and are working as quickly as possible to restore full service in the area. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience,” an AT&T spokesperson told FFXnow.

The company did not provide information on when the issue was first identified and what efforts have been made to restore the site.

However, Fairfax County said in a statement that it worked with the telecommunications company “to expedite placement of a cellular support vehicle” that was put in place Saturday morning (July 30).

“The AT&T cellular support vehicle allows for residents to call 9-1-1 and provides cellular coverage for public safety,” county spokesperson Tony Castrilli said. “The full restoration for AT&T customers in Lake Anne is scheduled to be completed in two weeks.”

The problem comes after Verizon and other cell carriers removed a cell phone communications facility at the rooftop of Lake Anne Fellowship House, which is set to be demolished next year.

Fairfax County is encouraging residents to use a landline or make calls through the WiFi on devices where that’s an option.

A spokesperson for Verizon said the company is actively looking for a replacement site. Its original plans fell earlier this year. Since then, the company says that it has been looking for another site but with no success.

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Fire crews are using the vacated building at Lake Anne in Reston for training purposes (courtesy Fellowship Square)

The demolition of the vacated Lake Anne Fellowship House is still several months away. 

In the interim, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews are using the vacated building — which previously housed more than 300 older adult residents — as a training location for local fire departments. 

The department has been using the building for aerial rescues using ladder truck and mannequins. 

 “Training in a real structure like this provides us with an amazing and very rare opportunity,” said Scott Kraut, fire captain at Firehouse 25, which is located 1820 Wiehle Avenue.

Kraut says the vacated building provides a rare opportunity for the firefighters to practice and use their skills in a residential high-rise.

The initiative began after the fire department submitted a proposal to use the building, according to a spokesperson for Lake Anne Fellowship House.

The affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Development plans to redevelop the fellowship house after demolition takes place sometime next year.

Over the summer, residents of the fellowship house moved into a brand-new residence across the street, leaving behind the 1970s building that was one of the first high rises and the first affordable senior housing property in Reston.

The new Lake Anne House — located at 11444 North Shore Drive — is a $86 million project spearheaded by ECD and Fellowship Square Foundation. 

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Verizon truck drives through water while turning from Baron Cameron Avenue to Reston Parkway after rain (photo by Ed Schudel)

Verizon may soon have a solution for slow cell service in the Lake Anne area.

The cell phone provider is actively looking for sites of a new cell tower after its facility at Lake Anne Fellowship House was removed in anticipation of the building’s demolition.

“Despite being met by some initial resistance from the county architectural review board, we continue to work on securing new real estate to deploy a replacement site,” Verizon spokesperson Karen Schulz wrote in statement to FFXnow.

Earlier this year, concerns about incompatibility with the area prompted Site Link Wireless to withdraw a plan for six antenna on the roof of Heron House, a 15-story condominium building at the center of Lake Anne Village Center.

Verizon is actively working to secure alternate locations for a new small site in that neighborhood, Schulz said.

So far, surrounding sites service the immediate neighborhood and provide coverage, but some customers have reported congestion and slower speeds.

Schulz noted that Fairfax County’s zoning ordinance does not allow the installation of a temporary site, prompting Verizon to look for other locations for a new site.

While discussions are underway with potential landlords, Verizon has not yet identified a timeline to complete the project going forward.

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The Reston Multicultural Festival takes place in Reston Town Center this year (via Reston Community Center)

A staple of Reston’s events scene — the Reston’s Multicultural Festival — returns in September with a new venue and line-up of presenters.

This year’s festival will take place at Reston Town Center through a partnership with the Reston Town Center Association instead of the typical location at Lake Anne Plaza.

Reston Community Center Executive Director Leila Gordon told FFXnow that the relocation was necessary after the center found itself “unable to agree on mutually satisfactory terms of use for Lake Anne Plaza” with the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association (LARCA).

“We needed to make alternative location plans to proceed with the other layers of planning the Reston Multicultural Festival requires,” Gordon wrote in a statement. “Fortunately, we have a continuing and longstanding relationship with Reston Town Center Association in presenting complex, large-scale events and programming, so this location was a logical alternative and will be a lovely venue for this signature community event.”

This year’s festival also includes a new line-up through a partnership with the National Council of Traditional Arts, bringing NEA National Heritage Fellows, which have received the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

Fellows — including New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band, Capoeira Master Jelon Vieira and soul pioneer William Bell — will take the stage at Reston Town Square Park on Saturday, Sept. 17 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The festival will also feature master crafts artists who will demonstrate their art.

“This year’s special anniversaries offer us an opportunity to design a unique lineup and produce the event in a new setting,” said RCC Board of Governors Chair Bev Cosham. “We are delighted to partner with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) to present the NEA Heritage Fellows, and with Reston Town Center Association (RTCA) to create a memorable day of celebrating the diversity of cultures that makes ours a great nation and Reston the special community we know it to be.”

The performances are part of an expanding partnership with the NCTA and mark the 40th year of the NEA fellowship program. Since 1982, the program has granted 467 National Heritage Fellowships. Fellows are nominated by the public and then judged by experts in the arts.

Participants are encouraged to come dressed in attire related to their cultural roots.

It’s not the first time that disagreement between LARCA and event organizers have prompted a location change.

In April, a free summer concert series by the center relocated to Reston Station after an impasse between the board and RCC. At the time, Gordon told Patch that RCC failed to reach an agreement on crafting a policy for plaza use and an application to execute events in an orderly manner.

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the association is looking forward to partnering with RCC again.

“Our longstanding partnership has generated outstanding performances and events for the entire community to enjoy. This year’s Multicultural Festival will continue and extend that terrific partnership,” Goudie said.

A complete breakdown of the festival is below after the jump. The schedule and participating organizations will be released in early September.

Read More

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