Sights and Sounds of Reston Holiday
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Sights and Sounds of Reston Holiday

Reston parade nominated for the third year in a row as one of "USA Today's" Best Holiday Parades.

The sight and sounds of the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade kicked off with the official banner and characters.

The sight and sounds of the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade kicked off with the official banner and characters. Photo by Mercia Hobson.

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Keith Bergstresser of Herndon snuggles his daughter Ginny, 4, to keep her warm before the start of the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade. “Our family has done this for six to seven years, and we love it,” Bergstresser said. “My older son, Peter is marching with Cub Scout Troop 1169 Reston.”

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Emcee Doug Kammerer, News4's Chief Meteorologist, takes a moment to pose with his two children, Kentan, 11 and Cally, 9, who accompanied him to the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade. As his dad resumed his emcee duties, Kentan shared what he thought of the parade: “It’s cool," he said. "It's like my own Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

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Grand Marshal of the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade, Sissy Sheridan, rides in high style along the half-mile parade route. “I’m having so much fun," Sheridan said.

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The Caporales San Simon Virginia USA brings its energy and enthusiasm to the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade.

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Volunteer members of the 501st Legion of Garrison Tyranus, David Weese, Kymber Weese, Damon Degner, Scott Huls, Trish Fratarcan and Olivia Weese, spread the magic of "Star Wars" at the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade through their building and wearing of quality screen-accurate costumes.

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The sights and sounds of the award-winning Spirit of Reston-South Lakes High School Marching Band can mean only one thing: Santa and Mrs. Claus are almost at the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade.

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Much to the utter delight of the little children at the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade, the day's special guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, arrive in a horse-drawn carriage concluding the holiday tradition brought to Reston Town Center by Boston Properties.

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Jolene Mancini of Oakton adjusts daughter, Ella’s sleeve before the start of the Reston Parade 2018. With temperatures in the low 30s, it was hard for Ella to stay warm in her light costume, yet she and fellow dancers at the Reston Conservatory of Ballet helped make holiday magic on Market Street, dancing along the parade route and performing a special 30-second show for spectators seated in each of the two bandstands.

Early in the morning of Nov. 23, 2018, the day after Thanksgiving, 52 groups and participants for the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade gathered at the top of Market Street in Reston. A lineup of dignitaries, performers and balloon handlers prepared to bring a bit of holiday fun to a time-honored event in preparation for honored guests Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Workers inflated behemoth Macy's style balloons. Handlers dressed in colorful outfits that coordinated with their balloons, wrangled knotted ropes, freeing the lines and boosting the balloons afloat.

"I'm a little nervous," confessed Nicki Skinner of Herndon. "It's a big balloon." Members of the Spirit of Reston-South Lakes High School Marching Band rehearsed one last time directed by Catie George, 17, Drum Major.

Grand Marshal Sissy Sheridan, 14, of Reston, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11), Del. Ken Plum (D- 36), Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, (D-Hunter Mill) joined by Lord and Lady Fairfax, Ron Copeland and Carmen Powell and Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid climbed into their rides, ready to make their way down Market Street in Reston Town Center. Along the parade route, local volunteers dressed in red aprons such as Lisa Roy and her daughter Francesca and Catherine Lamoureux and her daughter Aiello Vivienne pushed grocery carts filled with jingle bell necklaces, passing them out to spectators.

PRECISELY at 11 a.m., emcees Angie Goff and Doug Kammerer of NBC News4 each stood at one of the two grandstand podiums erected along the half-mile parade route. In unison, they announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, get ready for the sights and sounds of the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade because it is here."

The duo began a lively banter describing the parade participants. One of the first in the lineup was award-winning bagpiper Drew Donlon from Emerald Society Pipe Band followed by the Fairfax County Ceremonial Honor Guard. "The largest and most active police Honor Guard in the Commonwealth of Virginia," the emcees said.

Next, Goff and Kammerer welcomed the parade's Grand Marshal for 2018, Sissy Sheridan, born and raised in Reston. "Sissy Sheridan is fourteen years old and already a nationally-known stage and screen actress," boasted Goff and Kammerer. "She hosts the "DIY with Me" show on Nickelodeon; she's returning in "Maniac" on Netflix … and now she is appearing in "Billy Elliot" at Signature Theatre in Arlington."

Sheridan said, "I'm so excited to be Grand Marshal. It is such an honor. And I'm having so much fun."

During gaps in the parade, the emcees thanked Boston Properties for bringing the holiday tradition to Reston Town Center and reminded the crowd of additional fun. "We hope you... can stay for the day to enjoy visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Mini-Train Rides and ice skating at the beautiful Pavilion, plus shopping and eating ...The magical Tree Lighting is at six o'clock followed by the Sing-Along of traditional carols with The Reston Chorale."

The pair told spectators that the Reston Holiday Parade had been nominated for the third year in a row for "USA Today's" TEN BEST Holiday Parades. "Grab your phone and remember: Ten, TEN BEST dot COM; voting is open until Dec. 10. As of Monday, Nov. 26, Reston Holiday Parade 2018 ranked Number 5 out of the 20 nominees, ahead of Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at #6 and Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with 50 million in attendance at #7.

"Cast your ballot once per day until voting ends on Monday, Dec. 10 at noon ET," states the website www.tenbest.com. The top 10 winning events, determined by your vote, will be announced on Friday, Dec. 21."

THE PARADE continued for an hour with emcees highlighting participants, performances and balloons. They informed spectators that continuing through December, there would be horse-drawn carriage rides on Saturday afternoons and mini-train rides on Sunday afternoons to benefit local charities as well as holiday performances at Fountain Square and The Promenade.

Culminating in the grand parade finale as always, the day's most special guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. "Let's make some noise (jingle and applause) and welcome the jolly couple from the North Pole to Reston," called out the emcees.

"Ho, ho, ho, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Now that you're here, that means, 'Holidays Are Here' at Reston Town Center."

For more information about voting for the Best Holiday Parade in the USA, visit www.tenbest.com.