Image by Lesnick Photo – www.lesnickphoto.com.

Since 1991, holiday season celebrations have begun at Reston Town Center on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, this day of cheer and charity will be presented on Friday, November 23, highlighted with the 28th annual Reston Holiday Parade at 11:00 a.m. and many more festive activities all day, for all to enjoy. For two years in a row, USA Today Travel’s Best Holiday Parade nominations included this community event and Reston Holiday Parade was voted one of the “10 Best” in 2016 and 2017. 

Reston Holiday Parade features Macy’s-style balloons, marching bands, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, and much more, capped with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. A cast of more than 1,400 performers and groups from around the region will march, sing, dance, and drive in a one-hour, half-mile, one-of-a-kind procession along Market Street. Special guest emcees, Angie Goff and Doug Kammerer of NBC News4, will announce the parade at two VIP grandstand locations. In another annual tradition, before the 11:00 a.m. start of the Reston Holiday Parade, 10,000 commemorative jingle bells will be distributed along the route to spectators who come from near and far for the event. 

Grand Marshal, 2018: Reston Town Center is pleased to present Reston’s own Sissy Sheridan as the 2018 Grand Marshal of the Reston Holiday Parade. This 14-year-old stage and screen actress is known nationally for the popular children’s series, “Chicken Girls,” hosting Nickelodeon’s “DIY with Me,” and recurring in Netflix’s “Maniac” starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. In October she’s appearing in “Billy Elliot” at Signature Theatre in Arlington.  She will lead the Reston Holiday Parade in a chauffeur-driven convertible car, and after the procession concludes around noon she’ll meet and greet fans at Fountain Square in Reston Town Center.  

“Winter Wonderland” is the theme of the 2018 Reston Holiday Parade, reflective of the frosty sparkle of the season, the twinkling, jubilant atmosphere of Reston Town Center, and its renowned Ice Skating Pavilion. Earlier in the day, from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m., tots to teens can take part in the annual Gingerbread Man Mile races with a small registration fee to benefit a children’s charity. After the parade concludes, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay for visits and photos, and Mini-Train rides will be offered on Market Street from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Clauses will return for the Tree Lighting in Fountain Square at 6:00 p.m. to begin the half-hour Sing Along of traditional Christmas songs, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. All proceeds from rides and voluntary donations for photos are received directly by local charities. Public ice skating continues until 11:00 p.m. at the acclaimed Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion, which is open every day from early November until March. (See below for the full schedule for November 23 and more holiday events.)

All activities take place at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston, Virginia 20190. Information about all holiday events at Reston Town Center – including more festivities throughout the season – is available at www.restontowncenter.com/holidays. 

Holidays are Here! – Festivities continue through the season: 

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides: Saturdays – December 1, 8, 15, 22 from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. All proceeds are received directly by local charities. $5 per person; children 5 and under ride free with adult. Departure point is 11900 Market Street, near Clyde’s.

Mini-Train Rides: Sundays – December 2, 9, 16 from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. All donated proceeds are received directly by local charities. Departure point is 11900 Market Street, near Clyde’s.

Community Performances: On weekends in December, Reston Community Center will present professional performances of music and dance by local groups at The Promenade, 11957 Market Street, at Reston Town Center. Schedules will be posted online at restoncommunitycenter.com and restontowncenter.com/events. 

Gingerbread Village at Hyatt Regency Reston: Friday, November 23 – Thursday, January 3, see the annual display in the hotel lobby. 703.709.1234  reston.hyatt.com 

Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion

The glass-sheltered outdoor ice rink is open for public skating every day, including all holidays, from November until March. Ice Skating Pavilion rates, rentals, and more information: 703-709-6300;