Reston hosts inaugural ‘Winterfest’ with lighted trail, s’mores and Santa

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Reston's 'Winterfest' (Part 1)

A new holiday tradition is about to begin in Northern Virginia.

Check out the inaugural “Winterfest” in Reston this Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.

“This is a brand new event for Reston and we are really excited,” Cara O’Donnell of the Reston Association told WTOP. “Our first ever ‘Winterfest’ is going to be a brand new, three-day family festival, just a great way to kick off the holiday season. We’re hoping that it becomes an annual tradition for the community.”

Guests will park in three parking lots at the Lake Newport Pool, Lake Newport Soccer Field and Baron Cameron Park. Free shuttles will run from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to bring visitors to Brown’s Chapel where they’ll check in.

“We do encourage people to register in advance because we’re trying to do timed entry to make sure everyone has that great experience and we don’t have too much of a bottleneck of crowds,” O’Donnell said.

You’ll then embark on nearly a mile-long lit trail through the “Enchanted Forest.”

“The Enchanted Forest is a series of holiday trees that different businesses have sponsored; they will all be decorating those trees the way they want, then those trees will be donated after the event to a family in need here in the Reston area,” O’Donnell said. “In addition, the ‘Light Up the Park’ walk has huge holiday light displays. You’ll see polar bears, penguins, Santa and his elves, all kinds of really fun, festive things.”

You’ll finish at the “Vendor Village” located at The Lake House with food, drinks and live music.

“We’ve got plenty of food trucks offering all kinds of good eats and beverages,” O’Donnell said. “We have a whole bunch of holiday craft vendors … whether you need some new decorations or a gift for someone who’s impossible to buy for. … Take your time, enjoy it, have a hot chocolate, have some s’mores, sit around the fire pit and enjoy. We want people to come together as a community and enjoy each other’s company at this new and exciting event.”

Registration is free for Reston Association members. For nonmembers, it costs $8 per child (aged 3 to 17) and $18 per adult. For an extra $25, guests may also enjoy the Santa Experience.

“If your kids are interested in getting in some one-on-one time with ‘the big guy’ before Christmas Day, make sure you register for that ahead of time,” O’Donnell said.

Find more ticket information here.

Listen to our full conversation here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Reston's 'Winterfest' (Part 2)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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