Landmark Waterford Church to Get Face Lift

The Waterford Foundation and former members of Waterford's John Wesley Community Church have announced a partnership to restore and preserve the church, which is a landmark in the historic village.

The building was the center of Waterford's thriving black community from 1891 through the 1960s, but it is no longer used for regular services and needs considerable repair.

The church's one remaining trustee, Purcellville resident Sam Palmer, last week transferred ownership of the church to the Waterford Foundation, which will work with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to protect the property against inappropriate change.

Meanwhile, the former congregants and their descendants will work to complete arrangements for a nonprofit organization that eventually will take over ownership of the church and responsibility for its maintenance and use.

Program Offers Free, Sober Rides Home

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will offer free cab rides in eastern Loudoun County during the holidays in an effort to prevent drunken driving.

Residents of eastern Loudoun who are 21 or older should call 1-800-200-TAXI from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily through Jan. 2 to obtain a free ride home through WRAP's SoberRide program. Cell phone users should call #TAXI.

"During last year's Christmas and New Year's holiday weekends, nearly half of all U.S. traffic fatalities involved alcohol," said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP's executive director. "SoberRide remains one of the most viable means to ensure that all area residents stay safe on these traditionally high-risk, high-alcohol-consumption holidays.

Loudoun Yellow Cab is among local sponsors of the effort.

Great Meadow to Host New Year's Bash

The gates will open at 11 p.m. Friday for a free 21st-century celebration at Great Meadow in The Plains, capped at midnight by a huge fireworks display set to music.

In the event of rain, the celebration will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday. The festivities will include a new Fauquier history exhibit, and refreshments and commemorative gifts will be provided.

Great Meadow is at Exit 31 on Route 66. For more information, call 540-253-5000.