An item in the Nov. 11 Briefs column gave an incorrect date for a festival in Vienna celebrating the 2004 National Capitol Holiday Tree during its stop there as it heads to Washington. The Vienna event is Nov. 28. (Published 11/18/04)

Tree to Head for Capitol

By Way of Vienna

The town of Vienna is planning a party Nov. 29 showing off the 70-foot red spruce from the George Washington National Forest in Virginia that has been selected as the 2004 National Capitol Holiday Tree.

On its way to the U.S. Capitol, the holiday tree will travel through 33 locations throughout the state, with Vienna its final planned stop before the District. The theme for this year's holiday tree is "From Virginia -- Birthplace of Presidents."

The tree is scheduled to arrive in Vienna about 4:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in front of the Freeman House on Church Street NE. The town will celebrate with a festival from 6 to 8 p.m.

Citizens are encouraged to design ornaments for the Holiday Tree and 60 to 80 smaller companion trees that will decorate U.S. House, Senate and other government buildings. The ornaments should showcase Virginia's history, natural resources, agricultural products, cultural diversity and heritage.

For design criteria, sample ornaments and entry forms, visit For more information about viewing hours and locations for the National Holiday Tree, visit For information about Vienna's celebration, call 703-255-6356.

New Connector Bus

Tailored to Teach Seniors

Fairfax Connector, the county's bus service, will unveil a renovated bus designed for showing senior citizens how to travel on the area's regional transit systems. The event is at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Lake Anne Fellowship House, Reston.

The new bus, called MATT, for Mobile Accessible Travel Training, will be used to educate seniors through hands-on demonstrations.

Travelers will identify a bus stop near their residence, and learn to read bus schedules and route maps, how to pay fares, signal a bus driver to stop and other aspects of bus travel.

The bus will take riders to a Metrorail station where they will learn how to navigate the subway system, purchase Farecards, read the system map and board the trains.

There is also a virtual classroom inside the bus with state-of-the-art technology, including audio and video components that can play VCRs and DVDs and computer-driven programs. There are three screens for viewing, two of them mounted on the ceiling of the bus.

The bus is also equipped with a wheelchair lift in the front entrance and six cochlear devices for hearing-impaired riders.

The fellowship house is at 11450 North Shore Dr. For more information or to schedule a travel training session, call 703-324-1172 or TTY 703-324-1102.

Turkeys Headed for Wilds

Of Huntley Meadows Park

The county Park Authority will release a flock of wild turkeys at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Huntley Meadows Park.

Children from Groveton Elementary School are planning to attend the release, which will also include talks by representatives from the National Wild Turkey Federation and the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The release program highlights the success and need for restoration of wild turkey populations in the United States, according to the Park Authority.

Huntley Meadows is at Harrison Lane and Lockheed Boulevard in the Alexandria area. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Meeting to Mull Moving

McLean Day Celebration

The board of the McLean Community Center will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. today to discuss moving the annual McLean Day celebration from its current location at Lewinsville Park to another site.

McLean Day, held the third Saturday in May, includes entertainment, games, rides, crafts, exhibit booths and food. The center is at 1234 Ingleside Ave. For more information, call 703-790-0123 or visit

Fairfax High School

Plans Holiday Craft Show

Fairfax High School is hosting its annual holiday craft show Nov. 20 and 21, featuring more than 300 craftspeople.

Children can have their pictures taken with Santa Claus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

Free shuttle bus service is available beginning at 9:30 a.m. from Willow Wood Plaza on Eaton Place or from Democracy Square on Layton Hall Drive.

The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 each day for adults. For more information, call 703-385-7858.

For the first time, Fort Belvoir hosted a four-star change-of-command ceremony. Lt. Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, center, a Virginia native, assumed the leadership of Army Materiel Command on Friday at Long Parade Field. Griffin, who was promoted to the rank of general before the change of command, succeeds Gen. Paul J. Kern at the head of AMC, which is headquartered at Fort Belvoir. The command, in addition to being in charge of thousands of pieces of Army equipment, provides bombs and ammunition, on-the-ground logistics assistance, food, clothing, and battle dress and other uniform items to military personnel. It also is responsible for destroying chemical weapons stockpiles.