Fairfax City Ceremony

To Commemorate 9/11

Fairfax City will hold a remembrance at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans Amphitheater to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The event will feature a candlelight ceremony with music and the dedication of a memorial bench, honoring both victims of the attacks and members of the military who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The amphitheater is at 10455 Armstrong St., next to City Hall. For more information, call 703-385-7850.

Fairfax County has scheduled a similar event at 7 p.m. Sunday. Details are at fairfaxcounty.gov.

Stable, Riding Lessons

Proposed for Lorton Park

A group trying to establish horse facilities on county parkland recently released drawings of a proposed stable at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton.

Fairfax4Horses, a nonprofit organization, said the Laurel Hill stable would provide riding lessons for individuals who do not own horses. In addition, group leaders said in a news release, a permanent home would be provided for therapeutic riding and for equestrian programs geared toward disadvantaged youth.

Since 1970, 14 equestrian facilities in Fairfax County have closed, forcing residents to look for riding opportunities in other counties or to give up riding, according to the organization. The Great Falls Horse Center and Bay Ridge Stables, both of which have closed, together provided about 1,000 lessons a week.

A feasibility study conducted for the county Park Authority supported the concept of initially developing a facility for riding lessons on county parkland, with additional stables possible depending on how the first one does. To get it going, Fairfax4Horses has launched a fundraising effort in the private sector. Additional money could be available from the county through park bonds, according to the news release.

For more information, call 703-757-6412 or visit www.fairfax4horses.org.

Learn Emergency

Preparedness Skills

County school system and Red Cross officials will offer emergency preparedness courses and workshops from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at George C. Marshall High School in the Falls Church area.

Participants will learn skills for preventing, preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies for themselves, families, neighbors and co-workers, according to a news release.

Courses will include adult CPR, babysitter training, first aid for cats and dogs, disaster preparedness workshops and others.

Activities specifically designed for children feature water and pool safety, first aid, disaster and basic hygiene skills.

The cost is $10 and includes lunch. Registration is required for some courses. The school is at 7731 Leesburg Pike (Route 7). For more information, call 202-728-6400.

Public Meeting Set

On McLean Park Plan

The county Park Authority has scheduled a public information meeting Sept. 27 to reexamine the master plan for Langley Fork Park in McLean.

The 54-acre park at 6250 Georgetown Pike (Route 193) is owned by the National Park Service but is maintained and operated by the Park Authority.

A new master plan is required because the 25-year special use permit granted by the Park Service will expire in July.

The meeting, which is the first of several in the planning process over the next six months, will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Langley High School cafeteria, 6520 Georgetown Pike.

Comments will be accepted at the meeting or they can be mailed to Andrea Dorlester, project manager, Planning and Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Pkwy., Suite 421, Fairfax, Va. 22035. E-mail comments should be sent to parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Summer Reading Program

Drew $1 Million in Prizes

More than 25 organizations donated more than $1 million worth of prizes to children who finished the required number of books for the county library system's summer reading program.

The Potomac Nationals minor league baseball team, Cox Communications Inc. and others contributed through the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation to a special drawing that will be held this month.

In addition to prizes for reading, kids saw live performances by actors, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and storytellers at library branches throughout the summer.

The events were free to the public, underwritten by the Friends of the George Mason Regional Library with a donation of $30,000. Also underwriting the summer activities were the Friends of the Kings Park Library with a $5,000 donation and the Friends of the Fairfax City Regional Library, who gave $3,500, according to a news release.

Centreville Day Promises

History, Parade, Food, Fun

The annual Centreville Day will be held Sept. 17 in Centreville's historic district, near Routes 28 and 29 and Interstate 66.

A parade will open the celebration at 10 a.m. from Centreville High School, followed by a day of crafts, history presentations and entertainment. The event ends at 6.

Admission is free. Parking is available at Centreville High School, at 6001 Union Mill Rd.; Trinity Centre, on Trinity Parkway; or the AMF Bowling Center, 13814 Lee Hwy., where shuttle bus service will be available.

The night before the event, a dinner featuring Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) portraying Confederate Ranger John Singleton Mosby will be held at 6:30 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 5649 Mount Gilead Rd. The cost is $12.50 and includes turkey pot pie, field green salad, biscuits and cherry dump cake.

For more information, call 571-213-7298, visit www.centrevilleday.com or send an e-mail to glysdishd@aol.com.

Reston Event Offers Mix

Of Cultural Performances

The Reston Community Center at Lake Anne will hold its annual multicultural festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Lake Anne Village Center.

Free entertainment is scheduled in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery and at other locations in and around the plaza throughout the day. The schedule includes singers, dancers, instrumentalists and speakers, representing styles as varied as bagpipe marches and ballet.

Representing the festival's spotlight region, Central America, will be a Salvadoran ballet, musical groups, presentations on the ancient Mayan architecture of Honduras and Belize, and information on the Panama Canal.

New festival features include the Virginia Scottish Games Association, which will lead a bagpipe march and dance, and two Chinese groups, the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute, whose members will perform a lion dance, and the Silver Light Senior Association, which will present a fashion show and fan dance.

To view the entertainment schedule, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com/fallevents.html. For more information, call 703-476-4500.

Two New Ballfields Geared

To Girls' Fast Pitch Softball

Fairfax County has opened two athletic fields specifically designed for girls' fast pitch softball at Wakefield Park in Annandale, park officials said.

The fields are technically still under construction, but Tim White, deputy director of the county Park Authority, said they were complete enough to allow an international tournament to be played on them last month.

The new fields have larger seating areas and dugouts, taller fences, warm-up cages, foul poles with fair-ball screens, scoreboards and dugout covers. In addition, the irrigation and lighting systems can be operated remotely.

There are 75 ball diamonds in the county that can accommodate fast pitch softball but only 22 that have been developed to meet the specific needs of girls' fast-pitch softball, meaning they have so-called skinned infields, in which the dirt is showing, along with bases spaced 60 feet apart and 200-foot outfield fences.

For more information, call 703-324-8662.

YMCA in Reston Marks

5th Birthday With Free Fun

The YMCA of Fairfax County in Reston will celebrate its fifth birthday with free activities from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Activities will include rock climbing, a moon bounce, basketball, archery, arts and crafts, and a contest for the best clown face. The Big Apple Circus will provide strolling performers from 4 to 6 p.m. and will hold a circus skills workshop throughout the day.

The YMCA is at 12196 Sunset Hills Rd. For more information, call 703-742-8800 or visit www.ymcawashdc.org.

McLean Forum to Discuss

Proposed Zoning Changes

County planning officials said they will hold a public information meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in McLean to discuss proposed zoning changes involving yard setback requirements, building heights, minimum lot widths, fence heights and deck screening.

Based on comments at the meeting, some of the proposed changes could go forward to a formal public hearing before the county Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors next spring, officials said in a news release.

Citizens who are interested in receiving updates can sign up for a listserv subscription at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/eservices.

The meeting is at the McLean Governmental Center, 1437 Balls Hill Rd. For more information, call 703-324-1314 or 703-356-0551 or send an e-mail to dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Vienna Nature Program

Introduces Kids to Critters

Beginning Sept. 15 the Vienna Community Center will offer a series of three six-part nature programs, together called "City Critters," for 4- and 5-year-olds.

Each class will include a 20-minute field trip and other activities in which youngsters will learn about trees, birds, flowers and more.

The programs, to be presented by environmental educator Elizabeth Burke, will focus on teaching kids about the flora and fauna they can find in their own back yards.

Enrollment is limited. The cost for residents is $90, for nonresidents $112.50. For more information or to register, call 703-255-6360.

Teen Trip to Blue Ridge

Offers Sports Adventure

The Reston Community Center will host a trip Sept. 17 for teenagers to the Out of Bounds Adventure Center at Wintergreen Resort.

Wintergreen, which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will offer participants a chance to enjoy sports activities such as a climbing tower, a bungee trampoline that enables jumpers to reach heights of 30 feet, miniature golf and team paintball.

The cost is $40 for Reston residents; $60 for others. Teenagers should pack a lunch and be prepared to purchase dinner on the way home. The trip is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is geared to ages 11-18.

For more information, call 703-476-4500 or visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com.

-- Compiled by

DIANE MATTINGLY

and STEPHEN C. FEHR

An equestrian center, shown in this architectural rendering, has been proposed for Laurel Hill Park in Lorton.