Family & Pets

Fairfax Festival Preview

June 2, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Guapos.com

Photo Credit: Guapos.com

celebrate fairfax Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Celebrate Fairfax
Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, VA 22035
(703) 324-3247
www.celebratefairfax.com

Price: $12 adult/$5 children ages 2 to 10
Dates: June 8-10
Hours: Fri – 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Started as a local fair in the colonial late 1700s, the Celebrate Fairfax remains a true commemoration of Fairfax County’s communities. With a reputation as one of the best festivals in the D.C. area, it sees an increasing number of sponsors and volunteers every year. More than 1,500 volunteers work this family friendly event, as do nationally acclaimed artists, and it boasts more than 90 concerts on eight stages, a carnival and award-winning programs this year.

Parking
There is limited parking across the street from the festival, so coordinators highly recommend festival goers take the free shuttle buses near the Fairfax Shopping Center and Fair Lakes Circle via Fair Lakes Parkway. Look for shuttle bus parking signs, it will save time and aggravation.

celebrate fairfax children playing Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Big Events
ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue

www.celebratefairfax.com/

Price: free with festival admission
Hours: Fri – 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A perfect place for kids 12 years and younger, ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue revolves entirely around education and imagination, including a wonderful petting zoo, trackless train, hay rides and the Busch Garden’s Children stage. With better-than-ever entertainment this year, standout entertainers include Reptiles Alive, Animal Ambassadors, Rocknocerous, Brad Matchett’s Magic 4 U and the illustrious The Great Zucchini. Animal Ambassadors and Reptiles Alive will exhibit animals for show and tell as well. Expect highlights including an albino reticulated python and a blue-tongued skink. From musical sets to magic programs, these performances are not to be missed this year.

celebate fairfax extreme zone Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Extreme Zone
fairfax2015.com/

Price: free with festival admission
Hours: Fri – 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For the first time this year in Extreme Zone, Celebrate Fairfax will host 32 teams in a dodgeball tournament presented by the Fairfax 2015 World Police and Fire Games. Form a team, or just snag a seat to watch this awesome display of hard-hitting fun. Prepare to get wet at the Water Balloon Battle Station, and hope for a scorcher to dry off quickly and play another round. Don’t forget to try the Go Racers: motorized carts designed to look toilets competitors race around an inflatable track.

silent disco Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Silent Disco and Ontap Beer Garden

Price: free with festival admission
Hours: Fri – 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

New this year, the Silent Disco at the Ontap Craft Beer Garden offers two DJs spinning records and special wireless headphones for partygoers to listen in and switch up the mix whenever the mood strikes. When the dancing starts, Silent Disco becomes a hilarious crowd of dancers who all appear to be … dancing to their own rhythm. Because the Silent Disco is only played in the evening after 7 pm, the Beer Garden will offer other musical entertainment during its open times. Expect craft beer and live acoustic music by local favorites. Listen to Shane Gamble, nominated for a Washington Music Area Award for best modern rock vocalist will be performing at the Beer Garden. On Saturday, the 2nd Annual Rock the Look W Salon Fashion and Beauty Show at 6 p.m. is one partygoers shouldn’t miss.

legwarmerspromopic 289x183 Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Bud Light Main Stage

Price: free with festival admission
Hours: Fri – 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Celebrate Fairfax boasts something for every age group when it comes to musical entertainment this year as well-known entertainers grace the stage every night. On Friday, it is the Legends of Hip Hop featuring Digital Underground, Rob Base, Young MC and Flavor Flav. Expect “The Humpty Dance,” “It Takes Two,” “Bust A Move” and other popular tunes all day long. On Saturday, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will grace the stage. Benatar will rock the Bud Light Stage with her most popular songs, which include “Love is a Battlefield,” “We Belong” and “Heartbreaker” Saturday at 8 pm. The Leg Warmers, an ’80s tribute band will close out the festival on Sunday.

extremeride 248x175 Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit: celebratefairfax.com

Carnival and Kidway Midway

Price: varies
Hours: Fri – 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Celebrate Fairfax has partnered with Amusements of America to provide this year’s Carnival and Kidway Midway. One of the newest areas of the festival, this one is designed specifically for young kids, with rides will keep them entertained all day. For thrill seekers, try the Extreme or Ring of Fire, but one of the most popular, the Crazy Mouse Coaster, also offers tons of fun. The best ticket savings is to buy tickets online or buy the $25 ticket at the door, which will allow unlimited rides all day.

Lodging

stafford house Fairfax Festival Preview

Photo Credit:staffordhouse.com

Stafford House Bed and Breakfast
3746 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 385-9024
www.staffordhouse.net

Price: from $258

Situated in the heart of Fairfax, Stafford House Bed & Breakfast is the perfect getaway from home. All of the rooms are luxuriously decorated with comfort in mind, and its sauna promises great relaxation after the festival. In the morning, wake up to a hot steaming breakfast in your room at your request.

Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel
430 Maple Avenue West
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 281-2330
www.viennawolftraphotel.com

Price: from $128

Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel, a small, modern family friendly hotel in Vienna, offers free continental breakfast and WiFi in its affordable hotel rooms. Friendly hotel staff make the stay enjoyable, and nearby Wolf Trap National Park and Jammin’ Java offer distractions when the festival is over.

Dining
Guapos
13050 Fairlakes Shopping Center
Fairfax, VA 22033
(703) 818-0022
www.guaposrestaurant.com

Guapos, an authentic family owned Tex-Mex restaurant has been an area favorite for years. This family friendly restaurant offers mouth-watering rotisserie chicken, chimichangas and the carne asada to die for. The taco platter is a huge success among young children.

Blue Iguana
12727 Shoppes Ln.
Fairfax, VA 22033
(703) 508-8108
www.theblueiguana.com

Try Blue Iguana for a quick bite for lunch or stop by for a nice dinner. Taste the calamari appetizer with spicy sauce or huge wings, they both come highly recommended. Its best deal is its Sunday brunches, which include eggs iguana, a delicious combination of poached eggs, crab cakes and hollandaise sauce.

Related: Washington, D.C.’s Best Stuff for Infants and Toddlers

Carly Mannava is a freelance writer living in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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