Despite concerns that the McLean Community Center's annual community festival would have to move to another location, “McLean Day 2006: Celebrating Our Hometown” will be held at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road, again this year.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday, May 20. Admission and shuttle service to and from the park are free.
Festival sponsors are Cox Communications, West*Group, Drs. Luposello & Marzban, DMD PC, the McLean Chamber of Commerce and Wren & Divine Fine Furniture and Accessories for Babies and Children.
Dranesville tax district residents can cast their votes to elect new members to the McLean Community Center's Governing Board at the park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Complete voting instructions and candidate information is available online at www.mcleancenter.org.
This year marks the 91st year of the community festival. In 1915, it was held in a field adjacent to Franklin Sherman School, and was sponsored by the McLean School and Civic League, Inc. The event raised funds for school and community projects.
Over the years, community organizations kept McLean Day going, until the McLean Community Center began sponsoring it in the mid-1970s. In 1988, MCC relocated the festival to Lewinsville Park.
Festival-goers will see larger and newer rides at McLean Day this year. Reithoffer Shows, the center's new carnival ride contractor, is bringing some of its most popular, “stomach flipping” rides, The Tornado, the Inverter, the Ring of Fire, Pharaoh's Fury and the Starship, to McLean.
Based in Florida and in business for more than 50 years, Reithoffer Shows has one of the highest safety and insurance ratings in the nation.
Bumper cars are another new attraction festival-goers will see at McLean Day. Two favorite rides will return this year, the large carousel and the large slide.
Other attractions include free balloon sculptures, free face painting, free pony rides and free hayrides. The Fairfax County Police Department will return with its bomb arsenal and SWAT equipment displays, and will have a new driving obstacle course for festival-goers to try out.
The stage show will begin at 11 a.m. with a performance by young dancers enrolled in MCC's Joy of Dance classes. They will perform a variety of jazz and hip-hop dances, along with some cheerleading routines.
The Safe Community Coalition's Teen Character Award Presentation will begin at 1 p.m., and will be followed by selections from C.A.S.T. in McLean's �'s Radio Hour” at 1:30 p.m.
The Great Falls Players will present selections from “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!” at 2 p.m.
Bull Run Cloggers will take the stage at 2:30 p.m. and Master Jhoon Rhee will perform a karate demonstration at 3:30 p.m.
A large expo of local businesses, crafters, civic groups and nonprofit organizations are the mainstay of McLean Day, and add the hometown feel.
This year, there will be more than 130 booths. Civic organizations that have signed up include New Dominion Women's Club, McLean-Great Falls Celebrate Virginia and the Safe Community Coalition. Local businesses include Regency Sport and Health, Cardinal Bank and Vinson Hall Corporation. Everything from stoneware, jewelry, gourmet dip mixes and pound cakes will be for sale at the many crafters' booths.
The Sun Gazette will have a prominent booth space, with plenty of giveaways for festival-goers.
The Old Firehouse Teen Center's (OFTC) Annual 8K Fun Run will be held on McLean Day at the Lewinsville Senior Center, which is located at 1609 Great Falls Street. Participants can pre-register at OFTC, 1440 Chain Bridge Road, until Thursday, May 18, for $18; the registration fee will be $20 on race day. For information, call (703) 448-8336.
Residents who plan to attend McLean Day also should plan to park and ride. All of the festival's heavy carnival rides will be relocated to the parking lot, and no parking spaces will be available.
Festival organizers have doubled the number of free shuttle buses and pick-up locations in the surrounding area.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., shuttles will run from Redeemer Lutheran Church, McLean Baptist Church, MCC and Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run, where the 18th Century Market Fair will be under way.
The festival will be held rain or shine. For more information, call (703) 790-0123 or see the Web site at www.mcleancenter.org. The center's telephone will be answered from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the festival.