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Airport Hosting Stafford Wings and Wheels

Thomas, 4, and his mother, Lisa Vice, posed for pictures in an F-4 Phantom jet while at the Wings and Wheels Festival at the Stafford Regional Airport. (File) (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. -- It’s going to be a full day of fun at the Wings and Wheels Festival at the Stafford Regional Airport.

This marks the festival’s eighth year, and it’s organized by the Stafford Rotary Club.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, military and experimental aircraft, radio controlled aircraft, a motorcycle and car show, as well as food and vendors will be featured at the airport.

A schedule of the day’s events is below.

10:00 am – Gates Open

Vendors and Displays Open • Car and Motorcycle Show Open • Airside Open

12:00 pm – Airspace Closed – Demonstrations begin

1:00 pm – Airspace Open

3:15 pm – Aircraft Awards

3:20 pm – Motorcycle Awards

3:30 pm – Car Show Awards

3:45 pm – Raffle Drawing

4:00 pm – Gates Close


Stafford County Fair This Weekend

Mountain View High School in Stafford.

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – The fair has come to Stafford once more, for the third year in a row.

The Stafford County Fair opened last night and runs through Sunday at Mountain View High School. The fair is filled with carnival rides from the Ferris wheel to bumper cars, and fair manager Gordon Shelton is selling all-you-can ride tickets good all day long from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“This is a way to bring the kids, some of them who may not be able to afford to go to Kings Dominion, and ride all day long for $20,” said Shelton. “It’s also a good boost to the economy when so many people are out of work; it’s a great opportunity where a kid can come out and be a kid.”

There are also various vendors selling jewelry, t-shirts, car accessories, and equipment, said Gordon.

The fair dates back to 1922, according to the event’s website. Drought conditions in the 1930s forced the closure of the fair, and though it but it was brought back after World War II, the last time a fair was held in Stafford was 1952.

Gordon said his family has three generations of experience in the fair business, and that’s why he decided to bring back the Stafford County Fair in 2010. Parking and admission at the fair is free.

‘Halloween’ Coming to Potomac Point Winery

Photo: Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg is gearing up for a ghoulish good time at Potomac Point Winery in Stafford. On Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, the winery and chorale group will partner to present a “Halloween on Broadway” concert.

Artistic Director at Stafford County’s Riverside Dinner Theater and Broadway veteran Patrick A’Hearn will be featured in the show.

President of the Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg Patti Kerns said Halloween on Broadway will be the group’s first performance in Potomac Point Winery’s ballroom. The event is geared toward a mostly adult crowd, although children are welcome.

In planning their first pre-Halloween performance, Kerns says the Chamber Chorale recognized how few opportunities there are for adults to enjoy the ghostly holiday in a mature setting.

The evening will begin with a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. and concert at 7:30 p.m., or guests can attend on Sunday afternoon, for a 3 pm performance and dinner to follow.

Founded in 1988 as a small ensemble, The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg is known for performing high-quality choral music in a wide variety of styles. Music selections for the Halloween on Broadway concert include pieces from Harry Potter, The Addams Family, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.

Kerns said featuring A’Hearn is something that the group has been eager to do for some time, and that this concert was the first occasion to do so.

“This concert is a wonderful opportunity for the Chorale and the community to hear Patrick A’Hearn so soon after his acclaimed performance as the title role in Phantom [of the Opera] at the Riverside Dinner Theater. Audiences will certainly enjoy the spooky selections and the beautiful atmosphere at Potomac Point – we know it will be a memorable performance for everyone,” said Chamber Chorale Director Mary Hannah Klontz.

Guests are invited to wear Halloween costumes, if they dare. Prizes, including wines from Potomac Point, will be awarded.

The $30 ticket price includes a buffet meal and the concert. Wine and desserts will be available for an additional fee.

Advance tickets are required and are available at Potomac Point Winery, Fredericksburg Visitors Center, and on-line at ccfbg.org. For more information call 540-898-0458.


Teen Shaving Head for Tumor Research

Katy Patton

My name is Katy Patton and I am raising money for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine.

Over the past six years, I have watched a close family friend of mine battle this disease, and she has been an inspiration to me.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, I will shave my head as a token of appreciation to everyone who has donated. I will hold an event at Aquia Church at 1 p.m. This event is open for anyone to attend.

Any size donation is appreciated, and as a special bonus, any donations of $100 or more will be awarded with a turn with the razor on my head!

A raffle will take place where for $5 you can be entered into a drawing to be take a turn on the razor first!

For more information on ACC and how to donate directly to UVA, please visit medicine.virginia.edu/research/research-centers/cancer-center/teampages/adenoid-cystic-carcinoma.


County Leader’s Home Has Ghostly Past

When not presiding over the Prince William Board of Supervisors, Corey Stewart is at home at his Bel Air Plantation in Dale City. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Story By

Photography by

Editor’s note: This is the third is a series of stories in October that will explore some of the more haunted places in and around Virginia’s Potomac Communities.

DALE CITY, Va. -- There is a historic mansion tucked away in Dale City with a long history – as well as a few spirits.

Bel Air Mansion is a 25-acre home that was constructed in 1740. It was first owned by the Ewell family, with one of the owners, Charles Ewell, having strong ties with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. After the Ewell family moved out, Bel Air ended up in the hands of Washington’s first biographer Reverend Mason Locke Weems.

For a long period after the Civil War, the home fell into disrepair and was abandoned, until the Flory family purchased the property in the 1940’s. Bel Air stayed in the family for several decades, until Bill Naedele, husband to one of the Flory descendants, decided to sell the mansion earlier this year.

The home was purchased this past summer by Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart.

As you would expect with the oldest manor home in Virginia, there have been more than a few reports of things that go bump in the night. The property seems untouched from its earliest days in the colonial period, complete with an old barn and a family cemetery on the property.

“We have not seen any ghosts, but what [Ann Flory] said back in the 50’s that there were many ghosts stories, including an old man who they had met, who said that when he was a young boy he came up here — and this was before the house was restored and reoccupied and when got to the house — he saw ghosts looking out at him from the windows,” Stewart said.

Many other people have stories to tell about the property, including those who have worked on and in the house.

“Some of the cleaning people, I met some of them and they came back here during the auction and they told me that there was a piano that played by itself, and it was not a player piano,” Stewart said.

People have also reported seeing people walking back from cemetery toward the house at night.

Because the Flory family lived in the home for many decades, it’s no surprise that they’ve had a few personal interactions with the spirits on the property.

“In the early 1950’s, Dr. Flory, who worked for the State Department, knew and was good friends with a lot of the diplomatic community, including the ambassador of Brazil. And the ambassador of Brazil, according to Flory, was staying in the guest bedroom upstairs and woke up in the middle of the night and saw an old woman in the rocking chair staring at him, rocking back and forth. He left the house the next morning, and would not come back,” Stewart said.

This closely mirrors a later experience a couple had, staying in the same room, where they had the covers torn off of their bed in the middle of the night.

There were two other particular experiences on the property that are sure to send a shiver up even the bravest ghost hunter’s spine. A very sad young woman, dressed in black, often wanders around the house in mourning, looking for her husband, who some believe was a casualty of the Civil War.

Many funerals were held on the property, and it was an old custom to host a funeral feast for the attendees of the time in the formal dining room. Several years ago, the Flory family entered the formal dining room, to find that the room had been set up for a funeral feast, yet no one had done so.

Overall, Stewart and others feel that the spirits aren’t malicious, but are kind and just want to remain in the home that they loved. The Stewart family said the home will continue to be preserved and cherished, with all of its history and colonial beauty.

Prince William Parkway Alive with Fall Color

Prince William Parkway

MANASSAS, Va. – It may not be Virginia’s Skyline Drive but Prince William County’s main thoroughfare is now beaming with fall color.

Bright orange, red, yellows, and green leaves adorn the trees along a five-mile stretch of Prince William Parkway between Woodbridge and Manassas. This largely undeveloped land this portion of the parkway traverses makes it a great scenic route this time of year.

Fall foliage usually peaks in this area about the end of October, making it one of the last portions of the state to experience bright fall foliage.

For drivers looking to get more than just a commuter’s view of fall leaves, nearby Prince William Forest Park offers a haven of natural beauty and history tucked away from the suburban sprawl of the Potomac Communities.

The park’s main entrance is just off Interstate 95 on Joplin Road in Triangle and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.


Find Nightmarish Fun at Fields of Fear

(Courtesy photo: Fields of Fear)

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – Not far from Interstate 66 and Centreville is a farm where scary creatures roam.

A country store that sells pumpkins, apple butter, and other fall treats greets visitors when they arrive, but it’s what’s in the nearby Fields of Fear that brings out chills and screams.

On this farm is Cornnighttmare; a twisted trail of haunts and lost souls trapped in a corn field at Cox Farms in Fairfax County. Once on this trail of terror, small sounds in the cornstalks reveal themselves as clowns with chainsaws who jump out at you, mummies rise from their tombs, and a seven-foot tall brown grizzly bear chases visitors out of a log cabin.

As the path meanders, visitors will find exits that allow for an early escape. But only the brave will walk to the end and be able to tell their tales of Halloween frights.

While it’s worth the entire $19 price of admission, Cornightmare is just one of several fall attractions at this family-friendly farm where, by day, children and their parents come to pick pumpkins. At night, actors dressed to fright fill the field and provide a good clean panic to those on the farm.

When not on the trail of terror, children and adults and grab a potato sack and slide down a large slide. There’s also a bonfire, cider, and plenty of candied treats to enjoy while inside the farm.

Basic dmission to Field of Fear is $13 and includes unlimited haunted hayrides, the slide, bonfire, and other attractions nearby. For an additional $6, Cornnightmare is included in the experience.

Cox Farms Fields of Fear is open 7:30 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in October. Tickets can be purchased online and sometimes sell out.

Workhouse Adds New Seats in Comedy Theatre

LORTON, Va. – Comedians made them the butt of their jokes, and now they’ve been replaced.

New padded seats with armrests have been installed inside the W-3 Theatre at the Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton. They have replaced uncomfortable plastic bench seating.

Once home to a children’s theatre troupe at the Workhouse, the W-3 as of late is showcasing more adult comedic humor and has attracted some of the region’s top stand-up comics – including some of TV fame – to the arts center near Occoquan.

During a comedy performance in July, one comedian promised to have new seats installed after hearing comments and, in some cases, groans from the audience about the benches.

Workhouse Arts spokeswoman Camela Speer said the new seats were planned for and did not come in response to any jokes about the old ones.

“The original bench seating that was installed was the incorrect product, but replacements took time to schedule installation,” said Speer.

The arts center hopes the new seats will open up even more live entertainment possibilities. The comedy shows at the Workhouse all sold out during the summer months.

The next Lorton Workhouse Comedy Showcase will feature comedian and WJFK Radio talk show host Danny Rouhier on Friday Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show can be purchased online.


Saturday’s I-Walk Benefits ACTS in Dumfries


DUMFIRES, Va. – A Dumfries church will hold a walk to help families in need.

Image Church once again this year will hold I-Walk on Saturday at Merchant Park at Cameron and Duke Streets in Dumfries on Saturday. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the 2 and a quarter-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m.

All of the proceeds raised from registered participants will go to benefit ACTS of Prince William County. For every two I-Walk registrations received, the church will help ACTS to provide housing for one person for one night.

“It’s very eye-opening to realize that the things we can so easily take for granted like shelter and food so many people in our community are without. Participating in I-Walk is an easy and fun way that we can make a direct impact for families struggling to make ends meet,” said Image Church Deconess Kate Shifflett.

A $25 registration fee will be charged for those ages 25 or younger, a $30 fee will be charged for those aged 30 and older.

A free community festival will follow the walk featuring music, moon bounces for children, family crafts, and a video game van.

Image Church located 17650 Possum Point Road in Dumfries launched the I-Walk event last year in an effort to support ACTS.


Civil War Soldiers Never Left Stone House

(Photo: Manassas Battlefield)

Editor’s note: This is the second is a series of stories in October that explores some of the more haunted places in and around Virginia’s Potomac Communities.


MANASSAS, Va. – When you hear about the Civil War you’ll often hear about the massive death toll, the carnage and the name of famous sites like Gettysburg, Pa.

But for those living in the Potomac Communities who want a taste of Civil War history, look no further than Manassas Battlefield National Park.

This theatre of war 25 minutes west of Woodbridge was site of the First and Second Battles of Manassas, and between 1861 and 1862 it was a launching point for the careers of several noted Civil War figures including Stonewall Jackson, Sherman and Custer.

(Photo: Manassas Battlefield)

And while this may have been the place of career-making battles, it was also the site of the death and wounds of more than 21,000 soldiers.

And according to several visitors and people involved with the Manassas Battlefield – some of these soldiers never left. Many people claim that they’ve seen ghostly spirits walking the grounds, and that they’ve heard sounds that mimic the sounds of gunshots.

“Of the structures themselves, the one that probably has the greatest association with ghost stories is the stone house. That big stone house was here at the time of the First and Second Manassas battles, it was used as a field station and it had all of the horrors associated with medicine in the Civil War era, particularly in the war. It was very ill thought out and ill prepared to handle the types and numbers of wounds that soldiers suffered, so obviously there would have been amputations and worse at this aid station,” said National Park Service supervisor Ed Clark.

(Photo: Manassas Battlefield)

In this stone house, on the second floor, there is also a Civil War story that is tied in with the home, as two gravely injured soldiers carved their names into the floorboards. The names are still visible in the floor of the house today.

While the Park Service has not yet been able to find a piece of irrefutable evidence of the ghostly encounters on the Battlefield, there are still several signs that the soldiers of First and Second Manassas have no intention of being forgotten.

“We often joke here at the Battlefield; we call it the ‘Vortex of Manassas’. Anytime something goes wrong, we find it going wrong in an extraordinary fashion and a grand example of that is our 150th anniversary last year. And the four days of our events were the four hottest days on record on the East Coast,” Clark said.

Have you had any experiences or photos that you’ve taken at the Manassas Battlefield? Share them with us!


Spooky Laser Lights Show coming to Planetarium

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Be prepared to see some spooky laser light in the night sky inside a planetarium in Woodbridge.

The planetarium at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge will hold Halloween-themed laser light shows this month. The visual effects during the shows will be paired with music from artists like Michael Jackson, Metallica, Boris Picket, The Who, Will Smith, Weird Al, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper.

Three shows will be held each Friday night Oct. 12, 19, and 26 at 6, 7, and 9 p.m. The late show will include louder music and will feature some “Halloween spirits” that may be on the loose inside the planetarium.

“A misconception is that the only think you learn about in planetarium is about space or Astronomy,” said planetarium Tony Kilgore. ”For this particular event it’s not a learning experience at all, but a fun night out. But even with that mindset through the year the planetarium does shows on the origins of life and even an underwater adventure show.”

Tickets for this show are $10 at the door. This funds collected allow the planetarium to purchase new programs shown to students at 95 schools in Prince William County that visit the planetarium.

Kilgore said the 9 p.m. is usually full, and he encourages all show-goers to arrive at least 20 minutes early to get a seat. Advance ticket sales are not offered for this event.

In addition to Halloween shows, the planetarium also hosts laser light shows in December and host Rock N’ Roll laser shows over nine nights in April.

Escape Plans Urged for Fire Prevention Week

If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.

That’s why OWL VFD is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

 In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

“One home structure was reported every 85 seconds in 2010,” says Chief Jim McAllister, of OWL VFD. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”

OWL Volunteer Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:

· Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.

· Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.

· Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.

· Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.

· Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at firepreventionweek.org.

Thai Restaurant Delivers Spicy Start, Sweet Finish



With selections that rival Cheesecake Factory long menu , Pa Nuang is sure to please Thai food lovers and those new to the cuisine.

The interior is cozy, with several tables and benches and a dark purple color on the walls. Best of all, the restaurant is clean, and there is a view of the kitchen from the cash register or from the open door to the prep area, if you feel the need to check, as I often do. The wait staff is attentive, friendly, and eager to please.

Orders are available for takeout or dine-in, and in the warmer months, there are some patio seats that adds a nice ambiance.

Starters include the Tom Yum Soup, lightly spicy, sour, and sweet at the same time. Also delicious is the Som Tam Salad, a mix of thin noodles of green papaya, peanuts, green beans and tomatoes. Fried tofu, for those that have never tried the soy side of things, is crispy and delicious dipped in the accompanying sweet chili sauce.

For those new to Thai food, a staple is Pad Thai: noodles fried with egg, scallions, meat or tofu of choice, fish sauce, peanuts, and bean shoots.

Be sure to use the limes that come as garnish to add a little acidic contrast to a slightly sweet, but very satisfying dish. Drunken Noodles are another Thai food staple that are delicious at Pa Nuang, but be sure to specify “American Spicy” if you would like just a little bite.

Thai spicy is for those with a much braver palette, but the noodles are intended to help wake you up after a night of drinking, and are quite good with the extra spice.

Beef with Basil and Peppers is also fantastic and comes out with a bowl of fragrant jasmine rice, or you can substitute steamed noodles, if you prefer.

If you’re looking for a child-friendly option, Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken comes with crispy fried chicken pieces served with a sweet sauce that includes pineapple, bell peppers, and cucumbers, which are actually quite good cooked- who knew?

After several trips to this restaurant, I have yet to have anything I dislike, and plan on returning again and again. The prices range from $ to $12 per entree, and the servings are more than ample to share.

North Stafford Comes Together for Neighborhood Meet-up

Attendees of the first Garrisonville Neighborhood Networking Meet-up came together at Mainstreet Grill and Bar on Tuesday. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – More than 30 people came out to the first Garrisonville Neighborhood Networking Meeting on Tuesday at Mainstreet Grill and Bar.

The meet-up was the first of its kind for the neighborhood and brought together area residents, business owners, and news media together in an effort to build better relationships with the community.

Those who dropped their business card into the raffle were made eligible to win a free lunch from Mainstreet Grill and Bar.

The first in a planed series of networking meet-ups, the next Garrisonville Neighborhood Networking Meeting is scheduled for Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 6. Bar and grill owner Crissy Sharon said those who come to the meet-up wearing an “I voted” sticker will be eligible to win a prize.

Tuesday’s event began at 4:30 p.m. and lasted until 7 p.m., and free appetizers were provided by Adaptive Consulting and Training Services. The event was sponsored by Mainstreet Grill and Bar and PotomacLocal.com News and Events.

PotomacLocal.com Publisher Uriah Kiser and Mainstreet Grill and Bar Owner Crissy Sharon talk about the importance of community building in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Sentara Lake Ridge Holds Successful Drug Take Back

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – On Saturday, Sept. 29, Sentara Lake Ridge partnered with the Prince William County Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in their Fifth Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Sentara Lake Ridge collected 301.1 pounds of prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications, and Prince William County as a whole collected a total of 1,081 pounds.

Many thanks to officer Kim Sawicki, Crime Prevention Officer, Mr. John Nagel, Crime Prevention Specialist, and DEA Agent, Art Miller, for being onsite at Sentara Lake Ridge to provide this important service to the community.

Sentara Lake Ridge is located at 12825 Minnieville Road near Tackett’s Mill. Services provided at that Sentara location include 24-hour emergency care, advanced imaging and lab services.


Manassas Fall Jubilee This Weekend

Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


MANASSAS, Va. – The leaves have started to change and the evening air has a slight chill. It is time to officially say welcome to fall.

The whole family is invited to celebrate the 30th Annual Fall Jubilee in historic Old Town Manassas this weekend, Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.. This popular community event has been going strong since 1982.

The jubilee has something to offer everyone in the family. There will be live entertainment on three stages for the young and old. A blue grass stage is a new addition this year.

Also new this year, is a wine garden where adults 21 years or older can partake in wine tastings from eight Virginia wineries on the Manassas Museum lawn. The entrance bracelet is $10 and will get you in all day. Museum tours will be free this day.

In addition, Main Street will be lined with over a hundred crafters and artisans to explore. The Farmer’s Market will also be present under the Harris Pavilion where you can buy fresh produce from local farmers.

There will be a variety of children’s rides and activities as well in the Kid’s Neighborhood sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union. Rides will require tickets for a fee. Games will also be provided by the Boy Scouts Troop #670. A pumpkin patch sponsored by Wegman’s grocery store will also be set up for families to paint a pumpkin to take home. Cost is $5 per pumpkin or $10 for three pumpkins.

Live chainsaw art demonstrations by the Chainsaw Chix will entertain the crowds. These women will create unique wooden sculptures that will be auctioned off later during the event.

Also on hand, will be the Prince William SPCA’s P.A.W. Express showcasing pets from the Prince William County Animal Shelter.

The Fall Jubilee is free to the public and is scheduled rain or shine.

Manassas Hotel Keeps Frightening Guest

Old Town Manassas (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Editor’s note: This is the first is a series of stories in October that will explore some of the more haunted places in and around Virginia’s Potomac Communities.


MANASSAS, Va. – Manassas is a small city teeming with landmarks and a harried history that dates back to before the Civil War. One of these historical landmarks, the Olde Towne Inn, has its share of haunted history and paranormal activity that will make even the biggest skeptic a believer.

The Olde Towne Inn on Main Street in Old Town Manassas has been a local hot spot for residents to grab a bite or a drink, or for tourists staying in the Washington area. And while people may have come to expect great service and a good night in Manassas, what they may not expect is a ghost showing them a good time.

Inn employees and guests alike have reported strange sounds and sites on the property, with many of the reports coming from rooms 50, 52 and 54. One recent report of activity took place in room 54 at the hotel.

“The wife reported the sound of something crashing to the bathroom floor, but said when she and her husband rushed to the door, absolutely nothing was broken. Although they felt uneasy, they tried to get some sleep,” said Lisa Sievel-Otten of the Manassas Museum.

While they may have tried to shrug it off, the spirit had other ideas, waking the couple by tugging on their mattress, which immediately alerted the couple, who searched the room to find it empty. Their initial reaction was that it may have been an animal in the room but could find nothing. Again shrugging off what had happened, the wife returned to the bed where she witnessed her husband levitating, before falling on to the floor from the bed.

And who is the ghostly perpetrator responsible for these reports? Many believe it to be from a Miss Lucy, a young and playful spirit from the time of the Civil War – a key time period in Manassas’ history.

The next morning, the couple reported the occurrence, and the staff replied, “‘Oh, that’s Miss Lucy up to her old tricks. She usually stays in Room 52, but sometimes she wanders into rooms nearby,’” said Sievel-Otten.

Was this the presence of a Civil War period other-worldy spirit, amusing herself by interacting with guests? Or is it simply an overreaction to a long night and a need for rest? Take a trip to see the Olde Towne Inn, and you may be able to discover the truth for yourself.

Want to hear more about the local haunts of Manassas? Then consider taking a Spirited Past Tour during the Halloween season, hosted by the Manassas Museum. The tours will take place at the end of October.

Woodbridge’s Chinn Library Prepares for Big Party

Kitty and the Fat Cats

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – This will be one of the very few times you don’t have to be quiet in the library.

A live band will take the stage at a party planned at Chinn Park Regional Library in Woodbridge to raise money and awareness for Prince William County’s 10 libraries.

The party is called “Blue Jeans and Diamonds in the Stacks with Kitty and the Fat Cats,” and it’s an effort to bring together at least 200 residents for a night of live music, dancing,  food, fun, and celebrity bartending.

“We’re calling it a party in the stacks, and the reason for that is gala implies formality, and we don’t want people to think about it in that way,” said Prince William Library Foundation President Bryanna K. Altman.

At the party, revelers will find barbeque, chicken, a special beer tasting, a silent auction, and celebrity bartenders like Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, Prince William County Supervisors Maureen Caddigan, Frank Pirncipi, and Mike May, and Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson.

There will also be live music from Kitty and the Fat Cats, a five-member rockabilly jazz and blues band with roots in Northern Virginia.

While Prince William’s libraries receive nearly $14 million in annual taxpayer funding, the monies raised at this event and others offset unbudgeted expenses, said Altman. Additionally, an army of 500 volunteers who work at the county’s libraries also help to save taxpayers $750,000 annually, she added.

A cash bar will be available to guests, and so will various silent auction items like a one-hour helicopter tour ride over the Shenandoah Valley donated by American Helicopters, and a pie each month donated by Occoquan’s Mom’s Apple Pie, a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama.

In addition to sponsors like the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Dominion Power, and Whitlock Wealth Management, Quinn’s Goldsmith has donated a pair of diamond earrings that organizers, through the sale of raffle tickets, hope will help net $25,000 in donations to the foundation.

The Prince William Library Foundation was formed in 1997 and holds a fundraiser every year.

The party kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 and tickets are $75 per person. The deadline to RSVP for tickets is Oct. 13

Triangle’s St. Francis of Assisi Goes Green


TRIANGLE, Va, – New Jersey-based GreenFaith, an internationally recognized interfaith environmental coalition, has accepted St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle into its certification program, the country’s first interfaith environmental certification program for houses of worship.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish is the first house of worship in Virginia to enter this prestigious certification program.

Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples gain recognition as environmental leaders when they receive GreenFaith certification by carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities over two years. From eco-themed worship services and religious education on the environment, to reducing consumption in their buildings and engaging in environmental justice advocacy, participants “green” their communities. When congregations complete the program, GreenFaith officially acknowledges them as religious-environmental leaders.

“In the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, our parish community is called to manifest a reverent attitude toward our environment, recognizing it as God’s creation,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “Based on our Christian faith and the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi, we can make our lifestyle more sustainable by the choices we make.”

GreenFaith provides extensive support to participating institutions through a special Web site, housing more than 200 resources, free webinars, and an online community where participants share strategies and successes. GreenFaith staff and program mentors guide participants through the program, providing one-on-one feedback and assistance.

“This program is a challenging, important way for houses of worship to become environmental leaders,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “As Saint Francis of Assisi Parish goes through the program, its members will experience the transformation that comes from sharing a religious commitment to creation.”

The GreenFaith program at St. Francis of Assisi Parish is structured into four committees: Spirit, Stewardship, Environmental Justice, and Communications. Through environmentally themed worship, religious education, and spiritual activities, the Spirit Committee celebrates creation and strives to strengthen parishioners’ connection with the earth.

Our consumption habits can help heal and restore the earth, so the Stewardship Committee identifies opportunities for our parish and parishioners to reduce their impact on the environment. The work of the Environmental Justice Committee reflects GreenFaith’s commitment to fighting environmental injustice by educating on this topic and advocating for local and global changes that create a healthy environment for all people.

The Communications Committee ensures that both internal church members and the wider community are informed about environmental issues through church newsletter articles, eco-theological reflections, and press releases.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is part of the Diocese of Arlington, and was established in 1957 to serve the military community at Quantico Marine Base. For more information on the GreenFaith program at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, contact Rob Goraieb at rgoraieb@stfrncis.org or 703.221.4044, ext. 228.

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org) inspires, educates, and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. For more information on the GreenFaith Certification Program, contact Program Director Stacey Kennealy at skennealy@greenfaith.org or 732.565.7740, ext. 303.

-Press release 

Storytime Kicks Off Fall Library Programs


(Central Library Youth Services Supervisor Elizabeth Jones engages children with a felt board activity. (Photo: Angela Pounders)

MANASSAS, Va. – Central Library kicked off their fall children’s programs for ages 2-6 years old on September 13 with films on three classic children’s books including Harold & the Purple Crayon. Free popcorn and lemonade were provided to the 55 people in attendance.

At the conclusion, the librarians passed out papers to the children for them to draw their own pictures with a purple crayon. These pictures can be brought to any story time held in September to be entered in a contest to win a “Harold’s Purple Crayon Treasury.”

Youth Services Librarian Anna Langrill, was there at the event and said, “We’re thrilled to be starting our fall programs. Through the story times and other programs we offer, we introduce children to books, music, art and help them develop critical early literacy skills. We also have lots of fun!”

Muncha Muncha Books, a weekly story time program held on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:45 a.m. began September 19th. The theme is “Stories Every Child Should Know.”

In addition to engaging books, a craft or movie will be offered on alternate weeks. Anna said that the movies were introduced because some classic books are just too long for this age group to sit through, but they’ll sit through a movie of the stories.

There is no registration for story time, but you must pick up a craft stick (limited to 24 children) from the Information Desk in order to do the craft, so arrive a little early.

Central Library also offers Music and Motion every other Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. starting September 18. This year old program had 61 people drop-in. The children (and their adults) sang, waved bandanas to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and danced.

Get out and experience all your library has to offer!

Mark Calendars for North Stafford Meet Up

Mainstreet Grill and Bar in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Come out and meet your neighbors on Tuesday, Oct. 2 in North Stafford.

PotomacLocal.com is sponsoring the next in a series of neighborhood meet ups at Mainstreet Grill and Bar on Garrisonville Road from 4:40 to 6:30 p.m. Light appetizers will be provided by Adaptive Consulting and Training Services for all attendees.

MORE TO THE STORY: See a video from PotomacLocal.com’s last neighborhood meet up

This latest neighborhood meet up comes after several successful, widely attended neighborhood meet ups in the Potomac Communities.

“The meet ups are a great time to come out and meet neighbors, local business owners, local politicians, and have great discussions and lots of laughs,” said PotomacLocal.com publisher Uriah Kiser.

This marks the first time PotomacLocal.com has sponsored a meet up in North Stafford. The North Stafford meet up will become a regular monthly event.


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