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For City of Manassas business owners, breakfast is on us

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City of Manassas, Prince William Chamber of Commerce team to recognize city businesses 

To thank the businesses owners and operators who choose to be located in the city, the City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber are hosting a free Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast on Wednesday, May 6, from 8 – 10 a.m. at the Center for the Arts, located at 9419 Battle Street.

“Seats are going fast,” says Economic Development Director Patrick Small. “We want to honor as many of our businesses as possible at this exclusive event.” Local businesses are encouraged to spend the morning networking and hearing from the Mayor, Council and State Economic Development Leaders. To register for the event, contact Anita Duecaster at the Chamber at 571-765-1876. Space is limited.

Each year in May the Commonwealth of Virginia pauses to recognize the many contributions that private enterprise and entrepreneurs make to the quality of life for residents. At a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II proclaimed May as Business Appreciation Month in the City of Manassas.

The City of Manassas has more than 1,400 business establishments within its boundaries and that number is growing every day. More than 14,000 people commute into the city to work each day with about 7,000 commuting out of the City. City of Manassas businesses range from new start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.

There are unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants offering a spectrum of cuisines, two breweries and a brand new distillery. The Manassas Regional Airport is home to more than 25 businesses employing more than 1,050 people. The City’s Economic Development Department partners with the Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the business community and all that they bring to the community.

The breakfast is free to one registered person per business.

This promoted post is sponsored by City of Manassas, Virginia in recognition of the many business owners who help grow and sustain community.

Why your Facebook Updater ad won’t work

How changing the text of your Facebook Updater ad can lead to great results for your business 

Street  Prince William Ice Center   Social Media Enhancer 2014Our Facebook Updater ad unit is unlike anything else in the market.

A display ad unit that links to your Facebook or Twitter pages — it gives you the opportunity to have a new ad on Potomac Local any time you want one by simply updating your Facebook or Twitter accounts. The reader is taken to either your Facebook or Twitter page after they click on your ad.

While we can count the many benefits of using the Facebook Updater ad, we’d rather focus on why it doesn’t work for some customers.

We’ve heard from various customers who’ve used the Facebook Updater, “hey, the numbers look great, it’s clear people are seeing it, but it’s just not working for me.”

For advertising and marketing to work properly, we must deliver the right message to the right group of potential buyers. The Facebook Enhancer ad unit puts the power of marketing in the hands of the business owner.

“You’re wasting your money”

Street  Nyeas Party  NyeasParty Facebook enhancedThe ad must be updated on a daily, or near daily basis for it to be effective – just as you do your social media pages – for it to be effective. If you can’t do it, we suggest you ask a friend or family member update your ad or hire someone to do it for you.

Trust us — if you buy a Facebook Updater ad and then don’t update your Facebook page, you’re wasting your money.

What’s the best way to see your Facebook Enhancer ad deliver zero results for your business? Don’t update it.

But here’s the helpful part: The ad has a built-in reminder that can email you if the text of your Facebook Updater ad goes stale. It’s just a simple reminder stating “it might be time to update your ad.”

Coming up with new content to put on your ad isn’t difficult. Talking about your business should be fun, especially if you like what you do – it’s probably why you went into business in the first place. (more…)

How General Heiser Boys and Girls Club uses Lego to teach STEM in Dumfries, Virginia

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Children at General Heiser Boys and Girls Club work as young scientists, engineers, and designers

Science is our natural world. Technology means computers and smartphones, but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Engineering is designing and building, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems.

We encounter mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms, in dealing with investments and the family budget. Every other STEM field depends on mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every aspect of our lives.

Since the beginning of the school year, the General Heiser Boys and Girls Club has been working to incorporate a Lego Simple Machines Program into the weekly program schedule. With the help of three community volunteers, we were able to get this program going in January of 2015.

The Club was able to purchase 12 Simple Machine Kits and two curriculum guides through a Grant they received from the CarMax Foundation in February of 2014. The kits were used in 2014 on Saturdays to give the members a taste of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

With the more structured program that is happening on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the members can work as young scientists, engineers, and designers. The Principle Model that is being used allows children to experience the structural principles normally hidden away inside everyday machines and structures.

The members are spending eight weeks learning about eight simple machines: a lever, a wheel and axle, a pulley, an inclined plane, a wedge, gear, and a cam. They will then spend four weeks on building activities and four weeks on problem-solving activities.

Some of the members are involved in other activities at the club that sometimes conflict with the Lego Simple Machine Program time, and they choose to come to the Lego program and miss the other activity for the evening.

“It is my favorite thing at the club,”

“I like the Lego Program because we get to learn different things and build things with our hands.”

“It is fun- It’s just like mechanical engineering- We are in small groups of about seven kids – They’re easy to work with.”

This winter/spring program has focused on 3rd through 5th grade members. The goal is to continue to expand this program, opening it up to middle school members. Then in the near future find a sponsor and volunteers to have a Robotics program.

This post is brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire.

Manassas emergency workers used a hearse to respond to calls for help

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Starting May 1, the Manassas Museum will debut their newest exhibit on the fire, rescue and police equipment used in the community. 

The museum will be hosting a reception at 6 p.m. and serve refreshments to residents looking to learn more about public safety history in the City of Manassas.

One of the unique highlights of the exhibit is the fact that back in the 1960s, responders in a hearse answered emergency response calls.

Before the first public safety group, the Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, was created in 1966, it was the Baker Funeral Home that would bring patients for medical treatment and respond to emergency scenes. 

Manassas didn’t see a modernized police and fire department structure until the 1950s, and relied on mainly volunteer services.

This exhibit, which displays the evolution of Manassas and its public safety organizations, coincides with the World Police and Fire Games, which are being hosted in Prince William County this summer.

“Our Fire, Rescue and Police personnel run into a building when others run out,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  “It is that courage and compassion for others that helps keep this City safe and well protected.”

The Manassas Museum will showcase the exhibit until July 15.

“I hope visitors and residents will come out for this exhibit. Our Police, and Fire and Rescue staff are top in their field and our volunteers are some of the most dedicated people I’ve met,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. 

This promoted post is brought to you by the City of Manassas and Historic Manassas, Inc.  

Learn, grow, have fun: Be a Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center summer camp counselor

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Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center’s Summer Camp runs for 10 weeks

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center will hire more than 50 new summer camp counselors for its summer camp session.

It’s a summer job that is so much more than a summer job. It’s a job that allows its employees to grow, face new challenges, and to have fun every single day.

The Freedom Center is looking for people who are well organized, who have held leadership positions in high school or college, or someone who can be a leader. They’re also looking for someone who has enthusiasm for making a great summer experience for a child.

“This job is rewarding because you get to learn something new every day. Your peers depend on you. And it’s fun because you can plan and do the same activities you loved as a child – whether it’s kickball, soccer, capture the flag – it’s something new on a daily basis.”
— Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center Manager Amanda Meiklejohn.

The counselors are trained extensively in safety. Counselors take their jobs seriously, especially when it comes to making the correct judgment call when working with others, and asking for help from others when they need it.

Counselors are paired with eight children and are typically paired with two to three counselors to form groups of 16-20.  

“This job will help you develop skills as a leader. And, if you haven’t had the experience yet, we strive to meet with you, train with you to help you reach different goals you have for yourself. Whether it’s communicating more effectively with your peers, speaking in front of groups, organizational skills, time management, we’re here to help.”
—  Amanda Meiklejohn.

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center’s Summer Camp runs for 10 weeks, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The dates of summer camp are June 19 to August 28.
Contact Amanda Meiklejohn for more information to apply to become a Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center summer camp counselor.

Look up, see great art in Historic Downtown Manassas

manassas art streetlight 3If you are walking or driving through Historic Downtown Manassas, make sure to look up at the light poles that line the city streets. There are 60 original pieces of art hanging from the downtown light poles.

Over the winter months, Historic Manassas, Inc. in partnership with the City of Manassas, held a Banner Art Competition. This competition was for artists from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. to create original art that, if selected, would hang from the City of Manassas’ light poles. The competition was the brainchild of Debbie Haight from Historic Manassas, Inc. who formed a small committee to make the dream a reality.

manassas art streetlight 2More than 130 pieces of art were submitted for the competition. In February, members of the community gathered to select the 60 pieces of art that would hang on the light poles. This gathering included City Council members, students, business leaders, and community members. From the 60 selected pieces of art, one grand prize winner, who will receive $1,000, will be announced at an awards presentation during the spring gallery walk on May 1, 2015.

manassas art streetlightAll summer long residents and visitors are invited to look at the banners and select their favorite for the “people’s choice” winner. In the fall, the artist who painted the people’s favorite piece will receive $500. A walking tour brochure of the banners will be available after May 1. This will have information about each piece and information on how to vote in the “people’s choice” competition.

So, the next time you are in Historic Downtown Manassas, make sure to take the time to look up and appreciate the art.

It’s time for fresh, locally grown food

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On April 9 the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market opened for the season. This is the 24th season the City’s Farmer’s Market has been delivering fresh produce and goods to residents and visitors of the City of Manassas. On Thursdays, the Farmer’s Market is located in the Harris Pavilion and on Saturdays it is located in parking lot B or the water tower lot. Both markets are open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.   In June, July and August there is a summer evening market from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Harris Pavilion.

About five years ago the City’s Farmer’s Market became a SNAP distributor by applying to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. This opened the door for people that are receiving assistance to purchase fresh fruits and vegetable from the market. In addition, Historic Manassas, Inc. has formed a partnership with INOVA, who supplied matching funds for dollars spent by SNAP recipients. The City of Manassas Farmers Market was one of the very first in this region to be able to offer this service to customers.

Jeff Adams has been selling Walnut Hill Farms poultry, eggs, pork, beef and lamb at the market for about five years. His motto is “from birth to plate, we know what we ate.” Jeff is a former biology teacher and telephone company employee. He bought his farm in 2001 after saying goodbye to corporate America.

Ron Burleson of Skyline Premium Meats has been a part of the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market for seven seasons.   Burleson and his wife, Suzy run a farm in Unionville, Virginia, where they raise calves. Ron and Suzy also maintain a greenhouse, and depending on the season, produce eggs. They raise an array of annuals; from hanging baskets to potted vegetable plants and beautiful handmade Christmas wreaths in the winter season. 

These are just two of the many wonderful vendors at the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market. Visit the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market soon!

Why is the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center Attack the Fat Challenge fun?

Freedom, fitness, challenge

Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center Attack the Fat Challenge has participants competing, laughing, joking  

The Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center’s Attack the Fat Challenge is teaching participants that the weight loss process can be fun.  Program Director Robin Frey says the team aspect of the program allows them to approach weight loss from a new perspective.

While Attack the Fat participants go into the program expecting to lose weight, what they don’t expect is how much fun they’re going to have doing it. 

“They have fun because they’re connecting with each other,” Frey said.  “They’re laughing and they’re joking.” 

Participants form teams that record group weight loss numbers in order to compete with the other teams. 

Frey says that this forces members to encourage and help teammates follow their weight loss goals.  She adds that the team aspect means trainers must also develop new ways to approach participants.

“Instinctually what happens when you get a group of people together, you’re going to see different personalities evolve,” she said.  “And as a trainer they have to take each person even though it’s a group and individually get the best they can.”

Frey says that she tries to explain to people that there are different types of fitness programs and that Attack the Fat is a weight loss driven program.

“This is specifically for anyone who has a desire to lose some weight,” she says.  “We try to look at it as a long-term process where we’re going to affect their health and their wellness and get them in a pattern of understanding the importance of exercise and how to fit it into your lifestyle, how to make it part of your life long term.”

The weight loss focus and group dynamic gives the program a reputation, Frey says. 

“We have a lot of people that repeat it.  Not necessarily because they can’t lose weight but because they lost and want to maintain or they have a lot of weight to lose.” 

The Attach the Fat Challenge runs for eight weeks.  Contact the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center for more information. 

Manassas Airshow Bringing in the Big Jets

The Manassas Airshow is bringing in Breitling Jet Team
The Manassas Airshow will take place Saturday, May 2.
This is the flattest run in the area, on the runway.
The 3rd Dimension Parachute Team.

On May 2, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Manassas Airshow is bringing in Breitling Jet Team, the largest professional civilian flight jet team. This team demonstrates aerobatics with precision, speed, mastery and style. The Breitling Team coordinates a meticulous ballet in which planes sometimes fly within three meters of each other at speeds of over 700 kilometers  per hour.

They are really a sight to see and the event is free to the public. 

Also performing this year are the 3rd Dimension Parachute Team, the American Helicopters Demonstration Team, Andrew McKenna P-51 and T-6 Aerobatics, the Flying Circus Stearman Flight, Scott Francis MXS Aerobatics, Jack Knutson Extra 300 Aerobatics, Matt Chapman CAP 580 Aerobatics, Randy Devere CJ-6 Aerobatics and there will be an RC Modeler Jet Demonstration. Along with these performers, the Manassas Airshow offers aircraft displays, military re-enactors and much more.

Also at the Manassas Regional Airport on April 26 at 7:30 a.m. runners will be getting ready to race the Manassas Runway 10K/5K presented by the Bull Run and Manassas Rotary Clubs. This is the flattest run in the area, being held on the actual runway.

The Texas Raiders B-17 will be at the Manassas Regional Airport from May 3 to 6 offering rides on their B-17, which is one of only eleven B-17 flying fortresses still flying today. On May 8 from noon to 1 p.m. 15 historically sequenced warbird formations will participate in the World War II Victory Capitol Flyover in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. While several of these majestic warbirds are visiting the Manassas Regional Airport, they will be giving tours, May 9-10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on any of these events, visit

Manassas celebrates Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3

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When you say the words “Founders’ Day” it brings back images of a kinder, gentler time when people shared stories on front porches. The City of Manassas is celebrating Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3, with restaurant specials, shops staying open late and, of course, birthday cake.

Stores and restaurants will be focusing on the history of the city and the buildings they inhabit.

This celebration is the brainchild of Councilman Ian Lovejoy. He was curious about the actual date the town was founded and in researching that date, found that the City was recognized as a town on April 2, 1873 by the General Assembly. The area was known as Tudor Hall, prior to that, until William S. Fewell, who owned the land, laid out the first six blocks and began selling lots.

The first official council meeting was held on May 17, 1873. Due to the town’s growth over the years, the town submitted a request to the General Assembly and in 1975 officially became the City of Manassas. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a half mile town concentrated along the railroad tracks, the City of Manassas grew to 10 square miles of homes, schools, shops and restaurants and more than 40,000 residents.

This Founders’ Day, come celebrate with the City of Manassas in Historic Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. The Manassas Museum will host a City of Manassas trivia contest and a book signing. Love, Charley will offer cake, The Bone will have a beer garden and City Square Café is offering a three course dinner special and encouraging diners to dress in period attire. These are just a few of the offerings for First Friday. For more offerings and information, visit

Cardinal Forest has 1,000 apartments and trusts JTC with IT infrastructure

Vanessa Zambrana is the On-Site Community Manager at Cardinal Forest, located in Springfield, Virginia.

Cardinal Forest is a large condominium association and community that manages over 1,000 condo units for its owners within Fairfax County.

Zambrana has worked at Cardinal Forest for nine years and during all of those years, Cardinal Forest has “always used” Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. (JTC, Inc.) for their services.
Recently, JTC, Inc. deployed a new server for Cardinal Forest. Zambrana was able to explain how the experience turned out for them.

“They do our monitoring of our server behind the scenes and everything and we got a notification from them that the current server we had, the software that runs the machine wasn’t going to be supported by Microsoft any longer,” said Zambrana. “So they basically told us we could use it up until the time that the support expires by Microsoft, or we could replace it, so we planned the replacement, I would say less than a year ago.”

“Our board of directors funded it through this year’s budget and then we decided, January 1, that we were going through the process to get it started.” I think Microsoft stopped supporting sometime in the summer, and we just wanted to be ahead of the game,” added Zambrana.

Cardinal Forest is professionally managed by Cardinal Management Group Inc. which also oversees residential association property management.

Cardinal Forest’s chose JTC, Inc. over other companies to an existing relationship it’s parent company had with the firm, so JTC was a natural fit.

Prior to replacing the old server, Zambrana, as well as the other staff at Cardinal Forest had to deal with slow Internet and an even slower server.

“Our old server was 10 plus years old, so everything was really slow. It would take the longest time just to open a file,” said Zambrana, “Now things are a lot faster.”

Thankfully, the process of JTC, Inc. going in and replacing the old server and transitioning to the new one, was efficient and painless to business operations.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Authorized Partner and utilizes Microsoft and Dell technology.

Manassas Restaurant Week is coming: 2-course meals for $25

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Have you been to Historic Downtown Manassas lately? Did you know there are numerous one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops?

To celebrate our culinary diversity, the Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance is hosting Spring Restaurant Week.

What does this mean for you and me? It means that from March 22 – 28 diners can have two course meals for $25 and three course meals for $35.

Each restaurant will offer restaurant specific specials during the week as well. One-of-a-kind restaurants in the City of Manassas include Carmello’s, City Square Cafe, City Tavern, Deli Depot, El Cactus, Foster’s Grille, Ground Central Station, Katerina’s Greek, Mackey’s American Pub, Malones of Manassas, Monza, Okra’s, Old Towne Sports Pub, Philadelphia Tavern, The Bone and Zandra’s.

There’s something for every taste in the City of Manassas. This is the second Restaurant Week city restaurants have offered, the first being in September 2014. The Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance was chartered to enhance the culinary experience of Manassas and to hold a Taste of Historic Manassas event every June and restaurant weeks in September and March.

The city’s newest restaurant, C.J. Finz is offering half a pound of shrimp or half a dozen oysters and a sandwich of your choice plus a glass of beer or wine for $25. Philadelphia Tavern is offering two Philly cheesesteaks and two microbrews for $25. Many of the restaurants are participation. To see all of the offerings during restaurant week, visit

This promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Proven performance of Continental Tires now at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire

Steves, auto, tire

As a Premier Auto Repair Shop in Northern Virginia, we at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire partner with suppliers that share our vision of quality. We have partnered with Continental Tires to become a local dealer.

Continental tires have a proven history of performance and quality that vehicle manufactures like Mercedes Benz and BMW demand. As an original equipment tire for Honda, Mercedes Benz, BMW Continental has proven they are up to the challenge and provide an outstanding product on several vehicle platforms.

Backed by a the Total Confidence Plan, Continental tires provide three years of flat tire changes or towing, up to 150 miles on a purchase of four new tires. Continental is so confident, they back each tire with up to a 60-day trial.

The Continental tire lineup includes tires to meet every need from a ContiSportContact 5P an Ultra high performance tire, to a Contitrac all-season light all terrain tire.

Here at Steve’s, we now have a partner to provide you the ride comfort and performance you want. As specialist in the European repair market, we know what your vehicle needs to run its best. Continental tires will provide the grip to get you there weather you drive a ultra luxury sports car, SUV, or Minivan.

Continental Tires have been in business since 1871 in Hanover Germany.  Now in 42 countries and with 73 locations, Continental tires are a global leader.

Continental tires have created some of the industry’s firsts such as the first pneumatic bicycle tires created in 1892. In 1904, Continental produced the first pneumatic tire with a patterned tread design. Also, Continental tire invented the first detachable rim in 1908 to help save time when changing a flat tire.

Manassas City Hall art exhibit: Water, water everywhere

manassas, virginia, art

Have you ever watched the Ebb & Flow of water as it laps against the bank, whether it is a river or the ocean? Photographer Hannele Lahti explores the visual fabric of life that is water in the next exhibit at The Hall at Manassas City Hall. Ebb & Flow is a photo exhibit capturing the fleeting moment when all of the variables meld together and are stilled. The exhibit opens on March 17 and runs through April 24 at City Hall, 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Virginia.

Hannele Lhati is a nationally-recognized documentary and fine art photographer who creates images that explore the wonder and fragility of the natural world. She is the owner of Hannele Lahti Photography and a contract photographer for National Geographic. As a child, Lahti grew up on a lake and learned to respect the natural world, to honor its beauty as she sat by the water’s edge with her grandfather.

Exhibits in The Hall rotate on a monthly basis and include different forms of visual art.   Visiting The Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later when evening meetings are held in the building.

manassas, virginia, art

The Occoquan Reservoir depicted in the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia’s City Hall

manassas, virginia, art

Lake Champlain depicted at the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia City Hall

Boy Scout Troop 964 model train show to offer family fun, food, merit badges

Steves, auto, tire

On March 7 and 8, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Boy Scout Troop 964 will have our 17th annual train show. Every year we hold the model train show to raise the necessary funds for troop activities.

This year’s train show will be held at Saunders Middle School, the same place we held our first train show 17 years ago. Since then it has grown to entice train clubs and people from all around Virginia!

We will have layouts for every scale, from the enormous G to the miniscule Z.

Our largest layout is the HO layout, to which multiple modular model railroad clubs and groups contribute. The layout averages over 120 personal and Boy Scout modules, containing over 500 feet of mainline track.

It takes about 45 minutes for one train to go an entire circuit. The Prince William Model Railroad Club and several others from around the area all help build and maintain the layout. The track modules range from forests and valleys to big cities, from military bases to SpongeBob Squarepants’ Bikini Bottom.

Our other giant of a layout, and probably most popular train “scale” is the LEGO layout. A local club put together this wonderful layout made entirely from LEGOs. This layout is as diverse as LEGO itself. Full of working trains, imaginative stores, beautifully built houses, as well as Raptors, Spongebob characters, and robots trying to take over the world. (more…)

First Friday March Madness in Downtown Manassas

  • Historic Manassas Inc.
  • Address: 9431 West Street Manassas, Virginia 20110
  • Website:
first friday, manassas, shop, city

Historic Downtown Manassas is going a little “mad” for First Friday. On March 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., City restaurants, retailers and the Manassas Museum are offering specials and special entertainment.

The list participating merchants is growing and can be viewed at

Each store and restaurant is selecting their own way to celebrate March with either a Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day or other March theme.

The Manassas Museum will offer free admission and 10% off at Echoes, their gift store.

The Osbourn High School String Quartet will serenade museum visitors.

There will be book signings, drink specials and much more around the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas. Come for dinner and stay to shop and explore.

Inspired by the success of the monthly event concept held in other localities, First Friday in Historic Downtown was created by the Historic Manassas, Inc. promotions committee to enhance tourism and entertainment offerings in the City of Manassas.

The initial First Friday event was held in February 2014 and has grown and evolved. Some months feature roving musicians and caricature artists, while other months feature sidewalk art, games or special foods.

Attack the Fat uses the most effective equipment in the industry

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Attack the Fat, Win, fat, fitness, freedom

The Attack the Fat challenge at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center uses a variety of different work outs to keep participants inspired and burning as many calories as possible.

Director of the Attack the Fat, Robin Frey says that for the strength component of the program they use everything from Technogym strength equipment, free weights, various weighted equipment, and many times functional body weight exercise, without any equipment.

Frey highlighted their use of TRX suspension training, which involves suspension straps weighed down by body weights. She said, “It’s very functional because you have to control every part of your movement with your body itself. You can do all different movements that require balance and stability so you’re getting a more integrated effort at that point.”

The center’s Olympic sized swimming pool is also used for strength training because of the natural resistance the water creates.

In addition to more strength based training, Frey says that they do a lot of cardio work.

“It’s by creating a metabolic effect where you’re keeping the heart rate elevated is where you’ll see calories burned,” said Frey. She explained that their goal is to create this metabolic effect, where both the heart rate and the metabolism increases.

Frey said, “Our most recent research shows us that when you bring the body up to that level and maintain it, it takes calories afterwards, a sufficient amount of calories, to bring it back to a resting state. So your body continues to metabolize and stay at a certain level after exercise.”

While the variety in these Attack the Fat workouts helps to burn calories and shed pounds, it also keeps the participants in the program engaged. With so many different resources available, trainers are able to help participants explore a variety of options for reaching their weight loss goals.

Why is Attack the Fat so successful?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Win, fat, fitness, freedom

People keep coming back to the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center’s Attack the Fat challenge. Director of the program, Robin Frey, says that it’s so successful because it utilizes all the elements of personal training, without the high cost.

“Group training in the industry itself is the driving force with training right now,” Frey said, adding, “Economically it’s more affordable. Personal training can be a little more costly.”

While some people might be concerned that they don’t get the same amount of one on one time without a personal trainer, Frey says that this is not the case with Attack the Fat. She says with teams that are maxed out at four to six people, the trainers are still able to work one on one with each of the participants.

“Quality control is still there,” Frey said. She added, “The trainer is able to watch form and technique, motivate them, and make sure everything is running correctly.”

It’s not just the personal training that makes people want to come back though. Frey says they really enjoy the community that Attack the Fat creates. Instead of working on just their own goals, participants are able to help motivate and look after one another too. “It’s more fun for them,” she said.

Manassas turned a public place into a public art space

art, city, space, virginia, artist

Manassas City Hall doubles as public art gallery  

The Hall at City Hall is open with an inaugural exhibit by the p-ART-ners, a professional network of Manassas area artists. What is The Hall at City Hall? It is the new place for local artists to display their work. When Councilman Ian Lovejoy talked to City Manager W. Patrick Pate about replacing the 1980’s artwork in City Hall at low or no cost, an idea was born.

In 2009 the City Council created an Arts and Tourism District in the Historic Downtown area of the city. With City Hall being right in the middle of the district, why not bring public art inside City Hall? Staff was tasked with learning about gallery space and making the area ready for artist displays.

Local artist Michele Frantz, Center for the Arts Gallery Director Anna Mish, and Osbourn High School Art Teacher Sarah Weaver were consulted to help with preparations for the opening. A picture railing already existed in the first floor hallway, so very little was needed to turn the hallway into The Hall.

P-ART-ners volunteered to be the first group to display their art in The Hall. The exhibit features an eclectic mix of vibrant scenery, Civil War portraits, and historic sites from more than 10 different artists. There is something for almost any taste. The exhibit runs from Feb. 13 through March 13. Exhibits will rotate in and out of The Hall and will include different forms of visual art.   Visiting The Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later when evening meetings are held in the building.

“It is our hope that this new gallery space will be a great place for the public to visit,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “Maybe it will inspire artists of the future.”

The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas under a marketing agreement with Potomac Local. (more…)

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire aims to bridge $50,000 funding gap at Boys and Girls Clubs

steves autoIn order to help keep the local Boys & Girls Clubs’ programs running, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is reaching out to the community with the Prince William County Annual Giving Campaign to raise $50,000.

“What we’re trying to do is make up a $50,000 shortfall, to make sure that the clubs can keep all of the programs for the Manassas, Dale City and Dumfries Boys & Girls Clubs,” said ST Billingsley, owner of Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire and a Board Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Prince William County.

By aiding the clubs to raise the money, they will be able to continue to offer their wide range of activities, particularly their athletics programs, Billingsley said.

At the Prince William County Boys & Girls Club’s locations, they offer basketball, volleyball, flag football, tackle football, soccer, baseball, wrestling, karate, fencing, cheerleading, and dance.

For Billingsley, supporting programs like these are crucial for the enrichment of the community and its children.

“I know that growing up, in the military, we had programs like this on base, and when I found out that this was the type of program for the kids in our area – for what it lets them do, and the opportunities that they have, and that it’s a safe place for them to go – I knew that it was the right kind of organization to support,” Billingsley commented.

In addition to the giving campaign, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has done outreach work for the clubs. They also regularly perform repairs and maintenance on the vans that the clubs use to transport children from their school and to club-related activities.

To raise funds for the campaign, Billingsley stated that individuals can donate on the Crowdrise website and that every bit helps towards reaching their $50,000 goal.

There’s even a bit of friendly competition amongst the Club Board Members to see who can raise the most funds to help benefit the clubs.

The preceding post was written by Potomac Local under a marketing agreement with Steve’s Auto Repair.

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