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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Nights of Lights, Nights of Sights
    The "Noel" house on Millwood Square, at the intersection with Alogonkian Boulevard. Photo/courtesy Kathie Felix.
    From Broad Run to Lowes Island, many neighbors are lighting the extra hours of darkness with displays filled with imagination, whimsy and holiday spirit, providing plenty to see in a local winter wonderland road trip.

    This year, the displays include everything from a radiant showing of holiday lights covering two compact front yards at neighboring townhomes on Clear Spring Terrace in Broad Run (across the street from The Village at Potomac Falls), to what some refer to as Candy Cane Lane (actually Settlers Point Place near Horizon Elementary School in Cascades), where nearly every house has a large candy cane set up at the curbside mailbox.

    The Lowes Island area offers two homes that easily could land a spot on any television program about over-the-top holiday spirit. The “Noel” townhouse at 21244 Millwood Square, brilliantly visible from Algonkian Parkway, offers a dazzling display of large twirling snowflakes, penguins and more. The holiday extravaganza at 47807 Blockhouse Point (off Whitewater Drive) is choreographed to music that can be heard curbside on your car radio at 98.1 FM. While there, see if you can spot the holiday-robed Yoda in the front yard. And think about spreading some holiday cheer with a donation to the St. Anne’s Church mission programs; a donation box is set up curbside.

    If you drive a little farther down Blockhouse to 47784, the kids will get a special treat with a view of a life-size Santa keeping an eye on the street from a large picture window.

    In Cascades, on Palisade Parkway at the intersection with Canberra Drive, a huge blue-eyed Rudolph, a work of some sculptural skill, keeps a steady eye on the traffic--and the Potomac Falls post office.

    The décor is slightly more sedate over in CountrySide, which seems surprising when you consider that this community hosts an annual Holiday House decorating competition to find the best decorations at each type of home in each of its neighborhoods. The judging takes place this week, beginning at 7 p.m. on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22; expect to see plenty of lights on display.

    Some of CountrySide’s best lights can be found at 8 Turner Lane, 1 Dorrell Court, 6 Whaley Court, along Westmoreland Drive, at 15 Harrow Court and along Rutherford Circle. Things get somewhat magical at the square at the end of Chelmsford Court, where you may find a small winged horse in the front yard of one townhouse, as well as a townhouse with a cascade of water-like colors rippling down the façade to a front yard that features a peacock and more.

    Sugarplums: The Sterling Ballet Academy presents “The Nutcracker” at Dominion High School on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $18. For information, call 703-430-1001.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]

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    This is the time of year that many of us are looking for opportunities to help others in our community. If you’re wondering about your local options for volunteering and donations, keep some of these important area efforts in mind. And, remember, these programs are in place 365 days a year. Volunteers and donations are always welcome at any time.

    The Hope’s Treasures Retail Store in the Regal Shopping Center (near the intersection of route 7 and Countryside Boulevard): Whenever you have items—housewares, clothing, books, electronics and more—to donate to a good cause, this is the place to go. And, whenever you have a need for items that are very reasonably priced, this is the place to shop. The Sterling branch of Hope’s Treasures is the oldest store in the three-store retail fundraising program of the Good Shepherd Alliance, which provides help for the homeless and those in need. Information is online at

    The LINK food pantry program (collection and distribution points at various locations, including Christ the Redeemer Church on route 7 in Sterling): LINK provides emergency food to those in need in Sterling, Ashburn and Herndon. Donations and volunteers are needed for projects such as the 2014 holiday program, LINK emergency deliveries and the Lowes Island Elementary food pickup project. Information is online at and

    The Backpack Buddies program
    (at Galilee United Methodist Church at Broad Run in Sterling): This project provides weekend, summer, and holiday meal packs to students receiving free or reduced-price meals at Loudoun County schools. Each week, the Galilee team prepares more than 300 meal packs for schools in eastern Loudoun. Donations and volunteers are welcome. Information is online at (click on the “Serve” button) and

    Toys for Tots:
    The Cascades Community Association is accepting donations of new toys for the Toys for Tots campaign until Dec. 14 at the association office at 47620 Saulty Drive in Potomac Falls. For information, call 703-406-0820.

    Tree lighting: CountrySide presents its first Winter Festival Tree with a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the new gazebo at the Parkway Pool on Algonkian Parkway. The one-hour ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and features hot chocolate, cider, cookies, carol singing and a special appearance by Santa Claus. Wear your holiday brightest and warmest and bring the kids and a camera.

    Holiday cabaret: The StageCoach Theatre Company, co-founded by CountrySider Terry Smith, is now selling tickets for the company’s Christmas cabaret, “Jingling all the Way,” an evening that includes dinner and a show. Performances take place Dec. 13 at the Holiday Inn at Historic Carradoc Hall (the show begins at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.) and Dec. 14 at Oatlands (show at 6:30 p.m., doors open at 6:00 p.m.). More information is available at

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]
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    STERLING BOULEVARD: Have you been naughty … or nice?
    Every holiday, we ask our children this question; expecting the answer of "nice" knowing very well the best we can possibly hope for is "well, I can explain..." This holiday season, just like our kids, we get a mixture of activities. Most are wonderfully nice, but some are … well, you know.

    With their holiday show finished up this past weekend, you'd think that the Sterling Playmakers would get out all of their laurels and rest on them a bit. But no. They are right back into the grind with auditions this week for their new production, "Bad Girls of Western Lit."

    Compiled from plays such as “MacBeth” and “The Dollhouse,” this original production shows off women who went against the grain, and might have been a little bit naughty (in Lady MacBeth's case – a lot bit naughty).

    The Playmakers are looking for adult women and men to sink their teeth into these roles. Auditions are 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Sterling Community Center on Enterprise Street.

    The show will hit the stage Feb. 27-28 and March 1, so be sure to mark your calendars. For more information, visit

    But maybe you're looking for something nice to do with the kids?

    And what could be nicer than Santa, Mrs. Claus and some elves thrown in for good measure?

    The Sterling Community Center is throwing its lunch with Santa this Saturday, Dec. 13, for kids of all ages. The festivities kick of at 11 a.m. and go until 12:30 p.m. You'll not only have lunch, but games and crafts with your favorite resident of the North Pole. The cost is $8 for kids and $4 for parents who want their own chance to get their wish list to Santa. Space is limited, so you must register by calling the community center at 703-430-9480.

    Speaking of Santa, this is your last week to allow the Sterling Community Center to handle your letters to him. Register your child, and pay the $4 "postage" and your child will get a personalized letter from Santa, the official North Pole newsletter, elf-inspired craft ideas and much more. You must have your form in by Dec. 15. To learn more, call the community center at 703-430-9480, and ask to be put on their very nice list. They'll be sure to put in a good word with Santa for your kids.

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Eastern Loudoun Students in the Spotlight
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Holiday happenings
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Helping Military Heroes in Need
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Late fall fun for everyone
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Something to be thankful for
    STERLING BOULEVARD:  Once upon a craft show
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Share a Laugh with the Girl Scouts
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Ands, ifs and butts
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    2014 Loudoun Holiday Gift Guide

    2014 Holiday Leesburg Downtown

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