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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mason District Government Center and Police Station host Open House

You could win this 1966 Mustang.

There won't be a Mason District Fall Festival this year. Supervisor Penny Gross said, “we can’t afford to run it anymore.” But the Mason District Police Station and Mason District Government Center are inviting the public to a joint Open House Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale.

The highlight of the event will be the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club’s annual raffle for a classic cara fully restored “springtime yellow’ 1966 Mustang convertible with a black top and black interior. There will also be police demonstrations, including a SWAT truck, K9 corps, and helicopter; a moonbounce; food; police station tours; and displays featuring information about county programs.

The Mason District open house “is in no way a replacement for the fall festival. There is no connection at all,” Gross said. The Mason District has had an Open House every couple of years or so, and “we’d been planning this for last April, and weren’t able to do it in April.”

Representatives of various county agencies and Inova Fairfax Hospital will be at the Open House, “with public service kinds of things,” Gross said. But there won’t be performances, craft vendors, or rides like there were at Mason Fall Festivals of the past. And the Fire Department won’t be there either, because the firehouses will be having their own annual open houses on that day.

The raffle of a classic car, the major fundraising activity of the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club, had traditionally taken place at the Mason Fall Festival. This year, it will happen at the Mason Open House, at 1 p.m. Raffle tickets, which can be purchased online or at the event, are $25.

The annual raffle usually nets the club $80,000 to $90,000, says Ben Hester, head of fundraising and former chair of the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club. The proceeds will support a long list of charities, scholarships, and community service projects.

Last year, the Mason District Festival was canceled at the last minute because rain was predicted. The Rotary Club lucked out, because the raffle was held early, on the Sunday before Labor Day, during a gathering of the Mustang Club of America, Hester said, so when the festival was canceled, it didn’t have an effect on the club’s fundraising campaign.


  1. I think this is another sign of the lack of support for our community by Gross. Sad.

  2. All that is missing is the Gross quote "Even I'm hurting....developer kickbacks are down 20% this year!"

  3. This article should have provided more information on the dynamics as to WHY the costs of the Mason District Park Festival didn't make it economically feasible to hold this years, i.e. was it due to county budget cuts? lack of volunteer donations? was it due to increased costs? Dwindling interest by vendors? I, for one, am curious - maybe there might away for us to rally support or funds to hold it in the future. It also might enlighten some of the more snarky commentors on this blog...

  4. I agree. Maybe there could be a follow-up to this story.

  5. So where will all those running for political office in the upcoming election be gathering before Nov. 6? Seemed to be traditional for them to have booths at the fall festival and to be workin' the crowd? Will they be at this event?