Story by Shelley Deutch and Lauren Crum; photos by Robin Thurman
Some 400 local residents, community representatives and volunteers on Aug. 14 attended the second annual “Oakton Day in the Park,” held in Oakton Community Park on Hunter Mill Road.
With the backdrop of music from local performer Chris Devine, attendees enjoyed a wide range of activities. Children painted rocks, played bean-bag toss and flew wood gliders.
Adults and youth enjoyed seeing the inside of the historic Oakton schoolhouse, built in 1897, and hearing the schoolhouse’s history from a Girl Scout working on her Gold Star award.
Invasive-plant specialists led attendees on guided walks through the woods, which over the past year have been made increasingly free of the non-native vines and plants that once choked them.
The Friends of Oakton Library was represented, selling books to support the library. New this year, Settle Down Easy Brewing sold some of its local brews and Luciano’s Pizzeria sold pizza slices and cannoli. The event also drew a face-painter and various representatives from local nonprofits.
Oakton Day also was marked by the launch of the first-ever Oakton Community Directory, a guide to local businesses and government services. The Greater Oakton Community Association (GOCA) published the directory and organized the event. Both were intended to build a sense of community, promote local businesses and showcase the promise of the park and schoolhouse as resources for Oakton.
Beyond this event, GOCA has been working with the Fairfax County government to make the schoolhouse more frequently accessible and to try to extend the sidewalks that reach it so that this historic building once again can serve as a community gathering spot, much as it did in its early years.