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prince william living April 2015

The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

LOCAVORES Keeping It Fresh PAGE 4

Jiffy Lube Live: Where the Stars Come to Play PAGE 12

Truth and Beauty: Prince William Master Gardener Program PAGE 14

table of contents April 2015 Vol. 5 No. 4

FEATURE STORY Locavores: Keeping It Fresh ..................................4

DEPARTMENTS from the publisher..................................................3 advertiser index......................................................3 on a high note Woodbridge Flute Choir: A Legacy of Musical Excellence ............................10

4 Photo by Linda Hughes

destinations Jiffy Lube Live: Where the Stars Come to Play ..............................12 giving back Truth and Beauty: Prince William Master Gardener Program......................................14 taking care of business Carlos Castro: A Study in Perseverance and Community Vision........................................18 family fun Plant It for the Planet ..........................................20

18 Photo by Robert Jinks

local flavor Dixie Bones: Southern-Style BBQ at Your Service......................................................26 calendar ..............................................................30 lifelong learning Mason’s Serious Game Institute: Where Business is the Name of the Game ............34 tambourines and elephants And We Wait‌....................................................35


26 Photo Courtesy Dixie Bones

health & wellness ................................................16 home & hearth ....................................................24 your finances ......................................................28 Discover Prince William & Manassas ..............31 prince william living April 2015 | 1

The premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas

Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes Contributing Writers Amanda Causey Baity, Sudha Kamath, Stacia Kelly, Ann Marie Maher, Olivia Overman, DeeDee Corbitt Sauter, Tracy Shevlin, Michael Spiro, Niki VanEch, Dan Verner, Marianne Weaver, Bennett Whitlock, Emma Young Editor in Chief Emily Guerrero Copy & Production Editors Peter Lineberry, Dan Verner Photo Editor Amanda Causey Baity Photographers Amanda Causey Baity, Mark Gilvey, Linda Hughes, Robert Jinks, Kathy Strauss Marketing Director Amanda Causey Baity Graphic Design and Production Alison Dixon/Image Prep Studio Online Submission Manager Paul Keily Advertising Account Executives Michelle Geenty, Ashleigh Murray Prince William Living, the premiere lifestyle magazine of Prince William and Greater Manassas, is published monthly by Prince William Living, Inc. The opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Prince William Living. Š Copyright 2015 by Prince William Living, Inc. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced or translated without written permission. Visit the Prince William Living website at for reprint permission. Subscription rate is $15 (Continental U.S.) for one year. Change of address notices should be sent to Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes at Reprints and Back Issues: To order article reprints or request reprint permission, please visit the Prince William Living website: Order back issues by emailing Prince William Living Publisher Rebecca Barnes at For further information about Prince William Living, visit, or contact Prince William Living at (703) 232-1758. 2 | April 2015 prince william living

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from the publisher Eat Local


pril is finally here and with it, warmer weather. For those that don’t frequent the winter farmers markets, this might be the first time all year that they venture out for food grown at nearby farms. In this month’s feature (page 4), Marianne Weaver talks to area “locavores” about why the trend of buying food produced close to home is growing, along with simple ways to add more locally sourced ingredients to your meals. If you care to grow your own food, learn more about how to provide for your table and even for others in April’s “Giving Back,” by Dan Verner (page 14), featuring the Prince William Master Gardener Program. Under the management of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, this group of 200 volunteers does much to nourish our community—from offering instruction through a Teaching Garden Program, where they demonstrate how to plan a garden, rotate crops and grow plants, to collecting fresh garden vegetables for families in need, the Master Gardeners. If gardening isn’t your thing, but fresh produce is, read about Todos Supermarket, founded by husband and wife team Carlos and Gladis Castro, in “Taking Care of Business” on page 19. Tracy Shevlin talks to Carlos about his successes, challenges and plans for continued growth.

Advertiser Index ACTS ..........................................................................................36 Ameriprise–Whitlock Wealth Management ............................28 Apple FCU ................................................................................28 Best Western Battlefield Inn ......................................................9 Beitzell Fence ............................................................................29 Boys & Girls Clubs..............................................................33, 36 Brennan’s ....................................................................................8 Camp Adventure ......................................................................33 Candy Art ..................................................................................32 CAP Accounting, LLC................................................................29 CASA..........................................................................................36 City of Manassas Park—Parks & Recreation ..........................32 Crossfit Agathos..........................................................................9 Dance Etc.....................................................................................9 Discover Prince William & Manassas......................................31 Edgemoor Art Studio................................................................36 Emeritus at Lake Ridge ............................................................22 Frugal Rooter/Plumberologist..................................................31 FURR Roofing..............................................................................9 Greater Prince William Community Health Center ..........23, 36 Historic Manassas, Inc. ............................................................21 IKEA ..........................................................................................25 Inova ..........................................................................................17 Imagewerks ..............................................................................36 Jabs Construction ................................................................9, 31 Keep Prince William Beautiful............................................16, 33 Leadership Prince William........................................................15 Linton Hall School ....................................................................23

As spring fever hits, you may want to pack up some of that fresh food and enjoy an evening under—and with—the stars. If so, head to Jiffy Lube Live, covered by Michael Spiro in “Destinations” on page 12. Since 1995, this entertainment venue has been host to stars such as Kanye West, Toby Keith, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band and Metallica. If indoor music is more your groove, check out “On a High Note” (page 10). Amy Falkofske introduces us to the Woodbridge Flute Choir, which has been providing a “noncompetitive, learning environment for adults” since 1996. From small to larger venues,the choir make beautiful music and also raises money for local charities and provides youth scholarships and performance opportunities. With the deep freeze behind us, I hope you will get out and explore all that Prince William and Greater Manassas have to offer this spring! Sincerely, Rebecca Barnes Prince William Living Publisher

Magnificent Belly Dance ..........................................................36 Minnieland ................................................................................32 Novant Health ..........................................................................C4 Patriot Scuba ..............................................................................9 Peggy and Bill Burke, Virginia Realty Partners, LLC ..............24 Piedmont Physical Therapy ......................................................16 Potomac Place ..........................................................................29 Potomac Shores Golf Club ......................................................17 Prince William Chamber of Commerce ..................................17 Prince William Ice Center ........................................................23 Prince William Public Library System ....................................16 Rainbow Center Golf Classic ..................................................21 Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center........................................21 Relax Dog Training ....................................................................36 Robert Jinks Photography........................................................36 Sheyna Nicole Burt, PLC ..........................................................21 Stonebridge ..............................................................................32 Tacket’s Mill ..............................................................................33 The Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT ..........................36 The Pope Institute ....................................................................32 The Very Thing ............................................................................9 Tiny Dancers ............................................................................22 Town of Dumfries ....................................................................33 VanEch Studio ..........................................................................22 Vintage Moving & Storage ................................................29, 36 Vision Finders Design ..............................................................36 Washington Square Associates ..............................................36 Westminster at Lake Ridge ......................................................21 Winestyles ................................................................................16 Yellow Cab ................................................................................36

prince william living April 2015 | 3

LOCAVORES Keeping It Fresh By Marianne E. Weaver

4 | April 2015 prince william living


hether hitting the farmers markets, subscribing for shares from area farms, planting backyard gardens or going out to eat at restaurants that source food locally, Prince William residents are increasingly looking local for their produce, poultry and other food items. The Oxford American Dictionary defines “locavore” as a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally (within a 100mile radius) grown or produced food. In practice, for most people it’s about incorporating more locally grown food into their diets and having a greater awareness of where their meals originate, versus never enjoying an out-of-season strawberry. Advocates cite benefits such as a lower carbon footprint, more transparent food supply and better taste. “Locally produced food is going to be fresher, with more nutrients, better for the environment and local economy,” said Gainesville nutritionist Kelly Kurcina. “Also, the farmers can tell you how the food was grown.”

Manassas resident Bonnie Shilton, who grows much of her own produce, said that most of her fellow locavores are not set on eating 100 percent local food. “It’s more of a fun exploration of what’s available locally,” she said. “The more people learn, the greater the amount of local food they start to enjoy and seek out.”

Farmers’ Offerings Even with the growth Prince William has experienced over the years, there are still numerous farms and farmers markets throughout the region. Commuter lots, schools and shopping mall parking lots transform into farmers markets where shoppers can buy a variety of goods, ranging from produce, meat and poultry to baked goods, salsas and hummus. The Dale City Farmers Market, located in the commuter lot on Gemini Way, is open Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April through December, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the winter. It is one of the area’s largest markets, connecting suburban shoppers with about 50 vendors. Open since 1987, it is a producer-only market: vendors may only sell goods that they produced. This means you won’t find oranges from Florida or jewelry re-sellers.

Photo by Mark Gilvey

In PBS’s “10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore,” Jennifer Maiser, editor of, advises to start small, choosing just five foods that you commit to sourcing locally. She noted that meat and dairy products can be found in most areas of the country throughout the year. Visiting farmers markets, subscribing to community supported agriculture (CSA) and growing your own herbs and vegetables are other steps that most anyone can take.

Crab-based delicacies are among the local finds at Dale City Farmers Market, one of Northern Virginia's largest producer-only markets.

honey), Uncle Roger’s (baked goods) and Zayna’s Delight (hummus). Kurcina said she likes connecting with vendors at the markets. “I love the local farmers markets,” she said. “I look at the eggs, pork and produce, and I recognize how important it is to support local farmers and local business.” Market vendors are more than willing to chat with customers and answer their questions. “I hear customers say they are trying to eat more healthy,” said Sally Holdener of Rainbow Acres Farm, whose tent is packed with eggs and other poultry and pork products. “People are trying to get away from processed meats,” observed Matt Dautrich, from Martin’s Angus Beef, based in The Plains and a supplier of beef to farmers markets, butcher shops and restaurants throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. “By coming to the farmers market they know their food is from a local farm. They can talk to the farmer, see the animals and know that they are being treated humanely.” (continues on page 6)

In Bristow, vendors set up tents and tables in the parking lot of the Montessori School on Devlin Road. Vendors vary from week to week and season to season, but regulars include Martin's Angus Beef, Pappardelle’s (pasta), Rainbow Acres Farm (poultry and pork), Shade’s Farm (herbs, flowers, seasonal produce and prince william living April 2015 | 5

(continued from page 5)

Fresh Produce by Subscription Jay Yankey, owner and operator of Yankey Farms in Nokesville, has moved away from the multi-vendor farmers market, and has instead set up a roadside farm stand on Glenkirk Road. He has also instituted a CSA program, where locavores can pay in advance for shares in his crops.

Yankey’s CSA is a 16-week subscription with bushel and halfbushel options. The four-week spring harvest begins in May and shares generally include strawberries, lettuce, summer squash, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, spring onions, cherries, cauliflower, kale, peas, beets, spinach and bok choy. The CSA breaks for two weeks before the six-week summer harvest, which typically includes peaches, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, green beans, peppers, eggplant, plums, melons, sweet corn, cucumbers, blueberries, blackberries, summer squash and okra. After another two-week break, the six-week fall harvest begins, with shares of winter squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pears, cabbage, collard greens, raspberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, apples, green beans, onions and pumpkins. For an additional cost, participants can also purchase cage-free egg shares that are included with each delivery. Participants, he said, not only benefit from supporting a farm in the local community and keeping some land undeveloped, but also by cultivating a connection to the source of their food. “They can come and ask me questions,” he said. “This gives them a connection to where their food comes from and it gives them a quality of produce they can’t get at a store. We pick our food in the morning and that is what goes out in the box that afternoon.” Gainesville resident Kim Strohecker is a subscriber to Yankey’s CSA. “It is a terrific feeling to know the farmer who grew your food, to know the land where the food was grown,” she said. “The veggies are not shipped in from across the country or across borders. It feels like a much more natural way to feed your family.”

Photo by Linda Hughes

“As a producer, instead of borrowing money to plant crops, I have the capital up front,” he said. “I don’t have to guess at how much I’m going to sell. With the CSA I know how many customers I have. We have added an additional 25 slots over last year—we are doing 75 this year. And we are more than half full now and that was just people from last year.”

Charcuterie plate: Gorgonzola, cheddar and Brie, prosciutto, soppressata, house pickled vegetables and bagel crisps and frisee salad from AKT Nourish in Haymarket.

From Farm to Restaurant Despite the myriad options at the farm stands and farmers markets, few people want to cook every meal, every day. While you have to do some digging, there are more and more area restaurants sourcing food locally, at least in part. The Potomac Mills Silver Diner relies on 15 producers from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to provide cheese, meats and poultry, produce, milk, bread, coffee and beer. Not Your Average Joe’s, in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, and Cock & Bowl in Occoquan are also among the Prince William eateries that source locally when possible. In Haymarket, AKT (Annie’s Kitchen Table) Nourish relies almost exclusively on local producers to stock its kitchen. “People with health challenges – allergies, vegetarians, vegans – find it hard to eat out,” said owner Anne Thomas. “We try to offer whole ingredients that haven’t been in a factory.” Whiffletree Farm in Warrenton and Martin’s Angus Beef provide the eight-table restaurant with beef, pork and poultry. Thomas gets honey from Gainesville beekeeper George Wilson. As for produce, she grows a majority of it at her farm in Delaplane: tomatoes, chard, peppers, corn, cabbage, eggplant, herbs, carrots, cucumbers and more. “There is no GMO and no artificial fertilizers,” she said. “We tailor our menu to what we source.” In Gainesville, Bad to the Bone Smokehouse (and its Manassas site, The Bone BBQ) source about 65 percent of ingredients from local producers, said Chase Hoover, managing partner. “We are a big support of local producers,” he said. “There are a lot of

6 | April 2015 prince william living

reasons, including cost, plus, if we buy local, we don’t have to ship across the country.” For the beer used in its jalapeno hot sauce, the restaurant orders from down the road: Heritage Brewing in Manassas. In fact, many of the barbeque sauces also include beer brewed by this locavore favorite. Sean Arroyo, Heritage CEO and co-founder, said he too looks nearby for ingredients whenever possible. Glassware, shirts and barrels are sourced locally, as are many of the hops he uses to make the beer. Arroyo said he also works with the Virginia Hops Initiative, which educates growers, experiments with hop varieties and connects brewers with growers. “The more we source locally, the better,” he said. “It would be amazing to source locally 100 percent.” Arroyo said he partners with the Smith Family Farm in Gainesville, by providing spent hops for use as feed for their animals.

Grow Your Own Another rewarding way to eat more local food is to grow it yourself. It is possible to cultivate a backyard garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for a family. Shilton began growing her sustainable garden in 2013. “It is a process,” she said. Initially, she started by shying away from packaged produce and visiting farmers markets to supplement her grocery shopping. “The main reason is to avoid the chemicals in the food. I can talk to the farmers and they are more likely to use organic practices, and the animals are more likely to be humanely raised. And the food isn’t trucked across the country, so they are not using [as much] oil and gas.” However, Shilton said she discovered quickly that it was easier to find organically grown meat than organically grown vegetables. Suspecting that others in the community felt the same, in March 2013 she started the Sustainable Prince William Meet Up (, which now has 119 members. The group meets monthly and covers topics including green house cleaning, beekeeping and gardening, and takes trips to local farms that offer sustainable gardens and pastured beef and poultry. “I’m not an expert gardener,” Shilton explained, adding that she grows tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, oregano, cilantro, onions and summer squash, but has never had luck with broccoli. “I think of myself as a local food advocate. I started this group to bring together people with similar interests so we could all learn together.”

Local Farmers Market Schedules A number of farmers markets can be found throughout greater Prince William, and are a good place to add more local food to your diet. Following are spring schedules for some of the larger markets; please double check open dates, as they may be subject to change. Bristow Farmers Market Bristow Montessori School (parking lot) 9050 Devlin Rd., Bristow Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dale City Farmers Market 14090 Gemini Way, Dale City (commuter lot at Center Plaza) Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Haymarket Farmers Market 15000 Washington Street (Town Hall) Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon Manassas Farmers Market 9201 Center Street (Harris Pavilion ) Saturdays, 7:30 am to 1 p.m. Manassas Park Farmers Market 99 Adams Street Fridays, 3 to 7:00 p.m., starting May 8 Smart Markets - Bristow 8301 Linton Hall Road (Piney Branch Elementary School) Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tackett’s Mill Tuesday Market - Lake Ridge 2230 Tackett’s Mill Drive (Next to McDonald’s) Tuesdays, 3:30 - 7:00 p.m., starting May 5

Nancy Berlin, natural resource specialist/master gardener coordinator for the Virginia Cooperative Extension explained that the program is funded in part by the county and Virginia Tech, to provide research-based guidance to residents. “We can provide them with a quick-start guide for vegetable gardens,” said Berlin. On the website (, visitors can download a planting calendar, read a blog about creating a sustainable garden and watch videos about preparing a vegetable garden. Also available is a calendar of free classes offered at The Teaching Garden at the Benedictine Monastery, on (continues on page 8)

Her number-one piece of advice to new gardeners: Tap into the free resources provided by Prince William Master Gardeners. prince william living April 2015 | 7

(continued from page 7) Linton Hall Road in Bristow. The “First Saturday in the Garden” classes are held from April through October and cover topics including composting, companion planting and starting a vegetable garden.

Photo by Mark Gilvey

If a Saturday in Bristow doesn’t work, the Master Gardeners also set up shop at local farmers markets: Manassas Farmers Market on Saturdays and Dale City Farmers Market on Sundays, April through November. “The farmers market is the great way to buy fresh, buy local and support local farmers until you get your garden going,” said Berlin, noting that her group often fields questions from shoppers who bring in produce from their gardens for inspection. “We can take a look at their produce problems and troubleshoot there on the spot.”

Farmers markets offer a chance to support the local economy and meet the people who produce your food.

And, according to Kurcina, it is well worth learning. “If you have room, grow your own food,” she said. “You know you are getting quality and it is always going to taste the best.”

In winter months, or for those without a yard, most herbs and some vegetables can be grown indoors. Products like AeroGarden come complete with everything needed for hydroponic gardening. There are also a number of resources for putting together an indoor garden from scratch. It can even be as simple as a pot of basil placed on a sunny windowsill.

Marianne Weaver is a freelance editor and writer. She earned a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MJ from Temple University. She lives in Gainesville, Va., with her husband and two children. Her email address is

Gardening “is a process of learning,” said Berlin.






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on a high note

Woodbridge Flute Choir A Legacy of Musical Excellence By Amy Falkofske | Photos by Robert Jinks rom humble beginnings in 1996 to national fame today, the renowned Woodbridge Flute Choir has flourished under the direction of accomplished flutist Debbie Gilbert, who has led the choir since 2006.


And while Gilbert’s leadership has taken the group to new heights, it was the choir’s founder, another accomplished flutist, Rebecca Jeffreys, that laid the groundwork for this success. She said that the Woodbridge Flute Choir was born of her desire to play flute in a “non-competitive, learning environment for adults.” Initially, there were just five players. Today the choir has 25 members and includes nearly every type of flute in existence including piccolo, c flute, alto flute, bass flute and contrabass flute. The choir’s early rehearsals were in an old church, turned community building, in Old Town Manassas. A year later, Jeffreys moved the rehearsals to save members from having to pay tuition to cover the cost of a rehearsal space.

The Woodbridge Flute Choir offers a non-competitive, learning environment for flutists.

“I was having such a great time doing it, it really wasn’t about the money for me, so we moved it away from there and started holding rehearsals in my house…it just ballooned in size from there,” explained Jeffreys, who moved to Massachusetts in 2002.

After a recent trip to Prince William, which included a visit with the choir, Jeffreys said, “[It] still felt like that [fellowship] existed there.” Board President Laura Breeze joined in 1997. She recalled early performances, including playing at a retirement home in Manassas, and fondly remembers one of the group’s first concerts, a performance at the Columbia Flute Choir of Falls Church’s annual Flute Choir Festival.

“I’m really pleased with [Debbie Gilbert] as a director, because she has brought them to heights beyond where I did…the artistic quality is super high,” said Jeffreys. “The attitude amongst the group I think is very friendly and healthy, and she is continuing on my philosophy which makes me delighted and obviously seems to be making the core members happy too because they are staying on for years.”

“I remember we dressed up in country-western style and played American and Australian themed music,” said Breeze.

Gilbert and Jeffreys said that members consider the Woodbridge Flute Choir a fellowship of flute players. “I do really enjoy the Woodbridge Flute Choir. … The people are great to work with,” said Gilbert.

Typical venues for the choir’s performances have included local churches, libraries, and retirement communities in Prince William. As the choir has grown in size and quality over the years, it has also added some nationally notable venues such as

10 | April 2015 prince william living

The Woodbridge Flute Choir holds a yearly Christmas Concert at Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville.

the White House and two National Flute Association conventions, one in Charlotte, N.C. in 2011 and another in New Orleans in 2013. Just recently, the National Flute Association invited the group to perform at its 2015 Annual Convention, taking place at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., Aug. 13-16. “We will be performing at the Pre-gala Lobby Concert on Friday, August 14, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.,” said Gilbert. In addition to performing at smaller venues and invitationals, the choir performs two major concerts every year. One is its Christmas Concert at Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville. The concert benefits Farthest Corners, an organization started to support the missionary work of Nokesville resident Austin House. House and his team of missionaries run an orphanage in Burma called Happy House, where they provide education, housing, and material goods for 50 children. The choir has performed seven concerts for Farthest Corners since 2007, raising more than $20,000 to support House’s work. The 2014 concert brought in around $3,000. “They’re a magnificent musical group…and Debbie Gilbert is a masterful director,” said Farthest Corners Event Coordinator, Becky Whitelock. “We are so lucky that they still want to come to do this benefit for us, because I think their musical ability is just phenomenal.” Another big event is the Concerto Scholarship Concert which features the winner of the yearly competition held each January for a $500 scholarship and an opportunity to play with the choir. This year’s winner, chosen out of four finalists, was 15-year-old Yeama Ho, a sophomore at Winston Churchill High School in

Potomac, Md. The concert was held at Greenwich Presbyterian Church on March 22. Ho performed “Concertino, Op. 107” by Cécile Chaminade. “I thought this was a very good experience, not only for performance experience, but also for feedback on my playing,” Ho said of getting to play with the choir, and the fact that she had to audition in front of a panel of flutists. Asked about the future of the Woodbridge Flute Choir, Breeze said, “I definitely want to see our Concerto Scholarship continue.” She would also like the choir to perform a West Coast or international concert tour. The Woodbridge Flute Choir also boasts the production of four recorded albums: “Woodbridge Suite,” in which the title song was composed by Jeffreys’ college roommate Gretchen Mores; “Passages,” featuring “Hear My Voice,” a narrated piece about the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado; “A Silver Christmas” and “Butterfly,” which includes “Balcony,” a depiction of different creatures you might observe while sitting on a balcony, such as a hummingbird or ladybug. Though the choir is close to full capacity, Gilbert said she would love to have another contrabass flute player, and encourages anyone interested in joining to do an audition consisting of a prepared piece and sightreading. To learn more about the Woodbridge Flute Choir or listen to samples of its CDs, visit You can also purchase or download the CDs from, or iTunes. Amy Falkofske is a freelance writer and photographer and the owner of Beautiful Moments by Amy photography. She lives in Bristow with her husband and two boys. prince william living April 2015 | 11


JIFFY LUBE LIVE Where the Stars Come to Play By Michael Spiro | Photos by Kathy Strauss


It was a year in music dominated by Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, TLC and an artist largely responsible for country music’s current mainstream popularity—Garth Brooks. Kids were singing “Hakuna Matata,” as parents ponied up for greatest-hits albums by such luminaries as The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. It was also a landmark year for music in Prince William.

Jiffy Lube Live, then known as Nissan Pavilion, opened its doors with performances by KC and the Sunshine Band and the Village People. Located in Bristow, Va., just west of Manassas and a few dozen miles outside of Washington, D.C., the venue has brought some of the biggest names in music to the area for two decades. Able to hold up to 25,000 guests, Jiffy Lube has played host to famed artists such as Kanye West, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Toby Keith, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band and Metallica. Even President Barack Obama has “headlined,” making campaign appearances there in both 2008 and 2012. Owned by Californiabased Live Nation Entertainment, one of the world’s largest concert promoters, the venue is also used for community events, including graduation ceremonies for several area high schools. “Jiffy Lube Live is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the state of Virginia,” said Matt Rogers, who has been the facility’s general 12 | April 2015 prince william living

manager since 2010. “We have provided Prince William County with a positive economic impact over the last 20 concert seasons ... and 538 amazing live concerts.” Concertgoers can purchase one of the 10,000 reserved seats in the covered area closest to the stage, or opt for the less expensive general admission lawn seats just beyond. The “cheap seats” are on the grassy hill that slopes above the amphitheater, providing natural tiered seating. There patrons can bring along blankets or lawn chairs (up to 9” high) from which to enjoy the show.

“Great Experiences” Keep Getting Better Maria Paslick of Montclair said that her company, SAI Engineering, Inc., has purchased season box seats at the venue in the past. She added that while there might not be room in the budget to do that again this year, it won’t stop her from attending concerts on her own. “One time, we went to see Depeche Mode,” Paslick said. “We didn’t know who they were. But we were invited backstage, and we said to ourselves, ‘Really? Of all the fans here you chose us?’ But we had a great time, and were glad we went.” Stephanie Antolick, a teacher at Vaughan Elementary School in Woodbridge, also said she has had great experiences at Jiffy Lube Live, and that one of her favorite parts is tailgating before the

With room for up to 25,000 people, Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow is the largest outdoor amphitheater in Virginia.

shows. (While the 2011 ban on tailgating has been lifted, you may want to check out the rules, posted online at, before setting up camp.) However, she noted that getting to the parking lot can be a hassle. “The only downfall would be the parking situation. There is only one way in and out [via Wellington Road] which makes it difficult to enter and leave. Traffic will normally back up, which makes getting in and out of the facility very time consuming,” Antolick said. Paslick agreed that traffic can be a hindrance, but also emphasized how much better the situation has gotten over time. “Years ago, we wouldn’t be able to get out of the parking lot until 3 a.m., it was so bad.” Paslick said. “It has been much improved since it opened.” Those familiar with the venue may notice another improvement this concert season. “Legends Hospitality will be our new concession company in 2015 and will bring some exciting menu changes,” Rogers said. In a press statement, Legends President & Chief Operations Officer Shervin Mirhashemi said his company had an edge over competitors because of its focus on the fan experience. Patrons are also able to bring their own food in a one-gallon plastic bag, and one sealed plastic water bottle. However, food is not the first thing on the mind of most patrons. They come to see their favorite stars … under the stars.

Fresh Air, Good Music “It’s really a fortunate experience to be outdoors, enjoying the fresh air in a park-like setting, with good friends, while listening to some of the best musical artists in the world,” said Bryanna Altman of

Lake Ridge. She’s attended more than 25 concerts at Jiffy Lube Live and loves to invite her friends, “particularly from outside Prince William County, to see a concert.” “I’m so proud to have this wonderful live music destination in our community. At the last concert, we met a couple who drove here from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to see Aerosmith. They spent the weekend in a local hotel, dined at restaurants in Old Town Manassas and were genuinely enthralled with our community,” said Altman. The 2015 concert season kicks off on May 23 with a performance from Dave Matthews Band, and continues throughout the summer. The venue also offers country music fans a deal that’s hard to turn down: Megaticket, which packages all 10 country music shows coming to Jiffy Lube this year into one discounted ticket. For details, visit Before attending a show, take a quick peek at for more on the tailgating rules, as well as restrictions on what can be brought into the venue and parking guidelines. Of course, you can also order tickets through the website. There’s not many experiences better than live music, and after a cold, snowy winter, Prince William should be ready to rock and roll into summer at Jiffy Lube Live.

Michael Spiro is a former journalist with the York Daily Record in Pa., who relocated to Woodbridge in 2014. He now works as a proposal writer in Alexandria, and is enjoying exploring his new community. He can be reached at prince william living April 2015 | 13

giving back

TRUTH AND BEAUTY Prince William Master Gardener Program By Dan Verner


f, as John Keats observed in “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty,” then Virginia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Specialist Nancy Berlin and her three colleagues, along with 200 volunteers from the Prince William Master Gardener Program, are responsible for a whole lot of truth in our community. And a considerable amount of beauty as well. Most of us drive past or walk by yards and gardens every day with little thought about the effort needed to create and maintain them. In many cases, these colorful displays are the work of volunteer horticulturists, ranging in age from a 17-year-old who wants to become a professional horticulturist to a 92-year-old retiree who puts in 100 hours a year on projects. The Master Gardener Program does more than delight the mind and eye, however. Berlin leads the effort. She sees her mission as helping volunteers discover their gifts. She cited the group’s annual recertification meeting in February as a high point for her, where the group reviews the year and recognizes volunteers: “I look out over those faces and see the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers. In January, they are ready to plan gardens and put in plants! These volunteers are such a joy to work with.” Berlin noted that the purpose of the Environment and Natural Resources Program, which the Master Gardeners falls under, is to educate individuals and businesses so that they can grow flowers and crops to beautify the community without impacting local 14 | April 2015 prince william living

waterways or ultimately Chesapeake Bay. The Master Gardener program offers a variety of classes and workshops for local residents. In addition, it publishes a lively newsletter, The Turnip News. The experiences and involvement of several local volunteers illustrate the wide range of programs under the Master Gardener umbrella. Government retiree Don Peschka, a Master Gardener volunteer, joined the group in 2010. In addition to helping a number of schools with gardens, Peschka focuses on his work with Plant a Row for the Hungry, a public service project which encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of food to donate to those in need. He also works with Steps to a Greener Lawn, which helps homeowners use appropriate amendments to their soil that will not negatively affect the environment. “[It’s] not about the dirt,” said Peschka of his recently discovered avocation. “It’s about providing people with what they need, whether it be food or a calm, beautiful place to sit to escape the stress and pressure of modern life. I also enjoy working with my other volunteers….we talk about everything, and we enjoy each other’s company.” Plant a Row is not the only effort which benefits the community. Master Gardener volunteers and Vulcan Materials Company employees regularly visit local farmers market vendors to collect donations of fresh fruits and vegetables for food pantries serving needy families, April through November. Through these efforts, Prince William charities Action in Community through Service (ACTS) and Securing Emergency Resources through Volunteer Efforts (SERVE), which serve families in crisis and the homeless,

Photos courtesy Master Gardeners

Master Gardener Steve Micklosovich teaching about conserving water by using rain barrels in home gardens.

Master Gardener Jean Bennett taking inventory of plants in a garden at the Four Seasons, a 55 and over community in Dumfries.

received 114,000 pounds of food during the growing season in 2014. Prince William Master Gardener Volunteers have managed and staffed this program since 2001.

from April to October. Classes for April meet Tuesdays from 9 a.m. - noon, Thursdays from 6 - 8 p.m., and Saturdays also from 9 a.m. until noon.

Master Gardeners are also found in schools. When fourth-grade teacher Francie Vandivere wanted to start a garden for her class, she turned to the group. “I was hoping to make learning more enjoyable and meaningful by connecting concepts to a real garden. … Fourth-grade Virginia History lends itself to discussions in the garden, from why rotating crops would have helped the tobacco farmers to how the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) grow and thrive together. The connections to classroom learning are endless,” explained Vandivere, who teaches at R.C. Haydon Elementary School in Manassas.

For more information about any project or answers to horticulture questions, contact the Extension Horticulture Help Desk at 703-792-7747 or

She said that Berlin “helped me plan the size of the garden, test the soil, and recommended what type of vegetables my students and I should grow.” Berlin also introduced the teacher to one of her volunteers, Paul Gibson, who helped the students decide to go organic. “We liked the idea of helping our Earth by not using fertilizer and other chemicals, and being able to pick fresh vegetables and pop them into our mouths,” said Vandivere. Students and their families worked alongside Master Gardeners, including Gibson and Berlin, to break through the clay and dig the garden. “Mr. Gibson has been a mainstay of our success as we rotated crops, planted winter crops, changed which fruits and vegetables we grew, and added a butterfly garden,” she said. “Another important connection I was hoping to make for our students is that real food can be grown and eaten by them. … This leads to the importance of healthy eating and healthy living.” Vandivere has now expanded the class project into a garden club with more than 40 members. “The project has been a great success for my students,” she said. “It teaches them how to work together, how to work hard, and how to listen to others to learn more. They are excited when they realize one seed can create an entire plant, which will produce many flowers and eventually fruits.”

Long-time Northern Virginia resident and former high school English teacher Dan Verner has written three novels, and over 3,000 essays, articles, columns and poems for local and national publications.

Why Leadership Prince William? For Yourself, For Your Career, For Your Community Leadership Prince William engages and inspires individuals to improve our community through collaborative leadership. Become part of our growing network of leaders in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park! ■ Adults—Apply for our Signature Program by June 15 ■ Students grades 6 to 9—Apply for our Summer Leadership Academy by May 15 ■ Students grades 10 to 12—Apply to be a Leader In Training at our Summer Academy by May 15 All applications available now at Call 571-765-7568 or email

The Teaching Garden Program is only one of the educational efforts of the Master Gardeners. Thanks to its volunteers, the Benedictine Monastery in Bristow is home to demonstration gardens for ornamentals, native plants and organic vegetables. Master Gardeners teach hands-on, free classes there once a month prince william living April 2015 | 15

health & wellness Get Those Greens In! By Stacia Kelly, Ph.D., MHt e all know we’re supposed to eat about 2.5 cups of vegetables (and 2 cups of fruit) per day, but how many of us actually accomplish it? Here are some easy tips for getting those greens in.


1. Stir-Fry the Veggies - Throw a variety into the skillet: bell peppers, mushrooms and your favorite spices added to brown rice and stir-fried eggs, and you’ve got a healthy mix.



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2. Juice Them - Juice a cucumber, a handful of kale, a handful of spinach, a Granny Smith apple, some ginger, and then blend with half an avocado. You might get your daily greens all in one drink. 3. Grill Them - Create an herb rub and slice up veggies to throw on the grill. Great for summertime menus. 4. Spinach Side Salad - Combine 2 cups of spinach with some added vegetables and berries to make a light meal rich in nutrients and balanced in antioxidants. 5. Dried Veggie Chips - Miss the crunch and the salt from your favorite chips? Try baking your own. Cut zucchini, carrots, or even shred some kale, lightly coat with olive oil and Himalayan sea salt, and bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees. Pair with hummus for a delicious snack. 6. Soup - Whether boxed, canned or a personal recipe, go with something low in sodium and rich in vegetables.

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7. Veggie Pizza - Craving pizza? Create your own at home. Mix vegetables into your pizza sauce, or create a true Italian pizza with whole veggies layered on top. 8. Go Raw - One of the best ways to keep your vegetables nutrient dense is to eat them raw. Experiment with dipping sauces like low-fat ranch or your favorite hummus or plain yogurt with spices added. Take a chance. Get creative. And tell us about it. Share your ideas with us on social media; tag photos and recipes with #pwleatgreen.

Prince William native Stacia Kelly has a doctorate in holistic health and a background in fitness, nutrition, stress management and nutritional supplementation. For more information about her, visit and 16 | April 2015 prince william living


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taking care of business

Carlos Castro A Study in Perseverance and Community Vision By Tracy Shevlin | Photos by Robert Jinks


n 1979, Carlos Castro fled the violence of civil war-torn El Salvador. That journey led him on a path from Texas to Los Angeles, and then to the Washington, D.C. area, where he settled to be near friends he had grown up with.

Seeking to succeed in his new country, Castro, who had been three years into his engineering studies when he left El Salvador, enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) to master English. He said that his college counselor advised him to pursue a career in construction management because of his engineering background. He spent the next 10 years working his way up in the industry. In 1990, Castro made a career switch, opening his first Todos Supermarket, in Woodbridge. He later added a second store in Dumfries. In 2011, he seized the opportunity to expand operations, moving his Woodbridge store from Prince William Plaza to a 50,000 square foot space in Marumsco Plaza, formerly occupied by Giant Food. Together, the two stores now gross more than $17 million annually. Castro, and his stores, have become an integral part of the community. He is a founding member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Council, and takes on leadership roles such as serving on the Hylton Performing Arts Center Executive Board and the NVCC Education Foundation. Prince William Living caught up with Castro to learn more about his journey to living the American dream, and plans for the future of his business. 18 | April 2015 prince william living

PWL: When you opened your first Todos store, your mission was to cater to the growing Hispanic community. Is that still the primary vision for the stores? Castro: Before my wife Gladis and I opened Todos Supermarkets, there was only one tiny store in the greater Prince William area that catered to the Latino community. There was a need for a specialty grocery store to serve the many different cultures among our Hispanic neighbors and to provide the products they need. We also recognized the need for other services in which language might be a barrier for Hispanic customers. For example, we have had financial services like tax preparation and mortgage banking on site. We have tried to become more of a one-stop shop for our neighbors. That remains one of our primary motivations, but as the demographics have shifted over the years, we have come to have a mix of common groceries, Hispanic groceries and other global foods. We want to become the neighborhood grocery store for all of our neighbors, not just the Latinos. PWL: Over the past 25 years, you have seen tremendous growth in your sales volume. What, if any, growing pains did you have? Castro: The first few years that we were open, we were tremendously busy and like many business owners, I reinvested my salary back into the business. However, because of the rapid growth and all the capital expenditures, it felt as if we had a cash flow problem. In fact, I almost sold the business for $85,000 in

Carlos and Gladis Castro opened the first Todos Supermarket in 1990, in Prince William Plaza, to service the then-growing Latino population. Their stores continue to evolve to serve the ever-changing needs of the community.

1993. Luckily, I was able to audit the books and get a better understanding of the finances before it was too late. PWL: You mentioned a location that you acquired and sold in Alexandria? Castro: In 2003, we opened a store in Alexandria and kept it until 2008. We didn’t sell it because it was not profitable. In fact, it is still open and doing well. We sold it because it was labor intensive and the location itself limited its potential. There was no room for expansion and no room for storage. It was just after we sold the Alexandria store that we opened the Dumfries location. PWL: Did the Prince William County immigration enforcement policy of 2007 impact your business? Castro: It did, because many Latinos left Prince William County around that time. However, it forced us to adapt to our community as the demographics changed. For example, we now sell more common groceries and produce items that everyone needs. Our offerings are now about 50 percent Americanized groceries and 50 percent ethnic foods. We also have skilled butchers who know how to prepare the different cuts of meat that vary by culture. Interestingly, many Latinos have returned, but we continue to serve a diverse population.

One thing that will be unique at this location is that there will be an independent postal location for the [United States Postal Service] inside the store. Our target is to open that by April 2015. Additionally, the store will feature a conference room and a larger event space that will be available for community events. The lower level will be remodeled to house storage and professional services. Similar to when we began to offer financial services to the community, we are now hoping to bring more medical services to the community. We want to help the Latino community be healthy in 2015. PWL: That’s very ambitious for 2015. Are there any other dreams or projects that you are working on? Castro: All of the growth in services and locations is driven by the desire of Gladis and I to serve the community. I have been given great opportunities and I want my legacy to be one of giving back and improving my community. There is a pressing need to develop leadership among the Hispanic population, and I am actively working with the Hispanic Business Council of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and HOLA to find opportunities to grow and train leaders. Learn more about Todos, including hours and directions for both stores, at

PWL: Growth and additional services have been a dynamic theme in your business philosophy. What’s next for Todos? Castro: We are now in the midst of a major expansion and overhaul at our Marumsco location in Woodbridge. We will almost double in size as we add a 25,000-foot extension. This location will house our headquarters and will include a two-level renovation.

Tracy Shevlin is a native Virginian and long-time Manassas area resident. She is a full-time administrative assistant and part-time student at George Mason University completing her degree in Business Communication. She can be reached at prince william living April 2015 | 19

family fun

Plant It for the Planet By Amanda Causey Baity

arth Day, first observed in 1970, takes place on April 22 of each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 22 million people across the nation joined forces that first Earth Day to advocate for better stewardship of natural resources. The EPA, along with the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, trace their roots to that day.


Over the decades, the event has evolved into a global celebration of nature, with people across the world discussing ways to “go green” and highlighting the continued need to improve environmental protections. April is now even commonly dubbed “Earth Month,” giving this important topic a full 30-days of attention. There is another green, and related, holiday tucked into this month: National Arbor Day, the fourth Friday of April. It is meant to encourage the planting of and caring for trees. On the first Arbor Day, which took place in Nebraska in 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. By 1920 every state in the country officially recognized the holiday. Maybe you try to be green all year round, or maybe these April occasions serve as an “Oh, I meant to do that,” reminder. Either way, the reality is while it can be challenging to maintain a green lifestyle, it is ok to begin by doing small tasks on a daily basis. Given enough time, eventually these small tasks build into a routine that becomes natural and expands into new eco-friendly activities. I am constantly trying to create activities and crafts for my family that have a low impact on the earth, repurposing found objects, connecting with the outdoors, cooking from whole foods. I then share these projects on my blog, Green Owl Crafts (, using lots of pictures and detailed instructions so anybody can give them a try. We are not the ‘greenest’ family, but we do things everyday that help reduce our carbon footprint: recycling, being conscious of energy and water use and reusing as many things as possible. No matter where you fall on that scale, you can let Earth Month inspire you to make small changes in your everyday life, and even in your community, that have a positive impact on the world around you. 20 | April 2015 prince william living

Milk jugs can be repurposed as seed starting trays, teaching children about both recycling and gardening.

Try to be even just a little greener this April. Or, even better, make every day Earth Day! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Plant a Tree Planting a tree is a great way to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. It’s more than just beautifying an area. Trees are beneficial to the environment in numerous ways. They help produce oxygen and filter out pollutants to clean the air. In addition, trees help prevent erosion and preserve water levels in the soil. If you have the space, add a tree to your yard. Or visit for nearby tree planting events. For your home, fruit and shade trees are a good choice. In the first instance, there’s the bonus of enjoying fruit eventually, and as a result providing food for the family, neighbors and friends. Shade trees planted in the right location can help keep a home cool and reduce energy costs. (continues on page 20)

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(continued from page 18)

Start a Garden A garden doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking and it is a great way for families to spend time together. A vegetable garden enables you to enjoy foods that are grown from your own two hands, cutting out the middleman and reducing the carbon footprint made by delivery trucks and trips to grocery stores. Even people who live in apartments can start a small garden on their patios using recycled barrels, containers or window boxes. For those with no outdoor space, many herbs can be grown indoors as well.

Project: Seed-Starting Trays Teach children that garbage does not simply disappear by finding ways to reuse packaging such as plastic milk jugs. By repurposing these, we can reduce waste, create useful items and save money. All while spending quality time with the kids. This project allows you to enhance your green thumb by reusing items destined for your recycling bin. Materials: Milk Jugs or 2-Liter Bottles (rinsed well) Utility Knife Scissors Potting Soil Seeds

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■ For a perfect seed-starting flat, use the bottom portion of a milk jug. ■ Begin by washing the container to remove milk residue. ■ Next, measure three inches up from the bottom; then carefully cut off the bottom portion with a utility knife. ■ Take the bottom portion and poke 3-4 drainage holes by cutting small slits. ■ Children can fill the jug bottom with soil and plant the seeds according to the package. ■ Place the seed starting tray on top of another jug bottom, without drainage holes, to capture water runoff. ■ After planting, water seeds well and put them in a sunny area. To keep moisture in, simply set the top of the jug back over the planted seeds, creating a terrarium.

Amanda Causey Baity, Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo editor, lives in Montclair with her family. She also blogs about thrifty family activities and recipes on her blog She can be reached at

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home & hearth Restore, Reimagine, Rejuvenate with Clean, Healthy Paints By Niki VanEch s the queen of dumpster dives and curbside pick‐ups for the coveted junk piece of furniture, I have been repurposing furniture for years and, I might add, imposing plenty of risk to my health. My refinishing projects have included scraping off lead-based paints and applying strippers and paints laden with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) with little awareness of the inherent risks to my health and the environment.


Today with the “go green” movement, we are not only more aware of which VOCs pose health risks, but consumer demand has brought about many paint products with very low levels of these toxins. Perhaps the biggest breakthroughs for the do-it-yourself (DIY) industry have been the resurgence of natural casein-based paint, or “milk paint,” and the introduction of natural chalk paint. Not only are they available in gorgeous, trending colors, but they adhere to many surfaces, including metals, laminates and glass. They dry fast, distress easily and have no odor. Milk paint is a powdered, non-VOC product that can be traced back to ancient carvings and art. It is safe for children’s furniture, indoor painting projects and use during pregnancy. Its all-natural ingredients include limestone, casein (milk protein) and iron oxides for pigments. Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints is a brand that has brought this medium to the forefront as a favorite choice for many furniture painters. Chalk and clay paints, which have taken the DIY industry by storm, are pre‐mixed mineral-based paints. What furniture painting enthusiasts love about them is that the laborious and time-consuming tasks of stripping, sanding and priming are eliminated, as this paint adheres to just about any surface. CeCe Caldwell’s and American Paint Co. are two popular brands that contain no acrylics, fungicides or co‐polymers, and perform to the highest standards.

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So whether you are restoring, rejuvenating or reimagining, choose a low-VOC, eco‐friendly paint. Your health demands it, our earth needs it. Niki VanEch is an interior designer who has been helping clients in the metropolitan D.C. area for more than 20 years. Her home furnishings store, VanEch Studio, is located in Occoquan, Va. Her website is Like her at 24 | April 2015 prince william living

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local flavor

Dixie Bones Southern-Style BBQ at Your Service By Olivia Overman


After a search of the metropolitan area, he happened upon an available space in Woodbridge, just off Route 1, and his dream of opening a place specializing in old-fashioned barbecue soon came to fruition. Twenty years later, his restaurant, Dixie Bones, is still going strong. “We serve the whole spectrum of people, from construction workers, to lawyers, to doctors. But the nice part about southern food is that it has a lot of loyal customers,” Head said.

What’s on the Menu Many places try their hand at barbecue, but Head’s southern style has customers coming back again and again. “Our ribs are what we are known for,” he said. Using his mother's recipe, “the ribs are served with collard greens and coleslaw or whatever side you decide upon. This is the item that transcends regional boundaries.” “We make everything ourselves,” Head added, “with beef and pork allowed to cook all night, while ribs, chicken and sides cook all day long.” Pork, chicken, sausage and beef BBQ, as well as ribs, are smoked on site, and are available in entree portions and as sandwiches for anybody seeking smaller portions. For those who like their taters, Dixie Bones’ giant stuffed potatoes are the way to go. Diners can get them filled with 26 | April 2015 prince william living

heaping mounds of pork, chicken, beef or sausage, along with toppings such as sour cream, chives and cheese. Vegetarians aren’t left out; there is also a meatless loaded option. Of course, it wouldn’t be a southern restaurant without serving fried catfish, cornbread, mac n’ cheese, beans, coleslaw and “muddy spuds” (finely Dixie Bones owner Nelson Head chopped skin-on potatoes with cheese and onions)—all made and cooked fresh every day. “We haven’t had anything here that we didn’t like,” said frequent diner Martha Walker of Woodbridge. “It’s good food with a good price.” Asked what her favorite menu choice was, she said, “I get the beef [stuffed] potato a lot of times with everything on the side...but the sausage is pretty much out of this world, too.” To complement the food, four different kinds of sauces are offered at every table: one is a vinegar-based homemade recipe, two are tomato based and are great with chicken and beef. The fourth is a white sauce, native to Alabama, that “goes good on pulled chicken,” said Head. “Some people pour all four on the plate and mix it together while other people bring in their own sauces,” he noted. While Head does not mind people bringing in their own, his only caveat is that they let him try it. All pies are baked fresh daily, in Dixie Bones’ separate kitchen a few blocks away, where much of the food is prepped. Make sure to learn which days your favorite pie is made. While you can always get chocolate, coconut and pecan, lemon pie is only made

Photo Courtesy Dixie Bones

hen Nelson Head moved from his native Alabama in the early 1980s to open a restaurant on Capitol Hill, he soon came to realize that serving burgers and salads was not the type of atmosphere he could put his heart into. Though happy to rub shoulders with congressmen and others while in D.C., what he really wanted to create was a southern-style restaurant featuring the hearty foods he and his family had been cooking for generations.

Photo Courtesy Dixie Bones

For the indecisive—or the hungry—Dixie Bone's three-meat combo allows diners to choose their three favorite meats, two sides and a roll or cornbread. Shown, is a plate of ribs, chicken and beef brisket, each flavored with the restaurant's signature rub and slow-cooked on the smoker.

on Thursdays and sweet potato pie is a Saturday specialty. And yes, that is homemade whipped cream on top.

here,” said Woodbridge resident Chris Johnson. “Because if we didn’t have Dixie Bones, everyone was a little grumpy.”

“My staff are dedicated to the recipes and the quality of the food and that is what sets us apart from chain restaurants,” said Head, who employs a team of 47 staffers.

In addition to catering for family events and parties, Dixie Bones also offers seasonal specials for Thanksgiving and Christmas. “We do this to help out our regular guests: smoked turkeys, ham, smoked salmon, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and sausage dressing,” said Head.

Catering to a Wide Area If you’re not passing through Woodbridge any time soon, or if you have a big gathering planned, Dixie Bones can bring the barbecue to you. The Washington Business Journal named it the 22nd largest caterer in the Washington Metro Area in 2014. “I am very fortunate that barbecue lends itself to both sit down and take out,” said Head. “One third of my business is catering, and we cover from Baltimore to Richmond. This is what southern cooking is all about—taking the food to people’s houses.” Dixie Bones covers small family gatherings with 24-hour notice, and can also feed thousands with more preparation time. “We can set up eight serving lines, serving out of 3,000 catering boxes,” said Head. Regulars are likely to recognize event staff, made up of the restaurant’s employees. “The staff enjoy doing the events,” said Head. “I charge a service fee for the staff and they get 100 percent of it. It’s a lot of extra income for the staff.” “We used to train with a dog company down here, All About Dogs, and anytime we had a big party we would order from

Fredericksburg and Beyond In May 2010, BBQ Post 401 opened in Fredericksburg as a satellite restaurant of Dixie Bones. It offers a similar menu, but throws in the additional southern delicacy of hush puppies. As for the future, Dixie Bones will grow “if a location lends itself to it,” said Head. “I want to give staff an opportunity to grow, and I believe they can do this by running another restaurant.” So keep your eyes (and noses) open for the next Dixie Bones, bringing southern barbecue to a neighborhood near you. Dixie Bones is located at 13440 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Full menus and more can be found at, and you can also join the Dixie Bones Lovers group on Facebook.

A graduate of American University’s School of Communication, Olivia Overman writes articles for online and print publications. She can be reached at prince william living April 2015 | 27

your finances So You Want to Start a Small Business? By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC

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Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ®, is a private wealth advisor and managing director with Whitlock Wealth Management, a franchise of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Learn more at or call 703-492-7732. 28 | April 2015 prince william living

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calendar Magic Carpet Time Special: Puppetopia Presents “Brer Rabbit & Friends” Apr. 1 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Potomac Community Library 2201 Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge Brer Rabbit, Anansi and their trickster friends’ playful antics fill these hilarious stories from folklore. For ages 2-5, family members are welcome. Drop in; no registration required. Call 703-792-8330 for more info.

Occoquan Peep Show Apr. 4 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Town of Occoquan Over 20 Occoquan Shops displaying creative dioramas using Easter Peeps. These marshmallow peeps will be doing amazing things. There will be Peep Artists, Peep Santas, Peep Wine Connoisseurs, Peep Fashion Show and more. Call 703-201-8499 or visit for more info.

Egg Hunt


Apr. 4 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ben Lomond Historic Site & Old Rose Garden 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas The grounds of Ben Lomond will come alive as the public is invited to help find all the hidden eggs. Egg Hunts will be at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30, separated by age groups. Enjoy fun, kid-friendly games and crafts all day long. House tours available. Bring your own basket for egg collecting. $5 per child; adults and children 2 and under free. For more info call 703-367-7872.

Spring Migration Bird Walk at Metz Wetlands

Apr. 11 | 8 - 11 a.m. Julie J. Metz Neabsco Creek Wetlands Preserve 15875 Neabsco Road, Woodbridge The Julie J. Metz Neabsco Creek Wetlands Preserve is home to a diverse bird population. Join local birding experts on a guided walk along the trails and boardwalks. Bring binoculars and guidebooks. Please dress for the weather

and wear comfortable walking shoes. You will get muddy if it has rained in the days preceding. No pets please. Free; donations accepted. Call 703-499-9812 for more info.

Architectural Tour of Historic Downtown Manassas Apr. 11 | 10 - 11 a.m. e Manassas Museum 9101 Prince William Street, Manassas Join a Manassas Museum Architectural Walking Tour and take the time to appreciate the history of the city’s diverse homes and businesses. The tour will discuss the legends behind notable homes, businesses and their owners, as well as observe the architectural styles in the historic district. Cost is $5 per person. Space is limited and advance tickets are recommended. Visit or call 703-257-8453 for tickets and more info.

Peter Yarrow Apr. 12 | 2 p.m. Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas Folk musician, songwriter and children’s author Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) returns to the Hylton Center for a fun and interactive musical performance that combines beloved folk tunes with inspiring lessons for children of all ages. Adults $15. Children $5. Visit for tickets and more info.

Meet Mary Quattlebaum, author of “Pirate vs. Pirate” Apr. 12 | 2 - 5 p.m. Chinn Park Regional Library 13065 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge Meet Mary Quattlebaum, author of “Pirate vs. Pirate,” “Jo MacDonald Hiked in the Woods” and many other children’s books. A free, family program. Drop-in; no tickets required. Book sale and signing following the program.

Wildlife Walk Apr. 18 | 9 - 11 a.m. Bristoe Station Battlefield 10708 Bristow Road, Bristow Bristoe Station Battlefield is home to a complex meadow ecosystem. Join outdoor experts on a guided walk of the battlefield. Learn about the beneficial wildlife especially the birds and butterflies that call

this ecosystem home. Bring binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. No pets please. $5 per person. Call 703-257-5243 for more info.

Live Well Festival Apr. 18 | 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center Street, Manassas Celebrate Earth Day in Historic Downtown Manassas, as local merchants also host a biannual sidewalk sale. The day includes exhibitors from nonprofit and civic organizations providing recycling and environmental information, free health screenings, fitness classes, kid activities, entertainment and more. Attendees are asked to park in the back of the BB&T parking lot. Visit for more info.

Potomac River Blockade Boat Tour Apr. 25 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Leesylvania State Park 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge Cruise along the Potomac River shoreline and view sites that were critical to the Confederacy’s successful blockade of Washington D.C. from September 1861 through March 1862. Tours are $45 per person and include lunch. For reservations call 703-792-4754.

The Town of Brentsville, a Walking Tour Apr. 25 | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Road, Bristow While the town of Brentsville grew up around the Courthouse and Jail, the town was and still is much larger than the Historic Centre. Join local historians in exploring the rich heritage of Brentsville at sites outside of the Park. Locations will include historic cemeteries, historic buildings, and the sites of long-ago structures. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring a small lawn chair; no pets please. Cost is $35 per person, lunch included. Call 703-365-7895 or visit and search “Brentsville” for tickets and more info. All events listed on Prince William Living’s online and print calendars are subject to change. Check with the venue to verify dates, times and locations.

Have an event? Visit to submit details to our online calendar. 30 | April 2015 prince william living

Discover Prince William & Manassas



ith Spring in full swing, now is the perfect time to shake off those winter blues and enjoy the outdoor activities and events Prince William and Manassas has to offer.


Spend the weekend camping or RVing at Greenville Farm in Haymarket, and experience a 200-acre working farm in action. You can also spend an evening under the stars at Prince William Forest National Park, which offers tent, RV and cabin sites, as well as 35+ miles of hiking and biking trails. Hikers should also explore the scenic Bull Run Mountain trails. After, spend the day shopping local in the historic Town of Haymarket.

Ann Marie Maher President and CEO Discover Prince William & Manassas

At Locust Shade Park in Triangle or Lake Ridge Park, rent a paddle boat, go fishing or play a round of mini golf. Locust Shade even has batting cages. If you’ve graduated beyond mini golf, Golf Styles ranked Prince William as one of the Top 100 places to play golf. Remember to root for the home team—and wish them happy birthday, as the Potomac Nationals celebrate their 31st season. Take the entire family to opening day on April 9 at Pfitzner Stadium to see them play the Lynchburg Hillcats.

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Fitness fans can compete in the Soaring Eagle 5K on April 18 at Osbourn High School in Manassas, and then head on over to the Harris Pavilion for the Live Well Festival, held in honor of Earth Day. Here, free health screenings, fitness classes, document shredding, recycling and donation centers, kid activities and entertainment can be found from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Looking ahead, the Arts Alive! Festival on May 2 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center promises a day of live performances, demonstrations, food and art vendors. Events take place both inside and outdoors. For more ideas on adding to your activity calendar, please be sure to follow Discover Prince William & Manassas on Facebook. Ann Marie Maher is the President and CEO of Discover Prince William & Manassas. For more information about what’s going on in Prince William and Manassas, visit and like us on

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lifelong learning

Mason’s Serious Game Institute Where Business is the Name of the Game By Sudha Kamath


ess than a year after opening in March 2014, the Virginia Serious Game Institute at George Mason University has already generated five new businesses with more than 35 employees, and raised half a million dollars in corporate support. Institute Senior Projects Director James Casey, also a Mason assistant professor in computer game design, said he expects the incubator to spur four more businesses and 30 more jobs in 2015.

Located at Mason’s Prince William campus, the institute provides early-entry entrepreneurship into the simulation, modeling and serious game design industry (games created for utility versus entertainment). It offers Virginia schools, businesses and universities hands-on training, certification, research and development assistance by merging business incubation and rapid prototype development. One of the companies to spring from the program, Professions Quest, was started by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The new company’s flagship, multi-player online game, Mimycx, was in the beta test phase as of press time. It will allow schools for health professionals to offer students a novel way to interact online, fostering the development of communication skills and core competencies critical in their field. “The Virginia Serious Game Institute has been instrumental in our ‘excellerated’ performance as a new small business,” said Professions Quest Project Manager John Damici, who earned his bachelor’s degree in computer game design from Mason in 2014. The Connecticut native said he grew up playing video games, but never dreamed he could turn his hobby into a related career. Damici said he plans to earn a master’s degree in computer game design by taking courses in entrepreneurship and game studio management, and to create more businesses to help others find their calling. “This will give me the satisfaction of creating jobs and creating something that all of my employees love and feel passionate about,” said Damici. 34 | April 2015 prince william living

“[Mimycx] has the potential to build new professional relationships and knowledge exchange to improve the health care industry in the future,” said Scott Martin, institute founding director and associate dean of research and technology in Mason’s Computer Game Design Program. Another institute startup, Little Arms Studios, recently debuted its state-of-the-art firefighting training, Interactive Virtual Incident Simulator. Used by the Fairfax County Department of Fire & Rescue, it has earned the fire chief ’s commendation. Little Arms Chief Executive Officer Kyle Bishop is also a Mason alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in computer game design in 2013. He attributes his company’s success to the support it received from the game institute and to Prince William County, which invested $32,000 to help establish the institute. The institute at Mason is one of only four international affiliates of the Serious Game Institute, which is based in England. The others are in Mexico, South Africa, and Singapore. For more information, visit A longtime resident of Bristow, Sudha Kamath is manager of communications at the Industrial Designers Society of America. Kamath earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the E.W. Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

tambourines and elephants And We Wait… By DeeDee Corbitt Sauter I recently had the opportunity to sit and wait at the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. I am not sure, even being an avid reader and Googler, that I can find the words to describe the inside of that circus tent.

then reach for their wallet or purse, searching for their supporting documents while the announcement once again begged all those in line to have their IDs ready before reaching the front.

Everyone always has the same complaints—long lines, inefficient service, red tape and incomprehensible regulations—but those are mundane and predictable. What I rarely hear anyone discuss is the patrons that sit and wait on the hard plastic stackable chairs, furtively shooting glances at one another while protecting their spot in line with invisible glares.

It does seem ludicrous to assume that the people who cannot be prepared for their turn when they voluntarily walk into the building in the first place should be able to read a large sign telling them not to use their cell phones.

The DMV I visited was a clean building that used a deli or bakery technique of distributing tickets to everyone who needed to be seen. After getting your number, you wait until it is called and crawl to the next available employee to get your treat. The numbers being serviced are displayed on a large screen so you can constantly check your ticket and check the screen, then back to the ticket in case it changed, then back to the screen. It's simple, really. The numbers are neither disseminated nor called chronologically. It’s a combination of letters and numbers that are spewed out by the computer when you first arrive. It's all a big mystery as to who in the room is next. You can feel all eyes on you when it’s your turn, knowing someone thinks you were given some special fastpass, when you have just been sitting quietly, trying to be unnoticed for the past six hours. It's a government, bureaucratic service station that attends to the needs of almost everyone in the United States at some point. That's a tough job. I try to tend to the needs of my family on a daily basis and am usually pretty grumpy at day’s end, so I understand the problems inherent to the DMV. Or a Social Security office. Or even any elementary school.

So complaining about the inefficiency of the DMV is equally insane when I was surrounded by people who could not stop talking on, singing with or yelling at their cell phones. From the lady next to me, I learned she regretted the karaoke evening that morphed into morning hours. And this was a Wednesday. The man behind me was busy texting everyone in the country and not once thought to decrease the volume of his keyboard or his whistling alert. The woman to my right mostly enjoyed music from the '80s. She did keep the volume down and wore those ubiquitous earbuds, but enjoyed singing in an off-tune whisper. In the next aisle sat a teen who busily tapped his phone’s screen while grunting and moaning which obviously enhanced the playing experience. Time stood still as I sat invisibly in my seat. I read two novels and learned to knit while waiting for my number to be called. I vowed I would be more consistent and diligent about teaching my boys the need to follow some directions. I watched as each person acted wholly unprepared when their number was called. It was as if the act of simply walking into the DMV had drained all knowledge of why they were there. But I stayed focused while I wrote the finishing touches to the great American novel and waited, and waited....

I was just not prepared for the other guests of this fine establishment.

Finally, it was my turn. The amazingly spry, but confused, woman at the counter required supervisory assistance from some manager, interrupted when I spoke, only grunted when I asked a question, and forgot to return my license at the end. She did not fail to ask for money.

There were signs indicating no cell phone usage was permitted while sequestered in this infinite waiting room. Might as well say “No breathing allowed.” But it was irrelevant, as it appeared that the majority of the populace cannot read large placards or follow directions.

I staggered out, the sun blinding me even though I was wearing the darkest shades possible. I was sure I had missed my oldest son’s high school graduation, even though he was only 13 when I entered the building. I fell into the car and glanced at the clock.

I had first noticed the inability to listen to instruction when I was shifting my weight from foot to foot in the initial triage line. Every few minutes the androids (they can't be all human because they never seem exhausted and I never saw one blink) would announce the need for us to have our IDs out and ready. No one did. Everyone who reached the first counter would speak briefly, look perplexed, look at their empty hands,

Only two hours had passed. What happened in that black hole remains a mystery, but it’s a story of survival, luck and perseverance—and at least I have an updated driver’s license.

So I went with my book and iPad, a blanket, a cup of coffee and a pillow. I was ready.

DeeDee Corbitt Sauter is a resident of Northern Virginia. Her column, “Tambourines and Elephants,” appears monthly in Prince William Living. prince william living April 2015 | 35

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distribution sites Pick up a free copy of Prince William Living at one of the following fine locations: 8299 Harness Shop Road, Gainesville Appliance Connection 15040 Heathcote Boulevard, Gainesville 13851 Telegraph Road, Suite 101, Woodbridge 7101 Heritage Village Plaza, Gainesville City of Manassas 5101 Waterway Drive, Montclair 9027 Center Street, Manassas 12908 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge Discover Prince William & Manassas 2100 Rippon Boulevard, Woodbridge 10611 Balls Ford Road, Suite 110, Manassas 9511 Technology Drive, Manassas Edward Kelly Leadership Center 4290 Prince William Parkway, Woodbridge 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas 10249 Hendley Road, Manassas 4300 Prince William Parkway, Woodbridge Historic Manassas Inc Visitor’s Center at the Train Depot Northern Virginia Community College 9431 West Street, Manassas Manassas Campus, 6901 Sudley Road Woodbridge Campus, 15200 Neabsco Mills Road Manassas Christian Academy 8757 Signal Hill Road, Manassas Prince William Association of Realtors 4545 Daisy Reid Avenue, Woodbridge Manassas Christian School 9296 West Carondelet Drive, Manassas Prince William County Fairgrounds 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas Manassas Park City Schools One Park Center Court, Suite A, Manassas Park Prince William Ice Center 5180 Dale Boulevard, Dale City Manassas Park – Parks and Recreation 99 Adams Street, Manassas Prince William Parks and Recreation Mason Enterprise Center 10890 George Mason Cir., Bull Run Hall, Rm 147, Manassas The Merit School of Prince William 14308 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge Minnieland 5555 Assateague Place, Manassas 12700 Correen Hills Drive, Bristow 10368 Bristow Center, Bristow 10910 Feeder Lane, Woodbridge 3498 Cranmer Mews, Woodbridge 13923 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge 5255 Merchants View Square, Haymarket

Prince William Public Library System 14418 Bristow Road, Manassas 12964 Harbor Drive, Lake Ridge 12993 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville 8051 Ashton Avenue, Manassas 8601 Mathis Avenue, Manassas 13065 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge 4249 Dale Boulevard, Dale City 18007 Dumfries Shopping Plaza, Dumfries 4603 James Madison Highway, Haymarket 2201 Opitz Boulevard, Woodbridge

Prince William County Tourist Information Center 200 Mill Street, Occoquan Safeway 4215 Cheshire Station Plaza, Dale City 4240 Merchant Plaza, Woodbridge 2205 Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge 12821 Braemar Village Plaza, Bristow Shopper’s Food and Pharmacy 9540 Liberia Avenue, Manassas 14000 Shoppers Best Way, Woodbridge 4174 Fortuna Center Plaza, Dumfries 10864 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas The Sign Shop 2603 Morse Lane, Woodbridge Town of Dumfries 17755 Main Street, Dumfries Town of Haymarket 15000 Washington Street, Haymarket Town of Occoquan Town Hall, 314 Mill Street, Occoquan Town of Quantico 337 5th Avenue, Quantico Virginia Realty Partners 4004 Genessee Place #209, Woodbridge

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Prince William Living April 2015  
Prince William Living April 2015  

April is finally here and with it, warmer weather. For those that don’t frequent the winter farmers markets, this might be the first time al...