Archive for 2010

“In a Sea Ray” (cheese alert!)

Posted by Lou on December 20, 2010 in Boating News, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Video

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Posted by Lou on December 2, 2010 in Boat Clubs, Boating News, Christmas, Holiday, Potomac River, Special Events

The annual Parade of Lights boat parade will take place this weekend along the Old Town waterfront in Alexandria. Santa Claus will arrive at the docks by fireboat at 4PM. Later in the evening, at 6PM, roughly 50 powerboats and sailboats will parade down the Potomac River from Washington to Alexandria.

If you haven’t already winterized, time to deck out your boat in lights and holiday decorations!

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The Holiday Shopping Season Begins

Posted by Lou on November 18, 2010 in Christmas, Holiday, Town News

Visit Occoquan this Friday, November 19, for the annual Holiday Open House organized by the Business Guild of Occoquan. The open house runs from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and offers an evening of shopping, free refreshments, and specials.

It’s one of the most festive nights of the year in town, with most retail merchants open late, and the streets and storefronts decorated beautifully for the holidays–a great time to enjoy people’s company and get some shopping done early for the holidays. After the stores close at 8:00 the town will hold a brief ceremony in front of Town Hall to light the town’s holiday tree.

At 8:15 p.m., the Business Guild will hold multiple prize drawings in front of Hawthorne House Fine Papers.

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A Trio of Sweet Links

Posted by Lou on October 27, 2010 in Announcements, Chesapeake Bay, Redevelopment, Town News

1- Finally, VDOT will open the 4th lane of I-95 Southbound, which spans a five-mile distance from the Fairfax County Parkway south to the U.S. 1 exit, just north of the Occoquan River Bridge, per (Commuters rejoice!)

2- According to the News & Messenger, a shoreline boardwalk may soon come to town, stretching from the existing pier at Madigan’s Waterfront, through the Gaslight Landing development, all the way to the Mill House Museum at the end of town. More details coming soon.

3- just published the feature article from the November issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, which recounts a weekend trip from Annapolis to Occoquan and puts the town in a wonderful light.

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Mayor Pens Book About Occoquan

Posted by Lou on October 25, 2010 in Civil War, Occoquan River, Politics, Town News

Mayor Earnie Porta has written a 128-page book about the history of Occoquan. The book is available for pre-order on On the book’s formal release date, November 22, the Prince William Public Library FoundationOccoquan River Communities (ORC), and the Occoquan Historical Society (OHS), will host a book signing and launch party fundraiser at Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All net proceeds from the event, including royalties on books sold, will go to benefit the Library Foundation, ORC, and OHS.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Although Native Americans have lived along the banks of the Occoquan for thousands of years, John Smithwas the first European to visit the area, arriving at the river’s mouth in 1608. Here he encountered the Dogue Indians, from whose language the river and town take their names. With the coming of settlers, Occoquan’s location at the meeting of the Tidewater and Piedmont made it ideal for water-related industry and commerce. By the end of the 18th century, it boasted one of the first automated gristmills in the nation. During the Civil War, Occoquan housed both Union and Confederate troops and was the sight of several small engagements. In 1972, the river, which had provided so many commercial and recreational benefits, revealed a more dangerous side as flooding from Hurricane Agnes caused severe damage. The people of Occoquan rebuilt, and the town evolved into the wonderful mixture of old and new that gives it the unique character seen today.

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A Perfect Day on the River, Until…

Posted by Lou on October 10, 2010 in Pictures, Random Musings

Virtual Tour of Occoquan

Posted by Lou on September 28, 2010 in Pictures, Town News, Video

Occoquan resident Boyd Alexander recently uploaded a slideshow to YouTube that includes a number of great pictures. Enjoy!

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2010 Occoquan Fall Craft Fair 9/25-9/26

Posted by Lou on September 19, 2010 in Craft Show, Town News

The 2010 Occoquan Fall Craft Fair will take place in Historic Occoquan, Saturday September 25th (10:00 AM to 6:00 PM) and Sunday, September 26th (10:00 AM until 5:00 PM) rain or shine. This will be the first craft fair since the former Occoquan Craft Fair director, Greg Gilker, passed away in an unfortunate accident at Belmont Bay Marina on June 17th.

Per the semi-annual tradition, it will feature lots of greasy food and crafts from a wide array of local artists and vendors. The official craft show website has complete vendor details.

You can park in nearby commuter lots and take a shuttle to Occoquan for $4/person (kids free). If you don’t mind a little traffic, there is parking to be found in the neighborhoods surrounding the fair.

Hopefully the beautiful September weather will hold out and it will be a fantastic weekend!

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Potomac River Healthiest in 50 Years

Posted by Lou on September 12, 2010 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Fishing News, Occoquan Reservoir, Occoquan River, Potomac River

According to the Washington Post, the Potomac River is now the healthiest that it has been since the 1950’s.

“The comeback has been closely tied to the Blue Plains treatment plant, which handles waste from the District and parts of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties. Its outflow is a river in itself: about 300 million gallons a day of treated sewage, enough to fill RFK Stadium.”

“In the past decade, responding to mandates from federal regulators, the plant has added $1 billion in new efforts that allow bacteria to consume the algae-feeding pollutant nitrogen in sewage.”

Read the full article at the Washington Post

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Bull Shark Mania!

Posted by Lou on September 7, 2010 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Fishing News, Pictures, Potomac River

I would be remiss if I did not mention the “Bull Shark in the Potomac River” frenzy that blew up on Facebook and the mainstream media while I was away. I tracked down the original reports and it wasn’t just one bull shark, it was two.

One was caught of Cornfield Harbor in extreme southern St. Mary’s county, MD. The NBC Washington website, which broke the “story” has a gruesome slideshow. The second was caught a bit farther north, near Tall Timbers, MD.

Both of these sharks were caught at the very, very edge of the Potomac River Watershed. So far south that one shark was actually caught by scientists collecting stingrays. This map shows where the bull sharks were caught:

The catches were very far away from Occoquan, almost 100 nautical miles south. Even down there, at the very edge of the Chesapeake Bay “you very, very rarely see them”, according to the Washington Post. Ok, no more bull shark jokes.

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Pura Vida

Posted by Lou on September 7, 2010 in Random Musings

Back from an awesome trip to Costa Rica, which included surfing in Tamarindo and Nosara. Costa Rica is an amazingly beautiful country that does a fantastic job promoting the environment and eco-tourism. The beaches are beautiful, the fruits are juicy, and the roads are dirt (with gigantic potholes).

I would love to see some of the Tico spirit come to Occoquan.

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Occoquan circa 1917

Posted by Lou on August 2, 2010 in Pictures, Town News

Wakeboarding @ National Harbor

Posted by Lou on August 2, 2010 in Boating News, National Harbor, Pictures, Wakeboarding

Red Bull National Wake

Posted by Lou on July 27, 2010 in Boating News, Meetups, National Harbor, Potomac River, Wakeboarding

Very cool event coming to National Harbor this week: a professional wakeboarding competition sponsored by Red Bull. Professional Wakeboarders Brian Grubb, Parks Bonifay, JD Webb, and Adam Errington will fly, soar and wow the crowd with wild airs and double overhead sprays of the Potomac River.

These tremendous water athletes will be flying off of custom made features built especially for National Harbor. Towed by Red Bull Waverunners, Grub, Bonifay, Webb and Errington, along with some local wakeboarders, will put on quite a show for National Harbor visitors.

When: Saturday, July 31, 2010 @ 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Where: National Harbor, Maryland

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Aquapalooza 2010 July 24th

Posted by Lou on June 27, 2010 in Aquapalooza, Boat Clubs, Boating News, Meetups, Occoquan River, Potomac River

Here we go again! Price William Marina is hosting Aquapalooza 2010 in Washington DC, along the Potomac River. The location of the event has changed! This year, the merry mayhem will take place at Tim’s Rivershore in Dumfries, VA (AKA Tim’s I).

By road, access will be limited (you will have to shuttle to Tim’s from a parking area). By water, just pull on up! All of the fun’s on the water, so bring your beach towels, sunscreen, water and snacks! If you need to launch your boat, see this information. Here is the official event registration page.

One thing that isn’t changing this year is a country music headlining act. Matt Stillwell will take the stage at the peak of the party. Stillwell’s recent single “Drunk Enough” just reached #25 on the iTunes Country Album Chart. The rest of the musical line-up has yet to be announced.

Have fun, be safe, see you at Aquapalooza 2010!

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