Town News

Santa to Visit Occoquan by Boat

Posted by Lou on December 1, 2016 in Holiday, Special Events, Town News

Occoquan will welcome Santa Clause to Town on Saturday, December 3rd at 12:00pm. Santa will arrive by boat at Mamie Davis Park. After being escorted up the river by Miss Rivershore, Santa will talk with all the visiting children at Occoquan Town Hall. Bring your camera!

For more information, contact the Business Guild of Occoquan at 703-201-8499.

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Occoquan River Mill Park Grand Opening, July 30th at 10AM

Posted by Lori on July 5, 2016 in Occoquan Reservoir, Occoquan River, Redevelopment, Town News

Occoquan River Parkunnamed (8)






In partnership with Prince William County and Fairfax Water, the Historic Town of Occoquan will host a Grand Opening event for River Mill Park in Occoquan on Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The event will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, concertm scavenger hunt organized by the Mill House Museum and the water bar (powered by Fairfax Water, of course)!

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the park’s development, as well as the history of the site. In addition to the Grand Opening, there will be a free summer concert series in River Mill Park from August 6 through September 3.


As demolition work continues, the Town Council has started to discuss naming our new park. The Town Council has invited the public to their February 3rd meeting to get input on potential names. What are they looking for? We hear town officials are not planning to name the park after a person or places already in town. The town is looking for something new! Below are a few names currently under consideration:

River Station Park
Mill Race Park
Oronocah Park (meaning Garden in Powhatan language)

According to the town website, demolition will continue into the Spring and park construction work will start after that with hopes that the park will be completed by Winter 2015.


Per Mayor Quist:

Also announced in the month of July, is Fairfax Water’s intent to begin water tank removal at the end of Mill Street by early August. Work is expected to last through the beginning of next year before the property is officially released to the Town, after which the Town will work to develop the site into a public park that we hope to have operational by the fall of 2015. Once solidified, the plans will follow the same review and approval process as other construction projects in Town and updates will be provided as they become available.


Per Mayor Porta:

Prince William County and the Town of Occoquan have agreed to a boundary adjustment that will place all of the approximately 1.11 acres of park land within the town’s boundaries. A long-term lease for the site is being negotiated now. Fairfax Water has indicated that they plan to begin removal of the deprecated tanks in late 2013, or early 2014.


Per Mayor Porta:

On January 9, 2013 the Occoquan Town Council voted unanimously to approve a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Town, Fairfax Water, and Prince William County, for the construction and operation of a park on the site of the decommissioned Fairfax Water treatment plant at the northwestern end of town.  A result of months of negotiation between the parties, the agreement establishes the basic responsibilities for oversight of the approximately 1.11 acres of land.

Under the terms of the MOA, Fairfax Water will remove the tanks and buildings and lease the property for no less than 30 years.  Prince William County will contribute funds to the construction of the new park.  The Town of Occoquan will be responsible for the park’s operation and maintenance.


Will Occoquan Riverfront Park finally become a reality? Things are looking good!

According to InsideNova: “Six years after being approved as part of Prince William County’s 2006 bond referendum, a small riverside park appears likely to be built in the near future.”

The Prince William County FY 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Plan calls for a radical revitalization. According to the document:

Occoquan Riverfront Park will be developed on a portion of two parcels of land owned by Fairfax County Water Authority and located at 415 Mill Street and 460 Mill Street in the Town of Occoquan. The site was previously utilized as a water treatment plant and has been decommissioned by Fairfax Water. Fairfax Water will assist in development of the site by selective demolition of existing facilities. The area will be developed into a small community park with a playground, a spray ground, a small amphitheater, and possibly some indoor space appropriate for community based programming.

Where is the money coming from? Debt financing approved by voters during the 2006 bond referendum provides $1,500,000 for this project. Construction of the park is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Stay tuned for demolition updates.


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Spring Craft Fair on June 4th & 5th

Posted by Lou on May 30, 2016 in Special Events, Town News

The 2016 Occoquan Spring Craft Fair will take place in Historic Occoquan on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th. Per the semi-annual tradition, it will feature tons of delicious food and crafts from an array of artists and vendors.

Come enjoy this great two-day event filled with contemporary and country crafters and live music. Hundreds of vendors will be on hand.  Buses will run from nearby commuter lots to the show at a cost of $5 roundtrip.  Hope to see you in Occoquan over the weekend!

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Art on the Block

Posted by Lori on March 28, 2016 in Special Events, Town News

Local artists will be participating in “Art on the Block” in Historic Occoquan, VA, on Saturday, May 7th, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  Enjoy watching artists while they work – partake in receptions at each of the galleries – sign up for special drawings.  This annual event is a wonderful way to spend Mother’s Day weekend with the family.

The participating galleries include:


“Chase’s Road” Painting by Danielle E. Rush (Red Art & Design)

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2015 Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show

Posted by Lou on September 7, 2015 in Craft Show, Special Events, Town News

The 2015 Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show will take place in Historic Occoquan, Saturday September 26th (10:00 AM to 6:00 PM) and Sunday, September 27th (10:00 AM until 5:00 PM) rain or shine. Per the semi-annual tradition, it will feature lots of greasy food and crafts from a wide array of local artists and vendors. The Town website has complete details.

You can park in nearby commuter lots and take a shuttle to Occoquan for $5/person (cash only). 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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5 Minute Guide: Town of Occoquan & the Occoquan River

Posted by Lori on February 16, 2015 in Occoquan River, Town News


Occoquan, VA Infographic

An infographic created by! Everything you need to know about Occoquan, VA and the Occoquan River.

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Occoquan Holiday Events in December

Posted by Lou on November 24, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Special Events, Town News

 Golden Goose Occoquan, Va

Quick line up of events in the Town of Occoquan for December. Check back for updates:

Miss Rivershore will have two events with Santa this year.  On December 6th, Santa will arrive at Mamie Davis Park at 12:00pm and will visit children until 4:00pm at Town Hall. On December 14th, Santa will be aboard Miss Rivershore again. There will be three boat rides available at 1:00, 2:00 & 3:00.
Cost: Children $15, Adults $20
Call Captain Mark for details and to reserve your spot! 703-498-4348

Town Blessing & Holiday Party: On Sunday, December 7th,  the Town Blessing will be at 6:00pm at Ebenezer Baptist Church followed by the Town Holiday Party at Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant.

Accolades Florist “Homemade for the Holidays” Open House:  ACCOLADES FLORIST HOLIDAY FLYER
Stop by Accolades Florist on December 7th to place your holiday orders and receive $10 off your order. Family owned and operated, Accolades Florist, has been in business for over 20 years, always going the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect!

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Holiday Festivities on the Occoquan Waterfront

Posted by Lori on November 17, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Special Events, Town News
VanEch Studio, Occoquan Virgina

Courtesy of VanEch Studio.

Bundle up and head out to the Occoquan Waterfront this Friday for shopping and dinner before the Town’s Christmas Tree Lighting! The Business Guild of Occoquan will hold their annual Holiday Open House on November 21st from 4:00pm – 8:00pm followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony in front of Town Hall at 8:05pm. The Guild’s Open House drawing will be in front of Hawthorne House (404 Mill Street) at 8:15pm, where $1,500 in gift certificates will be given away. Our streets are decorated for the season and the shops will be open until 8:00pm.

Come early and grab a table at the Bottle Stop (311 Mill Street) located across the street from Town Hall for the 1st Annual Occoquan Tree Lighting Watch Party from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. Check out this week’s menu here.

The Holiday Open House is the kick off to the holiday season for many shops in town. Below are just a few of the shops that will be participating:

Jerry’s Occoquan Jewelers (306 Mill Street)

Off the Beading Path (310 Mill Street)

The Loft Gallery (313 Mill Street)

Quinn’s Goldsmith (199 Union Street)

The Golden Goose (302 Mill Street)


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Ghost Tours in Occoquan

Posted by Lori on October 17, 2014 in Town News


Local paranormal investigator and owner of Haunted Occoquan Tours, Kay Pietrewicz, continues to offer family-friendly ghost tours through the streets of Occoquan this fall. Up to 20 buildings in town are said to be haunted. Register for one of Kay’s tours on her website or call 571-572-9410. Maybe you will catch a glimpse of one of our most famous ghosts at the Occoquan Inn or witness one of the sightings described in Suburban Legends’ YouTube Series from a few years back.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out about events like this!

Happy Haunting!

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New Exhibit at the Artists’ Undertaking Gallery

Posted by Lou on August 18, 2014 in Announcements, Special Events, Town News

The Artists’ Undertaking Gallery in presents “Pairs By Any Other Name”, an exhibit featuring Paintings by Roger Frey of Woodbridge, VA and Wood Turning by Bob Horowitz of Falls Church, VA.

The exhibit runs September 2 – October 6. An Artists’ Reception will be held on Saturday, September 13, from 1 to 5 pm.

The gallery is open 11am to 5pm daily and is located at 309 Mill Street in Occoquan, VA.

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“Friend of the Occoquan” License Plate

Posted by Lou on August 18, 2014 in Announcements, Town News, Transportation

Occoquan River Communities (ORC) is sponsoring an initiative to create a special “Friend of the Occoquan” regional license plate.

The brainchild of Polka Dot Diva’s co-owner Kristyn Gleason, the effort is being led by Betty Dean, the President of ORC, and the special plate has been designed by local artist Donna Merchant.

In order to get the Commonwealth of Virginia to approve creation of the plate, ORC must collect at least 450 completed, paid applications for the plate before January 30, 2015.

Fees for the special plate are $25 for a non-personalized plate and $35 for a personalized one.  Click here to complete an application.

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Live on Fox 5: The Blue Arbor Cafe

Posted by Lou on June 6, 2014 in Town News, Video

In anticipation of this weekend’s spring Arts and Crafts Show, Fox 5 broadcast live from Occoquan on Friday, June 6. Check out this clip featuring the Blue Arbor Cafe and watch more video clips.

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

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2014 Town of Occoquan Elections

Posted by Lou on March 28, 2014 in Announcements, Town News

In 2014, the residents of Occoquan will once again have the opportunity to elect a Mayor and new Town Council. The General Election voting will take place on Tuesday, May 6. Reminder, you must be registered to vote by Monday, April 14th in order to participate.

The sample ballot is now available on the Prince William County Office of Elections website.

As reported by, Mayor Earnie Porta has already announced that he plans not to seek reelection. In his stead, Town Council Member Elizabeth “Liz” Quist has announced her candidacy.

Mayor Porta supports Quist as the town’s new mayor because “she is open-minded and strives to be fact and evidence-based on every issue that comes before the council. She also has a very strong handle on town finances and has worked very hard to improve the professionalism and capabilities of town staff.”

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Mayor Earnie Porta Will Not Seek Reelection

Posted by Lou on January 21, 2014 in Politics, Town News

Per Mayor Porta:

With the deadline for filing for town elections approaching in March, I wanted to let everyone know that I will not be seeking a fifth term as Mayor of the Town of Occoquan this May.  After making a careful and realistic assessment of other commitments and obligations, as well as of personal and professional goals, I have concluded that I simply would not be able to devote for another full two-year term the time, effort, and focus that I think the people of Occoquan deserve.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Occoquan’s Mayor over the past eight years, and I am very grateful for the generous support received during that time from residents, businesses, staff, visitors, and the many friends of the town in Prince William County and other areas.  I am proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together.  We have, I believe, provided a solid foundation on which future councils can build.  Over the remaining five months of my term I will do my best to continue to work diligently on Occoquan’s behalf.  Thank you all again for the privilege of serving.

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Occoquan Spring Craft Fair 2013

Posted by Lou on May 29, 2013 in Craft Show, Special Events, Town News

The 2013 Occoquan Spring Craft Fair will take place in Historic Occoquan, this weekend, June 1st & 2nd. Per the semi-annual tradition, it will feature an assortment of deep-fried delicacies and for-sale craft items from a wide array of local artists. The craft show website has more details about participating vendors.

You can park in nearby commuter lots and take a shuttle to Occoquan for $4/person (kids free). The weather looks like its going to be HOT this year, stop by and check it out!

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