By now, you’ve probably heard that the World Police and Fire Games are coming to town. This exciting, international competition involves a series of events that are centered in Reston and will take place all over Northern Virginia. There will be so much happening that it can be overwhelming. We have outlined the essential information to help clarify it for you.
Here’s what you need to know about the World Police and Fire Games, and how they will impact Reston.
1. It’s almost as big as the Summer Olympic Games.
This event is huge. According to Wikipedia, the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) typically include 10,000 participating athletes, slightly fewer than the number of participants in the Summer Olympic Games, and more than the Commonwealth Games. The 2015 WPFG website claims that this year’s number of athletes exceeds 12,000.
This year’s WPFG will include athletes from 68 countries participating in 65 sports to qualify for over 1,600 medal events. The Games are open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world.
2. It’s an honor for Fairfax County to host it.
The WPFG are held every two years, in different locations each time. Cities around the world eagerly bid for the opportunity to hold this event. The 2013 Games were held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The 2017 Games will take place in Montreal, Canada. Other locations have included such eminent cities as Melbourne, Australia (1995); Stockholm, Sweden (1999); and Barcelona, Spain (2003).
Fairfax County is proud to be among these selected hosts. Even more exciting is that the 2015 Games are emphasizing Fairfax County as the host location, as opposed to focusing on Washington, D.C. Our county is in an international spotlight with this event.
3. Reston Town Center is hosting the Athletes Village, and offering tons of entertainment to the general public.
Reston Town Center (RTC) is serving as a hospitality center for the thousands of visiting athletes. Many of the visitors will be staying at the Hyatt Regency hotel. RTC is hosting daily free entertainment for the athletes, visitors, and general public throughout the two weeks of the Games. You can find full entertainment schedules on the WPFG website. The activities begin Wednesday, June 24, and continue through Sunday, July 5.
If you encounter any shortage of parking at RTC during the Games, additional parking will be available at 12050 Sunset Hills Road (the Sunset Park and Ride), which is approximately a 9 minute walk from the Town Center.
Here’s where you can find all the fun:
- “Champions Square” (known to locals as the parking lot at the intersection of New Dominion Pkwy and Fountain Dr.) will host tons of entertainment, including:
- Beer gardens with arcade games, shuffle board, foosball, and board games.
- Mechanical bull, rock wall, and obstacle course (fees may apply)
- Live entertainment, including bands, comedians, and dueling pianos
- “Liberty Lawn” (known to locals as the grassy area area along Reston Parkway) will offer outdoor recreation, including:
- Life-sized lawn games like Jenga and checkers
- A Lawncierge tent where you can check out gear for soccer, volleyball, badminton, bocce, or croquet
- The Pavilion will be open only to credentialed athletes and their guests.
4. Hosting the Athletes Village is likely to offer a big economic benefit to local businesses.
The number of visiting athletes, companions, and coaches could lead to as many as 30,000 visitors to Reston and surrounding areas. The economic impact of the Games is expected to be substantial during the ten days of the event.
5. Not all the competitors will be visitors. Some of them call Reston home.
Many Northern Virginia police officers and fire fighters will be competing in the Games, including some from Reston. Some of Reston’s hometown heroes include Ali Sepehri (soccer), Brian Takagi (ice hockey), and Nicholas Andariese (baseball and softball).
6. The public can attend the sports events, and some of the locations take place here in Reston.
The events are scheduled to take place in locations all over Northern Virginia. You can attend any of the events, and there are several in cities close by, including Tysons, Fairfax, and Chantilly. The full schedule is available on the WPFG website. Here are the events scheduled within Reston:
- Honor Guard: June 28, 10am-4pm. (Hyatt Ballroom, Reston Town Center)
- Ice Hockey: June 27-July 3, 8am-10pm (Reston Skatequest)
- Police Service Dogs: June 27-28, 9am-5pm (Lake Fairfax Park)
- Rowing: July 3-4, 10am-6pm (Hyatt Ballroom, Reston Town Center)
- Rugby: June 30-July 2, 9am-7pm (Lake Fairfax Park)
- Running – Cross Country: June 30, 7am-11am (Lake Fairfax Park)
- Running – Half Marathon: July 5, 7am-11am (Reston Town Center Pavilion)
- Swimming – Open Water: June 28, 9am-1pm (Lake Audubon )
- Triathlon: July 3, 7am-12pm (South Lakes High School)
- Wrist Wrestling: July 2, 1pm-7pm (Reston Town Center Pavilion)
7. Everything is free to attend.
All sports events are open to the public and free of charge. Even the opening ceremony on Friday, June 26 at RFK stadium is free to attend, but you have to request tickets online.
Boxing and Bodybuilding do require a complimentary ticket due to venue capacity limits at the George Mason University Center for the Arts. Tickets for those events will be available at the George Mason University box office (processing charges may apply). There may also be fees for a few of the amusements planned at Reston Town Center.
8. There are some really cool sports included.
In addition to many sports you would find in the Olympics, such as running, swimming, cycling, or ice hockey, there are also some more unexpected sports, such as dodgeball, dragon boat, wrist wrestling, cross fit, orienteering, police service dogs, and toughest competitor alive.
9. Reston Town Center’s summer concert series is paused until after the Games.
RTC’s Saturday night concerts and Monday morning Mr. Knick Knack performances will not take place during the Games, because the Pavilion will be reserved for the WPFG events. Pavilion concerts will resume on Saturday, July 11, and Monday, July 13.
The Family Fun Entertainment series on Saturday mornings in Town Square Park will continue throughout the Games.
10. Attending the WPFG is an excellent way to show support for the hardworking police and fire professionals of the world.
Cheer for them and show your support. We are proud to be hosting these heroes.