The first running of the Potomac Hunt Races took place in 1952, and the event has been an annual tradition in Montgomery County ever since. The event celebrates steeplechase racing—a form of competition that originated in 18th-century Ireland, when riders would dash across uneven terrain and use towering church steeples as their beacons. Today, regular two- to four-mile tracks have become the battlegrounds for steeplechase events, and horses equipped with on-board GPS systems have made church steeples obsolete. Potomac Hunt Races carries on the tradition of this modern-day version of steeplechase racing, while implementing a tradition of its own: donating a portion of the proceeds from each year's event to charity.
The larger-than-life inflatables at Sport Bounce of Loudoun aren’t just manufactured in the United States—they’re also crafted from commercial-grade, lead-free vinyl. The staff here takes just as much responsibility for visitors’ safety as they do for their entertainment, and oversee cleanliness throughout the 10,000-square-foot space. The bright, open arena fills with children aged 18 months and older who glide down two giant inflatable slides, bound through bounce houses and obstacle courses, dunk on inflatable basketball hoops, and fend off inflatable train-robbers in a kid-powered train. Though some areas only accommodate children, adults are welcome to slide and bounce as they supervise their kids at play.
Fun events, such as pajama and birthday parties, are a staff specialty. During each birthday celebration, they perform all setup and cleanup and provide utensils, birthday candles, and a crown or tiara for the birthday child. Each guest leaves with a complimentary photo of all the partygoers gathered on Sport Bounce's signature oversized red inflatable chair.
Presented by Wolf Trap, an amalgamation of film and live music takes over the scenic, open-air Filene Center, exposing the eyes and ears of thousands of attendees to a memorably magical evening. During Tan Dun: Martial Arts Trilogy, Academy Award–winning composer Tan Dun conducts the National Symphony Orchestra through a series of three concertos and coordinated cheerleading routines based on the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Banquet, and Hero. Tan Dun, the original composer of each film's soundtrack, isolates one instrument in each concerto to represent the voice of a main female character. Located in America’s Park for the Performing Arts, the outdoor amphitheater grants audience members views of the musical performance, supplemental film clips, and face-painted superfans singing along in unison to rousing cello solos.
Now & Then Dance Studios’ dance instructors let students pick from 21 styles of dancing, including waltz, salsa, and merengue. They make sure to integrate private classes, group classes, and supervised dance parties in their lesson programs, which have produced successful dancers for 35 years. They dance atop dance floors to reduce impact on joints and pump music through digital sound systems.
Maestro Barry Hemphill guides the 100-voice Metropolitan Chorus through stirring vocal performances, celebrating the chorus’s 45th holiday season with "Music to Cheer the Soul." The century of trained crooners will join forces with skilled brass musicians to take on traditional holiday carols in a concert as heartwarming as a puppy calendar roasting over an open fire. The Trinity Handbells accompany the singers with tinkling tones that recall the Yuletide season’s abundant church bells, reindeer bells, and Santa alarm bells. As the conductor’s waving hands cue musicians through rousing holiday jingles and prayerful melodies, audiences feel free to sing along with the timeless refrains.
Dance King Studios owner Adam King leads his instructors in tutoring feet to move to the rhythms of salsa, bachata, tango, and swing. But his rug-cutting team doesn't simply teach students how to dance—the studio also hosts parties that encourage dancers to socialize as they show off their skills in a low-stress setting free of hecklers or trapdoors. The team also helps wedding-bound couples find their footing for first dances. Adam told Leesburg Today that he loves putting nervous pairs at ease. “Most people say they have two left feet, but I'm about overturning those ideas,” he said. “Anybody can learn to dance, it's a matter of giving yourself a chance.”