The year was 1988-

  • “Rain Man” was the top grossing film of the year. It later won the academy award for Best Picture.
  • George HW Bush was elected the 41st president over Michael Dukakis.
  • “Faith” By George Michael was the #1 song.
  • It was an Olympic year: Remember when they used to do both summer and winter Olympics in one  year? That year the summer Olympics were in Seoul, South Korea and the Winter Olympics were in Calgary, Canada.

It was also the year of the first SterlingFest  which was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Sterling Park. It was advertised and promoted in the Loudoun Easterner;  a wonderful local newspaper that was mailed to you.

I was 27, married with a 2 year old daughter and another on the way. We had just moved to Sterling Park 2 years prior and were looking forward to the parade and festival. The parade featured the Shriners in their little motor cars, baton twirling groups, and both Park View and Broad Run High School Bands, along with the usual fire trucks, ambulances and police on motorcycles. We then walked up to the then “Burlington” shopping center which is now the Safeway shopping center. The festival was held in the parking lot with  each vendor given a parking space to show their wares. I don’t remember the vendors having the canopies that are common today.  There were a few fun kid activities for my 2 year old to enjoy…and a couple of food trucks. (this was before food trucks went upscale) largely we just enjoyed walking around. I remember it was cool and a bit breezy.

Let’s now Fast forward 35 years. (Insert video fast forward sound…)

The year is now 2023-

  • The top grossing movie (thus far) of 2023 is the Super Mario Bros Movie.
  • The top hit song is “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus.
  • The Summer and Winter Olympics are now held in separate years.
  • I had 3 more kids….later go divorced, and my then 2 year old is now married with 4 children.

Where did that time go??


BUT THE BIG NEWS IS THAT WE ARE CELEBRATING THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF STERLINGFEST AND THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF STERLING PARK!! , a wonderful place to live, work and play (with no HOA!… and…you get a real yard!)

The Sterlingfest team is pulling out all the stops to make this year’s festival THE. BEST. EVER!!:

The Fest now features a main music stage with all day entertainment, a full children’s area complete with 2 (count ‘em 2…) moon bounces, a petting zoo, a reptile petting zoo, crafts, facepainting and more! Our performance stage will feature local dance troupes, martial arts groups and of course our hometown theater group the Sterling Playmakers. There will be 12 food trucks featuring a variety of different foods and desserts. And for the 5th year, we will feature a wine and beer garden with local wines and brews, and for the third year in a row we will ALSO have a Car Show!


It is going to be EPIC! And it is free!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  OCT 7, 2023 11am to 5pm on the streets surrounding the Sterling Community Center. (Enterprise and Commerce Sts) for some great family fun!!!






Nancy Gallagher 
SterlingFest Chairman