You don’t have to take our word for it: Brambleton resident shares why she loves Brambleton just as much as we do with a local publication. Read more below as resident Lauri Velotta-Rankin shares her family’s Brambleton story with Loudoun County Magazine in their latest edition. We are so happy that Lauri calls Brambleton home. We have the best neighbors!
By Lauri Velotta-Rankin for Loudoun County Magazine
I’m your typical type-A decision-maker who, admittedly, sometimes falls into a state of analysis paralysis. I procure the information, analyze the data, permit time for reflection, scrub for additional facts that may have been overlooked, and reengage the sequence—ad nauseum.
When the time arrived to determine where to live, I was fortunately flush with prior knowledge. Northern Virginia has been home since 1988, with DMV records reflecting my familiarity of the area. Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Gainesville, and Ashburn have each served as temporary residences.
Despite this nomadic behavior, I’ve been living in Brambleton for the past thirteen years with deeply-planted roots. It was an easy choice for my family, and it’s one I continue to cherish. Brambleton offers an unparalleled sense of community while maintaining an abundance of amenities and events. To illustrate this point, I’ll walk you through a fun-filled day that doesn’t require leaving the neighborhood.
Whether on foot or bike, the town center’s coffee establishments offer a great start to the day. My daughter, Simone, relishes the hunt for a good book, so we’ll journey to Brambleton Library and embark upon a search. With her selection in tow, Legacy Park’s 15-acres are explored. Simone dizzily giggles on the tire swing and holds tight as the new zip-line carries her away. When we seek solace, we’ll venture to one of the many ponds in Brambleton to feed the fish—we find the catfish are rather social. Our lunch selections are vast with many restaurant options available at the town center. A mid-day bike ride finds us meandering one of Brambleton’s tree-lined trails. We’ll stop to quietly examine a nesting station situated along the path. Simone’s fascination with these sightings has led us to purchase a children’s guide book for birds. (She now educates us on the species we spy.) When it’s time to head indoors, we like to catch the latest flick at Regal Fox Cinemas, always taking a brief respite at the fountain where loose change is typically requested. And the day rarely ends without running into a neighbor or classmate, or engaging in a chat with one of the familiar business owners.
While a small town feel is ever-present, Brambleton consistently modernizes with new establishments. In the past year, Brambleton has welcomed the culinary delight of AhSo, with its locally-sourced, modern American cuisine. For pet lovers, Good Dog Rocky supplies our four-legged friends with natural food selections and grooming services. The gourmet burger chain, Burgerim, joined the neighborhood as well, enticing with mix-and-match menu items. And the much-anticipated Brambleton Library opened its doors, exhibiting a stunning, 40,000 square foot facility. Its Makerspace is enviable with a variety of 3D printers and a professional-grade recording studio.
On Sunday mornings, the colorful tents of EatLoCo Farmer’s Market line Brambleton Plaza. Local farmers, artisans, and their wares are often accompanied by live music. After making our purchases, we’ll select a decadent treat from one of the vendors and indulge on a blanket in the park.
Arguably, the best season in Brambleton is Fall. As the weather cools, Brambleton hosts a neighborhood campout, community yard sale, and a multitude of kid and pet friendly races. One of my favorite events is Brambleton’s Fall Festival. I’ve not only attended over the years, but I spent one as a merchant, selling homemade knit hats. (I sold nearly seventy!) The town center’s shop owners open their doors for children in costume during the annual trick-or-treating event. And I’m certain that Brambleton is on the nice list, as they have Pictures with Santa for the resident’s children each year. Scheduled timeslots offer an unmatched convenience for parents.
Home to approximately 6,000 families, Brambleton is a relatively large community, yet it manages to preserve the friendliness often found in small towns. Whether passing someone on-foot, jogging, or biking along one of the many paths, it’s commonplace to exchange greetings. This welcoming spirit is also evident in the many social media forums created by residents. People are eager to help one another out, providing recommended resources on anything from landscapers to babysitters.
I think the reason we continue to call Brambleton home can be answered in a personal anecdote. One evening, I learned that Loudoun County was holding a coat drive for refugees. I posted the link to a community Facebook page, mentioning that we’d be happy to collect donations if anyone was interested in participating. Less than 24-hours later, the back of our SUV was filled to the roof with donations.
Brambleton offers a modern, walkable neighborhood replete with the very best of events and amenities. And I love these conveniences. But the sense of community fostered in Brambleton is truly its greatest asset.
MAKERSPACE [mey-ker-speys]: a collaborative workshop that supplies equipment and technology, as 3D printers, soldering tools, industrial sewing machines, etc., for creative projects.(www.dictionary.com)
What do residents enjoy most about living in Brambleton?
“It has a lot of kids who I enjoy playing and spending time with.” –Ari Nair, Age 7
“The festivals in Brambleton will be one of things I’ll remember for a long time, specifically the Fourth of July ones. The entire community gathers to talk, eat, and celebrate with each other. I always feel a connection with my community when we all sit down together and watch the fireworks.” –Hannah Ark, Rock Ridge High School Graduate (Class of 2019)
“We were attracted to Brambleton for superficial reasons, but over the years have found such an amazing sense of community here. We love the fun events, the beautiful trails and amenities, but most of all we love our neighbors.” –The Crotty Family
“We loved sweetFrog and kids loved it too, so we couldn’t pass the opportunity to get involved. And also, to provide back to the community through fundraisers and local events.” –Olaya & Arash Yazdi, Residents and Owners of Brambleton’s sweetFrog