Thousands will converge on Bull Run Regional Park's special events center on Sunday, April 1 for a celebration of the Persian New Year.
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority estimates that between 7,000 and 9,000 people will attend the Sizdah Be-dar or "13 Bedar" celebration this year. In Iran, 13 Bedar is the last day of a two-week observance of the new year, and most people enjoy it outdoors. The celebration at Bull Run runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"We really believe that the Bull Run Special Events Center provides the best opportunity to make this event everything the Persian community would like it to be," NVRPA executive director Paul Gilbert said in a press release. "There's ample parking and space, there will be DJs playing live music, dancing, food vendors and more."
In addition to those activities, partygoers will throw knotted blades of wheat or grass into the waters of the Cub Run stream, a tradition which symbolizes getting rid of the old year and moving into the new.
The plan is to completely move the celebration from Algonkian Regional Park, where it had taken place in past years, to Bull Run from now on, due to the enormous crowds. Bull Run has a much better ability to handle the festival, as it can handle up to 10,000 people before reaching capacity. In addition, the venue offers a new advantage to partygoers: admission is free.