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Annandale is home to TV cake stars

If you’ve ever been enthralled by the elaborate, artful cakes on TV cooking shows, you might be surprised to learn that a winning contestant on several of those shows lives and works right here in Annandale.

Norman R. Davis and Zane Beg of the “custom cakery” known as The Sweet Life competed in more than a dozen Food Network Challenges. Norm won four times, and Zane came in second in his first solo challenge. Norm has been on TLC’s “Ultimate Cake Off” four times and won once. He is also often featured on the TV show “Historic Tours and Recipes.” 

The Sweet Life doesn’t have a store, though. It operates out of a house near the intersection of Braddock and Backlick roads. Their work is by appointment only.

Annandale's big event Oct. 23: The annual parade and festival

The biggest annual event in Annandale is just a few weeks away. The Fall Festival and Parade, Saturday, Oct. 23, is sponsored by the Annandale Chamber of Commerce.

The parade runs along Columbia Pike, starting at the Annandale United Methodist Church parking lot near the Gallows Road intersection at 10 a.m. You can expect marching bands from local high schools, community organizations, and because it’s an election year, lots of candidates. The Kena Shriners are usually on hand with their tiny cars, and last year, the Bolivians marched in the parade with some amazing costumes. Spectators often wear wear Halloween costumes.

Annandale High School Graduate Wins Big on Jeopardy

Because he correctly named “The Bridge on the River Kwai” as the title of the David Lean film based on the similarly titled Pierre Boulle novel, Roger Craig set a new one-day earnings record on “Jeopardy!,” winning $77,000 at the end of Tuesday’s broadcast.

Craig went into the Final Jeopardy round with $47,000 and wagered $30,000 in the category of Literary and Movie Title Objects. (Mr. Craig and overthrew the previous one-day winnings record of $75,000 set by Ken Jennings who won the game show 74 times in 2004.

Craig is the son of Roger Craig of Connellsville, Fayette County, and the former Christie Evans of New Jersey.

He graduated from Annandale High School in Annandale, Va and earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and biochemistry from Virginia Tech University and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Delaware, where he is working toward a doctorate in that same subject.

Annandale student Mitchell Frank reaches third round at U.S. Open

Very few top athletes stick around their hometowns once they hit the big time. Junior tennis star Mitchell Frank is an exception. Frank, age 16, grew up in Annandale and still lives here with his parents.

He attended Wakefield Forest Elementary and Poe Middle School and is a senior at Annandale High School. Although with his busy tournament and training schedule, he takes all his classes online - English, geosystems, world history I, and AP statistics. Frank says he devotes five and a-half hours a day to tennis practice and fitness.

After competing in the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., earlier this week, Frank was back in Annandale, attending the Atoms home football game Friday night with his friends.

Jane Smiley is Coming to Annandale

Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winner for her novel “A Thousand Acres” in 1992, will be giving a presentation in Annandale on September 22. Smiley is also author of the new bestseller “Private Life.” She will be speaking about her books in the Ernst Community Cultural Center at the Annandale Campus at 12:30 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Community College.

Come hear Smiley speak about her writings and get your own books signed! The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, you may contact Terry Alford at talford@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3274.

 

 

 

Local Teens Focus on Education in West African Coastal Nation

Two local teens are focusing in on building education, but reaching much further than education for their Annandale classmates. 16 year-old Bashir Warsame and 17 year-old Sahnun Mohamud are focusing on education in Somalia.

The two high school boys are focusing on building an educational program in the West African coastal nation of Somalia. This happens to be the home of many of their relatives and the birthplace of their parents. While both of the boys have not visited, they are aware that the education system there has been nearly destroyed because of war. One goal of their education program is to help prevent young child from being soldiers.

Warsame and Mohamud hope that have two schools established by 2011 and they have raised around $4000 thus far. The Loudoun County-based Rotary Club has donated $600 of these funds, while smaller contributions have come from local family members, friends of the boys and community members.