Please check the links provided to make sure nothing has changed since the time of publication.
Alexandria’s Birthday Celebration
Celebrate Alexandria’s Birthday and the Nation’s with a dazzling fireworks show over the Potomac. If you’re up for venturing to Oronoco Bay Park you can enjoy the Alexandria Symphony performing to the fireworks display. Food vendors and birthday cake will also be at the park.
Saturday after the 4th of July
Friendship Firehouse Festival
The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association (FVFEA) hosts an annual Firehouse Festival with antique fire apparatus, live music, merchants, and craft booths. You can also visit the Friendship Firehouse Museum that was built in 1855 and served as a firehouse. This is a very family friendly festival — children get free fire helmets and a tour of a City of Alexandria firetruck. Food and beverages are available.
First Saturday in August 9am – 2pm / Free
Summer Restaurant Week
Many Old Town restaurants participate in the port city’s semiannual Alexandria Restaurant Week. Dinner deals include a $35 three-course dinner OR $35 dinner for two. As well as $15 or $22 lunch and brunch specials.
Historic Homes Tour
King Street Art Festival
Halloween Party at Chadwicks
Christmas Tree Lighting
Gather in Market Square just outside City Hall to kick-off the Christmas season with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Spectators are welcomed by the Town Crier followed by a program with the Mayor and other city officials. Christmas music fills the air as Santa and Mrs Claus mingle with the kiddos following the tree lighting.
Day after Thanksgiving / 6pm – 8pm / Market Square (301 King) / Family Friendly
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend
The most magical weekend in Alexandria is arguably Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend — it’s spectacular and promises to put you in the Christmas spirit. Bagpipes dance through the air in Old Town as folks enjoy the weekends many festivities donned their Scottish kilts of tartan plaid. Three Scottish merchants actually established Alexandria in 1749 and named the city after its original founder John Alexander — also of Scottish descent. Alexandria continues to celebrate and honor our Scottish heritage with a weekend filled with festivities. The Scottish Walk event has grown from a tiny informal parade to and entire weekend of wonderful festivities and events — in fact, the Southeast Tourism Society consistently ranks the weekend as one of the top 20 events in the South.
Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
You feel Alexandria’s Scottish roots as pipe and drum bands march down the streets of Old Town with folks in their colorful Scottish tartans. Terriers and hounds also take part in Old Town’s most spectacular holiday weekend parade.
Scottish Walk Parade is First Saturday of December / 11am / Family Friendly
Holiday Designer Tour of Homes
The Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes allows you to peak in your neighbors homes when they’re all decked-out for Christmas by acclaimed interior designers and local florists.
First Saturday in December / 12:30pm – 4pm / 2019 date is Saturday, December 1st / Tickets: $40 and can be purchased at The Campagna Center (418 S. Washington Street) the week prior to the tour
Salvation Army Bell Ringing by the Old Dominion Boat Club
Hear the Salvation Army bell ringing along with some “ho, ho, ho’s and Merry Christmas'” as you walk down King Street the Saturday of the Scottish Walk. Drop some coin into the iconic red bucket if you’re feeling in the charitable spirit. This long time tradition of Boat Club members ringing the bell has been going on for nearly 50 years.
First Saturday of December / Along King Street towards the River
Parade of Lights
Gather along the Potomac River at sundown and watch all of the illuminated boats cruise down the river for the annual Parade of Lights. Boaters take great pride decorating their boats to parade along our historic waterfront and the joy of the spectacle is infectious. A panel of judges award dozens of prizes including Best in Show and Thinking Outside the Christmas Box.
First Saturday of December / Sundown / Family Friendly
Waterskiing Santa and his jetskiing friends put on an entertaining water show on the Potomac on Christmas Eve. In addition to Waterskiing Santa you’ll see St Nick’s wakeboarding reindeer, flying elves, the Grinch and his buddies, and Frosty the Snowman! Prime viewing is between King and Oronoco street so Founders Park and Alexandria City Marina are excellent spots to grab some coco and watch.
Christmas Eve / 1pm / Family Friendly
First Night Alexandria
Old Town is riddled with more than 150 musical performances at 25 indoor venues as people prepare to ring in the New Year. The evening ends with music and midnight fireworks at the foot of King Street. The day has actives for families and pets along with an afternoon Fun Hunt. The family friendly day consists of games, children’s face painting, live music, and dancing. Beginning at 10 o’clock there is dancing in the street at the foot of King Street at the Potomac River’s edge.
New Years Eve / 2pm – midnight / Tickets: $15 advanced online tickets in October; $20 November – December 11; $30 December 12-31 / Family Friendly
Winter Restaurant Week
Restaurants participate in the port city’s semiannual Alexandria Restaurant Week. There are $15 or $22 lunch and brunch specials. And dinner deals include a $35 three-course dinner OR $35 dinner for two.
Exact Dates Vary Annually — As a general rule it is in the January/February time frame after the holidays.
George Washington’s Birthday Parade
Old Town celebrates George Washington’s birthday on President’s Day with a one mile parade throughout our historic streets. It’s the oldest — and thanks to thousands of participants — largest in the nation. Thousands of both locals and tourists join the revelry throughout Alexandria son’s birthday month. In addition to the parade there is a Cherry Challenge among our best restaurants, an 18th century banquet and ball, free admission to historic sites, and walking tours.
Sadly, the parade is often canceled last minute due to inclement weather click on the website for the parades status.
St Patrick’s Parade Day
The Ballyshaners’ annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade gets you in the mood for corned beef and cabbage. In addition to the parade is a Fun Dog Show and a Car Show.
First Saturday in March
Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour
A handful of Old Town’s stunning private homes and gardens open-up for touring as part of Historic Garden Week — our Nation’s oldest and largest home and garden tour. In addition to viewing some of the finest gardens around town, The Garden Club of Alexandria and The Hunting Creek Garden Club will feature stunning flower arrangements in each of the five homes.
Annual Date Varies (Saturday 10am – 4pm) / 2019 date is Saturday, April 27th / Tickets: $45 in advance, $55 day of, $25 for single-site admission
Easter Egg Hunt at Lee-Fendall
Hunt around the historic Lee-Fendall House’s garden for colorful, toy-filled Easter eggs on Easter weekend! In addition to filling up the kiddos’ Easter Baskets there are activities, crafts, snacks and photo opps with the Easter Bunny. The Easter Egg Hung is for children 10 and under.
Easter Weekend (Good Friday 3:00 pm; Saturday 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm / Easter Sunday 12:30pm & 2:30 pm) / Tickets online through eventbrite (kids 1-10 = $12 / 10+ & adults = $5 / infants = free)
George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile, 5K and Kids Dash
Alexandria’s hometown race starts at Mount Vernon and ends in Old Town. Runners have options with a 10 mile distance, a 5K and kids dash. The George Washington Parkway Classic supports the Boys and Girls Club of Alexandria.
Annual Date Varies