Alexandria, VA Celebrates George Washington’s 281st Birthday with More than a Dozen Events throughout February January 29, 2013
Claire Mouledoux, or 703-652-5367
Joe Shumard, or 703-549-7662

Largest Birthday Parade in the Country,
Food and Spirits Celebrations, Open Houses, and Walking Tours


WHAT:                George Washington Birthday Celebration in Alexandria

WHEN:                February 18, 2013: George Washington Birthday Parade 1 to 3 p.m.
                                                     and Free Historic Site Open Houses

                          February 16-18, 2013: Washington's Birthday Weekend includes Birthday Parade,
                                                          Madeira Wine Tasting, Birthnight Banquet & Ball, and 10-K run

                          Throughout February: A dozen events include 18th-Century Dance Classes, 5th Annual
                                                          Cherry Challenge, Madeira Wine Tasting, Swordsmen's Rendezvous,
                                                          and Walking with Washington tours

WHERE:               Old Town Alexandria, Virginia 22314

INFO:          or 703-746-3301

CALENDAR LISTING: February 16-18, 2013, George Washington Birthday Parade and Weekend Festivities. Largest parade in the country celebrating the 281st anniversary of the birth of the nation's first president takes place on Washington's Birthday holiday, Monday, February 18, 1 to 3 p.m. in Old Town Alexandria. Part of a weekend of events that includes the Birthnight Banquet & Ball and a Madeira Wine Tasting at Gadsby's Tavern, a 10-K race, a 1-mile race just before the parade, plus free open houses at historic attractions on parade day.,, 703-746-3301.

Weather Status:     
Hotel Bookings:      


Alexandria, VA - Thousands will join in the revelry for the 281st anniversary of George Washington's birth in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia. The city celebrates the General's birthday throughout the month of February with more than a dozen festive events, including the George Washington birthday parade, free admission to historic sites, popular walking tours, 18th-century dance classes, Madeira wine tastings, and even a cherry-themed competition among local restaurants.

On Monday, February 18, the George Washington Birthday Parade, the largest and oldest in the country celebrating this Founding Father, will wind its way through a one-mile route along the historic streets of Old Town from 1 to 3 p.m. Annually the parade includes thousands of participants including historical, community and youth groups, bands, horses and canines. More events throughout the birthday weekend make it the cornerstone of a month of celebratory events.

Alexandria is a "best of" when it comes to the spectrum of sites and special events associated with General Washington. With Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens just 8 miles south of historic Old Town, more than 140 places in Alexandria today are associated with the nation's first president, who conducted business, gathered with friends, worshiped, and even owned a townhouse in the city.

The city's distinctive hotel collection offers a range of options for a weekend getaway. Booking is easy at

Parking and Weather Status

On the day of the George Washington Birthday Parade, February 18, 2013, parking is FREE at the parking lots adjacent to the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station; from here, a free DASH shuttle bus will take visitors downtown and back between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Free King Street Trolley will also be in operation all day until 11 p.m. from the King St-Old Town Metro station.

The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee maintains a 24-hour phone line that will report any change of status or the cancellation of any event (in case of inclement weather, for instance). Call the Events Hotline 703-829-6640 at any time. Event status will also be reported at


George Washington Birthday Celebration Events:

January 31, February 7 & 14, 2013

18th-Century Birthnight Ball Dance Classes
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242
Tickets: $12 per class/$30 for series

In preparation for George Washington's Birthnight Banquet & Ball on February 18, learn 18th-century English country dancing from expert dance instructors.

February 3, 10, 17, & 24, 2013

Walking with Washington Tours
Every Sunday in February
2 p.m. (tour lasts about 90 minutes)
Location: Meet at the Alexandria Visitors Center at Ramsay House, 221 King Street
Tickets: FREE, no reservation required

Did you know that there are more than 140 places in Alexandria today associated with George Washington? This popular tour is designed to show you some of them and improve your knowledge of Washington and his hometown, Alexandria. To check event status due to weather conditions, visit or call 703-829-6640

February 3 - 9, 2013

5th Annual Cherry Challenge
Restaurants throughout Alexandria

In honor of George Washington's birthday, twelve Alexandria restaurants are creating unique menu items featuring cherries in celebration of one of the most cherished legends surrounding our first president. Each restaurant will develop its own cherry cocktail, appetizer, entrée, or dessert. Try them all and vote for your favorite. Winners are given special recognition at the George Washington Birthday Parade. Participating restaurants include the Majestic, Virtue Feed & Grain, Chart House, Dishes of India, Evening Star, King Street Blues Old Town, Murphy's Grand Irish Pub, Tempo, Union Street Public House, and Whole Foods Market.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Swordsmen's Rendezvous
1 hour tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242
Tickets: $6 per person, ages 5 and up

En garde! Experience this unique living history program as you learn a skill all 18th-century gentlemen must know - swordplay! The program includes re-enactment of 18th-century swordplay and a display of 18th-century weapons. This popular family event will include some audience participation as you practice your newfound talents.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Washington's Birthnight Banquet & Ball
5:30 to 11 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242
Tickets: $100 and up for banquet and ball, $50 for ball only; reservations required, 703-746-4242

You are invited to the re-creation of this famous celebration of Washington's Birthday set in the year 1799. The evening includes an 18th-century banquet, English country dancing, dessert collation, character re-enactors, and General and Mrs. George Washington. Period costume optional; "after-five" attire encouraged. Dancing lessons are available prior to the Ball. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for banquet and ball start at $100. To attend the Ball only, please arrive at 9 p.m. and tickets are $50. Reservations are required.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

George Washington Birthday Classic 10-K Race and 2-K Fun Run
Race Starts at 8 a.m. (rain or shine)
Cost per runner: $35; after February 9: $40

The race is now on Sunday morning! Race headquarters is the US Patent and Trademark Office, access from Eisenhower Avenue between Elizabeth Lane and John Carlyle Street. Start and finish will be in front of the Madison Building on Eisenhower Avenue. Certified racecourse through Eisenhower Valley. Cash prizes, T-shirts and refreshments will be provided for runners, with the proceeds benefiting George Washington Birthday Celebration. Maps, parking, and Metro access information may be found at

Revolutionary War Reenactment at Fort Ward Park
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Skirmish at 2 p.m.)
Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Rd.

Historic camp and tactical demonstrations throughout the day including a Revolutionary War skirmish between the Redcoats and the Colonial Army.

Madeira Wine Tasting with George Washington
3 to 5 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242.
Tickets: $45 per person

Enjoy the General's favorite drink as you toast birthday wishes to him! Taste a variety of madeira wines from Rare Wine, Inc. that were created specifically to showcase regional preferences along the nation's coastline - from Boston to Savannah! Reservations required.

Parade Day, Monday, February 18, 2013

Breakfast & Meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Holiday Inn & Suites Historic District, 625 First St.
Tickets: $30; purchase at or by calling 703-751-6416

The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association sponsors this meeting at the Holiday Inn & Suites where a hearty breakfast is served. Those in attendance will be treated to the first appearance of the day by "George Washington" and an address by a distinguished speaker, Colonel Greg D. Gadson.

Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony
11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Market Square (King & Royal streets, Alexandria)

Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony to honor our nation's veterans, active military, and their families with a ceremony featuring the commanders of Fort Belvoir and Quantico Marine Base and other special military dignitaries, The Historic Color Guard Re-enactors, and musical entertainment by the Marine Corps Base Band. After the ceremony the entertainment continues including games and activities for children, military vehicle demonstrations, informational booths and displays, and the Mammography Screening Van from Sentara Medical Center (formerly Potomac Hospital).

George Washington Birthday PARADE MILE
12:30 p.m. rain or shine
Old Town Alexandria
$20 per runner

Be a part of the third running of the Parade Mile. Run occurs just before the parade on the parade route. Start Time: 12:30 p.m. Start and finish location: The parade reviewing stands at King and Royal streets. Please note that participants must be able to finish the mile in 15 minutes or less. Absolutely no strollers or pets.

George Washington Birthday Parade
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Old Town Alexandria

The nation's largest George Washington birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. With nearly 3,500 participants including historical groups, youth from scouting groups, horses and canines, this is still a local, community parade in honor of one of the City's favorite sons. The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Gibbon and S. Fairfax streets. The reviewing stand is located near City Hall's Market Square, at the intersection of King and Royal streets, and ends at Wilkes and S. Royal streets. See for maps and additional information.

Free admission to historic sites on Monday, February 18, 2013:

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., 703-780-2000

Old Presbyterian Meeting House
323 S. Fairfax Street 703-549-6670

The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum
201 S. Washington St., 703-746-4994

Gadsby's Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242

Friendship Firehouse Museum
107 S. Alfred St., 703-746-3891

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
105-107 S. Fairfax St., 703-746-3852

Carlyle House
121 N. Fairfax St., 703-549-2997

Christ Church
118 N. Washington St., 703-549-1450

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Madeira: America's First Wine
7-8:30 p.m.
Grape + Bean, 118 N Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $75, registration at

Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner with a cup of Madeira. The Declaration of Independence was toasted with Madeira, as was George Washington's Inauguration! Join GRAPE + BEAN for an evening with Jason Whiteside, Certified Sommelier on a tasting journey of America's First Wine. We will be tasting 8 different wines including the D'Olivera 1977 Terrantez and D'Olivera 1968 Bual.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tea with Martha Washington
3 to 4:30pm
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., 703-746-4242
Tickets: $25 per person; $20 per person in groups of six or more.

Ever wonder how the first First Lady entertained her guests? What is the proper way to hold a teacup with no handles? Here is your chance to experience history with Martha Washington as she discusses 18th century tea customs as well as clothing and dancing of the period. Eighteenth-century tea includes the museum's special blend of tea, pound cake, dried fruit, and assortment of cookies. Party attire requested.


Located along the Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, DC (just five miles away), Alexandria, Virginia, is nationally recognized for its walkability, variety of acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants; a boutique collection featuring designer clothes, shoes, antiques and home decor; a thriving art scene; and hundreds of years of American history among 18th and 19th century architecture.