George Washington Celebrated with Hometown Parade in His Honor Over Presidents Day Weekend December 29, 2009
Media Release                                                                                                         CONTACT:
Merrie Morris
MMorris@VisitAlexVA.com
(703) 746-3306
Ashley Rollins
ARollins@VisitAlexVA.com
(703) 746-3309
 
GEORGE WASHINGTON CELEBRATED WITH HOMETOWN PARADE
IN HIS HONOR OVER PRESIDENTS DAY WEEKEND
Fall in love with your country again
Over holiday weekend that includes Valentine's Day


WHAT:
     Weekend of festivities culminates with George Washington Birthday Parade:
               Largest parade in the country celebrating the nation's first president

WHEN:
     Presidents Day Weekend, February 13-15, 2010
               Parade on Monday, February 15

WHERE:
   Old Town Alexandria, Virginia 22314

ALEXANDRIA, VA (December 29, 2009) - George Washington, the nation's first president, will be honored on the 278th anniversary of his birth with a parade in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday, February 15, 2010.

The George Washington Birthday Parade, the largest in the country celebrating this Founding Father, will wind its way through the historic streets of Old Town where Washington lived, worshiped and conducted business. Annually the parade includes thousands of participants including historical, community and youth groups, bands and animals. Spectators line the cobblestone sidewalks along the one-mile parade route.

Weekend events in Alexandria will celebrate Washington's legacy with reenactments, the Birthnight Banquet & Ball at Gadsby's Tavern, a 10-K race, and tours of local attractions and historic sites highlighting their connections to Washington.

The weekend coincides with Valentine's Day on Sunday, February 14. Spend the three-day, holiday weekend falling in love with America again with the largest and oldest celebration of George Washington's birth in the country.

The celebration of Alexandria's favorite son extends throughout the month of February with free walking tours, a photo contest and the second annual Cherry Food Challenge, with restaurants competing to create unique dishes featuring cherries.

The George Washington Birthday Celebration festivities include:

February 1-7
Cherry Food Challenge
Celebrate one of the most cherished legends surrounding George Washington. During the first week of February, Alexandria restaurants are creating unique menu items featuring cherries. Try them all and vote for your favorite.


Sundays, February 7, 14, 21 and 28
"Walking with Washington"
A two-hour, 15-block guided walking tour of Old Town exploring George Washington's 50-year relationship with Alexandria. Tour begins at the fountain in Market Square in front of City Hall (near the northeast intersection of King and Royal streets).
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather permitting
Free


Entry is open until the end of March 2010
George Washington Photo Contest
Come to any (or all) of George Washington Birthday Celebration events in February and bring your camera. The fourth annual George Washington Photo Contest is open to amateurs and professionals of all ages. Contest rules and entry forms may be found at www.WashingtonBirthday.net.


Saturday, February 13
George Washington Birthday Classic 10-K Race and 2-K Fun Run
Certified race course through Eisenhower Valley and Alexandria's parklands. Prizes, T-shirts and refreshments will be provided for runners, with the proceeds benefiting the Alexandria Police Youth Camp.
8 a.m. to 11 a.m., rain or shine
$25; after February 10: $30

Birthnight Banquet & Ball
Participate in a reenactment of the 1798 and 1799 balls George Washington attended to celebrate his birthday. Colonial attire encouraged but not required. Dancing lessons are available prior to the Ball.
5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St.
$100 for banquet and ball, $50 for ball only; reservations required, (703) 838-4242


Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14
Breakfast with George Washington and America's Smallest Hometown Parade at Mount Vernon
Join George Washington for a sample of his favorite breakfast of hoecakes swimming in butter and honey prepared over an open fire. Families are welcome to participate in "America's Smallest Hometown Parade," complete with fife and drum corps, 18th-century music, farm animals, and "the general" himself.
Breakfast: 9 a.m. to noon, while supplies last
Parade: 1:30 p.m.
Included in regular admission


Sunday, February 14
Revolutionary War Reenactment at Fort Ward Park
Historic camp and tactical demonstrations throughout the day including a Revolutionary War skirmish between the Redcoats and the Colonial Army.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (skirmish is at 2 p.m.)
Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria
Free


Parade Day, Monday, February 15
George Washington Birthday Parade
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 and animals, 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.
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Free

Free Admission to Mount Vernon on Presidents Day
Celebrate the national observance of George Washington's birthday by visiting his home and burial site free of charge on this day. Enjoy musical and military performances. Festivities begin after a 10 a.m. ceremony at Washington's tomb. "America's Smallest Hometown Parade" steps off at 1:30 p.m.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free

Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution
Colonial military units gather for a special ceremony honoring the fallen soldiers of the Revolutionary War at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution in the courtyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House (321 S. Fairfax St.). George Washington and honored guests of the Celebration arrive by carriage to take part in this tribute and to hear remarks by a prominent citizen.
11 a.m.
Free

Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast & Meeting
The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association sponsors this meeting at the Holiday Inn and Suites (625 First St., Alexandria) where a hearty breakfast is served. Those in attendance are treated to the first appearance of the day by George Washington and an address by a distinguished speaker.
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Tickets are $25; purchase at www.WashingtonBirthday.net or by calling (703) 751-6416.

Free admission to historic Alexandria sites:

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, (703) 780-2000

The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum
201 S. Washington St., (703) 838-4994

Gadsby's Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal St., (703) 838-4242

Friendship Firehouse Museum
107 S. Alfred St., (703) 838-3891

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
105-107 S. Fairfax St., (703) 838-3852

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

Lee-Fendall House Museum
614 Oronoco St., (703) 548-1789

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

More information on George Washington birthday events throughout February 2010 can be found at http://www.visitalexandriava.com/Calendar-of-Events/

Media Contact: Merrie Morris, MMorris@VisitAlexVA.com, (703) 746-3306
                     Ashley Rollins,
ARollins@VisitAlexVA.com, (703) 746-3309

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