At sundown on the day of the Scottish Christmas Walk parade, experience one of the region's most beloved holiday traditions with the 15th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Alexandria's harbor lights up as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria's fireboat, The Relief and Washington, DC's fireboat, John Glenn.
New this year, DC media personality Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM will be the parade announcer. Also new, the Waterskiing Santa will have a boat in the parade, to celebrate his upcoming show in Alexandria on Christmas Eve.
The boats are dressed to impress a panel of judges who will award prizes in a dozen categories including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box, and Hardiest Souls. Last year's Best in Show went to Firefly, a 25-foot sailboat featuring a tribute to the classic film A Christmas Story, complete with a leg-shaped lamp and the crew dressed in pink rabbit pajamas.
At the marina before and after the parade, visitors are invited to stop in to the Torpedo Factory Art Center's Holiday Open House between 4 and 9 p.m. to enjoy live music and festive activities including gift shopping in open artist studios. Santa is scheduled to arrive on a fireboat around 4:15 p.m. in the water taxi slip near the Chart House restaurant. Santa will visit each floor of the Torpedo Factory to welcome guests. Throughout the evening the Torpedo Factory will offer free fresh-baked cookies and drinks, a choir singing, a Gourmet Hot Chocolate Bar, along with a full-size re-creation of Santa's fireboat display for selfie picture taking. Yelp will host a hands-on activity making luminaries. There will be prize drawings between 4 and 7 p.m. Later, at 8 p.m., the Braddock Street Brass Quintet will play a selection of your favorite holiday classics.