Alexandria, VA Celebrates George Washington’s Birthday With More Than 15 Events Throughout February January 25, 2019

CONTACTS:
Claire Mouledoux: CMouledoux@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5367
Leah Spellman, APR: LSpellman@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5363
Bud Jackson: bud@jacksongroupmedia.com or 617-308-4261

Alexandria, VA Celebrates George Washington’s Birthday With More Than 15 Events Throughout February

Alexandria, VA—Thousands will join in the revelry for the 287th anniversary of George Washington’s birth in his adopted hometown of Alexandria, Virginia. The city celebrates the General’s birthday throughout the month of February with more than 15 festive events, including the George Washington Birthday Parade, a Cherry Challenge among Alexandria’s restaurants, free admission to historic sites, popular walking tours and an 18th-century banquet and ball. 

Alexandria is a “best of” when it comes to the spectrum of sites and special events associated with General Washington. With George Washington’s Mount Vernon just eight miles south of historic Old Town, more than 140 locations in present-day Alexandria are associated with the nation’s first president who conducted business, gathered with friends, worshiped and even owned a townhouse in the city.

For complete event information, visit www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/GWbday.

Parade:

George Washington Birthday Parade – February 18, 2019, 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. This community parade honors one of Alexandria’s favorite sons. For more information, including parking, maps, route, and status, visit www.WashingtonBirthday.com or call 703-829-6640. FREE

Featured Events:

Cherry Challenge – January 27-February 10, 2019, various restaurants throughout Alexandria
In honor of George Washington’s birthday, participating Alexandria restaurants will create unique, cherry-centric dishes in celebration of one of the most cherished legends surrounding our first president. This year features dishes from dozens of restaurants and from every area of Alexandria and along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Participating restaurants include Del Ray Café, Dishes of India, Evening Star Café, Murphy's Grand Irish Pub, and Sonoma Cellar. Patrons rate their favorite dishes, and winners are given special recognition at the George Washington Birthday Parade. For more information, visit www.WashingtonBirthday.com or call 703-829-6640.

Walking with Washington Tours – Every Sunday in February 2019 (3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th), 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Alexandria Visitor Center
Walk in George Washington’s footsteps through his adopted hometown of historic Alexandria and view some of the sites connected to the General, like where he filled his prescriptions or wined and dined with important Alexandrians. Meet at the Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King St.). FREE

George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet & Ball – February 16, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (9 p.m. if attending the ball only), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum                     
Don your dancing shoes for this famous celebration of Washington’s Birthday at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, set in the year 1799. The evening includes an 18th-century banquet, English country dancing, dessert collation, character re-enactors plus the General and Mrs. Washington. Period costume optional; “after-five” attire encouraged. Cost is $125 per ticket. $150 per person ticket includes dinner in the same room with the Washingtons. $250 per person ticket reserves your spot at a table with the Washingtons for dinner. Reservations required. To purchase tickets, visit Alexandriava.gov/Shop or call 703-746-4242.

Washington’s Birthday Celebration – February 18, 2019, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., George Washington’s Mount Vernon Celebrate the first president of the United States on the most exciting day of the year. Witness a presidential tribute featuring honored guests and a wreath laying at Washington’s tomb. Listen to remarks given by esteemed speakers during the Official Observance Ceremony of George Washington’s Birthday. Watch Continental soldiers conduct a marching drill, fire their guns and charge at their enemy in an exciting military demonstration. After the smoke clears, listen to the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps play patriotic music. Listen to the Washington family share stories about past celebrations of the General’s birthday, including the first public celebration and the gathering during the winter encampment at Valley Forge. All day, pose like George Washington in front of our life-sized version of Gilbert Stuart’s Landsdowne painting in the Education Center Lobby. For more information, visit www.MountVernon.org/Birthday or call 703-780-2000. FREE

Historic Alexandria Open Houses – February 18, 2019, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., various museums throughout Old Town Alexandria                
In honor of George Washington’s birthday, admission is free at these historic Alexandria sites: Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum. FREE

More Events:

18th Century Dance Classes – January 31, February 7 and February 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
In preparation for George Washington’s Birthnight Ball on February 16, 2019, learn 18th-century English country dancing from expert dance instructors at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Tickets are $12 per class or $30 for the series. Reservations are recommended. For more information, visit Alexandriava.gov/Shop or call 703-746-4242.

Chocolate with General Washington –  February 10, 2019, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Children and accompanying adults are invited to spend an hour with General Washington talking about the events of the revolution, asking questions of our first citizen and enjoying hot chocolate. To learn more, visit www.GWMemorial.org or call 703-683-2007. FREE

World Turned Upside Down: Uniforms of Yorktown – February 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum
In advance of George Washington’s birthday, enjoy an evening exploring uniforms from the different nationalities that converged with Washington in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. You can even try on uniforms of the Revolutionary War! Chris Daley, historical clothing manager for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, will give you the opportunity to try on and compare uniform coats of the American, British, French and German troops as well as coats worn by African Americans serving with the British army. Each coat has been carefully researched and painstakingly reproduced in several sizes to help bring the Siege of Yorktown to life. Bring a camera and take photos of yourself and family members in the uniforms of the Revolutionary War. There will be a reception with refreshments, beer, and wine before and after the program. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Alexandriava.gov/Shop  or by calling 703-746-4994.

Breakfast & Meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association – February 18, 2019, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria
Meet special guests and enjoy a hearty breakfast with members of this historic association at this annual tradition. Be there for the first appearance of the day of General and Lady Washington. Dr. Jimmie McClellan, Dean of the Liberal Arts Division of Northern Virginia Community College, is the guest speaker. Tickets are $40. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit   www.FriendshipFireCo.org or call 703-829-6640.

Hunt for Washington – February 18, 2019, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Parade Reviewing Stand
Enjoy a fun and challenging game to uncover clues about Alexandria and George Washington. The hunt, which should take an hour or an hour and a half, will take you to a few of the places in Alexandria associated with the General. You will learn some fun facts about the father of our country and visit several historic sites around Old Town as you search for the answers to the clues. Start by picking up a clue sheet at the Parade Reviewing Stand after 10 a.m. and then use your sleuthing skills to find answers to the clues. There are prizes and mementos associated with this new, free event. For more information, visit www.WashingtonBirthday.com or call 703-829-6640. FREE

Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution – February 18, 2019, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Old Presbyterian Meeting House
Join the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution as they host colonial military and civilians to honor the soldiers of the Revolution at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House (321 S. Fairfax St.). FREE

Concert at Market Square – February 18, 2019, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Market Square
Come enjoy a free one-hour concert by the parade marching band units in honor of the General and Lady Washington at Market Square. FREE

Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony – February 18, 2019, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Market Square
Come honor our nation’s veterans and active military, and sign the community covenant document showing your support for our armed forces and their families at the Parade Reviewing Stand adjacent to Market Square. FREE

George Washington Symposium – February 23, 2019, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The theme of the 2019 George Washington Symposium is “George Washington: Symbol of an Age.” The symposium will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019, as part of the Memorial's celebration of Washington's birthday. The lectures begin at 1 p.m. in the Memorial's theater. The George Washington Symposium is held annually on Washington's birthday to provide the public with enlightening contemporary research on the life of George Washington. Mark Tabbert, the Memorial's director of collections, serves as the symposium's master of ceremonies. Admission is free, and free parking is available. Attendees are asked to preregister at www.GWMemorial.org. FREE     

Annual Washington’s Birthday Gala – February 23, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Formal (white tie optional). Reception at 5:30 p.m. Entertainment in the Memorial Theater at 6:45 p.m. Banquet in the Memorial's Grand Masonic Hall at 7:30 p.m. The presentation of the George Washington Memorial Award will take place during the banquet. Tickets are $150. Reservations are required. To purchase tickets, visit www.GWMemorial.org or call 703-683-2007.

For the most up-to-date information about related celebrations, visit www.WashingtonBirthday.com. The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee also 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 at 703-829-6640.

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Named the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018 by Money magazine, a Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2018 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and one of the South’s Prettiest Cities 2018 by Southern Living, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital. A nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is home to more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. New restaurants tucked into 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown ignite historic and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods as the waterfront district evolves with new energy. Learn more at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com.

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