Holiday Boat Parades Announced by The Wharf and Alexandria November 9, 2017

District Wharf: Sofia Royce,
or O.202-733-5223 C.352-328-1489

Visit Alexandria:
Claire Mouledoux: or 703-652-5367
Leah Spellman, APR: or 703-652-5363 

Holiday Boat Parades Announced by The Wharf and Alexandria

Two Waterfront Destinations, Two Celebrations Saturday, December 2, 2017

Washington, D.C.—Spectators on both sides of the Potomac River will gather to enjoy a beloved holiday tradition on Saturday, December 2, 2017. The Wharf in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia, present parades of illuminated boats back-to-back on the same evening, along with dockside festivities to celebrate the season. The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights begins at 5:30 p.m. in Old Town with activities at the Alexandria City Marina from 2 to 9 p.m. On Washington, D.C.’s waterfront, The District’s Holiday Boat Parade kicks off at The Wharf at 7 p.m. led by the DC Fireboat John Glenn. The Wharf will present a stunning fireworks finale to the parade at 8 p.m. The Wharf’s landside festivities take place from 4 to 10 p.m. all along the new waterfront neighborhood.

At 5:30 p.m. on the day of the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, Alexandria's harbor shines as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. D.C. media personality Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM will serve as the parade announcer. Enjoy festivities out on the dock from 3 to 7 p.m. and inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center from 2 to 9 p.m. At 3 p.m., Santa Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina and then walk into the Torpedo Factory Art Center to greet children and families. From 4 to 7 p.m., new paper goods boutique Penny Post presents a postcard pop-up at the marina inviting visitors to write an old fashioned postcard to Santa or a loved one that will be mailed for free. From 5 to 7 p.m., the Fresh FM Street Team presents music, games and prizes on the dock. Parade-goers are invited to step into the Torpedo Factory Art Center which will be open until 9 p.m. with its annual Holiday Festival from 2 to 6 p.m. Shop for handmade artful gifts while exploring open studios and meeting artists. Kids can also scout for art with a building-wide scavenger hunt before and after taking photos with Santa. Special performances at the art center include appearances by the Alexandria Choral Society Pro Coro and the Silver 5 Brass Quintet.

The Wharf presents The District’s Holiday Boat Parade, a magical night of boating on the Potomac River, from Hains Point to the new docks of The Wharf. This is the 26th year of this annual waterfront holiday tradition. Free public activities will be held from 4 to 10 p.m., including the lighting of The Wharf’s 45-foot tall Christmas tree; photographs with Santa Claus and the Will Gravatt band performing on a floating stage. The boat parade will kick off at 7 p.m. and concludes with a stunning fireworks finale at 8 p.m. The festive holiday boat parade will include up to 60 beautifully decorated boats. Attendees will also get into the holiday spirit with the guaranteed first snowfall of the season, crafting miniature holiday boats, sipping hot cocoa and making s’mores at The Wharf’s roaring fire pit. Other fun activities include a signature performance by Go Go Gadjet on District Pier, decorating gingerbread cookies, skating on the new Wharf Ice Rink and sampling seasonal refreshments at The Wharf’s Waterfront Winter Wine & Beer Garden.


December 2, 2017
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.; Festivities at the marina from 2 to 9 p.m.
Alexandria City Marina, 0 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314
Admission: Free  

Schedule at the Alexandria Marina
2 to 6 p.m.         Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival
3 p.m.                   Santa arrives at the marina by fireboat and walks into the Torpedo Factory
4 to 7 p.m.           Penny Post postcard pop-up; free old fashioned postcards to Santa and loved ones
5 to 7 p.m.         Fresh FM Street Team presents music, games and prizes on the dock
5:30 p.m.             Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
6 to 9 p.m.         Torpedo Factory Art Center open late

December 2, 2017
The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Parade begins at 7 p.m.; Landside festivities from 4 to 10 p.m.
Activities take place throughout The Wharf neighborhood along Wharf Street from Blair Alley SW to the 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Admission: Free   

Schedule at The Wharf
4 to 6 p.m.           Prelude activities featuring the Wil Gravett Band and lighting of the Christmas tree
6 to 8 p.m.           Landside activities throughout The Wharf including gingerbread cookie decorating, photographs with Santa Claus, s’more making, holiday boat crafting and more
7 p.m.                   Boat Parade begins
8 p.m.                   Parade Fireworks Finale
8 to 10 p.m.        Celebrate the boat captains at the After Party featuring Go Go Gadjet

The Wharf opened Phase 1 of the new neighborhood on October 12, 2017. Developed by Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, The Wharf is a $2.5 billion, world-class, mixed-use waterfront development centrally located on the Potomac River, along the historic Washington Channel. Situated along the District of Columbia's Southwest Waterfront and adjacent to the National Mall, The Wharf stretches across almost one mile of waterfront on 24 acres of land and more than 50 acres of water from the Municipal Fish Market to Fort McNair. When complete, it will feature more than three million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including waterfront parks, promenades, piers and docks.

Led by PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette, The Wharf development group is comprised of ER Bacon Development, City Partners, Paramount Development and Triden Development.

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Located just minutes from Washington, D.C., and connected to The Wharf by new high-speed water taxis, Alexandria was named one of “America’s Top Holiday Towns” by USA Today in 2016. Visitors can feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder on Old Town Alexandria's centuries-old brick-lined streets, twinkling with holiday traditions and magical events. Bask in the warmth of time-honored festivities like the Campagna Center's 44th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, featuring a parade of Scottish clans and Scottie dogs, as well as the 18th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River. Reminiscent of a simpler time, dozens of independent boutiques welcome you with greenery at their doorsteps, offering everything from chic fashions and home décor to classic toys and gifts for dogs. Duck into cozy cafés and chef-driven restaurants tucked into 18th-century buildings to warm up with loved ones and good cheer. Under a canopy of sparkling lights, a stroll on historic King Street is like being in a real-life Dickens Village, complete with European flair. Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience – the way it was meant to be. For more information, go to