Portside Fall Festival

Portside in Old Town Fall Festival

Saturday, October 12, 2019
1 to 7 p.m. (Rain or Shine)
Waterfront Park (1 King St., Alexandria, VA)
Free Admission

Enjoy a day of maritime history, nautical demonstrations, live music and children’s activities on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. Savor local food, beer and wine while experiencing boat building displays and a building demonstration from Alexandria Seaport Foundation Apprentices, knot tying from tall ship Providence and more. Explore Portside History from the Office of Historic Alexandria, highlighting the archaeological findings of 18th-century ships uncovered along the Old Town waterfront. Continuing Alexandria’s fall tradition of Seaport Day, select activities benefit the Alexandria Seaport Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of young people through adult mentoring, project-based learning and the craft of wooden boat building.

Click here for a PDF of the festival site map.

Portside 18
Portside 10
Portside 11
Portside 12
Portside 13
Portside 15
Portside 17
Portside 14
Portside 16
Portside 2
Portside 3
Portside 4
Portside 5
Portside 6
Portside 7
Portside 8
Portside 9

Festival Activities

Boat Displays: Marvel at boats built by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation apprentices.

Portside History: The Office of Historic Alexandria will host several activities that highlight their growing understanding of the 18th century ships uncovered along Alexandria’s waterfront. Discover why a ship would be found in the ground with shoreline engineering. Test your archaeology skills by documenting a model of the ship remains with ship mapping. Try your hand at rope making the 18th century way using a mini rope machine.

Knot Tying: The tall ship Providence team invites you to learn the skill of knot tying and discover Alexandria’s newest waterfront attraction, a reproduction of the first ship authorized to serve in the Continental Navy and John Paul Jones’ first American command, opening to the public in the fall of 2019.

Anything that Floats Race ($): At 2:30 p.m., the Alexandria Seaport Foundation will host the Anything that Floats Race. Test your marine engineering and design skills in a race on the Potomac River or watch the fun for free. Awards will be presented for first place and most creative. The race is limited to 20 participants and advanced registration is recommended. Learn more

Make a Boat ($): Make your own model boat.

Paint a Boat: Stop by the painting station to add some color or painted designs to a portion of a boat. 

Lawn Games: Head to the artificial turf for a game of horseshoe and cornhole.

Splash Golf ($): Practice your golf swing with Splash City Golf on the river’s edge using biodegradable fish food golf balls.


1 p.m. Opening remarks
1-2:30 p.m. DJ Kat
3-5 p.m. The DCeivers
5:30- 7 p.m. Sol Roots

*Performance schedule is subject to change.

Food & Drink Vendors


Admission: The Portside in Old Town Fall Festival is free and open to the public. There is a cost for food and drink and some activities. There is no age requirement to enter the event.

Food & Beverage: Enjoy local eats by several vendors at the festival and come early or stay late to explore Old Town’s many restaurants. Riverside Taco Company is donating 10% of sales on the day of the event to Alexandria Seaport Foundation.Bring your water bottle to help us reduce waste from the event. A water fountain will be available by the shade structure.

Beer & Wine: All beer and wine sales require ID check and purchase of drink tickets. Cash and credit will be accepted. Cost per beer/wine is $6. Drink ticket sales will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. Beer/wine service will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 6:45 p.m.

Metro: Take the Metro into Alexandria (King St-Old Town station served by blue and yellow lines) for the Portside in Old Town Fall Festival. Once at the station take the free King Street Trolley down to the waterfront.

Lyft Code: First-time Lyft users can save $5 with the code VISITALX19

Lyft/Uber Drop Off Address: Taking Lyft or Uber? Get to the festival faster by hopping off at the Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street. It's a quick two blocks from Waterfront Park.

Parking: Driving to the festival? Old Town Alexandria has dozens of lots and garages just steps from King Street. Learn more here. We recommend parking farther away from the event and utilizing the free King Street Trolley to get to the event.

Dogs: We anticipate a high volume of attendees at this event. While we love furry friends, they may be more comfortable at home. Service animals allowed.

Photography: Photographers will be present to capture images to be used in future promotional use. By attending the festival you are granting permission for your photo to be captured. 

Summer Festival: The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival was held in June 2019 and is expected to return to the Old Town waterfront in June 2020. Learn more about last year’s event here.

Thank You, Sponsors!

Festival sponsors include The Patterson Group, Guaranteed Rate and Alexandria Restaurant Partners. Riverside Taco Company is donating 10% of sales on the day of the event to Alexandria Seaport Foundation. The Portside in Old Town Fall Festival is produced by Visit Alexandria in collaboration with the Alexandria Seaport Foundation and Office of Historic Alexandria through the King Street Corridor Initiative, a partnership focusing on beautification, programming and marketing of Alexandria’s historic downtown corridor, spearheaded by the City of Alexandria and Visit Alexandria with additional support from private funders. Special thanks to the King Street Corridor Initiative’s Founding Funders, including lead partners Alexandria Hotel AssociationAlexandria Restaurant PartnersAsanaCarr Hospitality and TTR Sotheby’s International RealtyView a full list of Founding Funders.


Alexandria City Governement Logo Visit Alexandria log King Street Corridor Initiative Alexandria Seaport Foundation