Alexandria, VA

A festival celebrating Alexandria’s maritime history is planned for this Saturday (Oct. 12) at Waterfront Park (1 King Street).

The Portside in Old Town Fall Festival, hosted by Visit Alexandria, is scheduled to run from 1-7 p.m., rain or shine. The event is free to attend and has a variety of maritime activities, live music and more lined up.

One of the main features of the event are boats crafted by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, a local organization that teaches shipbuilding and mentors people between the ages of 16-22

There are a few educational opportunities as well, with the Office of Historic Alexandria offering lessons about the waterfront’s history and the ships discovered there.

A team from the tall ship Providence, a reproduction of nautical legend John Paul Jones’ first American command, will also be on hand to teach knot tying ahead of the ship becomes a permanent feature of the waterfront this fall.

A few activities at the festival require a fee to participate, with proceeds going to the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. Paid activities include an “Anything that Floats Race” — where participants test their engineering skills as they try to design seaworthy contraptions and put them to the test, and “splash golf” — where players practice their golf swing by hitting biodegradable fish-food golf balls into the Potomac.

There are also a variety of food and drink vendors expected at the event, including:

Photo via Visit Alexandria

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