Alexandria, VA

Old Town Alexandria is widely renowned for it’s Christmas atmosphere, but it’s local inmates who do much of the work to get those decorations up.

In addition to the lights in trees on King Street, there are garlands and ribbons around poles and lamp posts throughout Old Town.

Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, said inmates at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center work on a voluntary basis to decorate Old Town.

“The Inmate Work Detail does put up some holiday decorations (garland and ribbon) along King Street, but not the lights,” Bertsch said. “Participation in the Inmate Work Detail is completely voluntary and inmates are compensated. They appreciate the opportunity to be out of the jail and working in the community.”

The holiday lights and decorations used to only go from the waterfront to Route 1, but David Martin, owner of Gold Works on upper King Street, spearheaded an effort in the early 2000s to have holiday decorations extend up King Street to the Metro station.

Staff photo by Vernon Miles

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