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Alexandria City Council to consider permanently allowing big events on consecutive weekends

Handing out flags at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town, March 3, 2023 (staff photo by James Cullum)

After a busy spring and summer, the Alexandria City Council will consider permanently changing its special event policy to allow for large events with 500+ people on consecutive weekends.

City Council approved a waiver earlier this summer, as well as last year, allowing for large events on consecutive weekends. They will consider the permanent change in a meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 12).

“This change will allow events in Old Town on consecutive weekends without having to obtain permission from City Council,” city staff wrote in a report.

There are also a number of other special events policy changes, including:

  • Outside entities receiving financial assistance for Special Events from the City are required to provide the Special Events Committee with a business plan and/or provide a full disclosure of all expenses and revenues related to the event
  • Event organizers must file a notice of intent with the City Special Events Committee at least 180 days prior to the event, instead of the 90 days currently in the special events policy
  • If bottled water is provided at the event, a reasonable fee (not to exceed $1) may be changed to the public for each bottle of water
  • No notice or approval is needed for assemblies, protests and rallies if the event won’t block pedestrians from using sidewalks/crosswalks, or attendance will be under 50 and won’t be on/in a city street, or if the assembly breaks out spontaneously
  • Weddings with more than 50 people in attendance and/or that require exclusive use of a city park or other public space will be required to obtain a Special Event permit

Alexandria is home to a number of large-scale events, including the George Washington Birthday Parade, the Scottish Christmas WalkArt On The Avenue, the city’s birthday celebration, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

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