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AARP cites Alexandria as one of the best ‘small towns’ for the holiday season

Santa at the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Old Town, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Before everyone jumps on AARP, the group acknowledged in a listing of best “small towns” in America to enjoy the holidays that Alexandria is a city.

With that out of the way: AARP said Alexandria is one of the top five “small towns that will bring your Hallmark Christmas movie dreams to life.”

Alongside skiing destinations in Utah and a former gold rush town in Georgia, AARP said Alexandria’s “cozy small town vibes, especially during winter months,” give the city of 155,000 a rustic, European village feeling.

“Alexandria is technically a midsize city, with a year-round population of slightly more than 155,000, but this Washington suburb still gives cozy small-town vibes, especially during the winter months,” AARP wrote. Take a stroll down King Street’s brick-laden sidewalks through Alexandria’s historic district, and you may feel like you’re in an old European village.”

The listing cited the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade as a particular highlight of the holiday season.

“Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on Dec. 2 continues its old European roots by paying homage to the Scottish merchants who founded the town in 1749,” AARP wrote. “Scottish clans dressed in traditional tartans (the plaid, woolen cloths) march through Old Town Alexandria. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs to watch anywhere along the mile-long route. The festivities continue later that day with a holiday boat parade. Onlookers can watch decorated boats float by on the Potomac River.”

Other “towns” highlighted on the list are:

  • Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Lebanon, Ohio
  • Park City, Utah

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Christmas Through The Ages – Join the Washington Men’s Camerata, and Guest Director Scott Tucker for a program of Christmas and holiday music spanning the centuries through today, featuring the music of Bach, Lauridsen, Abbie Betinis, and many others.


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