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Magician with cards (photo via Fengyou Wan/Unsplash)

The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) in Old Town will host a free magic show next month.

The show, put on by magicians from Ring 50, will also include a toy drive to benefit the Fund for Alexandria’s Children Holiday Sharing Program, which gets presents for children who might otherwise not get gifts during the holidays.

The magic show also reflects part of the museum’s history, with records showing 19th-century magicians performing at the venue in the 1840s.

According to the city’s website:

Magic is a part of The Lyceum’s history and 19th-century magicians like Signor Blitz and Wyman the Wizard performed at there in the 1840s. This modern family-friendly show will be geared toward children ages 5 to 12, but all are welcome. Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to the Fund for Alexandria’s Child Holiday Sharing Program, which benefits kids who might otherwise go without holiday gifts this year. For more information, email [email protected]. The show is free, but space is limited so please reserve a space here!

Photo via Fengyou Wan/Unsplash

the 2019 Turkey Trot, photo via Visit Del Ray/Facebook

You’ll have plenty of time to fill up on turkey and stuffing after burning calories at the 48th Alexandria Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.

The five-mile race on Nov. 23 through the heart of Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood is expected to draw upward of 6,000 participants. It will start at 9 a.m. outside George Washington Middle School (1005 Mount Vernon Avenue).

That’s a far cry from the first race in 1975, which had 244 runners and a first place time of 25 minutes and seven seconds. Incidentally, the winner of last year’s race was professional athlete Willy Fink with a time of 23 minutes and four seconds.

On race day, the doors at GW Middle School will open at 7:30 a.m., followed by the invocation and announcements at 8:45 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 10 a.m.

Participants are asked to register and pick up their racing materials before the race.

The Alexandria Turkey Trot course (Via Visit Del Ray)
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Thousands turned out in costumes for the 27th annual Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday.

This year, the parade was named one of the top 10 Halloween Parades in the country by USA Today.

The Del Ray Business Association parade started at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ended with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.

“We couldn’t have made such a successful event without more than 100 volunteers,” said parade organizer Gayle Reuter. “We start planning for this months in advance, and it takes so many neighbors and friends to make it a success.”

Del Ray’s next big event is the 48th annual Alexandria Turkey Trot on Nov. 23.

The Del Ray Halloween Parade. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Get your candy buckets ready, because the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade is next Sunday, Oct. 29.

It’s Visit Del Ray’s 27th year hosting the fun event, which starts at 2 p.m. at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ends with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.

Thousands are expected to attend the event.

Prizes will also be awarded for the following contests:

  • Best decorated house and business — Click here to nominate a Del Ray house
  • Stroller/Group — All strollers must be registered by 1:30 p.m; strollers will then line up on Howell to be judged prior to the parade
  • Pet costume — Pet entries must be registered by 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Mt. Vernon and E. Howell Avenues
The Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Saturday morning rain wasn’t enough to dampen this year’s Art On The Avenue in Del Ray.

As expected, thousands of visitors descended on Mount Vernon Avenue for the 28th annual festival. The Visit Del Ray event featured more than 300 artist booths, live music on three stages, a pie baking contest, as well as a kids corner to create art at Pat Miller Neighborhood Square. City leaders and local business owners also cut a ribbon recognizing new Del Ray businesses.

“Thank you exhibitors, bands, restaurants, volunteers and attendees for another amazing event,” organizers wrote on the festival website. “See you in 2024!”

Ribbon cutting photo via Facebook

Art On The Avenue in Del Ray, Nov. 12, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Del Ray’s biggest celebration of the year is right around the corner.

Thousands are expected to descend on Mount Vernon Avenue to see the work of more than 300 artists for the 28th annual Art on the Avenue on Saturday.

The free family friendly event is located on Mount Vernon Avenue between Hume and Bellefonte Avenues, and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Last year’s event was postponed a month due to rain. This year, there’s a 60% chance of rain on Saturday before 8 a.m., and otherwise the forecast calls for a partly sunny day with a high of 67 degrees and wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

The event will also feature live music on three stages, a pie baking contest, as well as a kids corner to create art at Pat Miller Neighborhood Square. The kids corner is sponsored by Dominion Energy, which was lambasted in 2021 by City Council for an all-day power outage during that year’s event.

Parking is expected to be limited, and the city is offering free trolley transportation from the Braddock Road Metro station.

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Assorted ciders, beer and mead (image via Meritt Thomas/Unsplash)

A festival dedicated to all things cider-related is making a return to Alexandria next month.

The Alexandria Cider Festival is a special tasting event in the historic Lloyd House (220 N. Washington Street) and is part of the broader Virginia Cider Week.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, from 1-5 p.m. Tickets are $55 for cider tastings or $25 for designated drivers. The minimum age for the event is 21.

According to the Office of Historic Alexandria’s newsletter:

Event ticket includes cider tastings, a souvenir glass, live music, and a little history too! Tickets $55 in advance, $25 for designated drivers. Online sales end at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 18. After that, tickets can be purchased at the door for $65. Dress for the weather – the event is outdoors! Festival open 1 to 5 p.m. Proceeds from the Cider Festival will benefit the Historic Alexandria Museums.

Image via Meritt Thomas/Unsplash

The Tall Ship Providence and The Cherry Blossom on the Potomac River with the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the distance. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Among many of the Halloween happenings around Alexandria this year is a new one on the waterfront: a conversion of the tall ship Providence into a ghost ship.

The Saturday (Oct. 28) before Halloween, the Providence is set to be decked out for the spooky season and will set sail along the river with a spooky party.

“All aboard for an adults-only costume party!” the tall ship Providence website said. “Cross the gangway (if you dare) for a hauntingly good time.”

Tickets are $85 per person. The event includes a DJ, open bar, food and a costume contest. The party is only open to those ages 21 and over. The “ghost ship” sails from 5-7 p.m., then the party continues dockside from 7-8 p.m.

The Ghost Ship Providence is one of several events highlighted in a Visit Alexandria roundup of Halloween events in Alexandria.

That same Saturday, there’s:

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Oct. 29, there’s:

The Eisenhower Rock the Avenue Block Party is on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 (courtesy image)

(Updated on Sept. 21) This Saturday’s first-ever Eisenhower Rock the Avenue Block Party to promote the Eisenhower Valley has been postponed due to a rainy forecast.

“As of this morning, it is still calling for 100% heavy rain and high wind,” event organizers wrote in an email. “Given these predictions, it would be very hard to hold an event with these miserable conditions.”

Eisenhower Partnership and SaltBox are hosting the inaugural event, which was to include a pop-up Cider Garden hosted by Lost Boy Cider, food and products from businesses on Eisenhower Avenue, as well as kid-friendly activities and live music.

A replacement date has not been announced.

Halloween on Lee Street in Old Town, October 31, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Updated at 5:45 p.m. — There is a slight surge of Covid cases in Alexandria, however a notification that a Halloween-themed event at a city recreation center this weekend was unfounded, according to the City.

On Tuesday, an Evite was sent to reporters announcing a Halloween festival at the Leonard “Chick” Armstrong Community Center, but on Wednesday another email was sent announcing that the event was canceled.

“In the wake of the latest surge in Covid-19 cases and the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders we are having right now we figure it is best to cancel the Chick Armstrong Rec. Center’s Halloween Fest,” the email said. “We are sorry to miss the fun but it is best to stay home and stay safe. So we hope to host next year once the vaccine is out and it is safer to gather again. We are sorry to have to cancel but health comes first. Stay healthy everyone and remember to mask up.”

Diane Ruggiero, the city’s deputy director of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, told ALXnow that the city does not send evites, and that the message was sent from someone outside the city.

“Halloween Fest at Chick Armstrong Rec Center is scheduled for Saturday, October 14 from noon – 3 p.m.,” she said. “This free friendly spooky event will feature food, vendors, games, music, and a costume contest for the entire family. The event has not been cancelled due to Covid.”

Covid update

The Covid-19 pandemic was officially over in May, although the numbers of infected residents are climbing.

There were 614 new cases reported in the last 13 weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The seven-day average for new cases is 15.86, far from the 36.86 seven-day average this time last year. The worst day of 2023 was on Jan. 5, when there were 59 new cases and the seven-day average was 41.57.

New Covid cases over the last 13 weeks in Alexandria (via VDH)

According to VDH:

  • There were 98 reported cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4
  • There were 92 reported cases between Sept. 5 to Sept. 11
  • There were 62 cases of children ages 0-9 who contracted the virus in the last 13 weeks
  • There were 18 new cases of children and young adults ages 10-19 who contracted the virus in the last 13 weeks
  • There were 18 deaths reported over the course of the last year, no deaths in the last six months and a total of 126 Covid-related deaths in Alexandria
Covid cases by age group in Alexandria over the last 13 weeks (via VDH)

There are also a number of Halloween-related events scheduled at recreation centers throughout the city next month, including:

  • Boo Fest at Charles Houston Recreation Center, Friday, Oct. 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ($5 per person)
  • Family October Fest 2023 at Patrick Henry Recreation Center, Oct. 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ($15 per person)
  • Family Masquerade Ball at Patrick Henry Recreation Center, Oct. 27, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. ($9 per person)
  • HalloTeen Night at William Ramsay Recreation Center, Oct. 27, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. (Free)
  • Family Costume Ball at William Ramsay Recreation Center, Saturday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. (Free)

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