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Zombies, mummies and superheroes attended the annual Halloween celebration on S. Lee Street in Old Town.

Thousands of costumed kids and adults walked up and down the closed-off street starting at 5 p.m., furthering a tradition that goes back decades. Residents of Lee Street spend thousands on decorations and candy for the throngs of costumed guests.

NBC4 Washington even declared Old Town as one of the best places to be on Halloween.

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The Alexandria City High School Zombie Band marches at the Del Ray Halloween Parade, Oct. 29, 2023 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Nearly 1,200 signatures have been collected in a new petition asking for a holiday for Alexandria City Public Schools students the day after Halloween, on Nov. 1.

According to the petition:

For students of ACPS, along with people amongst the world, the day after Halloween is tough. Feeling ill and exhausted after a long night of walking and eating is not what students want to come to school the next day with. Students will be tired, sick, and overwhelmed, since the educational quarter just ended. Students will be unable to focus and put their best effort if they have a raging migraine, or bad exhaustion. Cancel school the day after halloween!

The petition launched on Oct. 30. In 2019, a similar petition raised more than 4,000 signatures.

There is no change listed in the ACPS calendar, and school is scheduled normally.


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.

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

Halloween is right around the corner and there’s no locality in the region that goes as all out for the year’s spookiest holiday as Alexandria.

There are events throughout the weekend, including multiple costume contests, and the Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday — noted as one of the best Halloween parades in the country.

When it comes to costumes and decorations, some fully commit while others mostly abstain. Where do you fall?

Mourner at the Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden (image via Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden/Facebook)

If you’ve binge-watched The Fall of the House of Usher and are in the mood for some Edgar Allan Poe readings, the good news is an acclaimed Poe reenactor is making his annual return to Old Town for a reading on Halloween.

The bad news: it’s sold out. But there are still plenty of other options to get your spooky fix in Alexandria on Halloween.

The Lee-Fendall House Museum is hosting its Grief & Ghosts Tours on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.

“Explore Victorian mourning traditions coupled with stories of tragic deaths and mysterious occurrences at the Lee-Fendall House,” the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) said in a newsletter. “Customs such as draping mirrors after death, funeral practices, hair jewelry and mourning clothing will be explored. These tours offer a rare opportunity to see the house after dark!”

The Carlyle House Museum and Park, meanwhile, is hosting a “mummy investigation” puzzle around the historic home on the same nights from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are also $15 per person.

“Residents of the Ancient Virginia City Refuse to believe the remains are those of either John Carlyle or General Braddock,” OHA said. “Investigation to be extended. Whose body is it? Solve a series of clues and puzzles to discover the identity of Carlyle‚Äôs Mummy. Groups of 10 will be let in the house at a time.”

The macabre tours continue post-Halloween with a Historic Cemetery Tour on Saturday, Nov. 11. The tour runs from 1-2 p.m. and starts at the intersection of Hamilton and Wilkes Streets. Tickets are $20 per person.

According to OHA:

Discover an extraordinary walking expedition through the historical Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. Delve into the lives of remarkable individuals laid to rest here who share a profound connection to the esteemed Lee-Fendall House. This exclusive tour will lead you to gravesites not typically covered in our regular tours, where captivating tales of duels, cavalry battles, encounters with the Marquis de Lafayette, and numerous other intriguing narratives await. By participating in this unique tour, you not only immerse yourself in riveting history but also contribute to a meaningful cause. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The tour is limited to 25 participants and lasts approximately one hour.

there are also multiple bar crawls that night, from the Alexandria Bier Garden to The Light Horse Restaurant.

One of the most interesting events, though, is at the Ivy Hill Cemetery.

The cemetery is hosting “Lights Out: Glow in the Dark Halloween Party” on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 7-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 for general admission or $55 for admission and a tour of the cemetery.

The evening will include music, refreshments, a costume contest, games and more.

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)
Optimal Witch poster (image via Port City Brewing Company)

The Female Stranger-honoring Long Black Veil isn’t the only Halloween-themed beer from Port City Brewing Company: the Alexandria brewery announced a Tasting Room-only event this Friday for a new pumpkin ale.

The new beer is Optimal Witch, described as a “Belgian-style pumpkin ale brewed with spices”, and a play on the popular Optimal Wit.

The company said there will be five kegs available at a draft-only event, meaning it won’t be available to take home. The draft will be available at the Tasting Room (3950 Wheeler Avenue).

The brewery is also hosting a “Black Magic Trivia” event on Friday with a magic and witchcraft theme.

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 Nightmare On The Avenue pop-up bar at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue is open. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Get your costume ready, because the Halloween pop-up bar ‚ÄėNightmare On The Avenue‚Äô is opening early next week in Del Ray.

The pop-up bar at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue is currently being decorated, and staff are concocting a spooky craft cocktail and food menu for the space that was home to the 80’s themed Miami Vibes popup bar during the summer.

Expect the bar to open on Monday or Tuesday of next week, Owner Bill Blackburn of the Homegrown Restaurant Group told ALXnow.

“As the name suggests, ‘Nightmare on the Avenue’ is going to get you in the holiday spirit,” Blackburn said.

The pop-up is located between HRG’s other Del Ray restaurants Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue.

After Halloween, the bar will be transformed into the Christmas-themed ‚ÄúJoy On The Avenue.‚ÄĚ


It’s still August, but for those looking to plan ahead for spooky season, tickets are on sale this week for a can’t-miss Alexandria Halloween experience.

Edgar Allan Poe reenactor David Keltz is returning to The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) for a performance of Poe’s works. It’s an annual event and tickets are limited.

The two-night event is Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 from 8-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and reservations are strongly recommended.

According to a release from the Office of Historic Alexandria:

Don’t miss an unforgettable evening with America‚Äôs earliest master¬†of¬†the macabre – Edgar Allan¬†Poe! Actor David Keltz returns to The Lyceum‚Äôs lecture hall to re-create¬†Poe‚Äôs visit to Virginia in 1849, shortly before his death. This year‚Äôs performance will include short stories, poems, musings, and literary criticism. Mr. Keltz‚Äôs performance has been lauded by The¬†Poe¬†House and Museum in Baltimore, The¬†Poe¬†Museum in Richmond, and the¬†Poe¬†National Historic Site in Philadelphia. Reservations strongly recommended. Doors at 7:30 p.m., performance begins at 8 p.m. Cash bar (wine and beer) will be available before the show.

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