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Get your lawn chairs and picnic blankets ready for fireworks, because Alexandria’s 274th birthday celebration is happening in Old Town on Saturday, July 8.

The event at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison Street) draws thousands of people every year. It’s always held the first Saturday after July 4, and features performances from the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, a declaration from Town Crier Ben Fiore-Walker, a poem from Alexandria’s Poet Laureate Zeina Azzam and brief speeches by city leaders.


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As a symbol, the Jones Point Lighthouse represents Alexandria’s legacy as a port city. But as a building, it’s in rough shape.

The wooden lighthouse is described by the National Park Service website as “one of the last riverine lighthouses in the country,” as well as a “focal point of Jones Point Park and a clue to the area’s history as a busy commercial center and naval base.” But the building itself is in rough shape. Grime coats the outside of the structure and there’s visible damage to parts of the building. The interior is unfinished, so visitors aren’t allowed inside due to safety concerns.


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Two ARHA residents receive $6,000 college scholarships — “Two Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) residents have been awarded $6,000 scholarships for the upcoming school year, thanks to the Resident Scholarship Program from the Housing Authority Insurance (HAI) Group. This is the second consecutive year Natasha Cross has been selected for the funding… Yonael Tekleberhan, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Business is the second awardee.” [ARHA]

Del Ray Citizens Association hosting community pizza party Thursday — Come on out and join us this Thursday July 22 from 5 – 7pm at Del Ray Pizzeria, where the DRCA will be hosting a Del Ray Citizens Association Meet & Greet Pizza Party! Hang out with your fellow Del Ray superfans and enjoy some pizza, salad, tots, fries, and special happy hour pricing. DRP has set us up in the bar space, so we can enjoy some much-needed air conditioning. For those who may feel more comfortable socializing outdoors, we’re also working to set up a ‘spillover’ table in the Lot behind the restaurant.” [DRCA]


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Alexandria Hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal asks residents to get vaccinated — “A healthy person can get COVID and survive, and if you have already had it, you may still have the antibodies to keep you safe for a period of time. But what about your community? It may not be readily apparent that a family member, friend or neighbor has an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk for hospitalization or even death from COVID-19. Your choice to not be vaccinated isn’t just putting you at risk, it can impact so many others around you.” [ALXnow]

Historic Building that inspired ‘Mercy Street’ to be private residence, museum offices — “The building was converted into the Mansion House Hotel and served as a Union Hospital during the Civil War. Green and the hospital were depicted in the TV drama series “Mercy Street,” which aired on PBS from 2016-2017. NOVA Parks has owned the property since 1970, using it as office space and leasing the rest of the space to other companies. In 2019, NOVA Parks announced that it was marketing the sale or lease of the building.” [Alexandria Living]


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Dawson Saint Jour wants to be the Tony Robbins of boxing. Every Sunday, the coach with Hiit Hard Training is at Jones Point Park with his coaches and boxers, shouting motivational aphorisms while punches are thrown and footwork is improved.

“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up,” Saint Jour recently told ALXnow, quoting motivational speaker Les Brown. “Another favorite of mine is, ‘Don’t just go through it but grow through it.'”


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Amine Ballafrikh was wrapping up one of his daily workout videos at Jones Point Park on Thursday, July 2, when an unidentified man went on a racist rant and threatened to shoot the two-time North American Lightweight Muay Thai champ.

Ballafrikh, who is also the number three Muay Thai lightwight in the world, fought his way out of Moroccan slums to be a U.S. citizen. He trains every day at Jones Point Park, and was filming a video at the end of a workout and speaking in Arabic when a man nearby began a racist and threatening tirade.


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A new bike campus is all painted and ready to go under the Alexandria side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

The smooth pavement between the bridge pylons has long been a popular spot for bicyclists on the Mount Vernon Trail or visiting Jones Point Park, but the new signs and lanes on the ground can help new cyclists learn the rules of the road and practice in a safe environment.