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The King Street Trolley (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Grinches be warned, the King Street Trolley through Old Town will be more festive than usual this Friday.

DASH said this Friday, trolley 405 will feature musical performances by Alexandria City High School (ACHS) students.

The trolley is free and runs from King Street Metro station to City Hall.

DASH said the performances will run from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22.

Those with a special affection for the trolley can also snag a King Street Trolley Christmas Tree ornament at the Visitor’s Center (221 King Street) in Old Town.

Former Alexandria resident Dave Grohl (image via Foo Fighters/Facebook)

Former Bishop Ireton High School student Dave Grohl performed with other members of his band, Foo Fighters, this weekend on Saturday Night Live.

Grohl attended Bishop Ireton High School but eventually transferred to Annandale High School. Grohl later performed with a band called Nirvana before launching Foo Fighters in 1994.

Grohl returned to Alexandria in 1999 and moved to the North Ridge area, recording an album called There is Nothing Left to Lose in the home’s basement. The band also has a song, Arlandria, inspired by the Alexandria neighborhood just north of where Grohl lived.

This weekend was the band’s ninth time performing on SNL and Grohl also appeared in multiple sketches on the show.

Grohl isn’t the only Alexandrian to perform on SNL this year, Alexandria City High School Director of Choral Activities Theodore Thorpe III also performed with the band Coldplay earlier this year.

Image via Foo Fighters/Facebook

Galactic Panther Art Gallery at 1303 King Street (via City of Alexandria)

Galactic Panther Art Gallery has hosted live music and paid events since opening in 2021, and now its owners are asking the city for approval to host them.

Galactic Panther’s 1,900-square-foot art gallery has hosted comedy, improv, sound baths, yoga, open mic nights and live music for more than a year, and their proposal to continue with the events goes to the Planning Commission on October 3 and City Council on October 14.

“We plan to host paid events at the art gallery,” owners Eli Pollard and Erik Muendel asked in the application. “These events include art workshops, comedy, live music, yoga, sound baths and receptions.”

The owners said in their special use permit application that they expect the events to attract 20-to-30 people, although photos of events shared on the gallery’s Facebook page show events with more than 30 people in attendance.

“I started the gallery during Covid and (the city was) pretty relaxed about it, and it was this process of maturing and knowing the city,” Muendel said. “I’ve never been in retail and am new to these experiences, and we’re getting all our paperwork in place.”

Muendel continued, “We’re going to upgrade with a booking agent to bring in more touring musical artists. It’s a maturation of our programming.”

An event at the Galactic Panther Art Gallery at 1303 King Street in Old Town (via Facebook) 

Galactic Panther (currently open Thursday to Sunday), already hosts the following events every week:

  • Comedy every Wednesday & Friday
  • Live Music by Jah Messenger Sound every Thursday
  • Live Music 1st Saturdays
  • Improv 2nd Saturdays
  • Glow night Paint & Sip 3rd Saturdays
  • Sound Bath & Yoga every other Sunday
  • Open Mic every Sunday

Muendel is also the owner of ESP Tea and Coffee at 1012 King Street.

According to the city staff report:

  • The applicant is proposing using the space for comedy and live music events which constitute the live entertainment use. They are also proposing art workshops, yoga and other classes that are the commercial private school use. All of these activities would take place in the existing gallery, which has an area to the rear of the space, which is currently equipped with a microphone and an amplifier
  • Noise from live entertainment and activities, such as music, performances, and trivia, shall end no later than 11 p.m.
  • Noise levels are anticipated to reach 80 decibels

The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) just hired a new conductor and he wants to connect to younger audiences.

Ethan Lolley recently started work as SONOVA’s new conductor, and the upcoming season will focus on seasonal and holiday themes. The group of 60 musicians plays four seasonal concerts at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (101 Callahan Drive) every year.

“I am a firm believer that the orchestra should be accessible to everyone,” Lolley told ALXnow. “We want people to be fully engrossed in all five of their senses as they’re sitting on a theater seat at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial theater. We want them to feel like they’re a part of an experience, and we’re trying to make orchestral music relevant and accessible.”

Lolley, who has a graduate degree in music education from Auburn University, recently moved from Florida, where he performed for years with Walt Disney World. He was also the music director and associate conductor of the CFCArts Young Artists Orchestra in Orlando, which is the largest community orchestra in the country with more than 240 musicians.

Lizzie Steele, the executive director of the symphony, said that Lolley was chosen from a large field of candidates.

“Sometimes there’s just an energy in the room, especially with musicians,” Steele said. “There’s an important energy between a music director and the ensemble and then there’s also an important energy between the music director and the audience, and sometimes you just feel what that energy is. We really felt that with Ethan.”

The 2023/2024 season is below:

  • Symphonic Spooks on Friday, October 13, at 8 p.m.
  • Snow Daze, a winter-themed concert on Saturday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m.
  • That’s All Folks: SONOVA Goes Looney on Sunday, March 3, at 5 p.m.
  • Elements of Earth on Sunday, April 14 at 5 p.m.

Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for students. Kids 10 and under can attend for free.


From the Alexandria Restaurant Week throughout Alexandria to the 3rd Annual Bands & Brews Bar Crawl throughout Del Ray, there’s something for everyone happening all over Alexandria this weekend.

Organizing an event? Submit events to ALXnow.

Friday, August 18

Things To Do

Live Music & Entertainment

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The Appalachian Mountains never touch Mexico, but a concert tomorrow at Alexandria’s Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Street) will manage the geographically impossible and bring them together.

The musical group Lua Project combines musical styles from Chattanooga to Veracruz, with a narrative storytelling approach similar to the Scotch-Irish style prevalent in Appalachian music but with instrumentation and musical traditions from Mexico.

The program is scheduled to run from 10:30-11:30 a.m. tomorrow (Friday).

“A bilingual concert of songs and stories featuring an introduction to Mexican and [Appalachian] music, instruments and dance,” the Alexandria Library said. “All ages.”

Photo via Lua Project/Facebook

Image via The Bacon Brothers/Facebook

Musical duo The Bacon Brothers, consisting of Michael and Kevin Bacon, are coming to the Birchmere Music Hall (3701 Mount Vernon Avenue) again this fall.

The two initial nights, Oct. 7 and 8, have already sold out. A third night on Monday, Oct. 9, was added and — as of 1 p.m. on Aug. 8 — tickets were still available.

The Bacon Brothers have a long-running connection to Alexandria and the Birchmere in particular, as the Alexandria Times chronicled. The duo has performed several times at the Birchmere, including a show last year. They made other appearances in Alexandria, such as singing karaoke with former Police Chief Michael Brown at Old Town’s best karaoke bar, the Rock It Grill.

Tickets are $55.

Image via The Bacon Brothers/Facebook


Good Thursday morning, Alexandria!

☀️ Today’s weather: Expect mostly sunny and hot weather today, with a high of 99°F and heat index values reaching 106°F. Showers and thunderstorms are likely after 5pm, accompanied by 10-14mph southwest winds and gusts up to 24mph. The chance of precipitation stands at 60% with rainfall amounts varying. For Thursday night, anticipate showers and thunderstorms before 2am, followed by a slight chance of showers, mostly cloudy skies, and a low around 76°F. The 60% chance of precipitation continues, with potential rainfall amounts between a quarter and half an inch.

🚨 You need to know

It’s going to be a busy Saturday with the “Beats, Bites and Brews” event at John Carlyle Square Park (300 John Carlyle Street).

General admission is free and the event is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the following performances:

Chic Events D.C. listed the following food vendors for the event:

Beats, Bites and Brews this weekend in Carlyle (via Facebook)

📈 Wednesday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jul 26, 2023.

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📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.


Thousands attended Alexandria’s birthday celebration on the waterfront on Saturday.

For a minute it seemed that rain on Saturday would result in a washout, like last year when the event was postponed. But skies cleared and grass dried enough for the event to continue as planned.

The annual event at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison Street) is always held the first Saturday after July 4, and this year featured performances by Three Man Soul Machine, 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.

City leaders also handed out more than 3,000 cupcakes before the grand finale fireworks display with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performing the 1812 Overture accompanied by howitzers from the 3rd US Infantry Regiment.

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Crooked Beat Records officially opened today in the basement of 2417 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.

Owners Bill and Helen Daly hosted a ribbon cutting at the new record shop on Friday that was attended by dozens of customers. The 1,200-square foot basement is 300 square feet bigger than their old shop that closed at the end of April in Old Town North.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Bill Daly said. “We’re trying to keep the atmosphere the same as it was on N. Fairfax Street.”

A former DJ at North Carolina State University, Daly worked for a record shop chain for years before founding Crooked Beat Records in 1997 in Raleigh. He moved the business to Adams Morgan in D.C. in 2004 and then to 802 N. Fairfax Street in Old Town North in 2016. The shop was forced to close in April due to residential redevelopment,

Daly signed a five-year lease for the 1,200-square-foot basement — in the same building that houses Cheesetique, the Del Ray School Of Music and Piece Out Del Ray.

“It’s great to see a business like yours coming to Del Ray,” City Council Member Kirk McPike said at the ribbon cutting. “You fit the vibe and get the deal here in Del Ray. But more fully, you’re going to bring people here that are going to join the community and support some of our other businesses, and we wish you all the success possible here in Alexandria.”

Gayle Reuter of the Del Ray Business Association said that the record shop is a destination business that brings people to the area.

“We’re really excited to have you here,” Reuter told the owners. “This is a big day for Del Ray.”

Craig Dye, a retired music teacher, drove from Warrenton to attend the store opening.

“We don’t have record shops in Warrenton,” Dye said. “My record collection is ridiculous. My wife is very patient with me. She lets me have the entire basement for my record collection and she takes care of the rest of the house.”


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