While the Scottish Christmas Parade is cancelled this year, President and CEO of The Campagna Center Tammy Mann said the non-profit’s early childhood programs that rely on the fundraising this weekend are no less in demand.
Usually, The Campagna Center hosts a holiday store, where families can come into the building and an entire floor is dedicated to giving low-income families a positive holiday shopping experience. This year, The Campagna Center is planning an alternative drive-through program on Saturday for families in the program.
“Given health challenge, not going to be able to set it up that way,” Mann said. “We have about 400 families that we’re going to be providing books, grocery gift cards, and stocking stuffers for children. We’re grateful that we’re able to do it, and I know our families have been incredibly responsive to the many ways we’ve adapted and been able to get things to them during this period… But obviously if we could have that experience, that would be what you would want, so parents could choose the things they want.”
Mann said instead of allowing children to pick their own gifts, The Campagna Center staff packaged toys for children.
Mann also said the Scottish Christmas Parade is one of the most high-visible events for The Campagna Center, and she’s worried future programs won’t have the kind of fundraising and support the parade. Weekend events hosted around the Scottish Christmas Parade generally bring in around $250,000 for The Campagna Center.
“While parade is not happening, needs we have to address since pandemic began go on,” Mann said. “We are definitely wanting people to be aware of the cause behind it and find ways to contribute and support the work.”
That funding goes to support programs like one that provides an in-person learning space for children K-5 if their parents are not able to work from home. The in-person learning program has been in operation at two sites since classes started this summer.
Mann said the program has already been more expensive than it usually is because of the added cost of PPE and COVID testing for staff.
“The cost of taking all of that on has been something where we had to get creative on raising funds to support,” Mann said. “Parents are not evenly sharing in that because it’s a sliding payscale based on income.”
As Mann looks to the next year, she said it’s difficult to plan what comes next with the situation being as uncertain as it is.
“The need for after care services will continue to exist,” Mann said, “[but it’s] hard to predict what that will look and feel like. “
Right now, Mann said her focus is on adapting to changing plans for school structure. The Campagna Center also continues to operate an emergency diaper bank for families and offering tutoring services.
“There are a number of outreach efforts underway in December that, as families move into the holidays, there are things they won’t have to worry about or figure out how to make happen,” Mann said. “We appreciate all that folk have done in the city.”
Photo via The Campagna Center/Facebook
(Updated 12:10 p.m.) Alexandria Nearing 4,000 cases of COVID-19 — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 6 to 3,938 in the City (84 in last 7 days) 7-day Positivity Rate down to 4.0% 0 new hospitalizations Still safer at home, wash hands and wear masks.” [Twitter]
The Majestic Reopens After 8-Month Hiatus — “Diners can expect an all-new menu offering seasonal dishes such as Roasted Parsnip Agnolotti with black truffle, bacon jam and parmesan ($12), vegetarian Preserved Smoked Beet Tartare ($9) with crispy capers, horseradish yogurt, shallots and almonds, and of course there’s the Majestic Burger ($17) or Rigatoni & Eggplant for $18.” [Alexandria Living]
Del Ray Halloween Parade Goes Virtual — “Kids and pets decked out in spooky costumes won’t line the streets of Mount Vernon Avenue for Del Ray’s annual Halloween Parade in 2020 due to the pandemic.” [Patch]
Fire Department Annual Wreath Laying Closed to Public — “Due to the pandemic, our annual wreath laying & memorial service at Ivy Hill Cemetery will be closed to the public and recorded for later viewing. AFD will make video of the ceremony available to the public on Oct. 10.” [Twitter]
Friendship Firehouse to Open October 10 — “In honor of Fire Prevention Week, Friendship Firehouse Museum will be open October 10 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was the first fire company in Alexandria, comprised of member volunteers across the community. Today the Friendship Firehouse, built in 1855, houses buckets, hoses, axes, and Friendship’s mid-19th century elaborately decorated suction engine.” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “A mainly sunny sky (during the day). High around 70F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Clear skies (in the evening). Low 48F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Public Relations Manager — “The ideal candidate for this position will work with our marketing manager team to identify, evaluate, select and monitor the most relevant PR for our organization, including (but not limited to): press releases, articles, blog posts, video content, web content and marketing.” [Indeed]
It was the perfect day for a parade as Alexandria celebrated the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Dog Show on Saturday.
With sunny weather and temperatures in the 50s, thousands watched the procession of more than 2,000 participants, including Irish dancers, historic reenactors and the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums. The festivities, which included the Fun Dog Show at Market Square outside City Hall, were sponsored by the Ballyshaners, a nonprofit dedicated to Irish heritage.
The Grand Marshall was John Brennan, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and one of the original owners of Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant and Bar (112 King Street).
You have to wait a bit for the next parade in Old Town: next up is the 50th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The Old Town St. Patrick’s Day Parade makes its way down King Street! ☘️ pic.twitter.com/dIhWiHn26C
— Katie Kyros (@KatieKyros) March 7, 2020
PARADE :: The Saint Patrick's Day Parade was a success! With some hard work, and some Irish luck, the streets were kept safe during the event. Thank you to all who came out! ☘️ #AlexPD150th@sfardAPD pic.twitter.com/gzFimt5bzE
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 7, 2020
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) March 8, 2020
New Inova Facility Planned — “Inova Health System plans to open a new health care facility on part of Oakville Triangle, giving another try to the 13-acre site on Richmond Highway in Alexandria across from a planned Virginia Tech campus and a short distance from Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]
Christmas Attic Closes — “One of Alexandria’s most beloved businesses, The Christmas Attic at 125 S. Union St., has closed its doors after nearly 50 years in business near the Alexandria waterfront. The year-round winter wonderland offered a special shopping experience.” [Alexandria Living]
Food Truck Serves Fido — “A food truck for dogs? Yup, and not a truck that rolls up and hands out kibble. Woofbowl serves up treats like burgers, fries, and pho… [The truck] frequently pulls up to Del Ray’s Saturday Farmers Market.” [Zebra]
Port City IPA Release Party Tonight — “Introducing a brand new beer to our Limited Release lineup, Star Sailor White IPA! Made with 100% VA Grown Wheat, this hop forward hazy golden beer has fruity notes that will leave you refreshed and ready for star gazing.” [Port City Brewing]
St. Pat’s Parade This Weekend — “Alexandria will turn green at the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Dog Show on Saturday, March 7. The festivities are sponsored by the Ballyshaners, a nonprofit dedicated to Irish heritage, and are expected to include more than 2,000 participants.” [ALXnow]
Reminder: Daylight Saving Time Returns — “Love it or hate it, our annual ritual of early March – daylight saving time – is coming this weekend. At 2 a.m. Sunday, the few analog clocks still around must ‘spring forward’ an hour, turning 1:59:59 a.m. into 3 a.m.” [USA Today]
The sun was shining on Alexandria on Monday, Feb. 17. The annual George Washington Birthday parade was accompanied by 50+ degree weather, and went off without a hitch.
The parade, which has a nearly a one-mile route through Old Town, finished off a long weekend of activity that included the George Washington Birthnight Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern.
The Presidents Day holiday started with a scavenger hunt, the laying of wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House and ended with the parade itself, which is the oldest George Washington birthday parade in the country.
The event was attended by thousands, and this year’s theme was “selfless service to country.”
The parade grand marshal was retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Shumaker, who spent eight years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The parade was dedicated to Kathleen Kelly, a longtime volunteer with the Office of Historic Alexandria, who passed away last year.
The next parade in Old Town is the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Dog Show on Saturday, March 7.
PARADE :: APD didn’t miss out on this weekends festivities at the Presidents Day Parade in Old Town, Alexandria.
Thank you to our motor unit for keeping the route clear, the honor guard for proudly presenting the colors, and all the officers who worked to keep the parade safe! pic.twitter.com/VdppKeobKU
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) February 18, 2020
It wouldn’t be February in Alexandria without the largest George Washington Birthday parade in the country.
The annual event, which will be held in Old Town on Presidents’ Day — Monday, Feb. 17 — is attended by thousands and caps the end of the George Washington birthday weekend.
This year’s parade theme for the nation’s first commander in chief is “selfless service to country.” The nearly 1-mile parade starts at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Gibbon and South Fairfax Streets and goes past the reviewing stand at Market Square.
The grand marshal is retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Shumaker, who spent eight years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The parade is dedicated to Kathleen Kelly, a volunteer with the Office of Historic Alexandria for more than 30 years, who passed away last year.
The weekend kicks off with George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet & Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. The costumed evening of dancing and partying in 18th century style is a popular event and usually sells out. Presidents’ Day in Alexandria starts with the solemn wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House (321 S. Fairfax St.) from 11 a.m. to noon.
New this year is the “Hunt for Washington” — a scavenger hunt that will take participants around Old Town. The hunt should take participants up to an hour-and-a-half to finish and a clue sheet can be picked up at the parade reviewing stand after 10 a.m.
Alexandria will turn green at the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Dog Show on Saturday, March 7.
The festivities are sponsored by the Ballyshaners, a nonprofit dedicated to Irish heritage, and are expected to include more than 2,000 participants, including Irish dancers, the Kena Shriners with their mini Corvettes and the famous City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums.
The Grand Marshall of this year’s parade is John Brennan, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and one of the original owners of Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant and Bar (112 King Street).
While the parade is scheduled to kick off at 12:15 p.m., Irish eyes will officially start smiling at 10:30 a.m. with the Fun Dog Show at Market Square outside City Hall (301 King Street). Dozens of costumed canines compete in such categories as Best Human/Canine Look-Alike, Most Talented and Most St. Paddy’s Spirit, according to Visit Alexandria. The event benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
The parade will begin at King and Alfred Streets and finish at Lee and Cameron Streets.
Amazon Presence on Innovation Campus? — “Virginia Tech leaders and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) executives are working toward a partnership that could give the company’s cloud computing arm a home at the $1 billion innovation campus at Potomac Yard.” [Washington Business Journal]
Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall — “On Dec. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.), the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria will host a town hall discussion titled, ‘Healthy Youth, Healthy Families: Promoting Alcohol-Free Holidays.'” [Zebra]
Boat Parade Winners Named — “A record number of 60 boats competed for prizes in ten categories at the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday… Best of Alexandria Show was awarded to Anamchara and Captain Steve Preda who presented the theme ‘Peace’ featuring a rotating lighted globe, glowing doves and a peace sign.” [Press Release]
City ‘Open for Solar Business’ — “The City of Alexandria has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar… For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Alexandria is ‘open for solar business.'” [City of Alexandria]
T.C. Teacher Wins National Award — “When T.C.Williams High School teacher Kimberley Wilson stepped on stage on Wednesday to collect the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Teacher of the Year award, her first thought was for her students.” [ACPS]
Snow Likely Overnight — “Temperatures are poised to leap to near 60 degrees Tuesday, and it won’t feel at all like it could snow. But, in a flash, that will change. An Arctic front charging to the East Coast will switch our weather from fall-like to winterlike in a matter of hours, setting the stage for possible wet snow overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
The waterfront will sparkle tomorrow (Saturday) as dozens of ships decked out in Christmas lights cruise along the shoreline.
This year is the 20th annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Festivities are planned throughout the afternoon and early evening, from 2-8 p.m. Planned activities include a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, a bookmark-making station from Old Town Books and holiday music from 97.1 WASH-FM.
Santa is scheduled to arrive at the party at 3:30 p.m. by fireboat, and the parade is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. The parade is expected to last sometime between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on factors like total participants and river conditions. Guests are advised to arrive early to stake out a good spot to view the parade.
Visit Alexandria suggested the following locations:
- Founders Park — 351 N. Union Street
- Alexandria City Marina — 0 Cameron Street
- Waterfront Park — 1 King Street and 1A Prince Street
- Point Lumley Park — 1 Duke Street
- Windmill Hill Park — 501 S. Union Street
- Shipyard/Harborside Park — 1 Wilkes Street
- Ford’s Landing City Park — 99 Franklin Street
After leaving Alexandria, the parade will head to The Wharf in D.C. for another celebration there.
Photo via Visit Alexandria VA/Facebook
Get the kilts and bagpipes ready, this weekend is the Scottish Christmas Walk.
Scotland-themed events are scheduled throughout the weekend, kicking off with Taste of Scotland, an annual Scotch tasting on Friday, Nov. 6 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at The Atrium (277 S. Washington Street). The event also includes Scottish beer, wine and food. Individual tickets are sold out, but sponsorship tickets are still available.
Also on Friday, the Campagna Center (418 S. Washington Street) is selling wreaths, garlands and fresh heather bundles to provide holiday decor from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The parade itself is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. The parade is scheduled to include representatives of Scottish clans matching with bagpipes, drums, dancers, reenactors and Scottie dogs. Local dignitaries, Santa and a selection of classic cars are also planned to join in the parade.
The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe streets and ends at Market Square with a concert. The parade is scheduled to take place rain or shine.
Some of Old Town’s historic homes will also be open to tours during and after the parade on Saturday, with guides available to share historical information about the houses.
Photo via Scottish Christmas Walk/Facebook