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
New Coworking Space Opening This Spring — “A new co-working space is opening in a historic property that once housed a grocery delivery company… The Loop, a unique, dog-friendly co-working space that will help Alexandria residents ‘Work Better, Be Better, Do Better’ will open in April. The Loop is under construction on North Payne Street in the former Chec Soda & Refrigeration Co. complex.” [Alexandria Living]
Presidents Day Closures in Alexandria — “All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Monday, February 17, in observance of George Washington Day.” [City of Alexandria]
AWLA Delivering Pets on V-Day — “Forget roses and chocolates, or even flowers. The new gift is Fido or Felix. This Valentine’s Day, there will be volunteers from the Animal Welfare League in Alexandria delivering rescue pets to their forever homes from noon to 7 p.m.” [Zebra]
Vietnam Vet Speaking at GW Parade Event — “Capt. Eugene ‘Red’ McDaniel (ret.), a Vietnam veteran considered one of the most brutalized prisoners of war during six years of captivity, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast Feb. 17 at the Alexandria Westin Hotel.” [Gazette Packet]
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.