Salute the first commander in chief during our annual Independence Day event! Watch dazzling made-for-daytime fireworks shoot off over the Potomac River and listen to the roar of cannon fire during special military re-enactments. Enjoy free birthday cake (while supplies last), a visit from General and Mrs. Washington, and a performance by the National Concert Band during its “Red, White and Blue” concert. Spend a truly inspiring day at a truly inspiring place. An American Celebration takes place rain or shine. Included with general admission. 703-780-2000
For the third consecutive summer, Classical Movements and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts co-present the 9th annual Serenade! Choral Festival, welcoming vocal ensembles from all over the world over for a meaningful exploration of “The Human Journey: Music, Migration & Identity,” part of the Kennedy Center’s year-long series of programs, The Human Journey. The 2019 Serenade! Choral Festival examines the far-reaching effects of human migration, exile and refuge on language and the development of cultural identities, as reflected in vocal music around the world. Donations for this event benefit Safe Shores, a direct service nonprofit organization who works with and advocates for children and adolescents affected by trauma and violence. This program features Sedaa (Mongolia, Iran), Barbara Furtuna (France), Toronto Beaches Children’s and Youth Chorus (Canada), and Crystal Children’s Choir (USA). Tickets can be found free with Eventbrite registration.
Bring your little learners to the Alexandria Black History Museum for cultural stories and creative craft activities that introduce world history and folklore. Explore the museum exhibits afterward to learn about local Black history. This month’s book is Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere. Free
Join us for three days of Washington-inspired painting in the upper and lower gardens with renowned artist Simon Bull. During this first-ever event, watch visiting artist Simon Bull at work painting flowers, trees and scenes from the gardens on a mural-sized canvas. As you watch Bull use a brush and pour paint on the canvas, he will share his process and painting techniques and answer questions. Included with general admission. 703-780-2000
Celebrate America’s 243rd birthday and Alexandria’s 270th along the Potomac River waterfront at Oronoco Bay Park. Enjoy live music by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, patriotic birthday cake, food vendors and a dazzling fireworks display. Free
Tons of Trucks
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
3210 King St.
Children of all ages will have the unique opportunity to explore their favorite vehicles and meet the people who protect, build, and serve our City. Get behind the wheel of more than 20 different vehicles from 7 City departments, including a fire engine, front end loader, dump truck, bucket truck, trash truck, sewer truck, vacuum truck, buses and more. Truck-themed activities include an art project with the City’s Mobile Art Lab, book readings, giveaways, photo opportunities and food truck vendors. Event is rain or shine. Parking is available at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St. $5 each or $15 per family paid upon entry or purchase tickets in advance at alexandriava.gov/webtrac
Inspired by the Fresnel lens at historic Jones Point Lighthouse, Mirror Mirror beckons visitors with brilliant hues. Alexandria’s Office of the Arts commissioned this free public performance by David Schulman, violinist, featuring Bonnie Lander, to converse with the installation. Free and open to the public. Bring a chair or blanket, but leave pets at home. Rain date, July 28, at 8:00 p.m.
Calling all aspiring archaeologists! Go behind the scenes to see what happens to historic ships when they are found underground. Find out how Alexandria grew as a port in the 18th century, try your hand at creating a map of the ship, and then test your skills to see if you have what it takes to make a mini boat that can carry cargo. Ages 8 – 14. Children under 10 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Space is limited. $15/person; $12/FOAA members Tickets available at Alexandriava.gov/Shop.
Hosted by Volunteer Alexandria for over 35 years, this event takes place in Old Town Alexandria. This year’s event will be held at Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street. The event offers residents and visitors of all ages shop and browse the dozens of vendors. Art and crafts range from pottery and paintings to recycled jewelry and glass products, home & garden, clothing for people and pets, and much more. Food vendors and trucks are available as well as alcohol for those who like to enjoy a cold beer while enjoying the show. Free
In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is offering family-friendly tours that explore the Muggle science and medicine behind J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Event partner Hooray for Books! will be selling wizarding merchandise on site, and Dolci Gelati will have Butterbeer gelato available in their shop. Activities include potion-making and a photo booth—don’t forget your camera. Tickets are available starting July 1, and advance purchase is recommended, as this event sells out. Children must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. (703) 746-3852 $7
Bring your friends for a fun night featuring all things “Harry Potter.” Explore the Muggle science and medicine of “Harry Potter” with tour guides, raise a toast to Harry’s birthday with a magical cocktail and allow Professor Severus Snape to ensnare your senses as he demonstrates his magical skills. Tickets are available starting July 1, and advance purchase is recommended, as space is limited. (703) 746-3852 $20
The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association (FVFEA) holds its annual Firehouse Festival each year on the first Saturday in August. The popular family event features antique fire apparatus, craft booths, displays by Alexandria merchants and live music. In addition to the day’s outdoor events, festival participants will enjoy visiting the Friendship Firehouse Museum, originally built as a firehouse in 1855. The FVFEA is now a philanthropic organization focusing on fire-fighting history and fire safety. It remains active in community events, including the annual Festival and supports historic preservation of the building and its collection. Food and beverages are available. Children will receive free fire helmets and are treated to a supervised visit inside the City of Alexandria’s fire trucks.