Santa’s Back! Here’s Your Guide to the 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk in Old Town

Alexandria's beloved tradition includes a whiskey tasting, the Holiday Homes Tour, the Scottish Christmas Walk, and more!

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Santa at the Scottish Christmas Walk parade. (Photo: Louise Krafft)

Alexandria, VA – Looking for an excuse to wear a kilt? Haud yer wheesht! It’s that time of year again, and we have the straight stuff on the 49th Annual Scottish Walk Weekend & Parade in Old Town! Yes, the weekend of bagpiping, colorful tartans and kilts, and the finest scotch whiskey that the old country has to offer is finally here.

Alexandria’s Scottish roots run deep, as the city is named after Scottish landowner John Alexander. And if you’re truly Scottish at heart you might just be wonderin’ who’s to be profiting from this weekend of festivities. Well, nae bother about that! Proceeds from all the events, which are on Friday Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7, go to the Campagna Center’s core education and social development programs for thousands of children, teens, and adults in Alexandria.

The City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums. (Photo by Mike Byrd)

“It’s incredibly important to be able to progress our mission. We generate proceeds of over $250,000 for the programs that we deliver to the community,” said Dr. Tammy Mann, CEO of the Campagna Center, who commended her cadre of volunteers. “This is a beloved community tradition, and we’re very fortunate to have our Junior Friends group of volunteers, who have spent the better part of four months pulling together the details associated with the Scottish Christmas Walk. If it were not for their efforts, we would not be able to handle this.”

(Photo: Wayne Hulehan)

And just so you know, the Scottish Christmas Walk is sponsored by The Zebra Press, and our beloved Zebra Mascot Newzy wouldn’t miss it for the world. After all, he’s fascinated with unicorns, which are the official animal of Scotland, and he will be signing autographs and marching in the parade.

A Taste of Scotland

(Photo: vididsoup from Pixabay)

There are arguably few better ways to kick off the weekend of Dec. 6 than with a variety of scotches direct from distilleries in Scotland! Just watch out with all that tasting, though. It’s strong stuff, and before you know it the room will be a fuzzy collection of red and green tartans, and your pals will be joking that yer aff yer heid!

In any case, the event is attended by hundreds of people, and will be held at The Atrium Building at 277 South Washington Street from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The event is sponsored by Passport Auto and the Goodhart Group, and a single ticket can be bought at the door for $110, but you’ll have to join the party when general admission doors open at 8 p.m. In order to get in at 6:30 p.m., you’ll have to buy “patron” tickets – $180 for a single ticket or $290 for two tickets. The event also includes beer, wine, and food.

Heather and Greens Sales

(Image: Campagna Center)

How’s your front door looking this holiday season? If you need a genuine wreath, garland, and fresh heather bundle to add that Scottish spice to your household or office, look no further than the Heather & Greens Sale from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7 at the Campagna Center, 418 S. Washington Street. It’s the perfect place to find that picturesque boxwood tree or large wreath with pinecones that’ll make your neighbors envious enough to vainly ask where you got it.

“I’m sorry about that, neighbor,” you can say, kindly. “But the Campagna Center only sold these beautiful items from from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its headquarters. If you only had this vital information sooner your front porch might’ve turned out as festive as mine, but alas. Want to take a selfie with it?”

Holiday Homes Tour

Map of the Alexandria Holiday Homes Tour. (Campagna Center image)

Are you new to Old Town, Alexandria? It’s a great place to celebrate the holidays. In fact, Old Town was recently ranked by Oprah Magazine as one of the top Christmas towns in the entire world! That pretty much seals the deal, as Oprah clearly has sophisticated tastes.

The Holiday Homes Tour costs $40, and visitors can visit homes and historic locations throughout the city, including the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Christ Church, and a number of classic Old Town residences that have been spruced up by interior designers and local florists.

Find tickets for all of the events at www.campagnacenter.org!

The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade

(Courtesy photo)

There’s nothing quite like seeing and hearing hundreds of bagpipes playing “Scotland The Brave” through the streets of Old Town. It’s an experience that you and your family will never forget, and the parade starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

You’ll see hundreds of Scottish dancers, re-enactors, classic cars, local politicians, and yes, even Santa Claus will make an appearance! The parade will take place rain or shine, and is one of the signature events of the entire weekend. Marchers start their route at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and end at Market Square in front of City Hall.

The Scottish Christmas walk parade route. (Courtesy: Campagna Center)

You’re not going to want to miss what happens after that parade! A massed concert of bagpipers will congregate and make enough beautiful music that’d even melt the steely heart of William Wallace himself. And after witnessing that beautiful expression of pipes and drums, you’ll know exactly what J.M. Barrie, the Scottish author of Peter Pan, was talking about when he wrote, “We are undoubtedly a sentimental people, and it sometimes plays havoc with that other celebrated sense of ours, the practical.”

What are you wearing to the Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk weekend? (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

FUN FACT…

What do a scientist at the National Research Lab, an employment lawyer, a data analyst for the Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service and the Department Chair of International Affairs at George Washington University have in common? They’re all members of the famous City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums Band!

Don’t Miss: Marching to Alexandria’s Beat

Who’s Marching in the Parade? 

● 84th Regiment of Foot Royal Highland Emigrants

● ACT for Alexandria

● Airedale Terrier Club of Metropolitan Washington, DC

● Alexandria Children’s Theatre

● Alexandria Jaycees Foundation

● Alexandria 4-H Urban Garden Club

● Alexandria Rugby

● Alexandria Seaport Foundation

● Alexandria Sister Cities

● Alexandria Valley of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Knightsof St. Andrew

● American Clan Gregor Society

● American Scottish Foundation

● The Appin Regiment

● At Home in Alexandria

● Auld Alliance

● BallyShaners, Inc.

● The Basilica of St. Mary Brownie Troop 60082

● Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar – National Harbor

● Browne Academy

● Burgundy Farm Country Day School

● Carpenter’s Shelter

● Celtic Society of Southern Maryland

● City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums

● Clan Baird Society Worldwide

● Clan Bell

● Clan Buchanan Society International

● Clan Campbell

● Clan Colquhoun

● Clan Donald

● Clan Donnachaidh Society – Mid Atlantic

● Clan Douglas Society of North America

● Clan Forbes

● Clan Fraser Society of North America

● Clan Grant

● Clan Guthrie, USA

● Clan Hamilton Society

● Clan Hay

● Clan Henderson Society

● Clan Hunter USA

● Clan Irwin

● Clan MacCallum Malcolm

● Clan MacDougall

● Clan MacKenzie Society in the Americas

● Clan Mackintosh of North America

● Clan MacLaren Society of North America

● Clan MacLeod Society USA

● Clan MacNachtan

● Clan Macneil Association of America

● Clan Macpherson Association

● Clan Maxwell Society

● Clan Montgomery

● Clan Morrison

● Clan Ramsay International, Inc

● Clan Scott

● Clan Sinclair

● Clan Wardlaw

● Clan Young Society

● Clan Stewart and Friends

● Clan Strachan Society

● Cub Scout Pack 1504

● DC/Metro Welsh Terriers

● Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America

● The Daughters of the British Empire – Pimms & Poppies Chapter

● Douglas MacArthur ES Brownie Troop #60087

● First Night Alexandria

● Fort Hunt High School Alumni Association

● Fraternal Order of Eagles

● The Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center

● Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Society

● George Washington’s Mount Vernon

● Girl Scout Cadette Troop 5654

● Girl Scout Daisy Troop 53095 and Brownie Troop 53010

● John Alexander Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revorlution

● Junior Girl Scout Troop 60008

● Kerr Family Association of North America

● The Kiltie Band of York

● Kiwanis Club of Alexandria

● Learned Kindred of Currie

● The Little Theatre of Alexandria

● Maury Daisies, Troop 60163

● Menzies Clan Society of North America

● Mid-Atlantic Deerhound Assoc.

● National Capital Bearded Collie Club

● Nations Capital Jaguar Owners Club

● Northern Virginia Firefighters Emerald Society Pipe Band

● Old Town Frenchies

● Old Presbyterian Meeting House

● Operation Paws for Homes

● Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area

● Port City Brewing Co.

● Potomac Cairn Terrier Club

● Potomac Valley Samoyed Club

● Potomac Valley Shetland Sheepdog Club/Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue

● RiverRenew

● The Rotary Club of Alexandria

● Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Northern VA Branch

● Scottish American Military Society

● Scottish-American Women’s Society

● The Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Washington DC

● Scout Troop 350

● Shamrock & Thistle Pipes & Drums

● St. Andrew’s Society of Baltimore

● Saint Andrew’s Society of Mid-Maryland

● The Saint Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia

● Santa Claus Yacht Club

● St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C.

● Tall Ship Providence Foundation

● T.C. Williams High School Army JROTC

● United States of America’s Mrs Virgina 2020

● The University of Edinburgh & The University of St. Andrews Alumni Clubs

● University of Glasgow

● U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Henry E. Mooberry Division

● Virginia Scottish Games

● Washington DC Area Cavalier King Charles Group

● Westie Rescue Mid-Atlantic

● The Zebra Press

● Zelsman Powers Group

Enjoy the Weekend, and Happy Holidays From The Zebra Press!