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George Washington Birthday Parade on Feb. 21 Highlights Month-Long Celebration in Alexandria

A reenactor dressed as the man of honor for the George Washington Birthday Parade in an undated photo. (Photo: Visit Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – This afternoon Visit Alexandria announced more than a dozen events that will take place next month to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. The highlight is the Washington Birthday Parade on Feb. 21. As Alexandria is Washington’s hometown, the events are always a big hit and a lot of fun!

Parade sponsors include: Simpson Real Estate Services, Burke & Herbert Bank, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, HBP, Inc., McLaughlin Ryder Investments, Inc., Redmon, Peyton & Braswell, Wayne Valis, Frank Fannon IV, and the Kate Waller Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

This year’s parade will honor Alexandria’s first responders and health care workers, who will march as Grand Marshals.

All event information below is provided by Visit Alexandria and subject to change.For the most up-to-date information, visit washingtonbirthday.com by the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee.

The Restaurant Cherry Challenge

February 1 to 15, 2022

In honor of George Washington’s birthday, participating Alexandria restaurants will create unique, cherry-centric dishes. Each restaurant will develop its own cherry cocktail, appetizer, entrée, and/or dessert in honor of our distinguished native son, of course. The competing restaurants and their entries will be listed on the George Washington Birthday Celebration website and Facebook page, and the winners will be announced on Parade Day.

Hunt for Washington

February 1 to 28, 2022

A fun and challenging game to uncover clues about Alexandria and George Washington. The hunt, which should take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete, will take individuals and families to places in Old Town Alexandria associated with the General. Start by printing a clue sheet from washingtonbirthday.com at home and bring it with you as you traverse the heart of Old Town and then use your sleuthing skills to find answers to the clues. Submit your findings to gwbirthdayevents@gmail.com any time before the end of the day on February 28. There are prizes and mementos associated with this event. FREE.

American Legion Post 24 Run, Walk, n’ Roll

February 1 to 28, 2022

This George Washington Birthday Commemorative event is intended to build community and enhance the physical, mental and emotional resiliency of participants—veterans and non-veterans alike. This month-long event during February 2022 encourages participants to run, walk and/or roll on their own for at least 24 miles in increments and routes they choose. Registration is $24 and open until February 5, 2022. Visit runsignup.com/Race/VA/Alexandria/GWB24RunWalkRoll for more information.

¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington in Laredo and Alexandria – Virtual

February 3, 2022, at 7 p.m.

Alexandria has celebrated hometown legend George Washington for hundreds of years with parades and balls. Another city in America that has also celebrated with pomp and parade? Laredo, Texas. Learn from Dr. Elaine Peña, Associate Professor of American Studies at The George Washington University, about her research on these extensive festivities along the border. Afterwards, Tyler Vanice, Chair of Alexandria’s George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee, will join Dr. Peña as they explore the similarities and difference between Laredo and Alexandria. Dr. Peña book, ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the U.S.-Mexico Border, will be available for advance purchase at Gadsby’s and the Alexandria History Museum. Cost is $6 per person. Tickets are available through AlexandriaVA.gov/Shop.

George Washington interpreter Dan Shippey at Mount Vernon. (Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon)

“George Washington’s Alexandria” Tours

February 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m.

On every Sunday in February 2022, beginning at 2 p.m., you can explore historic Old Town Alexandria as George Washington knew it. This popular two-hour guided walking tour will visit sites associated with Washington and his closest colleagues, including Christ Church, Light Horse Harry Lee’s house, the Lord Fairfax home, Washington’s townhouse, Gadsby’s Tavern, Duvall Tavern, Wise’s Tavern, the Carlyle House, Market Square, Ramsay House, the Apothecary Shop and Gentry Row. To register, visit eventbrite.com and search George Washington’s Alexandria. FREE.

Chocolate with General Washington

February 12, 2022, at 2 p.m.

Children (and accompanying adults) are invited to spend an hour with General Washington to talk about the events of the revolution, ask questions of our first citizen, and enjoy hot chocolate and delicious comestibles. Sponsored by First Home Care. Location: George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Masks will be required. FREE.

Join George Washington at Hooray for Books!

February 13, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Join General Washington as he engages youth with immersive books to children about General Washington, President’s Day, and more at Hooray for Books! Recommended age group is 10 and younger. Location: 1555 King Street, Alexandria, VA. Masks will be required. FREE.

Friendship Firehouse Museum is Open

February 19, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Friendship Fire Company was established in 1774 as the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. Younger visitors will receive a free fire hat and a take-away bag of fun activities. Guests must wear masks that cover their mouth and nose while in the building. Admission is $2 per person and free to Alexandria residents. Location: 107 S. Alfred Street.

(Photo courtesy of Sue Johnson)

Virtual Birthnight Banquet & Ball

February 19, 2022, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Join in the celebrations that have been ongoing for hundreds of years—General Washington’s Birthnight Ball. Gather your bubble to honor our first President over Zoom. Begin the evening with a video presentation about the history of this event and hear from those that have participated in it for years. Have conversations about your favorite Birthnight experience. Then, the General will be available live for all your questions. Lastly, enjoy English Country Dancing called by our expert dance master from the historic Ballroom that you can do with 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 people at home. Period costumes of the 1790s encouraged. One virtual dance class on February 17th is included. Tickets are $15 per person. A dinner from Gadsby’s Tavern Restaurant and traditional Birthnight Ball cake from Bittersweet are available for pickup with separate purchase of $50. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to AlexandriaVA.gov/Shop.

George Washington interpreter Dan Shippey at Mount Vernon. (Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon)

Free Admission to George Washington’s Mount Vernon

February 21, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

February 22, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Celebrate the first president of the United States at his beloved home. Admission is free for Presidents Day and George Washington’s birthday. Admission tickets must be reserved online in advance. Tickets will be released to Mount Vernon members on February 11 and to the general public on February 15. A limited number of tickets are available.

Washington Symposium

February 26, 2022, at 1 p.m.

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial hosts leading scholars of the life and legacy of George Washington. The theme of the 2022 George Washington Symposium is “The Political Education of George Washington, 1758-1774.” The George Washington Symposium is held annually to honor Washington’s birthday by providing the public with enlightening contemporary research on the life of George Washington. Admission is free and free parking is available.

Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

George Washington Birthday Gala

February 26, 2022, beginning at 5 p.m.

Formal (white tie optional). Reception at 5:00 p.m. Entertainment in the Memorial Theater at 6:30 p.m. Banquet in the Memorial’s Grand Masonic Hall at 7:30 p.m. The presentation of the George Washington Memorial Award will take place during the banquet. Tickets are $200. To purchase tickets, visit gwmemorial.org. Tickets are limited.

George Washington Birthday Parade Day Activities – February 21, 2022

Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast

9 to 10:30 a.m.

Meet special guests and enjoy a hearty breakfast with members of this historic association. First appearance of the day of General and Martha Washington. Speaker: Mark Jinks, retired Alexandria city manager, relating his “hidden ghost” stories and other anecdotal experiences. Location: The Westin Alexandria Hotel, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria. Ticket Price: $45, table of 10 $400. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Bill Kehoe, Secretary, kehoefd@aol.com.

Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution

11 a.m.

Join the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution as they honor the soldiers of the Revolution. Location: Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 So. Fairfax Street, Alexandria. No registration required. FREE.

Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony

12 to 1 p.m.

Join us as we honor our Nation’s Veterans, Active Military, and their families with music and demonstrations. Speakers include Alexandria’s Mayor and the commanders of major military installations in the metropolitan area. Sign the Covenant Document and show your support for our Military as we honor our first veteran. Location: Parade reviewing stand at King & Royal Streets. FREE.

Photo: Steve Muth

George Washington Birthday Parade

1 to 3 p.m.

The nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of his chosen hometown! Location: Old Town Alexandria. For more information, including parking, maps, route and status, visit washingtonbirthday.com, email gwbirthdayevents@gmail.com or call 571-384-8170. FREE.

Museums Open on Parade Day

While in Alexandria for the parade, stop by Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Regular admission applies, which means City of Alexandria residents can visit for free. Guests must wear masks that cover their mouth and nose while in the buildings.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will have costumed guides throughout the museum sharing stories about the many people who worked in and visited the tavern, including George Washington. Location: 134 North Royal Street. For more information, call (703) 746-4242.

The Apothecary Museum will be offering both first-floor admission as well as guided tours at 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15 p.m. Residents interested in reserving space on a guided tour for free can call the museum at 703.746.3852. Location: 105-107 S. Fairfax Street.

Black American Revolutionary War Patriot William “Billy” Lee to be Memorialized at Mount Vernon Estate

Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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