Alexandria, VA – The Ballyshaners, who are the hosts of Alexandria’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, have announced on their Facebook page, “We are so excited to announce that our Grand Marshal for the 2023 St Patrick’s Day Parade will be The Queen of King Street, the one and only Charlotte Hall. We are so excited to shine a light on Charlotte and for everything she has done for our beautiful city.”
Charlotte Hall has been a fixture in Alexandria for decades, and anyone who has a business or nonprofit in town knows what an impact she has made on the city. Since back in the early ‘90s, Charlotte was known as the Riverboat Queen because she ran the show at The Potomac Riverboat Company, the group with the water taxis and great big paddle wheeler, the Cherry Blossom.
Charlotte was selling Alexandria’s waterfront long before it became the popular destination it is today. In 2018 she served as president of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and has headed up the Old Town Business Association for several years, where she has made many significant impacts.
One lasting example occurred during the pandemic, when Hall went to work to figure out ways businesses could succeed despite the shelter-in-place orders issued to residents. She is credited with helping shape the temporary rezoning that City Council approved to pump up the curbside economy and for the beloved, now-permanent pedestrian-only blocks on lower King Street.
“Charlotte proposed that the [lower King Street restaurants] approach the City and ask for full closure of King Street. Her idea was to open up the parking spaces for extra tables outside to increase revenues. With the extra tables, restaurants could increase revenues and put more people back to work. All this keeping in mind the ever-changing requirements for conducting business within CDC and Commonwealth mandates,” wrote Lani Gering, co-owner of The Old Town Crier.
Hall also gets hearty nods for her inspirational and visionary suggestions for the Waterfront Plan. In 2014 and 2015, she helped get the water taxis approved for Nationals Park and National Harbor. She even pitched Dashbus to start the free King Street Trolley, all with the consistent intent of bringing more business to Alexandria, which has happened.
Always held on the first Saturday in March, the Ballyshaners St. Patrick’s Day parade has grown to be the largest one-day event in Old Town Alexandria. It features pipe bands, Irish dance schools, community groups, and a host of other musicians and performers. The parade is a fantastic day to spend with family or friends. The Ballyshaners have provided Alexandrians with the finest Irish celebrations for over 40 years.
The Ballyshaners, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, hosts the only parade that proceeds down King Street, showcasing the city’s commercial vitality and small businesses. The parade starts at 12:15 pm on Saturday, March 4, 2023. Visit www.ballyshaners.org for updates about fundraisers, planning meetings, Parade Day events, and to make a donation.