Alexandria: Festival Fun

Alexandria: Festival Fun

First Thursdays

In Del Ray


Family-oriented street festival along Mount Vernon Avenue with themes such as “A Taste of Del Ray” and “Lights, Cameras, Fashion.” 6-9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month May-September. Free.

Second Thursdays

In Old Town

May through September

The longer days of the summer months are a perfect excuse for an event like Second Thursdays in Old Town, when shops, galleries and restaurants stay open late the second Thursday of each month from May through September. Themes, including June’s “Dancing in the Streets” and September’s “Supper Under the Stars” keep each evening interesting. Various Old Town merchants have programs that vary by month, and many times the opening reception of a new Torpedo Factory art exhibit coincides with the event.

Juneteenth Celebration

900 block Wythe Street


Juneteenth celebrates the joyous day in African-American history when slaves in Texas first learned of their emancipation. Family-oriented celebration includes music, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, entertainment and food. Free. June 14, 1-6 p.m.

Ethnic Festivals

Alexandria Recreation Department

Special Events


Each festival shares the culture of its people through entertainment, food and arts & crafts. Festivals are coordinated with co-sponsoring organizations and occur rain or shine throughout the summer. Among them are the American Indian Festival, the Armenian Festival, the African American Festival, the Irish Festival and the Cambodian Festival.

Annual Art on the Avenue

Mount Vernon Avenue

Saturday, Oct. 7


Mid-Atlantic regional arts festival that celebrates an array of arts and artisans, provides entertainment for all ages, and offers a variety of American and ethnic food. The event, held along Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, includes more 300 artists and five musical and entertainment stages. This year’s festival is scheduled for Oct. 7.

George Washington Birthday Parade


The largest parade honoring the first president and Alexandria’s hometown hero features marching bands, floats, military and reenactment units, Masonic groups, equestrian entries, antique cars and of course, George and Martha Washington throughout Old Town Alexandria. Free.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and Parade


Join the festivities of the 25th anniversary parade throughout Old Town. Held on the first Saturday of March, events include the Fun Dog Show in front of City Hall at 10:30 a.m. at Market Square, and Classic Car Competition at 9 a.m. on N. Pitt Street.

Alexandria Arts Safari

Torpedo Factory

Saturday, Sept. 9

105 N. Union St.


Art demonstrations and lots of hand-on activities for children of all ages and their families. This event, presented by the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, the Art League, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, is part of the weekend-long Festival of the Arts, which will be on Sept. 9 and 10. This year’s 11th annual safari is scheduled for Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Festival of the Arts

Old Town Alexandria

King Street from Washington

to Union Streets

703-838-5005, ext. 207

Join more than 150 local and nationally known artists for this two-day, outdoor art festival.

The festival features paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glassware, photography on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9 and 10.

18th Century Craft Fair

Historic Mount Vernon Estate

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway


Dozens of juried artisans demonstrate their crafts and sell their wares, with Colonial music, a variety of entertainment, including fire-eaters, puppet shows, magicians, jugglers, and hearty food. Sightseeing cruises courtesy of Potomac Riverboat Company and Spirit Cruises. Fair included with price of admission to the estate. Held Sept. 16 and 17.

Holiday Tree Lighting

Market Square

301 King St.


Features musical entertainment with greetings from the Mayor and Santa Claus.

Holiday Parade of Boats

Alexandria Marina

Cameron Street


Alexandria’s harbor lights up when more than 50 brightly-lit sailing and powered leisure boats cruise along the Potomac River at the city’s historic waterfront. Festivities are on the docks on Dec. 2.

Family-Friendly New Year’s

First Night Alexandria

421 King St.


First Night, a big-and-getting-bigger New Year’s Party all over Alexandria that is based in downtown Old Town to the Masonic Temple, but stretched to Del Ray last year, features a multitude of musical acts — jazz to classical to blue grass — as well as dances, lots of children’s stuff, skits, comedians and a plethora of places to stop off and eat. Part of the musical entertainment is the final phase of a talent competition.

Exponential Power

Titan Expo

Late April or early May


A fund-raising fair held each spring, T.C. Williams Titan Expo is an afternoon of games, face painting, music, food and family-friendly fun.

Funds benefit school programs and the Larry Trice Scholarship Fund, part of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.

The Expo is held as the end of the school year approaches, in late April or early May, and took place this year at the Chinquapin Circle.

Waterfront Fun

Alexandria Waterfront Festival

Oronoco Bay Park

The Red Cross summer festival, usually in June, is held at Oronoco Bay Park on a Saturday and Sunday.

Featuring lots of live music at several stages, vendors, beer and food, the festival is the major fundraising event for the Alexandria Chapter of the Red Cross.

That’s a Lot of Candles

Celebrate Alexandria’s 257th Birthday


Oronoco Bay Park

The best birthday party ever is the one Alexandria throws to celebrate itself.

Always the Saturday after the 4th of July, once at Jones Point Park, now at Oronoco, it features a Washington band, The Alexandria Symphony, lots of food, your own or vendors, cannon and fireworks and a great big birthday cake.

All Aboard

Railroad Days at the Lyceum

Aug. 12 and 13, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

201 S. Washington St.


Twice a year the trains stop at the Lyceum, Alexandria’s history museum. Miniature towns and country landscapes are home to model railroads, and train buffs from around the region visit to share their experiences. Lego trains as well as operational models are featured at the weekend-long event, which occurs next in August.

Kwaanza Workshop

Alexandria Black History Museum

902 Wythe Street


This family event is held at the Alexandria Black History Museum in December. Free. Special hands-on activities and stories help teach about Kwaanza.