Saturday, December 4 – Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade
With the fresh scent of heather and the festive melody of bagpipes, get into the holiday spirit at the 40th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade, sponsored by the Scottish Government. The centerpiece of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend is the parade through historic Old Town at 11 a.m. The parade celebrates the City's Scottish heritage and features more than 100 Scottish clans, bagpipe and drum bands, history reenactment groups, dog clubs, and a visit from Santa Claus. Several other events are also scheduled throughout the weekend to benefit Campagna Center. For more information, including transit options, event-related road closures, and more, visit www.alexandriava.gov.
Saturday, December 4 – Soldier’s Christmas
Step back in time to enjoy colonial life in Alexandria during the holidays at the time of the American Revolution. The Soldier’s Christmas program at Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street, is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. It will feature re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment and you can take part in festive activities, including live music, demonstrations of military drill, fife and drum, gaming, and cooking. Suggested donation is $5. For more information, visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.
Saturday, December 4 – Ornament Decorating Workshop for Families
Get inspired by the colors and patterns of pottery excavated in Alexandria and make a memorable holiday keepsake at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union St. #327, from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants can decorate and take home dough ornaments shaped like artifacts from the museum’s own collection. This free event is great for families! For more information, call 703.746.4399 or visit www.alexandriaarchaeology.org.
Saturday, December 4 – 11th Annual Burke and Herbert Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Alexandria's harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. Festivities at the Marina (located at the foot of Cameron St.) run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Santa arriving by fireboat at 4:15 p.m. to take free photos with kids and pets. The boat parade begins at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Jay Atkinson at 703.304.1523 or visit www.visitAlexandriaVA.com/HolidayBoatParadeofLights.
Sunday, December 5 – Holiday Concerts in Old Town
Enjoy the music of the season in Alexandria! Holiday concerts are held outdoors at Market Square, 301 King Street, and are canceled in the event of inclement weather. For more information, call the Events Hotline at 703.746.5592 or the Special Events office at 703.746.5418.
- Shir Tze‘ir (Jewish a cappella) at 2 p.m.
- The Alexandria Singers (Choral) at 3 p.m.
Saturday, December 4 – Chinquapin Park Recreation Center 25th Anniversary Celebration
The City of Alexandria invites the public to attend a 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center, 3210 King St., from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Celebration activities include class demonstrations; individual and family activities; history of Chinquapin; awards ceremony; and official welcome by the Honorable Mayor and Members of City Council. For more information, contact Lou Williams, Regional Program Director, at email@example.com or call 703.746.5434.
Sunday, December 5 – 13th Annual Women's Holiday Art Show
Take a break from crowded stores and come to the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St., from 1 to 5 p.m. for an afternoon of art, fun, women, and wine, sponsored by the Commission for Women and the Friends of the Commission for Women. Find gifts for everyone on your list and something for yourself! More than 30 exhibitors will display pottery, clothing, scarves, purses, jewelry, crafts, and more. Free refreshments will be served, and raffles will be held. A portion of the proceeds will be donated by the Friends of the Commission to support Domestic and Sexual Violence Services in Alexandria. For more information, contact Lisa Baker at 703.746.5030 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, December 5 – Square Dance to Benefit Toys for Tots Drive
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and United States Marine Corps Reserve are hosting the 36th annual benefit square and round dance for the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive. Donation per couple is a new unopened toy or a minimum $10 contribution. The event will be held at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., from 1 to 5 p.m. A toy contribution may be dropped off at the Exhibit Hall before 3 p.m. For more information, call the Events Hotline at 703.746.5592 or the Special Events office at 703.746.5418.
Through Sunday, December 5 – 15th Annual Holiday Market at Del Ray Artisans
Stop by the 15th Annual Holiday Market at 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. in Del Ray! The Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from 20 exhibitors, beautiful poinsettias from West Landscapes LLC, and delicious baked goods to benefit the local community. Admission is free. All exhibitors are DRA artist members and all crafts are handmade. The Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 703.501.1736 or visit www.thedelrayartisans.org.
Through Sunday, December 5 - Pet Photos with Santa
Santa Claus is coming to town, and that means it’s time to have your pets’ photos made with the jolly man in the red and white suit! The AWLA will hold its annual "Pet Photos with Santa" event December 3-5. Drop-ins are welcome, but residents are encouraged to call 703.746.4774 to make your appointment to ensure a spot for your pet.
Tuesday, December 7 – iMovie Mentors Film Festival
Support Alexandria's newest film-making talent at the 4th Annual iMovie Mentors Film Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Old Town Theater at 815 ½ King St. Adult male mentors attend a weekly workshop with 6th grade boys to establish mentoring relationships and learn movie-making essentials. The film festival debuts short films that have been created by the boys and their mentors. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 5:50 p.m. to greet the youth as they arrive via limousine and “walk the red carpet” into the theater. Suggested donation for the event is $5, which includes popcorn and soda. The event is sponsored by the Alexandria Court Service Unit with funding from the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. For more information, contact Kelly Robinson at Kelly.Robinson@alexandriava.gov.
Tuesday, December 7 – Morrison House Presents: Excavation of the Bruin Slave Jail by Archaeologist Charles LeeDecker
Archaeologist Charles LeeDecker will discuss “Washing, Ironing, and Sewing by Day, and Always Locked up by Night: Excavation of the Bruin Slave Jail, Alexandria, Va.,” from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Morrison House, 116 South Alfred Street. The Bruin Slave Jail was a standing house, built around 1820, that served as the headquarters for Joseph Bruin’s slave trading business. Bruin became notorious when he purchased several slaves who attempted to escape to freedom aboard the schooner Pearl in 1848, and he inspired some of the characters and incidents in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Excavation of the houselot yielded a slave quarter, a separate kitchen for food preparation for the slaves, a brick cistern that served the wash house and slave jail, and a storage pit that contained a collection of artifacts. For more information, please visit www.torpedofactory.org/morrison or call 703.838.8000.
Thursday, December 9 – Latin American Book Discussion Group
The Latin American Book Discussion Group will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Beatley Library, 5005 Duke St. This group is free and open to the public. For more information, call 703.746.1702.
Thursday, December 9 – Community Basketball Game
The community is invited to a basketball game between the Wizards and the Shooting Stars at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe Street. The Wizards live in a City of Alexandria residential program that assists adults with intellectual disabilities to actively participate in their community. The Wizards finished their first season undefeated in the region and won second place in the Senior Division of the Virginia Special Olympics. The Wizards will face the Shooting Stars, a team of staff from the City’s Department of Community and Human Services. Admission is free! For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/mhmrsa.
Saturday, December 11 – Alexandria Black History Museum’s Kwanzaa Events
The Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street, is hosting three Kwanzaa events. The Pre-Kwanzaa Program, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is a free event exploring the history and significance of Kwanzaa. Participants will learn about the principles of Kwanzaa, a seven-day cultural celebration that begins December 26 and ends January 1. From 1 to 3 p.m., families can take part in a Children’s Kwanzaa Craft Workshop. This event will be located in the Museum’s Watson Reading Room. Advance reservations are requested and a $5 fee covers craft supplies. At 4:30 p.m., attend a free screening of “The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration.” Narrated by Maya Angelou, this vibrant documentary traces the holiday’s growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its present-day reality as a global, pan-African holiday. For more information, call 703.746.4356 or visit www.alexblackhistory.org.
Saturday, December 11 – “Christmas in Camp” Open House
This family-fun holiday event at Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road, interprets how Christmas was observed during the Civil War. From noon to 4 p.m., enjoy living-history interpreters, a Victorian Christmas tree, refreshments, readings of “The Night Before Christmas” and a patriotic Santa Claus. Guided tours of the fort will be given, weather permitting. Suggested donation of $2 for adults, $1 for children. For more information, visit www.fortward.org or call 703.746.4848.
Saturday, December 11 & Sunday, December 12 – Annual Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Take a break from the fast pace of the season and experience the unique charm and history at Old Town Alexandria’s most popular holiday event. Tour Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House and the Athenaeum by candlelight and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments. Sunday features kid-friendly tours and a special activity! The tour is self-guided, and the sites may be visited in any order, with a free shuttle running in a continuous loop among the sites. Tour times are from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65 and older), and $5 for children (ages 6-17). Reservations are recommended. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.historicalexandria.org or call 703.746.4242.
Annual Christmas Tree Sale
The Annual Christmas Tree Sale to benefit the Alexandria Police Youth Camp is ongoing, weeknights from 5 to 8 p.m. and every weekend from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., until they are sold out! The sale is held by the Amtrak Station at 110 Callahan Dr.
Assist in the Restoration of the City’s Tree Canopy
The City of Alexandria experienced the loss of hundreds of trees and extensive damage throughout the City as a result of winter snow and summer thunderstorms in 2010. Residents who want to help replenish the City’s tree canopy have a variety of options available. Visit www.alexandriava.gov/recreation for more information.
City of Alexandria Farmers’ Markets
The City of Alexandria is host to the Old Town Farmers’ Market and Del Ray Farmers’ Market every Saturday. The markets feature colorful displays of fresh, locally grown, in-season vegetables and fruit, gourmet coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, meat, bakery items and artisans. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/farmersmarket.
Open through May 7, 2011 - Style and Identity: Black Alexandria in the 1970s, Portraits by Horace Day
At the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 S. Wythe St., view this new exhibition of 32 paintings by Horace Day featuring Alexandria street scenes and portraits of African American Alexandrians. Described as an American scene or regional painter, Day created this body of work at a time when “Black” was becoming “Beautiful,” but when media still promoted stereotypical, demeaning images of African Americans. Day’s portraits reflect the dignity and beauty he saw in his subjects. Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Suggested admission is $2. For more information, visit www.alexblackhistory.org or call 703.746.4356.