Saturday, February 26 – Community Appreciation Day at the Charles Houston Recreation Center
The Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities is hosting a “Community Appreciation Day” on Saturday, February 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, located at 901 Wythe St. Admission is free. Join Department staff for a day filled with fun, class demonstrations and family activities. For additional information, contact Shelia Whiting, Regional Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.5552.
Saturday, February 26 – Seminar on “The Eye/Heart Connection”
The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington and Alexandria Library's Talking Books Service will host a seminar on “The Eye/Heart Connection” from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Beatley Central Library. At this seminar, you will learn how the dilated eye exam enables your doctor to see changes in the retina, which can provide information that could lead to a diagnosis of coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetic retinopathy and other health concerns. Suleiman Alibhai, O.D., low vision specialist, will present an introduction, and the keynote speaker is Wai Wong, M.D., Ph.D., National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. This event is free to the public. For more information, please call 703.746.1761.
Saturday, February 26 – Black History Month Civil War Lecture
In recognition of Black History Month, historian Carroll R. Gibbs will present his lecture, “Whirlwind Coming: African Americans in the District and Alexandria during the Civil War,” at 1 p.m. at Fort Ward Museum, 4301 W. Braddock Rd. In his presentation, Gibbs will discuss the Civil War-era experiences and contributions of African Americans living in the Federal capital and the nearby seaport town of Alexandria, which became a headquarters and transportation center for the Union army. His lecture will highlight the role of civilians as well as some of the U.S. Colored Troop regiments that were associated with the camps and forts that comprised the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Cost for the program is $10 per person, and reservations are suggested due to limited space. For more information, visit www.fortward.org or call 703.746.4848.
Sunday, February 27 –Annual Black History Month Lecture & Soul Food Tasting
Join the Alexandria Black History Museum and members of the NAACP for the annual Black History Month lecture and soul food tasting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St. The featured guest speaker, Asa Gordon, Secretary-General of the Sons and Daughters of the U.S .Colored Troops, will discuss the 2011 Black History Month Theme of “African Americans in the Civil War.” Following the lecture, guests will sample a variety of African-American traditional foods. This event is free but a collection will be taken to help NAACP students attend the ACT-SO program at their national conference. For more information, visit www.naacpalexandriava.org.
Monday, February 28 – Tavern Toddlers
Join us for a special program for toddlers (walkers through 36 months) and their caregivers at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St. Tavern Toddlers features a weekly open playtime in Gadsby’s historic ballroom Mondays, excluding Federal holidays, through April 25 any time between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Cost is $7 for a group of three, which must include one adult, or $30 for purchase of a five-week pass. For more information, please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.
Tuesday, March 1 – SBDC Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Alexandria Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host a presentation “How to Maintain Work-Life Balance and Maximize Productivity” as part of their Brown Bag Lunch Series. The presentation is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. at Connect113, 113 S. Columbus Street, Lower Level. Admission is free, but you must register to participate. For more information, call 703.778.1292 or visit www.alexandriasbdc.org.
Wednesday, March 2 - Speak Up, Take ACTion Town Hall Meetings
Want to improve the quality of life in Alexandria? Speak up! ACT for Alexandria, the City of Alexandria, Partnership for a Healthy Alexandria, and Virginia Tech are partnering to develop a better way to inform key decisions in Alexandria – through “quality of life indicators.” Quality of life indicators are the answers to the question, “What matters most to the people who live in Alexandria?” Come to a a town hall meeting to discuss this issue from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Ave. You can also take five minutes to vote online with ACTion Alexandria at www.actionalexandria.org. For more information, visit www.healthieralexandria.org.
Thursday, March 3 – Town Hall Meeting on Creating a Livable Community
The City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services’ Office of Aging and Adult Services, in conjunction with the Viable Futures Center of JustPartners, Inc., strategic planning consultants, invites the public to attend a town hall meeting to discuss strategies for creating a Livable Community for All Ages while focusing on the growing population of older residents. The meeting will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King St. For more information, contact Debbie Ludington at 703.746.5694.
Saturday, March 5 – Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The City of Alexandria and the Ballyshaners (Gaelic for “Old Towners”) will host the 30th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in celebration of Irish-American heritage. The parade begins at King and Alfred Streets and follows a route down King Street, past the reviewing stand at North Royal Street, and ends on the block of Lee Street between King Street and Cameron Street. The parade will begin at 12:30 p.m., and is expected to conclude by 2:30 p.m. All events are sponsored by the Ballyshaners, a not-for-profit group that organizes and orchestrates the Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade in partnership with the City of Alexandria. For more information, visit www.ballyshaners.org.
Saturday, March 5 – Free Lecture on “Digging for Buried Treasure”
The Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen St., will host a free lecture on “Digging for Buried Treasure” from 1 to 3 p.m. Learn how a treasure trove of lost family letters became the book Letters to Virginia, and find out how you can protect your own family papers. For more information, please call 703.746.1706.
Saturday, March 19 – Green Building Workshop
Attend the second Eco-City Alexandria Green Building Workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Community Meeting Room. The workshop will provide insight into why an energy audit is beneficial, the elements of an audit, what to expect from an audit report, and much more. Participants are encouraged to RSVP by e-mail to Erica.Bannerman@alexandriava.gov. Door prizes awarded at the event. To learn more about the City's green building efforts visit the Green Building Resource Center at www.alexandriava.gov/gbrc.
Monday, March 28 – 31st Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet
The Alexandria Commission for Women invites you to save the date for the 31st Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet on Monday, March 28th. For more information, call Sarah Watson or Lisa Baker at 703.746.5030.
Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center Offers Alexandria Prehistoric Peoples Spring Break Camp
Wondering what to do over spring break? Children ages 7 to 10 can enjoy a week long, full day nature camp learning about the prehistoric Indian peoples who once lived within Alexandria's ancient forests. Activities include woodland hikes, games, role playing, stone tool making, storytelling, journaling, and more! The camp fee includes a field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Register early, space is limited! To register, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Recreation or call 703.746.5559 for more information.
Vote for Alexandria as Your Favorite 2011 Distinctive Destination
With fanfare on historic Market Square, the city announced on February 15 that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Alexandria to the list of 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The city earned this prestigious designation for its urban charm that blends an extraordinary early American past with modern flair and its citizens’ strong commitment to protecting and celebrating their history. Vote daily through March 15 for Alexandria to win Fan Favorite at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com.
Ice Melt Contest
To raise awareness of its historic well and needed funds to restore it, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., is holding an Ice Melt Contest. The subterranean ice well at Cameron and N. Royal streets was stocked with several tons of ice on February 18 and participants are invited to guess how long it will take to completely melt. Buy a chance for $10 and guess correctly and you could win some “ice: of your own, like a diamond bracelet or Waterford crystal. Monitor the melting through an underground webcam and the “History on the Rocks” blog at www.alexandriava.gov/IceWell. For more information or to purchase a guess, visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.
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 1 – “Patriotic and Public Spirited” Commemorative Wares in George Washington’s Hometown
Alexandria prides itself on being the hometown of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, and historic events such as George Washington’s Birthnight Ball and Lafayette’s 1824 visit to Alexandria were cause for great celebration. This exhibition of commemorative ceramic wares, recovered from archaeological excavations or preserved in collections, shows the community’s interest in events and historic places of local and national significance. The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum (201 South Washington Street) is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.alexandriahistory.org or call 703.746.4994.
Open through May 7 – 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.