The annual George Washington's Birthday parade in Old Town Alexandria is the largest celebration of the country's first president in the United States and one of the most vibrant President's Day event in the Washington, D.C. area.
The parade dates back to at least 1923 and features bands, floats, wagons, horses, antique vehicles, historic reenactment units, youth groups, military units and drill teams, community and fraternal organizations, and a host of special performances. The event is planned by the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee in coordination with the City of Alexandria and representatives from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the Masonic Fraternity, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Society, the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, and other local organizations.
Alexandria is located near George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and was the hometown of our nation's first president. A vital seaport during colonial times, Alexandria was part of Washington, D.C. when it was first established. The historic town has many sites that pay a tribute to George Washington as well as other iconic figures who shaped the development of the United States.
Alexandria is a fun place to explore and the George Washington Birthday Parade is one of the best events of the year. Old Town is a fascinating place to travel through on foot with its cobblestone streets, colonial houses and churches, museums, shops, and restaurants. For more information about Alexandria, including restaurants, shopping, major attractions and things to do, see "Alexandria, Virginia: A Neighborhood Guide."
Important Information for the Parade
The George Washington Birthday Parade starts at the intersection of Gibbon and South Fairfax streets in Old Town Alexandria on Monday, February 17, 2020. The reviewing stand will be located near City Hall's Market Square at the intersection of King and Royal Streets, and the parade route ends at Wilkes and South Royal streets.
The one-mile parade route winds through the historic streets of George Washington's former hometown, meaning there will be several great viewing spots for you to catch a glimpse of the action. However, if you want to participate in the parade itself, you will need to register by February 1 this year.
To get to the main event, you can take the metro to King Street, Braddock Road, Eisenhower Avenue, and Van Dorn. Free DASH shuttle bus service will take you downtown and back from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which connects with Metrobus, Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express, and all local bus systems. The Free King Street Trolley will also be in operation all day until 11 p.m. from the King St-Old Town Metro station, and there are many parking lots and garages within the vicinity of the parade route.
Free Admission to Historic Alexandria Sites
Throughout President's Day, several Historic Alexandria sites will have Open Houses offering free admission. Those sites include the following:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
- The Lyceum
- Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
- Friendship Firehouse Museum
- Carlyle House
- Stabler-Leadbeather Apothecary Museum
- Lee-Fendall House Museum
- Historic Christ Church
The George Washington Birthday Parade is one of the many Presidents' Day events in the Washington, D.C. area.