Located just south of the nation's capital in Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River, the city of Alexandria, Virginia, celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day each year with family events including a classic car show, a fun costumed dog show, and a festive parade.
Rain or shine, more than 2,000 participants will march in the 39th Annual Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2020, including the Notre Dame Alumni Band, dog rescue groups, pipe and drum bands, Irish dancers, and others.
Organized by the Ballyshaners, a non-profit organization that promotes Irish heritage, the Alexandria Saint Patrick's Day Parade takes place on March 7, 2020, starting at 12:30 p.m. at King and Alfred streets and ending at 2 p.m. at Lee and Cameron streets.
The Fun Dog Show
A benefit for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, the fun dog show takes place before the parade from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Old Town Market Square. Expect over 30 dogs in costume competing for Best Human/Canine Look-Alike, Most Talented, Most St. Paddy’s Spirit, and other categories.
Public Transportation and Parking
Due to limited parking in the area, public transportation is suggested for the parade. Visitors can take the Metro to the King Street stop and walk several blocks to the east to arrive along the parade route. If you'd rather not walk from the Metro, you can take a DASH bus.
Parking is restricted, so plan ahead and arrive early if you must drive to the event. There are some metered spots on the streets surrounding the parade route. Also, look for signs at intersections that will guide you to public parking lots in the area.
To drive to Old Town where the parade takes place, take the George Washington Memorial Parkway to East King Street, and check this interactive map and directions from around the region if you get lost.
Other Irish Celebrations in the Alexandria Area
The Alexandria Saint Patrick's Day parade is just one of many events in the Washington, D.C., area for the Irish holiday. If you have time, it's recommended to check out more than one gathering.
Many people will also head to nearby Irish restaurants and pubs to celebrate on and around the date of the parade, enjoying the cuisine, beer, and music of Ireland. Visitors in town for Saint Patrick's Day can sip on green beers or try traditional Irish foods at various vibrant locales.
Murphy's Grand Irish Pub has long been an Alexandria favorite, and on the day of the parade in 2020 the venue will open at 9 a.m., serving free bagels, donuts, and coffee. Live music will play from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to close; guests can check out Irish dancing throughout the day. Another beloved spot is Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant and Bar, housed in a historic building from the 1800s. The restaurant will feature live music at 5 p.m. on March 7, 2020.
Alternatively, in Arlington, Virginia—about a 20-minute drive from Alexandria—you could visit Samuel Beckett's Irish Gastro Pub for some live music by local and Irish bands or The Celtic House Irish Pub and Restaurant (shows at 9:30 p.m. at both places). Sine Irish Pub and Restaurant in Arlington is another fun place with happy hours every day but Sunday.