George Washington Birthday Parade and Open Houses in Alexandria

Friendship Firehouse Museum in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Free Tours of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and Other Historic Alexandria Museums

On Monday, February 20, the nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. With nearly 3,500 participants, this community parade honors one of the Alexandria’s favorite sons. The Parade’s Grand Marshal will be Retired Police Chief Earl Cook, and the special guest is Olympic silver medal winner boxer Shakur Stevenson. For information about participating units, parking, maps, route and status, visit this link or call 703.829.6640.

The same day, several Historic Alexandria sites will celebrate by hosting special open houses with free admission. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street, and the Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 South Alfred Street, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors may tour these historic sites at no charge on this day.

How did George Washington celebrate his birthday in the ballroom of Gadsby’s Tavern? What was considered luxurious for overnight accommodations in the 18th century? Visitors to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will find out at the very place George Washington dined and danced.

Visitors to the Apothecary, which opened in 1796, will see its unique collection of herbs and botanicals, while discovering the important role the Apothecary played in early Alexandria. Among the featured display items will be a note from Martha Washington.

At the Friendship Firehouse, first built in 1855 and remodeled in 1871, see hand-drawn fire engines, leather water buckets, axes, sections of early rubber hose and other historic firefighting equipment. The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was Alexandria’s first volunteer fire company and dates to Washington’s time.

 At The Lyceum, visitors can view the new exhibition “Alexandria’s Nurses and Hospitals During the Civil War.” Visitors can also see the recently opened exhibit “The Lyceum: 175 Years of Local History” and the permanent exhibit “Building a Community: Alexandria Past to Present.”

For more information about these events, visit this link.