Happy Birthday, Mr. President

  • George Washington's Birthday Celebration Parade. Courtesy of Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association.
George Washington's Birthday Celebration Parade. Courtesy… (Michael Geissinger, Baltimore…)
February 17, 2011

Party with George Washington on his birthday in the town he called home: Alexandria, Va.

The city hosts the largest and oldest parade in the country, celebrating the nation's first president. The parade takes place Monday, but the town parties all weekend with events including breakfast with George Washington at Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, a historic re-enactment at Fort Ward Park and free admission to historic attractions on parade day.

Enjoy Washington's favorite breakfast of "hoecakes swimming in butter and honey" and cooked over an open fire at Mount Vernon from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday. Then attend a "surprise birthday party" at 1:30 p.m. by joining characters from the 18th century for birthday cheers, a serenade, patriotic music and more. (The events are included with regular admission to Mount Vernon; admission is free on Monday.)

On Sunday, camp with General Washington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Ward Park (4301 W. Braddock Road) and experience tactical demonstrations throughout the day including a Revolutionary War skirmish between the redcoats and Continental army.

The nation's biggest parade to honor George Washington starts at 1 p.m. Monday and marches one mile through the streets of Old Town Alexandria with nearly 3,500 participants. Also on Monday, you can get free admission to several historic sites in the area. Go to visitAlexandriaVA.com for more details.

—Nancy Jones Bonbrest

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