Alexandria is launching a new waterfront programming series called Portside in Old Town, featuring not-to-miss activities for both families and adults focused on history, art, music and fitness, in addition to pop-up experiences and events.
The fun kicks off with the Portside in Old Town Festival, October 12-14, at the waterfront near King Street, The festival includes a pop-up beer garden from Alexandria’s own Port City Brewing Company and a pizza-by-the-slice station served by Pizzeria Paradiso. Attendees can also take advantage of a rare opportunity to take a free tour of the visiting tall ship Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the original ships that brought the first English colonists to Virginia in 1607.
The festival lineup will pack your calendar with an LED light performance by Incandescent Entertainment presented by The Athenaeum, a pop-up exotic car exhibit to preview next year’s Alexandria Festival of Speed and Style, a free kids’ pizza-making demo by Pizzeria Paradiso, a free kids decorative craft project from AR Workshop, a free outdoor group fitness class from Sand & Steel Fitness, free Portside History activities from the Office of Historic Alexandria and more.
Can’t attend that weekend?
The Portside in Old Town series is ongoing, and the full calendar of events can be viewed here. A few of the notable highlights—extending from the holidays into 2019—include the following:
– The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights and holiday fun by the water.
– Interactive public art piece by SOFTlab in the new waterfront park, coming in Spring 2019.
– The tall ship Providence arriving in summer 2019 as a permanent attraction offering public tours, education programs and beer cruises in partnership with Port City Brewing Company. This notable tall ship, which has appeared in the international blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, is a full-scale replica of one of the U.S. Continental Navy’s first warships, which was captained by John Paul Jones, the father of the U.S. Navy, under the leadership of General George Washington.
All happenings are open to the public, and Old Town is easily accessible by Metro (hop off at the King Street stop and hop on the free King Street Trolley, or take a stroll through Old Town to the water), a high-speed water taxi (accessible from The Wharf in D.C.), or car (travel by rideshare or find plenty of affordable parking near the water). Pro tip: the garage under Market Square (108 N. Fairfax Street) is just $5 all day on weekends or after 5 PM on weekdays.
Visit the Old Town waterfront for the Portside series, but stay to explore the walkable and picturesque area that is home to a collection of more than 100 independent boutiques and a myriad of local dining options. Appease your appetite at favorite restaurant establishments in Old Town, or head over to Del Ray or Alexandria’s West End for more eclectic options. With more than 20 new restaurants opening in the past year or coming soon, there’s always a good reason to come back and try something new, from barbecue to Ethiopian plus hip new places for cocktails.