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June 21 & 22, 2024

Portside in Old Town Summer Festival

A Free Festival of Live Music & More
Featuring the ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside

Friday, June 21, 2024, 6 to 9 p.m.
CANCELLED: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 1 to 8 p.m.
ree Admission
Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Kick off summer with the return of the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival. This free festival features an array of live music, local craft beer from Port City Brewing Company and fun for the whole family on the Alexandria waterfront. The event includes Friday evening jazz performances and readings by Alexandria poets as part of the ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside. Saturday, the festival continues with an eclectic musical lineup, local food, hands-on art and history activities and more. New this year, as part of the City’s 275th anniversary celebrations, Port City Brewing Company will serve an original hoppy India Pale Ale called ALX275, brewed with 275 lbs. of hops.

The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival and the ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside are produced by Visit Alexandria and the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.

Portside Festival Cancelled Saturday Due to Heat; Friday Jazz Fest Still On

The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival is cancelled on Saturday, June 22, 2024, due to the heat emergency. Saturday’s heat index is predicted to exceed 100 degrees, qualifying as an “Extreme heat risk rating.” The safety of event attendees, participants, volunteers and staff is Visit Alexandria’s greatest priority. There are no plans to reschedule at this time.

ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside on Friday, June 21, will proceed as planned from 6 to 9 p.m., with additional heat mitigation measures in progress. Water is available across food vendors, and medical professionals will be onsite.

Friday, June 21, 2024
6 to 9 p.m.

On Friday enjoy the ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside, presented by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts. Enjoy music from distinct jazz groups, plus live poetry from local Alexandria poets between sets. Katea Stitt, program director and producer at WPFW 89.3, is the evening’s master of ceremonies.

6:00 – 6:10 p.m. Opening remarks

6:10 – 6:15 p.m. Zeina Azzam, City of Alexandria’s Poet Laureate

6:15 – 7:00 p.m. The Lovejoy Group

7:00 – 7:15 p.m. Kenneth Carroll, Poet and Playwright

7:15 – 8:00 p.m. Brandon Woody’s UPENDO

8:00 – 8:15 p.m. Elizabeth Jones, ACPS Elementary Poet Laureate

8:15 – 9:00 p.m. Kokayi

ALX Jazz Fest performers and poets were selected through a collaboration with the Office of the Arts and the 2024 Alexandria Jazz Fest Advisory Team and Poetry Advisory Team.

Listen to the Artists

Use the playlist button in the top-right to switch artists.

Friday Masters of Ceremonies: Katea Stitt

Katea Stitt attended Georgetown University, and began her career as a performing arts producer in 1987. In 1994, she launched her company, Anyanwu Management. From 1999 until 2004, Ms. Stitt directed the Smithsonian Institution’s Jazz Oral History Program. Since 1991, she has hosted Beyond Borders, a weekly Jazz/World Music program, on DC Pacifica station WPFW. She has produced two radio documentaries on Morocco for the network – Inside the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and the Essaouira Festival of Gnawan and World Music. She is currently program director for Pacifica radio station WPFW in Washington, D.C., and tour manager for singing ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock.

CANCELLED: Saturday, June 22, 2024
1 to 8 p.m.

The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival is cancelled on Saturday, June 22, 2024, due to the heat emergency. ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside will continue as planned on Friday, June 21.

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Opening remarks

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Taisha Estrada, Latin and American Jazz

2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Feedel Band, Ethiopian Jazz

4:00 – 4:45 p.m. The Walkaways, Alt-Country

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. La Mafia Del Guaguanco, Salsa Orchestra

6:45 – 8:00 p.m. Adrian Duke Projek Featuring Theresa Richmond, Modern Blues

Special appreciation to Alexandria-based musicians and founders of the Yellow Door Concert Series, Vaughn and Robyn Ambrose who serve as guest musical curators and emcees for the Saturday portion of the festival.

Listen to the Artists

Saturday Masters of Ceremonies: Robyn & Vaughn Ambrose

Vaughn and Robyn Ambrose are Alexandria-based musicians and founders of the Yellow Door Concert Series, dedicated to creating small, intimate listening opportunities for musicians and audiences to gather and share. Vaughn is the Director of Jazz at St. Stephens St. Agnes Upper school and has toured the world performing and lecturing. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters in Jazz Studies, both from East Carolina University. Originally from Canada, Robyn has spent the last 25 years freelancing along the Eastern Seaboard and across Canada, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance, also from East Carolina University.


The following activities will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Dominion Energy Lawn Game ZoneHead to the turf for some active fun with cornhole and other games courtesy of Dominion Energy.

Office of Historic Alexandria – As part of the City’s 275th anniversary celebrations, the Office of Historic Alexandria will offer 275th-inspired activities including crafts, a game of “Guess Where,” and a glimpse of the new temporary Robinson Landing exhibit “Mapping Alexandria: Stories of a Changing City.”

The following activities will run from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday only. 

Girls on the RunJoin Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia to craft a shoe charm to bling out your kiddo’s kicks! Bubbles and coloring pages will also be available at their booth where families can learn more about getting involved with inspiring future leaders in our community!

Safe Space NOVA  Safe Space NOVA is proud to offer youth activities including rock painting, giant magic bubbles and temporary tattoos. Embrace your creativity in celebration of Alexandria’s 275th anniversary!

UpCycleBecome the crafter and captain of your own mini cork boat! Using all upcycled materials, we will build sustainable seafarers and hold a mini regatta!


Tall Ship Dockside Tours and Maritime Heritage Center


Tall ship Providence will offer “Pay What You Can” open house tours on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival. Tickets are available for purchase for a 6 p.m. evening sail. For more information or to book sails, charters and regularly scheduled tours, please go to

Food & Drink

On both Friday and Saturday, award-winning Port City Brewing Company will serve local craft beer including their special ALX275 IPA and 2024 World Beer Cup winning Belgian-Style Witbier brew, Optimal Wit, among others. Plus, taste their hops-infused sparkling water, Hopwell, Lost Boy Cider’s Comeback Kid, a Virginia-based Cabernet Franc from Horton Vineyards, plus Cannonball Sauvignon Blanc.

Also enjoy a selection of food and drinks from Alexandria-based small businesses Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, Hen Quarter, Tequila & Taco, The Light Horse, Union Sandwich Co., Dolci Gelati, A.M. Kettle and Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. Vendors will begin sales 30 minutes prior to the start of musical performances each day.

Hotel Offers

Make it a weekend in Alexandria! Enjoy special discounted rates at five festival partner hotels. Additionally, eleven hotels are offering the “Love, Alexandria” package with special rates throughout the summer with water taxi passes, free parking and Key to the City museum passes (restrictions apply).

Hilton Alexandria Old Town

Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria

Hotel AKA Alexandria

The Alexandrian Hotel

Morrison House

"Love, Alexandria" Hotel Package


Based on anticipated attendance, the use of public transportation and alternative modes of transportation are highly encouraged. Driving to the event and parking near the waterfront or on the street is not recommended. See the list below to consider your options and plan your trip to the festival.

Metro: The King St-Old Town Metrorail station is located on King Street. Both Yellow Line and Blue Line trains stop at the King St-Old Town station, which is a 25-minute walk from the waterfront at the east end of King Street. As an alternative to walking, you can take the free King Street Trolley or DASH buses from the Metrorail station to Market Square and walk 5 minutes down King Street to Waterfront Park. The Metrorail runs until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

King Street Trolley: The free King Street Trolley runs from Market Square to the King Street Metro every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. More information and schedules are available at

DASH Bus: The DASH bus is free. The 30 and 31 line drops off at Market Square, three blocks from Waterfront Park. DASH buses run as early as 6 a.m. and as late as midnight on both Friday and Saturday.

Capital Bikeshare: There are several bikeshare stations within a short walk of the event site located at Prince Street & Union Street, Duke Street & Union Street, Market Square, King Street & N. Pitt Street and Gibbon Street & S. Royal Street. Visit for more info.

Dockless Mobility: There are various dockless mobility devices throughout Old Town including scooters and e-bikes. Please note there is no riding on sidewalks per City Code or within the expanded King Street pedestrian zone from the 100 block of King Street to the waterfront or in any of the waterfront parks. When possible, please park in a scooter corral (Prince & Strand) or bike rack so as not to block the sidewalk or driveways.

Water Taxi: For information on pricing and schedules, click here. The Water Taxi stops at King Street, The Wharf, Georgetown and National Harbor.

Rideshare: Lyft and Uber. Rideshare pick-up and drop-off locations on King Street should occur in the 300 block near or at Market Square (301 King Street). Attendees should not attempt to be picked up directly at the waterfront based on restricted access to streets within the vicinity of the event.

Taxi: The following companies currently operate within the City of Alexandria:

Bike Valet: On Friday only, bike valet services will be provided by Bike Valet DMV at the corner of King Street beside Mai Thai Restaurant.

Parking: Please consider all travel options. Driving to the event and parking near the waterfront or on the street is not recommended. Street parking is extremely limited on weekends, and parking lots may also have limited availability.

The 100 and 0 block of King Street is a permanent pedestrian-only zone.

If choosing to drive and park, we recommend:

  • Parking at a garage or lot away from the waterfront. Courthouse Square Garage (111 S. Pitt St.) is a 7-minute walk from the festival and only $5.
  • Refer to the map of garages on the City of Alexandria’s parking page. Note: many garages near the waterfront on Union Street reach capacity.
  • Download the ParkMobile app if you do plan on parking on the street. Some street parking is only offered as pay-by-phone.


Admission: The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival is free and open to the public. There is no age requirement to enter the event.

Alcoholic Beverage Sales: All beer, cider and wine sales require ID check. Cash and credit accepted. Service ends Friday at 8:45 p.m. and Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

Food & Beverage: Enjoy local eats at the festival and come early or stay late to explore Old Town’s many restaurants.

Dogs: We anticipate a high volume of attendees at this event. While we love furry friends, they may be more comfortable at home. Service animals are allowed.

Restrooms: Find mobile restrooms on-site or use nearby public restrooms next to Blackwall Hitch at 5 Cameron St.

Photography: Photographers will be present to capture images to be used in future promotional use. By attending the festival you are granting permission for your photo to be captured.

Volunteer: Join the team that brings this event to the community. Sign up for an Info Tent Volunteer Position or as an Activity Assistant Volunteer.

The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival and the ALX Jazz Fest @ Portside are produced by Visit Alexandria and the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.

Thank you to our 2024 festival sponsors and partners




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