June 16 & 17, 2023
Portside in Old Town Summer Festival sponsored by Ting Internet
A Free Festival of Live Music & More
Friday, June 16, 2023
Saturday, June 17, 2023
Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Kick off summer with the return of the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival sponsored by Ting Internet. 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. Friday, the event features the ALX Jazz Fest presented by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts, a division of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, including readings by Alexandria poets. Saturday, the festival continues with an eclectic musical lineup, local food, hands-on art and history activities and more.
The Portside in Old Town Summer Festival is produced by Visit Alexandria in partnership with the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.
Find a map of the festival grounds here.
Friday, June 16, 2023
6 to 9 p.m.
Ease into the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival sponsored by Ting with the ALX Jazz Fest, presented by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts. Enjoy music from three distinct jazz groups, plus live poetry from local Alexandria poets between sets.
6:00 – 6:10 p.m. Opening remarks by C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Joe Baione Quintet
7:15 – 8:00 p.m. Michael Hawkins and the Brotherhood
8:15 – 9:00 p.m. Sharón Clark
ALX Jazz Fest performers were selected through a collaboration with Office of the Arts and the 2023 Alexandria Jazz Fest Activation Team comprised of John Hasse (Smithsonian), Suraya Mohamed (NPR Music) and Jeremy Castillo (Levine School of Music).
Interludes of poetry between sets by:
• Zeina Azzam, City of Alexandria Poet Laureate, 2022-2025
• Sami Miranda, Published Author and Artist
• Two Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) student poet laureates
Friday Master of Ceremonies: C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas
C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas is a Queer Black Non-Binary, award-winning poet, teaching artist and an advocate for Child Abuse Prevention, the LGBTQIA community, and Mental Health Awareness. Named a pioneer of poetry by the National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Award (NUSPA) in 2015, C. has the dynamic skill set of a performer AND host.
Saturday, June 17, 2023
1 to 9 p.m.
1:00 – 1:15 p.m. Opening remarks
1:15 – 2:00 p.m. Ouros, nouveau flamenco
2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Kalkidan Meshesha, Ethiopian folk and jazz
3:45 – 4:30 p.m. Oh He Dead, indie soul
5:00 – 5:45 p.m. The Linwood Taylor Band with special guest Sol Roots, blues
6:15 – 7:15 p.m. Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, zydeco
7:45 – 9:00 p.m. Hermanos Galvan y Orquesta, Latin
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.
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.
Activities will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Ting Internet Lawn Game Zone – Head to the turf for some active fun with cornhole and other games courtesy of Ting. Learn how the festival’s sponsor, Ting Internet, is providing super-fast fiber internet in Alexandria and their commitment to net neutrality, the open internet and improving the communities they serve by supporting and championing local good works.
UpCycle Creative Reuse Center – (Saturday only) Create art out of repurposed items with Alexandria’s UpCycle, an organization that serves as a community resource for materials, inspiration and ideas.
Office of the Arts – Meet local artists and explore various art projects, while also learning more about how you can get involved!
Historic Alexandria, Chocolate Making Demo & History – Try your hand at making chocolate with Historic Alexandria. This delicious good came to Alexandria on merchant ships starting in the 18th century. Discover the origin of chocolate, its spread throughout the world, and its importance in early Alexandria through the demonstration of tools and techniques originally developed by ancient cultures of Central and South America.
Tall Ship Providence – Find out about the new visitor experience at Tall Ship Providence and the highly anticipated opening of the Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center, the ship’s new home at Waterfront Park.
Safe Space NOVA – (Saturday only) Enjoy a variety of fun offerings from rock painting to bubbles to plantings and learn more about their mission to support LGBTQ+ youth.
Visit Alexandria Info Tent – Stop by for assistance while at the event, and take part in the 2023 festival survey to shape future years of the event.
Food & Drink
On both Friday and Saturday, enjoy award-winning craft beer from Port City Brewing Company. Port City Brewing Company’s team will serve Lost Boy Cider’s Comeback Kid, Breaux Vineyards wine and Hopwell, Port City’s hops-infused sparkling water, in addition to their beloved beer offerings.
Also enjoy a selection of food and drinks from Alexandria-based small businesses Chalkboard Wings & BBQ, Borinquen Lunch Box, Kungfu Kitchen, Dolci Gelati and The Italian Place. Vendors will begin sales 30 minutes prior to the start of musical performances each day.
Explore items from local makers and retailers to find unique items ranging from jewelry to leather goods to soaps to sustainable items and more. Retail booths open 30 minutes prior to the start of musical performances each day.
Made in ALX
Made in ALX is a collective of more than 40 Alexandria-based makers, creators and artists. The shop in Old Town North offers classes and workshops in addition to a wide variety of locally-made items from candles to honey, metalworks and more.
White Lily Shoppe
White Lily Shoppe offers organic soap bars, body scrubs and bath bombs to provide an effective skincare experience that promotes natural beauty and supports healthy living.
Inti Phaxsi Gems
Inspired by the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of Andean textiles and the sacred symbols of the Inca civilization, Inti Phaxsi Gems offers preserved flower jewelry, vintage clothes and home décor.
Founded in 2020, Sophisticate Supply offers a variety of leather goods including leather tote bags, coasters and wrapped whiskey glasses.
Make it a weekend in Alexandria! Use the special links below for discounted rates at five festival partner hotels valid Friday, June 16 through Monday, June 19. No minimum stay required. Additionally, fourteen hotels are offering the “Love, Alexandria” package with rates starting as low as $149 per night and inclusive of up to $200 in added value with water taxi passes, free parking and Key to the City museum passes (restrictions apply).
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 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 dashbus.com/trolley.
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 dock stations within a short walk of the event site located at Prince Street & Union Street, Duke Street & Union Street, 908 King Street, 301 King Street, King Street & S. Patrick Street, and S. Royal. For more information, please visit capitalbikeshare.com.
Bike Valet: Complimentary bike valet service will be offered on Saturday from 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. by Two Wheel Bike Valet, located at the HB Parking Lot at 300 N. Lee Street.
Dockless Mobility: There are various dockless mobility devices throughout Old Town including e-scooters and e-bikes. Please note there is no riding on sidewalks per City code or along the expanded King Street pedestrian zone from the 100 block of King Street to the waterfront. 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:
- GoGreen Cab: 703.212.2000, gogreentaxicab.com
- King Cab: 703.549.3530, kingcabcompany.com
- VIP Cab: 703.333.5800, viptaxiva.wordpress.com
- White Top Cab: 703.683.4004
- Yellow Cab: 703.549.2500, alexandriayellowcab.com
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, or HB Parking’s surface lot (300 N. Lee St.) is a 6-minute walk.
- 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. Each beer is $7 and wine is $10. Cash and credit accepted. Service ends at 8:45 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.
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 a volunteer shift via Volunteer Alexandria’s portal to become an Activity Volunteer or Info Tent/ Survey Volunteer.