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Springtime Festivals, New Public Art, Cherry Blossoms and More in Alexandria, VA

Rebecca Doser, [email protected] or 703-652-5363
Claire Mouledoux, [email protected] or 703-652-5367

Springtime Festivals, New Public Art, Cherry Blossoms and More in Alexandria, VA

Alexandria, VA—As the weather warms and cherry blossoms take center stage, springtime events abound in Alexandria, Virginia, located minutes from Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River and voted a Travel + Leisure Best Place to Travel in 2023 and a Condé Nast Traveler Best Small City in the U.S. 2022. Spring brings fresh happenings including a new waterfront public art installation, Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson, and time-honored favorites like The Ballyshaners 40th Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the annual Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Gardens Tour, part of 90th Historic Garden Week in Virginia and. Al fresco festivals include the Alexandria Old Town Springtime Art Festival in John Carlyle Square and the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style on King Street. A new Del Ray Dog Fest joins the waterfront ALX Dog Walk for a canine theme in April. Cherry blossom-themed offerings, art and history events round out one of Alexandria’s most beautiful seasons.

For more spring events and activities in Alexandria, see the listings below and learn more at .

Featured Spring Events

The Ballyshaners 40th Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 4, 2023, beginning at 12:15 p.m.
Admission: Free
Parade begins at King and Alfred Streets, Alexandria, VA 22314

Alexandria boasts the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the D.C. area ahead of the holiday. See more than 60 groups including pipe bands, Irish dance schools, community groups and a host of other performers and entertainment during the Ballyshaners 40th Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will officially start at the corner of King Street and Alfred Street at 12:30 p.m., with dignitaries leading the procession at 12:15 pm. The day’s festivities kick off before the parade with a Classic Car Show at 9 a.m., followed by the Fun Dog Show at 11 a.m., with proceeds benefiting the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. View the full schedule and parade route at

Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson Temporary Waterfront Public Art Installation
Late March to November 2023
Admission: Free
Waterfront Park, 1A Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

In late March, Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson will be unveiled as the fifth temporary public art installation on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront, part of the City of Alexandria’s Site See: New Views in Old Town series. Created by Jamaican-born, New York-based award-winning artist Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John, the installation is inspired by the ships uncovered on Alexandria’s waterfront in 2015 and 2018 and the many layers of history that are not readily seen. The installation forms an abstracted ship’s hull with steel vertical elements that rise and bend, referencing the curve of the hull’s frame. Visitors can stand within the space and imagine a time in Alexandria’s history when the ships carried not only cargo like tobacco, molasses, rum and limes, but also enslaved people who were traded as part of the transatlantic and domestic slave trades. The outer blue of the installation is contrasted with an orange inner surface depicting text pulled from ships’ manifests listing items like herring, coconuts and gin, alongside names and descriptions of enslaved people, such as “Jane Tailor, female, 5’ 2”.” Also listed are “two boxes of oranges” and “Admonia Jackson.”

90th Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Gardens Tour
April 15, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: $55 per person
Begins at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Rectory, 411 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Overlooking the Potomac and within minutes of our nation’s capital, Alexandria was the third city in the country to create a historic district to preserve its downtown. Part of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, this walking tour includes private townhomes and secluded gardens located along the tree lined streets of the historic district, boutique shopping, and fine dining, which are all just steps away. In addition, the tour ticket allows access to two Garden Club of Virginia restoration projects, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and Green Springs Gardens, along with other local places of interest. Tickets are available via

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
May 19 to 21, 2023, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Admission: Friday: $49 for members; $59 for non-members; Saturday: $53 for members; $63 for non-members; Sunday: $43 for members; $53 for non-members
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Head to Mount Vernon for their most popular event of the year. Taste unlimited samples of wines from Virginia’s finest wineries. Bring a blanket and relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River. Enjoy the live music of Bruce Ewan and the Solid Senders.

3rd Annual Alexandria Old Town Springtime Art Festival
May 20 to 21, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
300 John Carlyle St. in Alexandria, VA

The Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival is heading back to John Carlyle Square in 2023. All artwork is juried, which provides a higher level of quality, diversity and creativity of art on display, exemplifying the gifted artists in regions from all over the country. The show was rated as one of the top 100 art shows in Sunshine Artist Magazine.

Old Town Festival of Speed & Style
May 21, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: Free
200-400 blocks of King Street, and the 100 blocks of North Royal and North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

The Old Town Festival of Speed & Style highlights the unique offerings of the Old Town community –​ history, architecture, great food, fabulous people, art, style and energy. View dozens of rare and exotic cars up close, made famous by their speed, performance and elegance. This will be enhanced by a presentation of style, fashion and live music provided by over 40 local merchants. All proceeds benefit ALIVE! and The Campagna Center.

More Spring Events & Tours

60th Anniversary Woodlawn Needlework Show
March 1 to 31, 2023, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, expect Tuesdays.
Admission: $15 per adult; $6 for students K-12; free to children 5 and under
Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House, 9000 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309

In 2023, Woodlawn celebrates 60 years of the Annual Needlework Show with the timeless theme of comfort and joy. Sixty years ago, Adelaide Bolte and Emma “Pinky” Matheson, co-founders of the Nelly’s Needlers, started the needlework show exhibiting work of their own. Since that time, the show has grown exponentially to become the largest judged show of needle arts in the nation, displaying thousands of embroidery pieces by artists from all over the world. Returning this year will be in-house seating in Nelly’s Café and needlework demonstrations. Special exhibits and online events are returning with new embroidery subjects and needlework displays.

March150 Art Party and Exhibition
Event: March 11, 2023, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Admission: TBD
Exhibition: March 11 to April 8, 2023
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Torpedo Factory Art Center’s annual exhibition and art sale returns for the 13th year featuring more than 100 works of art priced at $150 by local artists in the Target Gallery. Each piece of artwork is sized at 10” x 10”. The ticketed art party allows guests to enjoy discounts, food and drinks and art activations.

Cherry Blossom Water Taxi to The Wharf
Daily, beginning March 18, 2023
Departures beginning at 1:30 p.m.; check website for details
Admission: Starting at $23 one-way; $37 round-trip for adults
Departs from the Alexandria Marina, 1 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Cruise from Old Town Alexandria to Washington, D.C., to enjoy the famous cherry blossoms. City Cruises Potomac Water Taxi offers a 25-minute direct water taxi from Old Town to The Wharf development in D.C. From the dock at The Wharf, it is a 10-minute walk to the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. The water taxi docks at the Transit Pier, 950 Wharf St. SW, near the Tidal Basin, the National Mall, Hains Point and a Capital Bikeshare station.

Discovering Alexandria Architecture Walking Tour
March 18 and April 22, 2023, at 10 a.m., and May 20, 2023, at 2 p.m.
Admission: $20 per person
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Alexandria has grown from a small town in the 18th century to a bustling small city in the 21st century. Join for a tour of Alexandria and explore the various architectural styles that adorn the city streets. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please wear comfortable shoes for this 1.5-hour guided tour. Tours are held rain or shine unless there is severe weather.

Cherry Blossom Guided Tours with Pedego Electric Bikes Alexandria
March 20 to April 16, 2023 (or when the cherry blossoms are in bloom)
Departures at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekends; by appointment on weekdays
Admission: $69 per bike ($10 for passenger riders on cargo or tandem bikes)
Pedego Alexandria, 210 North Lee St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Join a three-hour guided tour from Old Town Alexandria to the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., including a ride through the blossoms around East Potomac Park. The views of the blossoms from a Pedego are fantastic, and you don’t have to fight traffic or find a place to park downtown. Tours will run as long as there are blooms on the cherry blossom trees. Group tour sizes will be limited. You must be at least 14 years old to ride alone. Weekend tours fill up quickly, so contact Pedego early to make your reservations. Call 571-312-5168 or email [email protected].

Office of Historic Alexandria Civil War Women’s Day
March 25, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304

Learn about the many roles of women on the home front, in camp and on the battlefield in this living history program presented by interpreters who will offer on-going talks, demonstrations and displays. Details on specific interpretive activities TBA.

France and the Gauls: From Caesar to Astérix at The Lyceum
March 30, 2023, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Admission: $15 per person
Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, 201 S Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314

How did Gaul come under Roman rule, and what is the legacy of the Gauls in France today? In this lecture offered by the Office of History Alexandria, Dr. Jennifer Paxton will look at the complex chain of circumstances that led Julius Caesar to undertake the conquest of Gaul and explore the resonance of the Gaulish past in French politics and popular culture.

“The Grandest Congress”: The French and Indian War in Alexandria at Carlyle House
April 1, 2023, from 12 to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free; $5 suggested donation
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

In 1755, Major General Edward Braddock, Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America, lodged at Carlyle House. While staying at Carlyle House, he convened a meeting of five colonial governors. One of Braddock’s objectives was to secure funding for his upcoming campaign against the French. Carlyle called this gathering “the Grandest Congress … ever known on the Continent.” Visitors to the Carlyle House will experience Braddock’s visit and the French and Indian War firsthand through costumed interpreters.

Del Ray Dog Fest
April 2, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: Free
George Washington Middle School Parking Lot, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301

Del Ray Dog Fest is a springtime festival celebrating dogs, their owners and the Del Ray community. This fun outdoor event which will include dog-centered activities, doggie menu items, live music and vendors and will be capped with Yappy Hour specials along the Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. The event is dog friendly and will take place outdoors, rain or shine.

The Late Shift Art Night: Cherry Blossom Jubilee
April 14, 2023, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314

In partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Torpedo Factory Art Center invites visitors to explore the celebrated cherry blossoms through art demonstrations, music and interactive activities among three floors of open studios and galleries.

Garden Day Tours at Carlyle House
April 15, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: Free, suggested $5 donation towards garden restoration
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-2997

Enjoy open house-style tours of the garden at Carlyle House as part of the Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Experts will be on site to answer questions about working within the confines of a historic garden in an ever-changing climate. Tours are continuous throughout the day. No reservations are required.

Alexander D’Agostino: “A Shrine for the Forgotten” Exhibition at the Torpedo Factory Art Center
Daily from April 22, 2023, to July 15, 2023
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Baltimore-based solo artist exhibition recipient, Alexander D’Agostino, presents “A Shrine for the Forgotten.” The work explores queer histories and images, through performance, installation, and reclaiming material from queer archives and other cultural resources related to the historic marginalization of LGBTQ people.

Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace at Carlyle House
April 22 to October 31, 2023; 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Join an hour-long gentle flow yoga class on Carlyle House’s Magnolia Terrace. You will build heat with sun salutations then progress to balance, deep stretching and, finally, relaxation. Please bring water, a towel and a yoga mat and wear comfortable yoga wear.

PNC Parkway Classic
April 23, 2023; 5K begins at 7:30 a.m.; 10-miler begins at 8 a.m.; Kid’s Dash begins at 10:30 a.m.
Admission: $85 for 10-miler and $45 for 5K and $50 for both virtual races; $20 for Kid’s Dash
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314

Lace up your running shoes for the 2023 PNC Parkway Classic. The Parkway Classic 5K course starts and finishes at Oronoco Bay Park with a scenic and one-of-a-kind course through historic Old Town, Alexandria. Meanwhile, the 10-miler starts at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and finishes at Oronoco Bay Park with a scenic point-to-point course down the George Washington Memorial Parkway and through Old Town. Virtual options are available for 5K and 10-miler. The exciting 600-meter Kid’s Dash is designed for kids 12 and under (one parent is welcome to run alongside their little ones; no registration required). Each Dash participant will receive a special race bib and a finisher medal. There will be a limited number of Kid’s Dash spots, so register early.

Mad ScienceApothecary Tour
April 23, 2023, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Admission: $8 per person
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Come to the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum to explore where real science and mad science collide. 45-minute tours start every 30 minutes and feature historic medicines with surprising side effects. Upstairs, meet the museum’s very own mad scientist bringing to life some crazy concoctions and the science behind them. Children must be accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

ALX Dog Walk
April 29, 2023, from 8 to 11 a.m.
Admission: Free
Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Walkers and dogs alike can enjoy a two-mile walk down historic Union Street and return to the park along the beautiful waterfront walk for the awards celebration of music, prizes, treats, kids’ activities, dog fun and much more. Each registered walker receives a goodie bag, packed with sustainable items, a t-shirt, one free raffle ticket for incredible prizes and a dog bandana.

Revolutionary War Weekend at Washington’s Mount Vernon
May 6 to 7, 2023, 9 a.m. to 5p.m.
Admission: $35 for adults, $21 for youth
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Mount Vernon’s serene 12-acre field transforms into a battleground as Continentals, Redcoats and Hessians conduct military drills, perform cavalry demonstrations and engage in 18th century tacticals. Meet the soldiers who are encamped at Mount Vernon, discuss military techniques and greet General Washington. Walk through the Museum of the American Revolution’s replica of General Washington’s War Tent, which served as the marquee—or office and sleeping quarters—that he used as the command center of the Continental Army.

Preservation Tours: Lost Buildings of Alexandria at Carlyle House
May 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2023, at 10 a.m.
Admission: $20
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

In honor of National Preservation Month, join Carlyle House and Lee-Fendall House on a tour of “Lost Alexandria.” Learn about the historic buildings that were not preserved and why.

Secret Language of the Fan and Chocolate Bon-Bons at Carlyle House
May 6, 2023, at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m.
Admission: $40 per person
Carlyle House, 121 N Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Discover the secret language of the fan as many women in the 19th century did. While practicing fan skills, enjoy different flavored chocolate bon-bons from Potomac Chocolate. Tours of the first floor of the house will run from 6 to 7 p.m. with the program starting promptly at 7 p.m.

The Late Shift Art Night: Heritage – Asian American and Pacific Islander
May 12, 2023, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314

The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be honoring the area’s local Asian American and Pacific Islander community and culture. Experience hands-on art making and demonstrations, with all three floors of studios and galleries open to the public.

Art Night in Old Town Alexandria
Third Thursdays of the month, from 5 to 8 p.m., beginning on May 18, 2023, through October
Admission: Free
Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria, 22314

Take a free self-guided tour of Old Town Alexandria and explore the fine art and studio crafts found in art galleries and boutique shops. The stroll is a great activity after an early dinner or before enjoying a meal at one of Old Town Alexandria’s restaurants.

Makers Market at Port City Brewing Company with Made in ALX
May 20, 2023, from 12 to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Port City Brewing Company, 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304

A diverse mix of more than 30 local makers will pop up and take over Port City’s parking lot, showcasing the creative community of Alexandria-based creators, makers, designers and crafters, with vendors curated from highly talented artisans located in Alexandria. Enjoy a Port City pint or two as you browse. The event will also feature food trucks and is both pet and kid friendly.


Recognized by Travel + Leisure among the Best Places to Travel in 2023 and Best Cities in the U.S. 2022 and voted a Condé Nast Traveler Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2022, Alexandria is a welcoming weekend escape on the Potomac River, minutes from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1749 and boasting the nation’s third oldest historic district, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel. Stroll Old Town Alexandria’s King Street mile to find more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques plus intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. Explore vibrant neighborhoods beyond Old Town, trace George Washington and the Founding Fathers’ footsteps and follow the stories of Black Americans who shaped the history of Alexandria and the United States.


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