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Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday at His Home, Mount Vernon!

Four Days of Events – Free Admission on Mondays February 15 and February 22

Presidents Day Weekend Celebration

February 18 and 19 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

George Washington’s favorite breakfast was “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey.”  Join “General Washington” for a sample of hoecakes prepared by Mount Vernon staff  (while supplies last) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Following the breakfast sampler, visitors can mingle with costumed characters from George Washington’s world from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. #PoseLikeThePrez and take an unforgettable photo with props in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education lobby using the iconic Lansdowne portrait of Washington as a backdrop!

At 1:45 p.m. take part in Mount Vernon’s 18th-century dancing demonstration with costumed characters on the Bowling Green!  After the dancing ends, re-enactors gather with visitors to share selected stories with costumed characters at 2 p.m. Free birthday cake (while supplies last) is available to guests from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. with the “General.” Wreathlaying ceremonies take place at the tomb of George Washington takes place at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This event is included in admission: adults, $20; children ages 6-11, $10; and children under 5 are admitted free.


Presidents Day Celebration

FREE Admission! February 20 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Celebrate the national observance of George Washington’s birthday by visiting his home and burial site FREE of charge on this day.  New this year: #PoseLikeThePrez and take an unforgettable photo with props in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education lobby using the iconic Lansdowne portrait of Washington as a backdrop! The traditional wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb takes place at 10 a.m. followed by patriotic music and military performances on the Bowling Green at 11:15 a.m.  Visitors can mingle with costumed characters from George Washington’s world from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “General Washington” is on the grounds to greet visitors and receive birthday wishes all day.

Listen to a special musical tribute for the first president from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 1:45 p.m. take part in Mount Vernon’s largest-ever 18th-century dancing demonstration with costumed characters on the Bowling Green!  Re-enactors gather with visitors to share selected stories with “George Washington” at 2 p.m. All day guests will be encouraged to create birthday greetings for George Washington which will be on display and shared with “General Washington.” A wreathlaying at the tomb of George Washington takes place at 3 p.m.


George Washingtonís 285th Birthday

February 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit Mount Vernon on George Washington’s actual birthday for special wreathlaying ceremonies throughout the day.



George Washington Birthday Celebration Schedule for 2017

Visit for the most up-to-date event information, by the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee.

The committee maintains a 24-hour phone line that will report any change of status or the cancellation of any event (in case of inclement weather, for instance). Call the events hotline (703) 829-6640 at any time.

On parade day parking is free at the parking lots adjacent to the Eisenhower Avenue 57Metro Station; from here, a FREE DASH shuttle bus will take you downtown and back from 11 am to 4pm.   The free King Street Trolly service will also be in operation all day until 11 p.m. from King Street Metro Station going east and west along
King Street.  For DASH service to other events, call (703) 746-3274 or go to


Alexandria Celebrates Washingtonís Birthday throughout February!

“Walking with Washington”

Did you know that there are over 140 places in Alexandria today that are associated with George Washington?  This tour is designed to show you some of them and expand your knowledge of Washington and Alexandria, his home town.

Dates: Every Sunday in February (5th, 12th, 19th, & 26th, 2017) Ticket Price: Free! Advance reservations not required. Time: 2 p.m. (90 min tour). Location:  Meet at the Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King St, Alexandria 22314 (northeast corner of King and N. Fairfax Streets).

The “Cherry Challenge”

The “Cherry Challenge” is a competition among the finer restaurants in Alexandria.  Each restaurant will develop its own cherry cocktail, appetizer, entrée, and/or dessert, in honor of our distinguished native son, of course! The competing restaurants and their entries will be listed on our website and the winners will be announced on Parade Day.

Dates:  January 29 through February 12, 2017.


Winter Warmer Tea

Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the tavern this
winter!  Choose from a variety of 18th-century desserts while you sip John Gadsby’s special blend of tea or take a cup of American Heritage Chocolate. Guest Martha Washington will catch you up on the latest Alexandria news during the tea.

Date: February 5, 2017. Location:  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street, Alexandria. Seatings at 3:00 and 3:15 p.m. (Arrive early for the 2:15 or 2:45 p.m. FREE tour before your tea.) $35 inclusive.  Reservations required. To  register,


18th Century Dance Classes

In preparation for the Birthnight Ball, learn 18th-century English country dancing from expert dance instructors.

Dates: February 2, 9, 16, 2017.  Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Location: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St.; phone: (703) 746-4242 To register,


Birthnight Banquet & Ball

You are invited to the re-creation of this famous celebration of Washington’s Birthday set in the year 1799. The evening includes an 18th-century banquet, English country dancing, dessert collation, character re-enactors, and General and Mrs. George Washington. Period costume optional; “after-five” attire encouraged. To attend the Ball only, please arrive at 9 p.m.

Date:  Saturday, February 18, 2017 Time:  5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Location:  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St. Ticket Price:  Tiered pricing for this event. Advance
reservations required. To purchase tickets, go to:

Site Contact:  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, telephone (703) 746-4242. For status
information go to or call (703) 829-6640.


Revolutionary War Reenactment at Fort Ward Park

Historic camp and tactical demonstrations throughout the day including a Revolutionary War skirmish between the Redcoats and the Colonial Army.

Date:  Sunday, February 19, 2017. Time:  10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (the skirmish is at 2 p.m.). Location:  Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Road. Ticket Price: Free.  Registration is not required. Site Contact:  Fort Ward Museum;
telephone (703) 838-4848.


Parade Day!

Monday February 20, 2017

Breakfast & Meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire
Engine Association

Meet special guests, and enjoy a hearty breakfast with members of this historic association.

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Ticket Price: $35. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to:

Speaker:  S. E. Cupp, Columnist and Political Commentator. Location: George Washington Masonic National Memorial.


Wreath Laying Ceremony

at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution. Colonial military and civilians honor the soldiers of the Revolution. Time: 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Ticket Price: Free.

Location: Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 So. Fairfax Street, Alexandria.


Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony

Join us as we honor our Nation’s Veterans, Active Military, and their families with music, games and activities for children, military vehicles, demonstrations, informational booths and displays.

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ticket Price: Free. Location: Parade Reviewing Stand at Market Square (King & Royal Streets).


George Washington Birthday Parade 

The largest parade in the USA that celebrates
Washington’s Birthday – in his chosen hometown!

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Location: Old Town Alexandria.Grand Marshal:  Earl Cook, (retired) Police Chief, Alexandria Police Department. Special Guest: Olympic Silver Medal Winner, Boxer Shakur Stevenson. In case of weather cancellation, the Parade will be held on June 3, 2017.


Historic Alexandria sites “Open Houses” 

Admission is free to these sites on Parade Day…In honor of the birthday of George Washington. For more information, please contact each individual site.

Gadsby’s  Tavern Museum
134 North Royal Street, Alexandria. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum 703- 746-4242.

Friendship Firehouse Museum

107 S. Alfred St., Alexandria. Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: Friendship Firehouse Museum 703-838-3891.

Old Presbyterian Meeting House

323 South Fairfax Street; Time: 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: Old Presbyterian Meeting House (703) 549-6670.

The Lyceum

201 S. Washington St.; Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Contact: The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum  (703) 838-4994

Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Contact: Carlyle House Museum (703) 549-2997.

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

105-107 S. Fairfax St.;  Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Contact: Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, (703) 746-3852.

Christ Church

118 N. Washington St.:  Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact:  Christ Church,
(703) 549-1450.

George Washingtonís Birthday

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wreath Laying at the Tomb of George Washington

8:00 a.m., at Mount Vernon by Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22.

“George Washington, America’s Foremost Entrepreneur”

The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business—all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George Washington. Using Washington’s extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel, Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association, chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Lengel’s book, First Entrepreneur, will transform how Americans think about George Washington and how his success in commercial enterprise influenced and guided the emerging nation.

Time:  7:30 p.m.  Location:  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street, Alexandria. Ticket Price:  $12 per person or $10 for Society members and volunteers. To register, Site Contact:  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, (703) 746-4242.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Events organized by the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. For
information about the following events, please visit

George Washington Symposium 

“Washington and the Northern Virginia Frontier, 1732 to 1775” — North Lodge Room, 1:00 p.m. No cost, but please register via

Annual George Washington Birthday Gala

Attire: Formal (White Tie Optional.) Tickets $125, reservations required. Reception at 5:30 p.m., entertainment in the Memorial Theater at 6:45 p.m., Banquet in the Memorial’s Grand Masonic Hall at 7:30 p.m. The Presentation of the George Washington Memorial Award will take place during the banquet. Tickets for the Gala are $125, and may be purchased at website, For more information contact Shawn Eyer, Director of Communications, via e-mail at



The George Washington Birthday Celebration in Alexandria, Virginia


Story By Kristen Eastlick, Photo by Buddy Secor

One of the great benefits of living and working in the DC-metro area is the region’s connection to history. That connection will be in full display this February as Alexandria commemorates the 285th celebration of George Washington’s Birthday.

Organized by the city’s George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee, Alexandria’s celebration includes events that highlight various aspects of Washington’s life and showcases the joy of living in Alexandria — whether in the mid-1700s or today.

The celebration begins in late January with the launch of the “Cherry Challenge,” a two-week competition featuring more than fifty of Alexandria’s finest restaurants. See which chef can create the tastiest and most distinctive dish using cherries as the main ingredient! In an event honoring the myth of young George chopping down a cherry tree, participating restaurants develop cherry-based cocktails, appetizers, entrées, and desserts, and diners are encouraged to rate each creation. The winning restaurants are featured at the George Washington Birthday Parade and the most frequent diner receives an award!

The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee also offers visitors the opportunity to actually walk in Washington’s footsteps! Each Sunday in February at 2:00 pm, knowledgeable guides will showcase some of the most important of the 140+ places in Alexandria associated with the Father of our Country. These free, 90-minute “Walking with Washington” tours start at the Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King Street, and do not require advance reservations.

One of the tour stops is Gadsby’s Tavern, a museum and an adjacent operating restaurant that was a center of Alexandria’s economic, political, and social life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Under the management of John Gadsby, an entrepreneur who operated the tavern from 1796-1808, it served notables like Washington, LaFayette, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. The Gadsby’s Tavern Museum offers a series of events, including:

* Winter Warmer Ladies Tea – on February 5th, guests can enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the Tavern. With seatings at 3:00 and 3:15 pm, the teas will include a variety of 18th-century desserts and a cup of Mr. Gadsby’s special blend of tea or American Heritage Chocolate. Martha Washington will help greet guests and share her news of Alexandria. Reservations are required for the $35 event, but you can incorporate a free museum tour before tea by arriving 45 minutes early.

* 18th Century Dance Classes – Preparation for the Birthnight Ball. Washington was widely known to be an accomplished dancer.  On three Thursdays in February (the 2nd, 9th, and 16th), you can learn his style, when Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will host free classes on 18th century English country dancing from expert dance instructors.

* Birthnight Banquet & Ball – Whether you’ve learned English country dancing or not, you’re invited to the recreation of a famous celebration of Washington’s Birthday set in 1799. The evening features an 18th century banquet, English country dancing, and character reenactors, including General and Mrs. Washington. Advance reservations are required, and ticket prices start at $125.00. Period costumes are optional, and “after-five” attire is encouraged.

*Revolutionary War Reenactment. On Sunday, February 19, volunteers will stage historic camp and tactical demonstrations throughout the day, culminating in a skirmish between the Redcoats and the American Revolutionary Army at 2:00 pm. This free event requires no registration and will be held at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Road, in the city’s West End.

The largest event in Alexandria’s celebration is the George Washington Birthday Parade, held on Monday, February 20. The day also includes:

* The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association’s Breakfast and Meeting.  The event starts at 9:00 am; attendees can meet can meet special guests and members of this 243-year-old organization that supports the Alexandria Fire Department. Enjoy remarks from S.E. Culp, columnist and commentator. Breakfast tickets are $35.

* The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution will be the site of a Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11:00 am. Colonial military and civilians will honor soldiers of the Revolutionary War in the cemetery behind the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 323 S. Fairfax St.  Space is limited, but the event is free.

* The George Washington Birthday Parade – the largest parade in the United States that celebrates the birth of Washington in his chosen hometown – begins at 1:00pm, preceded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Ceremony at the parade reviewing stand starting at 11:00 am. The 2017 Parade Grand Marshall will be recently-retired Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook. Olympic Silver Medal Winner Shakur Stevenson will be the Parade’s special guest.

* Continue your visit to Old Town Alexandria by enjoying free admission for the day to many historic venues around town, including: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, The Lyceum, Carlyle House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and Christ Church.

Washington’s official birthday, on Wednesday, February 22, will feature three events that commemorate the day:

* A wreath laying at the Tomb of George Washington at 8:00 am at his Mount Vernon estate begins the festivities.

* The Duncan Library will host a birthday party for patrons aged 6 to 12 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Besides ice cream and cake, there will be reenactors in 18th century attire representing friends and employees of Gen. and Mrs. Washington who will help bring history to life.  John Carlyle, a stable hand, Washington’s master of hounds and ladies will share stories and reminiscences.

* At 7:30 pm, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will host a lecture on “Washington as America’s Foremost Entrepreneur.” Edward G. Lengel, Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association, will chronicle the inspiring story of how Washington built his Mount Vernon estate into a multilayered enterprise. Tickets are $12 per person.

Last, on Saturday, February 25, there will be a series of events at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, including a free symposium beginning at 1:00 pm and, at 5:30 pm, the Annual George Washington Birthday Gala, a formal event including presentation of the George Washington Memorial Award. Gala tickets are $125, white tie is optional.

A more detailed list of events with times and locations can be found below, but for the most up-to-date information, please visit or call (703) 829-6640.


METRO Skating—Glide your way through winter car free!

In need of some outdoor exercise that doesn’t require driving your car to the location?  The SafeTrack Surge will be on hold until March, so why not try taking METRO to one of these six outdoor ice skating rinks conveniently located near a variety of METRO stations.  Hours of operation and fees vary from site to site, particularly during some warm, or extremely cold weather situations.  Best to call in advance.  So, get off the couch, grab your blades and jump on a METRO train to the nearest rink and have some great winter fun!


National Gallery of Art Ice Rink

(Blue/Orange Lines Smithsonian Mall Exit, or Yellow/Green Lines Archives 7th Street Exit)

The 2016–2017 ice-skating season begins November 18 and continues through March 12, weather permitting. Experience ice-skating in the Sculpture Garden while surrounded by large-scale sculptures by contemporary artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, Tony Smith, Roy Lichtenstein, Roxy Paine, and others.  Rental skates are available for a fee.

Hours:  Monday–Thursday: 10am–9pm, Friday: 10am–11pm, Saturday: 11am–11pm, Sunday: 11am–9:00pm.

Please note the ice rink will be closed when it rains or when the temperature dips below 20°F. For the current status, please call (202) 216-9397.  Admission fee required.  The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is located on the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, is bounded by Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive and by 7th and 9th Streets NW.


Canal Park Ice Rink

(Green Line Navy Yard/Ballpark New Jersey Ave. Exit; Circulator Bus as well)

Canal Park is a stunning new public park on the site of the historic Washington Canal in the heart of DC’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. With its dancing fountains in summer, vibrant ice rink in winter, and LEED Gold-certified water reuse systems, Canal Park is a sustainable and green neighborhood gathering place, and a destination for the entire city.

Canal Park is located in the vibrant Capitol Riverfront neighborhood at 2nd & M St. SE, one block from the Navy Yard/Ballpark Metro (New Jersey Ave. Exit).  Street address is: 202 M Street, SE Washington, DC 20003.  Fee for admission.


Monday –Tuesday: 12pm-7pm, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 12pm-9pm, Saturday: 11am-10pm,
Sunday: 11am-7pm


Pentagon Row Ice Rink 

(Blue and Yellow Line Pentagon City Exit)

The plaza at Pentagon Row underwent major renovations to create a year-round experience for guests, and now boasts an ice rink that is 50% larger with an outdoor dual-sided stone fireplace for lounging during skating breaks. Pentagon Row’s 6,840 square foot ice rink is now the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia, and the second largest in the state.

Located at Pentagon Row Fashion Mall at 1201 Joyce Street, Arlington, VA.  Phone: 703-418-6666.  Fee for admission.

Hours: Sunday: 10am – 7pm or 10pm,* Monday:  Noon-10pm, Tuesday:  Noon-10pm, Wednesday:  Noon-10pm, Thursday:  Noon-7pm or 10pm,* Friday:  Noon-11pm, Saturday: 10am -11pm.

*If there are Ice Rentals we will close at 7pm and re-open at 9pm


Tysons Corner Ice Rink

(Silver Line Tysons Corner Exit)

Glide your way into Winter on the beautiful new Tyson’s Corner Center Ice Rink! Open daily, with extended holiday hours, it offers not only public skating, but learn-to-skate lessons, birthday parties, weekly cartoon skates and Saturday Night Rock ‘n’ Skate.  Just over 6,000 square feet, the rink is also perfect for private parties and corporate outings.  The Skate Shop (2nd floor, next to Lord & Taylor) has over 500 pairs of skates in stock, from Toddler size 8 to a Men’s size 14, with figure, hockey and double-bladed skates available.

The Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink is located on the plaza between Lord & Taylor and Hyatt Regency. The Skate Shop is located inside, 2nd floor next to Lord & Taylor. Address for the Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink; 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22102.  Phone: 703-356-1240.  Fee for admission.

Hours:  Monday-Tuesday: 3pm-7pm, Wednesday-Thursday: 3pm-9pm, Friday: 3pm-11pm, Saturday: 11am-11pm, Sunday: 11am-7pm.


Reston Town Center Ice Rink

(Silver Line Whiele Avenue-Reston East Exit)

Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion is open seasonally from early November-mid-March, offering public skating every day and extended hours for all Holidays. The skate shop is stocked with over 500 pairs of skates ranging from size 8 Toddler through Men’s size 13, in both Figure and Hockey styles. For the beginner skaters, try the double bladed, flat edge skates to walk across the ice until you’re ready to glide into a single bladed skate, available in size Youth 8-13.

Located in the heart of Reston Town Center at 1818 Discovery Street, Reston, VA.  Phone: 703-709-6300.  Fee for admission.

Hours: Monday: 11am-7pm,Tuesday: 11am-7pm,

Wednesday: 11-10pm, Thursday: 11-10pm, Friday: 11am-11pm, Saturday: 11am-11pm, Sunday: 11am-7pm


Rockville Town Square Ice Rink

(Red Line Rockville Exit)

The ice rink at Rockville Town Square is the largest outdoor ice skating rink between Baltimore and Washington DC.  It is the largest in all of Montgomery County.  The rink is 7,200 square feet.

Located in the heart of Rockville, MD at the Rockville Town Square. 131 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD. Phone: 301-545-1999.  Fee for admission.

Hours: Monday: Thursday: Noon-10 pm, Friday: Noon- 11pm, Saturday: 10am-11pm, Sunday: 10am-10pm, Extended hours on Holidays.


Trump Nominates Elaine Chao for Secretary of Transportation

On November 29th, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Elaine Chao to head the Department of Transportation under his incoming administration.  Chao is a well-seasoned veteran of past administrations, serving as Labor Secretary under George W. Bush and assistant Secretary of Transportation under George H. W. Bush.

While campaign promises seldom meet reality, President-elect Trump has signaled a commitment to investing heavily in transportation infrastructure during his administration.  On the campaign trail Mr. Trump promised to pour a trillion dollars into transportation improvements.  Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), providing a sign that perhaps the administration is serious about their commitment to securing congressional approval of a large infrastructure funding package.

Chao was the first Asian female to serve in a Presidential administration when she was selected by George W. Bush to be his Labor Secretary.  Chao’s reputation is that of a conservative, who, during her tenure as Labor Secretary, was criticized by liberals and the labor unions for not enforcing existing labor laws on wages, overtime and workplace safety.  She is not the first spouse of a Congressional member to serve in an Administration. Elizabeth Dole served as Secretary of Transportation while her husband Bob Dole was Senate Majority Leader during the Reagan Administration.