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Page updated May 7, 2010 1:14 PM
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Weekly Event Announcements for the City of Alexandria: May 8 - 14, 2010

Saturday, May 8 – Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop
Interested in saving the environment, living “green” and protecting the Chesapeake Bay? Attend a “Build Your Own Rain Barrel” workshop from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at James K. Polk Elementary School, 5000 James Polk Ave. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Environment or to register, visit www.arlingtonenvironment.org

Saturday, May 8 – A “Splendid Fabulous Affair”
Don’t miss the “Splendid Fabulous Affair,” the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria’s 24th annual gala dinner-dance and auction that helps make college a reality for hundreds of T.C. Williams’s graduates. The gala, held at the Hilton Mark Center Alexandria (5000 Seminary Rd.) is where Alexandria comes together to celebrate the generosity of this community, which privately funds nearly $700,000 in scholarships annually. For more information, visit www.AlexScholarshipFund.org/gala.php.

Saturday, May 8 – Alexandria City Community Theatre to perform “Sankofa”
The Alexandria City Community Theatre (ACCT) is pleased to announce its next theatrical production “Sankofa,” which will be held at the Lee Center Kauffman Auditorium, 1108 Jefferson St. at 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call McKenya Dilworth-Abdalla, Acting Center Director, at 703.746.5533 or e-mail at mckenya.dilworth-abdalla@alexandriava.gov.

Saturday, May 8 – “Rain in a Dry Land” Film Screening
What does it mean to be a refugee in today’s global village? Find out by watching “Rain in a Dry Land” at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., at 4:30 p.m. The film chronicles the fortunes of two Somali Bantu families, transported by relief agencies from years of civil war and refugee life to Springfield, Massachusetts, and Atlanta, Georgia. This free screening is part of Movies with a Mission, a series of films from and about Africa and the African Diaspora that seek to inform and inspire dialogue. For more information, visit www.alexblackhistory.org or call 703.746.4356.

Sunday, May 9 – Free Mother’s Day Tours
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 N. Royal St.) and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (105-107 S. Fairfax St.) will offer free tours on Mother’s Day for all visiting mothers! Mothers and grandmothers with their children or grandchildren can tour both museums for free from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for all other adults and $3 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call 703.746.4356 or visit www.historicalexandria.org.

Tuesday, May 11 – Excellence in Aging Awards
The Alexandria Commission on Aging cordially invites you to attend the presentation of the 2010 Excellence in Aging Awards from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Vola Lawson Lobby at City Hall. Each year the Excellence in Aging Awards are given to individuals and organizations that have shown exemplary efforts in helping the City’s older residents maintain their independence and live their lives to the fullest. The event, which coincides with the national observance of Older Americans Month, is open to the public. For more information, call 703.746.5694.

Tuesday, May 11 – Comedy Class with Graham Currin
Ever wanted to wow people with your ability to make them laugh? Here is your chance to perfect those comedic skills by attending a comedy class with Graham Currin at Duncan Branch Library, 2501 Commonwealth Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Learn how to deliver a joke, employ improv techniques, and gain insights into the world of stand-up comedy. This event is part of the All Alexandria Reads program.

Wednesday, May 12 – Artfully Chocolate and Kingsbury Chocolates
As part of the All Alexandria Reads program, come to Duncan Branch Library (2501 Commonwealth Ave.) at 7 p.m. and learn how some chocolate can be good for you! This event will explain the origins and health benefits of “cacao,” while providing the opportunity to sample a variety of artisan chocolates.

Thursday, May 13 – Lunch Bunch Concert at Market Square
A Lunch Bunch concert will be held at 12:15 p.m. on Market Square (301 King St.) and will feature St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School 5th Grade Saints Choir. Concerts are cancelled in the event of inclement weather and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information, call the Special Events Hotline at 703.746.5592.

Friday, May 14 – Fundraiser for Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Program
Help raise money for the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program on Friday, May 14! Download the fundraising flyer, located at www.alexandriava.gov/women, and bring it to Bruegger's Bagels at 606 King St., and 15% of that sale goes to the Domestic Violence Shelter. You must bring the flyer to Bruegger's Bagels for proceeds to go to the Shelter.

Friday, May 14 – Jazz Concert
As part of the All Alexandria Reads program, come to a free jazz concert at Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd, at 4 p.m. to unwind as students from Hammond Middle School play an enchanting ensemble of jazz pieces for all to enjoy.

Friday, May 14 – Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Landlord Conference
All current and prospective landlords in the City of Alexandria are invited to attend the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Landlord Conference. The conference will be held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.), from 10 a.m. to noon. It will feature speakers from the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority followed by a question and answer session. To RSVP, call Allison Moore at 703.549.7115, ext. 205.

Coming Soon!

Friday, May 21 – Bike to Work Day
Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work! Meet up with your neighbors at the City of Alexandria’s Bike to Work Day Pit Stop located at 301 King St. from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Bike to Work Day is a free event and open to all area commuters, and free t-shirts will be available for the first 8,500 registrants who come by the City’s pit stop. For more information, visit http://www.waba.org.

Monday, May 31 – 33rd Annual City of Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival
The 33rd Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival will take place at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The park features amphitheater and grass seating. Attendees can bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food will be available for purchase, picnic baskets are welcome, and grills are available in the park at the picnic sites. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/12678.

Tuesday, June 1 – Alexandria Domestic Violence Program Volunteer Training
The Alexandria Domestic Violence Program (DVP) will begin volunteer training on June 1. As a program that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, volunteers play a key role in providing services to those affected by domestic violence. For more information, contact Jen Clayton at 703.838.4911 or e-mail jen.clayton@alexandriava.gov.

Thursday, June 10 through Sunday, June 13 – Alexandria Archaeology Institute
Do you watch the History Channel and imagine yourself excavating a real historic site? Well, here’s your chance to grab a trowel and dig in! Join Alexandria archaeologists for a unique opportunity to excavate the Shuter’s Hill site on the grounds of the George Washington Masonic Memorial (101 Callahan Dr.) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gain hands-on experience in site-excavation methods and record keeping. Learn how to use a transit, process and catalog artifacts in the laboratory, and interpret new discoveries. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit www.alexandriaarchaeology.org or call 703.746.4399.

Ongoing!

H1N1 Flu Response Survey
How well did you think the City responded to the H1N1 flu? Let us know! The Alexandria Health Department has designed a brief survey to collect feedback on Alexandria's response to H1N1 flu. Answering these questions will help the City better respond to future public health emergencies and improve the health of Alexandrians. Fill it out online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V2K6PTS.

All Alexandria Reads
During the month of May, Alexandria Library invites the community to read The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner. Join Weiner in his search to discover what makes people happy. All Alexandria Reads is made possible through a generous grant from the James M. Duncan, Jr. Library Foundation, Inc. and the support of many local companies including Bombay Café, Fannon Fine Printing, Fresh Tulips USA, and the Whistle Stop. www.alexandria.lib.va.us for a complete list of all events.

West End Farmers’ Market 
The West End Farmers’ Market is open to the public on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through November 21 at Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Drive. This outdoor market is one of a kind in the City’s west end, featuring colorful displays of fresh, locally grown, in-season vegetables and fruits, gourmet coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, and fresh baked pastries. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/farmersmarket.

Upper King Street Fresh Farmers’ Market 
The Upper King Street Fresh Farmers’ Market, located at King Street Gardens Park, 1806 King St., is just a few steps from the King Street Metro Station. Offering area residents and commuters the opportunity to shop for fresh, locally grown produce, meat, dairy and bakery items, the market is open Wednesdays through October 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.upperkingstreet.org 

Monday, June 28 through Friday, July 2 – Civil War Kids’ Camp
Fort Ward Museum still has a few slots available for its annual Civil War Kids’ Camp, a week of learning and fun for boys and girls ages 8 to 12. Participants explore the lives of Civil War soldiers and civilians with marching, drilling, re-enactor guest appearances, games, crafts and other activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Ward (4301 W. Braddock Rd.) Registration, including souvenirs and healthy snacks, costs $200 per child, and there is limited scholarship assistance based on financial need. For more information or to sign up, please contact Fort Ward Museum at 703.746.4848 or visit www.fortward.org.