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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Page updated Feb 17, 2011 11:36 AM
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Weekly Event Announcements for the City of Alexandria: February 19 – 25, 2011

Saturday thru Monday, February 19-21 - George Washington Birthday Parade & Weekend Festivities
You won’t want to miss the largest parade in the country celebrating the nation’s first president, which takes place on Washington’s Birthday holiday, Monday, February 21, 1 to 3 p.m. in Old Town Alexandria. The parade in one highlight of many events, including an historic reenactment at Fort Ward Park, “Meet the President: Woodrow Wilson” at the Lyceum a 10-K race, a 1-mile race just before the parade, plus free open houses at historic attractions. Visit www.Washingtonbirthday.Net/events for a complete schedule of events.

Saturday, February 19 – Genealogy Workshop
Discover your own family history with expert techniques for tracing African-American ancestors at a workshop entitled “In Search of Parker and Gray: Two African American Education Icons.” Genealogist Char McCargo Bah will explore John F. Parker and Sarah A. Gray, early African American educators in Alexandria for whom Parker-Gray School was named during segregation. Learn how Char had to focus on collateral lines, distinguish among people with the same name and overcome other challenges – and how her tips can help with your family research. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St. Admission is $5 and advance reservations are recommended. For more information, visit www.alexblackhistory.org or call 703.746.4356.

Sunday, February 20 – Ice Melt Contest
How long can ice stored in an 18th-century well in the middle of Old Town Alexandria last? Guess correctly and you could win some "ice" of your own, like a diamond bracelet or Waterford crystal. To raise money to preserve its historic ice well, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., is kicking off its Ice Melt Contest on Sunday afternoon. The underground ice well will be stocked with several tons of ice and participants are invited to guess how long it will take to completely melt. The event begins at 2 p.m., as a block of ice is hauled from the Alexandria waterfront at the end of Cameron Street to the ice well at the corner of North Royal and Cameron streets. Once the ice block reaches the ice well around 2:30 p.m., visitors will be able to view the stocked ice well, purchase contest tickets, learn about the importance of ice in the 18th century and talk with George Washington outside the very tavern where he dined and danced. For more information, visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.

Monday, February 21 – Friendship Veterans Breakfast
The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association invites the public to join in their annual breakfast on the day of the George Washington Birthday Parade! Witness the first appearance of the day by George Washington and enjoy a hearty breakfast before the parade from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Old Town, 625 First St. For more information or for tickets, call 703.751.6416.

Monday, February 21 – Parade Day Activity
Between noon and 5 p.m., stop by the Historic Alexandria History Center & Museum Store, 101 N. Union St., and dress up in 18th-century style! Make a tricorn hat to take with you, get your picture taken with the George and Martha Washington cut-out, and try on 18th-century clothing. For more information, call 703.746.4760.

Monday, February 21 – Parade Day Open Houses at Museums
Celebrate Presidents' Day and the George Washington Parade with free tours at your favorite museums! Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 S. Fairfax St., are open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.historicalexandria.org or call 703.746.1749.

Monday, February 21 – Meet the President!
In honor of Presidents' Day, meet President Woodrow Wilson at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., at 11 a.m. when he is brought to life by actor Brian Hilton. President Wilson, as portrayed by Hilton, will discuss events from the time of his presidency, 1913 to 1921, and then welcome questions from the audience. This free event is ideal for all ages. For more information, visit www.alexandriahistory.org or call 703.746.4994.

Monday, February 21 - Chinquapin Park Recreation Center Robert S. Rixse Swimming Pool To Close for Scheduled Repairs
The Chinquapin Park Recreation Center Robert S. Rixse Swimming Pool will close at 9 a.m. on Monday, February 21 in order to make an emergency repair to the pool’s filter system.  The repairs are expected to be completed in one day, and the pool will reopen at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, February 22. For more information, contact Ralph Baird, Recreation Manager, Aquatics, at 703.746.5435 or ralph.baird@alexandriava.gov.

Monday, February 21 – Deadline to Subscribe for Spring & Summer 2011 Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Program Guide 
The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Spring & Summer 2011 Recreation Program Guide will be available online Monday, March 7. Requests to receive the guide by mail must be received by Monday, February 21. To subscribe, visit www.alexandriava.gov/recreation or call 703.746.4343  By March 14, printed copies of the Spring & Summer 2011 Program Guide will be available to the public at City Hall, recreation centers, and public libraries located throughout the City.

Wednesday, February 23 – Town Hall Meeting on Creating a Livable Community
The City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services’ Office of Aging and Adult Services, in conjunction with the Viable Futures Center of JustPartners, Inc., strategic planning consultants, invites the public to attend a town hall meeting to discuss strategies for creating a Livable Community for All Ages while focusing on the growing population of older residents. The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Minnie Howard Campus of T.C. Williams High School, 3801 W. Braddock Rd. A second town hall meeting is scheduled on Thursday, March 3, from noon to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King St. For more information, contact Debbie Ludington at 703.746.5694. To RSVP, call 703.746.5999 and press 5.

Thursday, February 24 – World Short Story Discussion Group
The World Short Story Discussion Group will meet to talk about the introduction and first three short stories in Short Shorts: An Anthology of the Shortest Stories, edited by Howe and Howe. The discussion will begin at 7 p.m. at Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd. Please call Mark Schwartz at 703.746.1770 for more information.

Coming Soon

Saturday, February 26 – Seminar on “The Eye/Heart Connection”
The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington and Alexandria Library's Talking Books Service will host a seminar on “The Eye/Heart Connection” from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Beatley Central Library. At this seminar, you will learn how the dilated eye exam enables your doctor to see changes in the retina, which can provide information that could lead to a diagnosis of coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetic retinopathy and other health concerns. Suleiman Alibhai, O.D., low vision specialist, will present an introduction, and the keynote speaker is Wai Wong, M.D., Ph.D., National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. This event is free to the public. For more information, please call 703.746.1761.

Wednesday, March 2 - Speak Up, Take ACTion Town Hall Meetings
Want to improve the quality of life in Alexandria? Speak up! ACT for Alexandria, the City of Alexandria, Partnership for a Healthy Alexandria, and Virginia Tech are partnering to develop a better way to inform key decisions in Alexandria – through “quality of life indicators.”  Quality of life indicators are the answers to the question, “What matters most to the people who live in Alexandria?” Come to a a town hall meeting to discuss this issue from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St. You can also take five minutes to vote online with ACTion Alexandria at www.actionalexandria.org. For more information, visit www.healthieralexandria.org.

Monday, March 28 – 31st Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet
The Alexandria Commission for Women invites you to save the date for the 31st Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet on Monday, March 28th.  For more information, call Sarah Watson or Lisa Baker at 703.746.5030.

Now Registering

Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center Offers Alexandria Prehistoric Peoples Spring Break Camp
Wondering what to do over spring break? Children ages 7 to 10 can enjoy a week long, full day nature camp learning about the prehistoric Indian peoples who once lived within Alexandria's ancient forests. Activities include woodland hikes, games, role playing, stone tool making, storytelling, journaling, and more! The camp fee includes a field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Register early, space is limited! To register, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Recreation or call 703.746.5559 for more information.

Ongoing

Vote for Alexandria as Your Favorite 2011 Distinctive Destination
With fanfare on historic Market Square, the city announced on February 15 that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Alexandria to the list of 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The city earned this prestigious designation for its urban charm that blends an extraordinary early American past with modern flair and its citizens’ strong commitment to protecting and celebrating their history. Vote daily through March 15 for Alexandria to win Fan Favorite at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com.

City of Alexandria Farmers’ Markets 
The City of Alexandria is host to the Old Town Farmers’ Market and Del Ray Farmers’ Market every Saturday. The markets feature colorful displays of fresh, locally grown, in-season vegetables and fruit, gourmet coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, meat, bakery items and artisans. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/farmersmarket.

Open through May 1 – “Patriotic and Public Spirited” Commemorative Wares in George Washington’s Hometown
Alexandria prides itself on being the hometown of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, and historic events such as George Washington’s Birthnight Ball and Lafayette’s 1824 visit to Alexandria were cause for great celebration. This exhibition of commemorative ceramic wares, recovered from archaeological excavations or preserved in collections, shows the community’s interest in events and historic places of local and national significance. The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum (201 South Washington Street) is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.alexandriahistory.org or call 703.746.4994.

Open through May 7 – Style and Identity: Black Alexandria in the 1970s, Portraits by Horace Day
At the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 S. Wythe St., view this new exhibition of 32 paintings by Horace Day featuring Alexandria street scenes and portraits of African American Alexandrians. Described as an American scene or regional painter, Day created this body of work at a time when “Black” was becoming “Beautiful,” but when media still promoted stereotypical, demeaning images of African Americans. Day’s portraits reflect the dignity and beauty he saw in his subjects. Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Suggested admission is $2. For more information, visit www.alexblackhistory.org or call 703.746.4356.