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On Saturday, December 20, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Lee Center complex, at 1108 Jefferson St., will be closed due to building system upgrades.

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Page updated Dec 4, 2008 1:29 PM
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 14, 2008    

Celebrate the Holiday Season in the City of Alexandria
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 – December 31, 2008

The City of Alexandria has several special events, holiday giving programs, and visitor attractions for the public during this time of year. The following list of City-sponsored holiday programs, events, and services are scheduled from Wednesday, November 26, 2008 to Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

Special Events Celebrating the Holiday Season

Wednesday, November 26 – Mayor’s Fifth Annual Unity Breakfast
Residents of all ages, economic levels, religious beliefs, and political leanings are invited to unite for a special morning of thanks and celebration at Mayor William D. Euille’s Fifth Annual Unity Breakfast. The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel at Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Rd. The theme for this year’s breakfast is “Celebrating Service” and Dr. Morton Sherman, Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools, will be the keynote speaker at the event. For more information, call 703.751.7970 or e-mail UnityBreakfast2008@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 27 – 33rd Annual Turkey Trot 5-Miler
Residents are invited to participate in the 33rd Annual Turkey Trot 5-Miler race, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the Cora Kelly Recreation Center, 3600 Commonwealth Ave. Online registration is available until midnight on Monday, November 24 or in person from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the day of the race. All participants are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items to support ALIVE. For more information, please visit www.visitdelray.com/turkeytrot or e-mail AlexTurkeyTrot@gmail.com.

Friday, November 28 – City of Alexandria’s Tree Lighting Ceremony
Kick off the holiday season by making plans to attend the 2008 City of Alexandria’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 28, at 7 p.m. at Market Square, 301 King Street. Admission is free, and the event will be held rain or shine. Entertainment features a message from the Mayor, a visit from Santa, a performance of Santa’s Frosty’s Follies by the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, and caroling with a community sing along. For additional information, please call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703.883.4686.

Saturday, November 29 - Scottish Heritage Preview
Come celebrate Alexandria’s Scottish heritage at the Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street), a week before the Scottish Walk. Meet Scottish Tartan Day leaders and learn about Scottish breed dogs while enjoying bagpipes, highland dancing, historical re-enactors and more. This free event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 703.838.4994 or visit www.alexandriahistory.org.

Saturday, November 29 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 1 p.m., Alexandria Kleztet, a performer of traditional and innovative Jewish music will perform, followed at 2 p.m. by Michael Mulvaney, a performer of holiday and blues music. For more information, call the City’s Special Events hotline at 703.883.4686.

Sunday, November 30 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 2 p.m., Doris Justis, a performer of folk and acoustic holiday music will perform, followed at 3 p.m. by Lisa Taylor, a performer of acoustic holiday music. For more information, call the City’s Special Events hotline at 703.883.4686.

Beginning Tuesday, December 2 – Alexandria Police Youth Camp Christmas Tree Sale
The Alexandria Police Youth Camp is soliciting volunteers to help sell Christmas Trees. Sales begin Tuesday, December 2, and will continue while supplies last. Times are 4-8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Come get in the holiday spirit while contributing to a great cause. The tree lot is next to the train station on Callahan Drive, across from the Masonic Memorial. For more information, please contact Lieutenant Jack Compton at 703.838.3830.


Friday – Sunday, December 5-7 – Pet Photos With Santa
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria will host “Pet Photos With Santa” on December 5-7 at the Olde Towne School for Dogs, 529 Oronoco St. Both pets and people are welcome to pose with Santa. All proceeds benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and the animals of the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter. To schedule an appointment, call 703.836.7643.

Saturday, December 6 - Ornament Decorating Workshop for Families
A free Ornament Decorating Workshop for families will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 N. Union Street, #327. Be inspired to decorate take-home artifact-shaped dough ornaments based on colors and patterns from the Museum's collection of excavated artifacts. For more information, call 703.838.4399 or visit www.alexandriaarchaeology.org.

Saturday, December 6 - Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Alexandria's harbor lights up as more than 50 brightly-lit sailing and powered leisure boats cruise along the Potomac River at the City's historic waterfront. Come enjoy the festivities from 4 – 7 p.m. at the City Marina, located at 0 Cameron St., including pictures with Santa for kids and canines. Pictures begin at 4 p.m., and the parade at 6 p.m. For additional information, or to participate in the parade, please call 703.838.4200, ext. 209 or visit www.VisitAlexandriaVa.com.

Saturday, December 6 - Annual Scottish Walk Christmas Parade
The City of Alexandria invites the public to attend the 38th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade at 11 a.m. in historic Old Town. The centerpiece of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, the parade celebrates the City's Scottish heritage, featuring more than 100 Scottish clans, bagpipe and drum bands, living history reenactment groups, dog clubs, and a special appearance by Santa Claus. This year’s Grand Marshal is Willard Scott of NBC’s The Today Show. For more information, call 703.549.0111.

Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 – HistoricAlexandriALIVE Returns!
The talented troupe of performers for HistoricAlexandriALIVE is coming back to the Alexandria waterfront for special holiday shows. These performances will take place at the new Historic Alexandria History Center & Museum Shop, 101 North Union Street. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Patrick Henry, one of Virginia’s early governors, visits Alexandria’s waterfront. Later that day, from 4 - 7 p.m., musician Stephen Christoff explores early American music, playing an octave mandolin, hand-flute, saw and other instruments. Signora Bella, the Italian equilibrist and 18th-century acrobat, will perform amazing feats including juggling swords and walking the slack rope, on Saturday, from 4 - 7 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, please call 703.706.5262 or visit oha.alexandriava.gov/oha-main/oha-historicAlexandriaLive.html.

Sunday, December 7 –11th Annual Women, Art and Shopping Holiday Spectacular! 
Join the Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women and the Commission for Women for the Women, Art and Shopping Holiday Spectacular, scheduled from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Next Realty Building, 1100 N. Fayette Street, nine blocks north from the intersection of King and N. Fayette Sts, at the end of Fayette. Admission is free and complimentary refreshments will be served. Purchase art and crafts from emerging women artists (jewelry, cards, ceramics, quilting, glass, clothing, handbags, children's items, photography, pottery and more) just in time for the holidays. Fifteen percent of all proceeds benefit the Commission for Women and Alexandria Office on Women projects. For more information, please call 703.838.5030.

Sunday, December 7 – Holiday Open House at Alexandria Fire Station #201
The public is invited to a Holiday Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Alexandria Fire Station #201, located at 317 Prince Street. Food and drinks will be provided courtesy of the Green Stream Condominium Owners Association. Fantastic holiday photos are available with Santa and the Old Fire Engine Steamer for $10 each. Photo proceeds will go directly to support the Alexandria Firefighters Helping Hands Fund.

Sunday, December 7 – 34th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance
Put on your dancing shoes and make plans to attend the 34th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Lee Center Exhibit Hall, 1108 Jefferson St. This year’s theme is “Let’s Do More at Thirty Four,” and features a special performance by the Capital Squares Demonstration Team at 3 p.m. The annual square and round dance benefits the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Drive. No admission fee is charged, but the recommended donation is a new, unopened toy or a $10 minimum contribution per couple ($5 for singles). For additional information, call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703.883.4686.

Sunday, December 7 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 2 p.m., Shir Tze’ir, a performer of Jewish a cappella music will perform, followed at 3 p.m. by the Family Choir of Beth El Hebrew Congregation, who will perform Hanukah favorites. For more information, call the City’s Special Events hotline at 703.883.4686.

Saturday, December 13 - Kwanzaa Craft Workshop
Join the Alexandria Black History Museum staff in a fun interactive program that will guide you through a review of the principles of this unique African American holiday as well as instruct you in ways to make inexpensive Kwanzaa gifts known as Zawadi. All supplies will be provided. This free event will be held at the Alexandria History Museum (902 Wythe Street) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 703.838.4356 or visit www.alexblackhistory.org.

Saturday, December 13 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 1 p.m., Bell’s Angels and the St. John’s Lutheran Church Handbell Choir will provide holiday music, followed at 2 p.m. by the Alexandria Singers, who will also perform a selection of holiday favorites. For more information, call the City’s Special Events hotline at 703.883.4686.

Saturday, December 13 - Christmas In Camp Open House
The Christmas in Camp Open House interprets how Christmas was observed during the Civil War. It will be held at the Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site (4301 W. Braddock Road) from noon to 4 p.m. The program features living history interpreters, a Victorian Christmas tree, period music, refreshments, readings of “The Night Before Christmas” and a patriotic Santa Claus. Guided tours of the fort will also be available, weather permitting. A donation of $2 for adults, $1 for children is suggested for admission. For more information, call 703.838.4848 or visit www.fortward.org.

Saturday, December 13 - Annual Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Take a break from the fast pace of the season and experience the unique charm and history at Old Town Alexandria’s most popular holiday event, historic candlelight tours. Tour Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House and Old Presbyterian Meeting House by candlelight and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments. Tour times are scheduled between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The cost is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65 and older), and $5 for children (ages 6-17). Before December 1, pre-sale discounts are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. Reservations are recommended for the tours. For more information, call 703.838.4242 or visit www.historicalexandria.org 

Sunday, December 14 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 2 p.m., the Alexandria Harmonizers, a barbershop musical group, will perform holiday favorites, followed at 3 p.m. by the St. Matthews United Methodist Church Youth Handbell Choir, who will provide holiday music. For more information, call the City’s Special Events hotline at 703.883.4686.

Friday, December 19 – Holiday Concert in Old Town Alexandria
Enjoy the music of the season in Old Town Alexandria at a holiday concert at Market Square, 301 King Street. At 7 p.m., the Thomas Jefferson High School Choral Department will present a choral holiday performance. Following its performance, the Thomas Jefferson High School Choral Department will move to the lower King Street Arcade in the 100 block of King Street for caroling at 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 21 - Holiday Favorites with the Colonial Handbell Ringers
The Colonial Handbell Ringers bring a wide selection of holiday music and a variety of musical styles to “Glad Tidings We Ring,” this year’s new show. Ten ringers play a full five-octave set of nearly 80 handbells from the world-famous White Chapel Foundry in England. Performance includes children’s classics such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” an audience sing-along with holiday favorites, and unique visual experiences with two original works. Free performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street. For more information, call 703.838.4994 or visit www.alexandriahistory.org.

Wednesday, December 31 – First Night Alexandria
Come out and enjoy the largest First Night celebration in the Washington metropolitan area, which will expand its footprint in Old Town this year. Enjoy 64 acts on 30 indoor stages and a total of 177 performances, which will culminate with fireworks at midnight on the lawn of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Free parking and free shuttles make it easy and accessible for the public to attend. Tickets and additional information are available at www.firstnightalexandria.org. Retail sites for ticket sales will be listed prior to Thanksgiving.

Holiday Giving Programs

Alexandria Office on Women Seeks Donations for Children’s Holiday Party
Every year, the Alexandria Office on Women organizes a holiday party for mothers and children who have been recently served by the Domestic Violence Program. At the party, more than 100 families each receives a bag of gifts for their children, which they can take home, wrap and place under their tree. Toy donations for the children and gift cards for their mothers are needed. If you would like to make a donation, please bring unwrapped toys and gift cards to the Office on Women, 421 King Street, Suite 400 no later than December 15. For more information, call 703.838.4911.

Alexandria Department of Human Services Seeks Holiday Sharing Sponsors
The Alexandria Department of Human Services (DHS) invites the public to make the holiday season brighter by purchasing gifts or certificates for low-income Alexandria families, foster children or senior citizens. Donors may deliver gifts directly to recipients or bring them to the City’s Human Services Center (2525 Mount Vernon Ave.) for distribution by staff. For more information, call Suzanne Kratzok at 703.838.0762 or e-mail holidaysharing@alexandriava.gov.

Sheriff’s Office Seeks Toy Donations
Each year, the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office provides toys and gifts to children of inmates housed in the Alexandria Detention Center. This year, the Sheriff’s Office seeks gifts for children of all ages, to include older children, ages 12-18, who are often left out of traditional holiday toy drives. The toys and gifts will be distributed on December 18 at the Public Safety Center. For more information on donating toys and gifts, or on the procedures for receiving them, please contact Gloria Hicks, Volunteer/Programs Coordinator, at 703.746.4114 ext. 4904 or e-mail Gloria.Hicks@alexandriava.gov.

Holiday Shopping

Alexandria Police Youth Camp Christmas Tree Sale
The Alexandria Police Youth Camp is soliciting volunteers to help sell Christmas Trees. Sales began Tuesday, December 2, and will continue while supplies last. Times are 4-8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Come get in the holiday spirit while contributing to a great cause. The tree lot is next to the train station on Callahan Drive across from the Masonic Memorial. For more information, please contact Lieutenant Jack Compton at 703.838.3830.

Thursday, December 11 – Apothecary Holiday Sale
Support local history and find the ideal gift while shopping at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum! Check out the great selection at the museum’s gift shop (105-107 S. Fairfax St.) and save 10% off all merchandise between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For more information, please visit www.apothecarymuseum.org or call 703.838.3852.

Celebrate the holiday season and Alexandria’s African-American history with the newest collectible ornament from the Office of Historic Alexandria! The 2008 ornament honors the 25th anniversary of the Alexandria Black History Museum with an etched brass-finish design of the museum entrance decorated with festive holiday greenery. In a stamped gift box and at $16 each, the ornaments will make memorable gifts for family and friends! Be a part of history! Order your 2008 ornament online or stop by the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., or another Historic Alexandria museum gift shop. For more information, please call 703.838.4356 or visit www.historicalexandria.org.

Visitor Holiday Attractions 

Discover the wonders of the holidays in Alexandria, with a backdrop of historic warmth nestled in with contemporary flair. Holiday tree-lightings, candlelight tours, ornament workshops and parades are just a handful of the season's festivities. The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Web site, www.visitalexandriava.com, provides a comprehensive list of events in Alexandria during the holiday season.

Did You Know? The City Collects Christmas Trees for Recycling!

The City of Alexandria reminds residents to recycle their holiday Christmas trees. Residents who receive City trash service should set trees out for recycling pick-up at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 10 and Saturday, January 17. Please remember, do not put trees in plastic bags and remove all stands and ornaments. Any trees set out at the curb after January 17 will be collected during regular refuse collection service and will not be recycled. For more information, please contact the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Solid Waste Division, at 703.519.3486.