Celebrate Washington’s Birthday with These Patriotic Events
February 7, 2019
These ceremonies and celebrations are a short trip from our military apartments.
This year we will be celebrating our city’s namesake and founding father General George Washington’s 287th birthday! While we wish President Washington a happy birthday, we look back at our country’s history and ask what it means to us. We’ve worked hard for our freedom. We’ve fought for our rights, our education, our livelihood, and boundless opportunity. So from picking out our morning latte to living in whichever military apartments we choose, we’ve earned it. And to those who’ve served in the military: we salute you.
Free Admission at Mount Vernon
In honor of George Washington’s 287th birthday, Mount Vernon is offering free admission on February 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Explore the historic home of George and Martha Washington, meet characters in period costumes, and learn a little more about the history of our country. It’s a great outing for the family, and only a 20-minute drive from Fort Belvoir.
George Washington’s Birthday Celebration
Attend a heartfelt tribute to our nation’s founder on February 18. This ceremony, which also takes place at Mount Vernon, will be begin with a wreath laying, spoken words from a few honored guests, and a gun salute from the Old Guard. Then, on the bowling green, witness a special display of marching, firing, and charging by the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard. Fife and drum music will follow to accompany lively dancing by a few of Mount Vernon’s costumed characters. Descendants of Washington will regale attendees with stories passed down through generations, including a recollection of the first official celebration of Washington’s birthday at Valley Forge. Take a moment to pose with a life-size version of the most famous painting of George Washington in history: the portrait by Gilbert Stuart from Lansdowne. Then, on the 22nd of February, witness a naturalization ceremony for America’s newest citizens and enjoy some birthday cake!
This unconventional competition will take place from now until February 10. Alexandria’s fine dining establishments will race to create the most delicious cherry cocktails, appetizers, entrees and desserts! Based on the myth about George, his cherry tree, and his inability to lie, this challenge puts a playful spin on a momentous holiday. Participating restaurants include Blüprint Chocolatiers, Columbia Firehouse, Foster’s Grill, Kilwins, and Pines of Florence.
George Washington Birthday Parade
Witness the largest parade of its kind in the nation! On February 18, in the quiet afternoon streets of Old Town, the sound of marching percussion echos in the distant. And as a troupe of men and women in neat uniforms turn the corner the sound of brass joins in. Your heart swells with the familiar melody and there is yet more to come. Enjoy surveying float after float of brightly colored bunting, adorable school-aged scouts, military service personnel and your local volunteer fire department. After the parade is over, keep the revelry going with a free visit to any number of Alexandria’s historical attractions, including the Friendship Firehouse Museum, the Lee-Fendall House Museum, and the Lyceum, which has been to home to hospital wards, private residents, the chamber of commerce, and more!
Washington’s Birthday at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Last, and perhaps most extravagant, attend a night of period dancing, dessert, and reenactment. This event includes a full banquet, lessons in 18th-century English country dancing, and a visit from none other than George Washington himself, accompanied by his wife Martha (both played by well-honed actors in period costumes). You can get tickets for the ball for just $50, or you can splurge for a seat at Washington’s personal dining table for $150. This all takes place February 16; dinner at 5:30 p.m. and dancing at 9 p.m.
What better way to celebrate Washington’s life than to relive it? But if your sensibilities are a touch more modern, you can enjoy any of the other celebrations without leaving the DC of today. Stay close to your military apartments and make the most of our founding fathers anniversary at the same time. ROSS celebrates our country every day by offering comfortable, affordable, and high quality housing for military personnel. Take a tour today to see what we mean.