By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
If the rain yesterday put a damper on your fireworks show, you still have this Saturday to look forward to. The City of Alexandria in Virginia hosts an annual “Alexandria and USA Birthday” celebration with music, birthday cake, and one of the very best fireworks shows in the area.
Each year, on the Saturday following the fourth of July, the City of Alexandria puts on this fun, free community event to celebrate its birthday and that of the United States. This is a good opportunity to celebrate all over again or to “catch up” if you traveled out of town during the holiday.
The Alexandria event is a major celebration that starts with music and wraps up with a huge fireworks display that rivals that of the National Mall. The finale is set to Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with cannon firings by “The Old Guard.” This year’s Alexandria and USA Birthday Celebration takes place on Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 5 pm to 10 pm at Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison Street in Old Town. The rain date is Sunday, July 9 (fireworks only; no music or other activities). This community celebration is a great event we have attended many years and we encourage you to go see the Alexandria fireworks! Before you do, check out our tips below:
- Bring a blanket and/or chairs: There is a big open field at the park and you likely will be there for a few hours, so make sure you’re comfortable!
- Arrive early: Get there early to enjoy the live music and poetry readings and free slices of patriotic birthday cake that the City of Alexandria distributes early on during the event.
- Bring a picnic or get food early: Bring your own food or buy your dinner before it gets dark. There are several food vendors at the park during the event, but lines can get very long as the night goes on, it can be hard to walk back to your spot carrying lots of food in the dark, and sometimes some vendors may run out of some items (our experience last time!).
- Plan ahead for parking: Parking in Old Town can be limited and many areas are restricted to residents with parking decals. Before you head out, look at the second page of this PDF file for information on where to park in Old Town.
- Protect little ears: The Alexandria fireworks show is loud, especially because of the cannon firings. If your little ones (or you!) are sensitive to very loud sounds, consider bringing ear plugs or other protection.
Happy birthday, Alexandria and USA!