Alexandria celebrated her 255th birthday with fireworks, a concert in the park and steamy July weather. The celebration was held on July 10 at Oronoco Bay Park from 4- 10 p.m.
The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of maestro Kim Allen Kluge, presented a concert of swing music of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Fireworks were immediately preceded by the 1812 overture and the discharging of cannons.
Bruce Dwyer, Thomas Call, Jr, Ellen Pickering and Peggy Ashbrook, received the 20th annual Service to the Community Awards from the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Dwyer has been a strong advocate for bicycling in the city for more than a decade and was a founding member of the Commission’s Bicycle Study Committee. He helped develop a bicycle transportation and multi-use trail master plan for the city, which was adopted by City Council in 1998.
Call has been committed to beautifying Alexandria for the past 20 years. He petitioned the city to plant trees in the 100 block of Patrick Street, planted gardens under them and cares for them at his own expense. He has planted a more extensive garden in front of the city parking lot between 118 and 124 N. Patrick Street.
Pickering has championed the cause to maintain open space in Alexandria and to preserve the waterfront. After serving one term as a member of City Council, she has continued to monitor, secure and protect available open space for the community.
Ashbrook is a member of the Del Ray Artisans and was recognized for her work on the Adopt-a-Park program. The Artisans adopted Colasanto Park several years ago. Ashbrook has volunteered to pick up litter at the park and has helped to earn $900 to make landscape improvements to the park.