Old Town

Old Town

So it's the middle of a cold and dreary winter. Time to hunker down, hide from the wind chill and stoke the fire? Not in Old Town. Forget the weather. Too much going on out there. Here's a sample:

DOGGIE DO - Perhaps the most novel is a black tie affair at the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 8-11 p.m., featuring dogs. That's right, dogs. Lots of them. Sponsored by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the canine affair is a fund-raiser for programs provided by those two groups. Honorary chair will be former city manager Vola Lawson and her dog, Jack. An auction will be conducted by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran and his dog, Beezer. That's not all: canine haute couture will be presented by Carlos Mejias and the Olde Town School for Dogs. For attendees other than dogs, the fare includes hors d'oeuvres and gourmet desserts. Space is limited and reservations are required. Tickets range from $100 for an individual and one dog, to $1,000 — which will get you four tickets and one dog per person. So you''d better hurry and flea to the Torpedo Factory.

PRESERVATION AWARD - The City of Alexandria, the Alexandria Archaeological Commission and Alexandria Archaeology have been selected as recipients of the Mary Mason Anderson Williams Award by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA). The award recognizes "outstanding preservation efforts on the part of a business, civic organization, individuals, or government agency." It was specifically given to Alexandria in recognition of three decades of ongoing preservation of Alexandria history and archaeology. The Archaeological Commission celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. It was the first group of its kind in the country.

The award was presented to the Commission's chair, Kathleen Pepper, as a part of the APVA Legislative Reception on Jan. 18 at St. Paul's Parish Hall in Richmond. Preservationists from across the Commonwealth, as well as legislative representatives, attended. Bill Tabor, Ann Davin and Kathleen Pepper wrote the strong application which details 30 years (1975-2005) of efforts by Alexandrians to preserve, protect, conserve, interpret and promote the city's rich archaeological heritage. The application itself is an important legacy.

Alexandria Archaeological Commission meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. Check the City web site, alexandriava.gov, or contact the museum at 703-838-4399 for information on monthly meeting locations.

A HUGE MONTH FOR GW - Settle in for loads of activities in Old Town celebrating the birthday of who else but the big GW. For example, Sundays throughout the month will feature "Walking With Washington" tours to highlight George Washington's 50-year association with Alexandria. See Alexandria as Washington saw it, through the places he frequented when he was there. Walks leaves from the Fountain at Market Square (King & Royal Streets) at 1:30 p.m.; Free. Call 703-683-2636 for more information. Loads of other activities in his honor continue all month. Stay tuned.

BLACK HISTORY MUSEUM - The Alexandria Black History Museum presents a family story-telling program with Dylan Pritchett on Saturday, February 5 at 11 a.m. Admission to the event is free, but due to limited seating, reservations are requested. Pritchett has been a full time storyteller since 1990, taking his African and African-American folktales to hundreds of schools throughout the country. He enjoys a close, nine-year, professional association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he performs and leads workshops for teachers on using storytelling in the classroom. The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe St. Ample street parking is available. The museum is also located five blocks from the Braddock Road Metro Station on the Yellow Line. The museum complies with the terms of the ADA.