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Dad Can Be "Chief" On Father's Day

Once again Friendship Firehouse, 107 S. Alfred St, will host dads for free on June 15 in honor of Father's Day with special tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. One of America's oldest fire service organizations, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association will make every dad an honorary chief of the Friendship Fire Company Bucket Brigade on "his" day.

Every dad, with his children, will receive a certificate, get to ring the fire bell, and have his picture taken with the Friendship Fire Engine. Known as George Washington's Fire Company, it was originally organized in 1774 and moved to its present location in 1851.

The Friendship Firehouse Museum includes equipment and apparatus dating back to the colonial era. Each year the Association, prior to Alexandria's George Washington Birthday Parade and celebration, hosts a breakfast honoring outstanding Alexandrians and honoring the parade's Grand Marshal.

For additional information call 703-838-3891 or visit <a href=http://www.friendshipfirehouse.org> www.friendshipfirehouse.org</a>.

<b>A Father's Day For History Buffs</b>

Make Father's Day an historic event with visits to Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, plus three historical sites in Alexandria — the Lee-Fendall House Museum and Gardens, Gadsby's Tavern, and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary. The Alexandria sites are free June 15 to dads and grand dads accompanied by their families.

At Mount Vernon "General Washington" will greet visitors and pose for photographs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Father's Day, June 15. He will also discuss his role as husband, stepfather, and Father of the Nation at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. in the Little Theater during the program "Father to the First Family."

With a purchased ticket to the Estate, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April through August, fathers will receive complimentary admission to Washington's Distillery and Gristmill, located three miles from the Estate on Route 235 South. At the Distillery demonstrations by costumed distillers take visitors through the process of 18th century whiskey-making.

Visitors to the Gristmill watch as water from Dogue Creek turns the large indoor water wheel that powers the process of turning grain into kitchen ready cornmeal. Bags of the finished meal, milled on site, are available for purchase.

Both the Distillery and Gristmill are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through October 31. Picnic tables are available for family use and relaxation.

Admission to Mount Vernon Estate is $13 for adults and $6 for children, five and older. Admission to the Distillery and Gristmill is $4 for adults and $2 for children five and older.

Alexandria's Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St., will offer free Father's Day tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to fathers and grandfathers accompanied by their children. The last tour of the day will commence at 3 p.m.

As Alexandria's oldest Lee family home, Lee-Fendall House served as home to 37 members of the Lee family from 1785 until 1903. Now restored to its early Victorian elegance, the house is interpreted as a Lee family home from 1850 to 1870 and presents an intimate study of 19th century family life.

Guided by its 1852 inventory, the house is furnished with Lee Family heirlooms as well as period pieces produced by Alexandria furniture manufacturers. It is owned and operated by the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students, 11 to 17. Children under 11 are admitted free.

Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, 105-107 S. Fairfax St., are both offering complimentary tours June 15 to honor dads and grand dads. Gadsby's was one of George Washington's favorite stopping off spots for food and drink and the site of Thomas Jefferson's inaugural ball.

The recently restored Apothecary is one of the last remaining examples of an 18th and 19th century predecessor to the modern drug store remaining in the nation. After continuously operating for 141 years it closed in 1933.

Both the Lee-Fendall House and Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary will be conducting tours from noon to 4:45 p.m. Admission prices for each site, except for fathers and grandfathers, is $4 for adults, $2 for children 11 to 17, and children under 11 free.