Celebrate Fall, All Things Nautical at Portside in Old Town Festival
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Celebrate Fall, All Things Nautical at Portside in Old Town Festival

Nautical notions meet food, drink and music at this weekend’s Portside in Old Town Fall Festival. The festival, which is the second installment of Visit Alexandria’s Portside series, lands in Waterfront Park this Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.

The Portside festival is joining forces with the Seaport Foundation to make an uber-festival of sorts, combining the foundation’s Seaport Day with the other cultural activities the festival has to offer. From interactive and maritime history programs to musical performances and plenty of food, it’s attendees who luck out with the joint effort.

“We think it’s a fantastic opportunity to reinforce Alexandria’s brand and positioning as a port city through this daylong festival that shines a light on our maritime history,” said Visit Alexandria President and CEO Patricia Washington. “And we’re so excited to be partnering with the Seaport Foundation” as well as the Office of Historic Alexandria, the parks and recreation department, and more, she added.

The activities for participants of all ages are plentiful. From knot-tying taught by the tall ship Providence team to old-fashioned lawn games, from helping to paint a Seaport Foundation boat to rope-making, plenty of free activities are there for the asking. Several other activities – model boat-making, splash golf and a 2:30 p.m. “Anything That Floats Race” – support the Seaport Foundation’s programs with a nominal fee.

And the festival’s location at the newly opened Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street brings with it its own showcase, too.

“That’s been an opportunity to shine a light on the new things that are happening on the waterfront and in Old Town,” Washington said.

Washington said the summertime rendition of the Portside in Old Town Festival brought in 12,000 guests over the course of the day. Between the activities and the music, food and drink, she expects similar numbers this weekend.

Guests won’t have to spend the day hungry – or thirsty. Riverside Taco, the Italian Place and Dolci Gelati will be offering up food and sweets for purchase, and Port City Brewing will be on hand pouring beer. Wine, too, will be on sale to benefit the Seaport Foundation, and 10 percent of Riverside Taco’s sales will also benefit the foundation.

Music will provide the soundtrack throughout the day. DJ Kat will lead things off, followed by the DCeivers and Sol Roots, ensuring an eclectic musical array to carry guests through their activities and keep them lingering after the fact.

“I think this is a great family-friendly festival,” Washington said.

IF YOU GO

Portside in Old Town Fall Festival

When: Saturday, Oct. 12, 1-7 p.m.

Where: Waterfront Park, 1 King St.

Admission: Free. Food, drink and some activities do have a cost.