Making Merry in Alexandria

Making Merry in Alexandria

Scottish Walk weekend kicks off holiday season.

The Scottish Walk parade will take place Dec. 2 through the streets of Old Town beginning at 11 a.m.

The Scottish Walk parade will take place Dec. 2 through the streets of Old Town beginning at 11 a.m.

Alexandria’s renown Scottish Christmas Walk Parade returns Dec. 2 for the 52nd year as part of a weekend of holiday events across the city.

Celebrating its Scottish heritage, the parade will feature dozens of Scottish clans parading through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands, as well as terriers and hounds, community groups and more.

The parade will be led by Grand Marshals U.S. Rep. Don Beyer and his wife Megan Beyer, who serves as Director of the Office of Art in Embassies at the U.S. Department of State. The Beyers are longtime Alexandria residents.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and follow a route through Old Town culminating in the massed bands performance in front of City Hall.

Routes will be closed in the area by 9 a.m. for parade set-up. Parking will be limited and residents are encouraged to take public transportation to the event.

Master of ceremonies will be Ian Houston, a nonprofit leader in the D.C. metro area who is a GlobalScot and works to promote cultural links between Scotland and the United States.

More than 120 units including nearly 35 Scottish clans from around the D.C. region and across the U.S. will be participating in the parade.

After the last parade unit has finished the parade route, participating pipe bands will reassemble at Market Square under the direction of City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums’ Drum Major Joshua Cease for the massed band concert.

The Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will take place Dec. 2 along the Old Town waterfront. 


The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade is sponsored by Wegmans and produced by Visit Alexandria in partnership with Campagna Center and the City of Alexandria.

Following the parade, Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street will feature a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company with hard cider from Lost Boy Cider and hot chocolate from Dolci Gelati.

Holiday music from 97.1 WASH-FM will deliver a festive atmosphere, and their street team will round out the Waterfront Park experience with giveaways from 3 to 5 pm.

Also at Waterfront Park, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. enjoy hands-on activities including ornament and watercolor holiday card making and a Letters to Santa postcard station.

At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina.

The evening will end with the 23rd Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., more than 50 brightly lit boats will cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline from Canal Center to Ford’s Landing Park.

Canal Center on the Old Town North waterfront will host family friendly activities from 3 to 9 p.m. A holiday bazaar of arts, crafts, vintage goods and more will be featured along with The Gallery at Canal Center art exhibition presented by Galactic Panther. Live music from 3 to 8 p.m. from Yellow Door Concert Series featuring perennial holiday jazz favorites such as Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and other classics.

The Holiday Boat Parade is produced by Visit Alexandria in collaboration with the City of Alexandria, City Cruises-Alexandria and the Old Dominion Boat Club.

Del Ray will be the place to be on Dec. 3 with the annual Christmas tree lighting, Menorah lighting and holiday carols beginning at 6 p.m. Hand-painted holiday windows in storefronts decorate Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias, a tradition started by the late Nancy Dunning.