See Washington's Alexandria

See Washington's Alexandria

Washington's Birthday

This is the second in a series of articles about the George Washington Birthday Celebration. For more information, visit

Take the Cherry Challenge!

The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee in Alexandria proudly announces the ninth annual Cherry Challenge. In the spirit of the old cherry tree tale, we are celebrating George Washington's presence in his hometown by encouraging everyone to patronize the participating restaurants now through Feb. 11, and vote for their favorite cherry drinks, starters, entrees and desserts.

Visit participating restaurants and enjoy cherry-themed drinks, starters, entrees and desserts. Go to for more information and an up-to-date list of participating restaurants.

Vote for your favorite cherry challenge item (ballots are provided at each location), rating the taste, creativity, and presentation of the dish.

Share your experience by posting pictures of your feast on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #gwcherrychallenge! Winners will be announced on our website.

See Washington’s Alexandria: Every Sunday in February at 2 p.m., our knowledgeable volunteer guides will showcase some of the most important of the 140-plus places in Alexandria associated with the Father of our Country. These free, 90-minute "Walking with Washington" tours start at the Alexandria Visitors Center, Ramsay House, 221 King St., and do not require advance reservations.

Tour stops include Market Square, Carlyle House, Wise’s Tavern, Duvall Tavern (House), Gadsby’s Tavern, George Washington’s replica town house, the Lord Fairfax Town House, “Light-Horse” Harry Lee’s House, and Christ Church.

Our city holds the most sacred historical sites in America, where George Washington’s business, political and military career started, developing skills that enabled him to dare to challenge the British army and win the American Revolution against the greatest military power of the day. His business interests related to commerce on our Potomac River led him to urge a closer relationship among the states which culminated in his presiding at the Constitutional Convention. The title of “Mr. President” originated when his friends held a farewell banquet for him at a tavern on our tour when he left for his inauguration in New York.

The tour also includes personal details such as how he got his name, not a traditional one for Washingtons, and what Martha was called in her lifetime – not “Martha.” We hope participants will develop an appreciation for Washington the man, the problems and challenges he faced, and how he overcame them, and not remain just a name in history books.

The cornerstone of Historic Alexandria, Gadsby’s Tavern was donated to the City of Alexandria by American Legion Post 24 in 1972. The Birthnight Banquet and Ball, a signature event of the George Washington Birthday Celebration, is sold out for this year; but there are plenty of opportunities to see the historic buildings. In addition to regular daily tours, the museum has special programs for the Celebration including the Winter Warmer Ladies Tea on Feb. 5; Parade Day Open House on Feb. 20; and on Feb. 22, “George Washington, America's Foremost Entrepreneur” a lecture by Edward G. Lengel, chief historian of the White House Historical Association. Contact the museum for more information via