Patriots’ Path Leads GMU to Old Town Fairfax

Patriots’ Path Leads GMU to Old Town Fairfax

In partnership with George Mason University, Fairfax City’s Economic Development Office has 

A wayfinding sign along Patriots’ Path in Fairfax City.


just unveiled Patriots’ Path. This new, wayfinding and placemaking initiative coincided with GMU’s 50th anniversary kickoff, last Monday, April 4.

“The main goal of Patriots’ Path is to strengthen our city’s connection with the University and to highlight the amazing businesses in our Old Town,” said Fairfax Mayor David Meyer. “The Path will guide Mason’s community around Old Town. Once students are here in our city – discovering shops, restaurants, parks and music venues – we’re confident they’ll make Old Town Fairfax their first-choice destination. It’s a place that’s walkable, bikeable and livable for everyone.”

Patriots’ Path includes directional aids, sidewalk decals, flutter flags, interior signs on the city’s CUE buses, and an interactive map at To bring attention to it in a fun way, the City’s Economic Development agencies are promoting a selfie contest through April 17.

They’re asking members of the Mason community to snap a creative selfie anywhere along the path, use the hashtag #PatriotsPath and tag @FairfaxCityEDA. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win one of 20 $50 gift cards to a Fairfax City business identified on the interactive map.

The creative concepts were designed to reinforce Fairfax City as Mason’s hometown and to emphasize the close, geographic relationship between the University and the Old Town business community. To do so, Patriots’ Path will promote walking, biking and taking public transportation as the most enjoyable and convenient methods for GMU students to get to Old Town.  

Fairfax City, with Mason as its partner, seeks to capitalize on the historic and close relationship between the University and the City that traces back to GMU’s founding. Through engaging wayfinding signage, Patriots’ Path highlights destinations with easy-to-follow directions for members of the Mason community and connects them directly with the downtown businesses.  

The Patriot’s Path creatives included welcoming messaging such as, “20-minute walk to date night” and a “3-minute scooter ride to your new favorite Fairfax City shop.” There are approximately 25 such messages installed in locations along George Mason Boulevard, University Drive and within the heart of Old Town.  

“Patriots’ Path creates a real, physical connection between the University and Old Town Fairfax,” said Eric Woodall, GMU’s associate vice president, brand marketing. “We want our campus community to experience all that Mason’s hometown has to offer and to understand that great food, entertainment and shopping are only a short walk from campus.”  

For more information about Patriots’ Path, go to and follow @fairfaxcityeda on social media to see posts from the contest.