You know it is officially the Holiday season in Old Town as the twinkle light are adorning tree-tops on King Street, Mayor Silberberg and Santa have lit the tree in Market Square, and everyone is getting out their plaid for Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend!
The Scottish Walk is Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia’s annual Christmas Time Parade. The first Saturday of every December our historic, colonial, brick lined, novel-esque town is transported to the majesty of the Christmas through the Scottish Walk. You see people you know. Everyone’s happy. Neighbors throw parties. Friends gather at local spots. Folks toast to the magic of the season. And then come sunset our charming port city plays host to the Parade of Lights where boats decorated for the holidays shimmying down the Potomac. It’s a pretty magical day in Old Town!
Hearing the bagpipes dancing through the air sets a magical mood — one can really the emotion of the holiday. And the weekend is packed with tons Christmassy things to do in Old Town!
In addition to the parades on Saturday December 3rd their is a designer homes tour, an open house at Carlyle House, a holiday market and more! Check out some info that Visit Alexandria provided on what’s all happening this weekend:
46th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade
December 2-3 and December 10, 2016
Admission: Free for parade, Heather and Green sales; $110-$290 for Taste of Scotland; $35 for Designer Tour of Homes; $20 for Deck the Halls with Santa
Throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder, John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. The iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade takes place on Saturday, December 3, at 11 a.m., when dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans will parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds.
More weekend events include a Taste of Scotland (December 2), Heather and Greens sale (November 19 and December 2-3), the Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes (December 3), and Deck the Halls with Santa (December 10). The Campagna Center partners with Mazda North America, the Scottish Government, Passport Auto, the St. Andrews Society, and the City of Alexandria to host the annual parade. Consistently ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the South, this event has grown from a small informal parade to an entire weekend filled with events and festivities. #SCWW16
17th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
December 3, 2016 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Alexandria’s waterfront at the foot of Cameron Street near the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
On the first Saturday of December, at sundown on the day of the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, Alexandria’s harbor lights up as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. The boats are always dressed to impress a panel of judges who will award prizes in a dozen categories including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box, and Hardiest Souls. Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM is the parade announcer.
Alexandria Holiday Market
December 3-4, 9-11, 16-22, 2016 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: Free to browse
300 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
The highly anticipated Alexandria Holiday Market is modeled in similar fashion to Europe’s festive Christmas markets, which are popular in countries across the pond like Germany and France. Traditionally, the markets would transform outdoor town centers where vendors would take up shop in small wooden stalls. Similarly, the Alexandria Holiday Market will encourage shoppers to “shop outside the box” and come outdoors to the festival to find unique art and craft items and enjoy sweets and mulled wine. To help get into the holiday spirit, shoppers will also be treated to live entertainment from local musicians. The Alexandria Holiday Market will cater to the whole family and feature a special children’s corner with special activities for kids, including Santa.
Scottish Walk Parade Open House at Carlyle House
December 3, 2016, from noon-4 p.m.
Admission: Free ($1 suggested donation)
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Step back in time to see Carlyle House decorated for the holidays in the style of the 18th century. John Carlyle, one of Alexandria’s town founders, was a British merchant of Scottish descent. Come into the museum to warm up after the Scottish Walk Parade and learn more about 18th century Alexandria! This is a free event, but a suggested donation of $1/person is welcome.
Alexandria Archaeology Ornament Decorating Workshop
December 3, 2016 from 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Free; no pre-registration required
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street #327, Alexandria, VA 22314
Decorate take-home paper ornaments using shapes, colors, and patterns from the city’s finest 18th– and 19th-century excavated artifacts. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s for the entire family. No registration required.