Whether you run a 10-k or attend a 1799 “birth night” banquet – celebrate America’s President’s Day with these great ideas.
By Katherine Pena
Wax Presidential at Madame Tussauds
On February 17th, Madame Tussauds will open their $2 million plus expansion of their US Presidents Gallery exhibit which will now feature wax figures of all 44 US Presidents. The gallery was developed in accordance with the US Department of National Social Studies Standards and the National Council for the Social Civil Rights Movement Studies standards to serve as a rich educational resource. The Museum opens at 10am every day and tickets can be purchased online here, or at the museum.
Run for Office at the George Washington 10K Classic
Take a 10K run down in Alexandria to celebrate our first president’sbirthday. The race starts at 8:30 am in Eisenhower Valley. Registration is $22 per runner before February 12th and $25 after 2/12. For additional Information visit
Picture Yourself in the White House
On Saturday February 19th from 11:30-3pm come celebrate with a full day of crafts, scavenger hunts and performances in Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery. On the 20th, stop by the Education Center from 1-4pm to learn about George Washington and create a special piece of art.
Plan a State Visit to Mount Vernon
On February19th, join characters from the 18thcentury at 1:30 pm to help surprise General Washington with a birthday party where he will be presented with gifts and give a speech to his visitors. Then on the 21st, visit George Washington’s home for free on the day of his birthday. At 10 am there will be a wreath laying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb, shortly after, Miss America 2011 will sing the national anthem, immediately followed by military demonstrations by the Old Guard Fife and Drum. Go to www.mountvernon.org for information.
Walk with Washington
Walking tours of sites in Alexandria associated with George Washington will be given every Sunday through the month of February at 1:30 pm meeting at Market Square.
Be a Birther at George Washington Birthnight Banquet
Take a step back in time to re-enact a 1799 birthnight banquet and ball to celebrate the birth of our first
president, George Washington. The first birth night ball held in Alexandria was by John Gadsby in 1797. George Washington could not attend that one, but did grace his presence in 1798 and 1799.The ball, which will be held after the banquet, will include live music, dance instruction and period dessert. The event will be held at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday, February 19th, 5:30 to 11pm. Tickets are $100 per person or $50 for only the ball. You must reserve your tickets it advanced and you can do so by calling (703) 838-4242 or online.
Lay a Wreath At The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Of The Revolution
Come honor the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution with a wreath laying ceremony at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria. This ceremony will run from 11pm to noon on February 20th.
Do a House Call … at the White House
The National Park Service will provide free programs on Monday, February 21st from 10am to 3 pm. The programs will include performances, games and crafts. The visitors center is located on the Southeast corner of 15th and E Street.
March for George Washington
Come celebrate the country’s largest President’s Day parade, dating back to 1923, in Old Town Alexandria.
The parade will be held on Monday, February 21st starting at the intersection of Gibbon and South Fairfax streets.The parade will run from 1 pm to 3 pm with the reviewing stand located near City Hall’s Market Square.You can get yourself pumped up for the parade with the “Parade Mile.” This mile race starts at 12:30, starting and ending at the reviewing stand. But there is one catch: you must be able to finish the race in 15 minutes. Free admission for the following sites will also be available on parade day as well: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum, The Lyceum, Carlyle House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and Christ Church.
Enlist in a Revolutionary War Reenactment
On February 20th, the Fort Ward Museum in Alexandria will holding demonstrations and staging historical camps. A skirmish between the redcoats and the colonials will also be featured.
Meet Woodrow Wilson at The Lyceum
President Woodrow Wilson will be brought to life by actor Brian Hilton, on Monday the 21st at The Lyceum in Alexandria. He will discuss his presidency, current events and will even take questions from the audience. The event will start at 11pm and is free. More information about this event and actor Brian Hilton can be found here.
Tour the Washington Monument
Visit one of DC’s most notable structures and the memorial to George Washington. Reserve your tour
tickets and take an elevator up to the top of DC’s highest structure to get a gorgeous view of the city. The monument is open from 9 to 5pm and tickets can be reserved online.
Sing a President’s Praises at the National Presidents Day Choral Festival
The Kennedy Center will host the National Presidents Day Choral Festival on February 21st at 1pm. The event will be conducted by William Skoog and includes Stroope’s Homeland, Barber’s haunting Agnus Dei (Adagio for Strings), a series of Aaron Copland vocal works for chorus and solo baritone, and Memorial, written by Rene Clausen “for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and all victims of senseless violence.” The festival is 75 minutes long and will cost $10. For tickets and more information you can visit the Kennedy Center website.