This Saturday is Old Town Alexandria’s 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. No, it is held neither on nor around March 17th, but always on the first Saturday of the month of March. True to Alexandria’s tradition, there will be bagpipes and dogs, kilts and kids. This year, the parade itself is scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM at the corner of King and Alfred Streets, where Bittersweet Cafe is located. (I hear Bittersweet will be serving up their famous Guinness cupcakes on Saturday too!) The Grand Marshal, Bryan “Bugsy” Watson and owner of Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar, leads the parade down King St. and then east onto Lee ending at Cameron. Participants include federal, state and local elected officials, local “celebrities,” scouts, school bands, military groups and the Irish Ambassador. Though the parade is the highlight, the day’s events actually kick off at 10:00 AM with a classic car show (on Pitt St. between King and Cameron) followed by the Fun Dog Show at 10:30 which benefits Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
(Image courtesy of Eric Spiegel Photography)
Weather permitting, this is a fun event for families. Spend the day, have lunch somewhere cozy and then enjoy watching your kids’ excitement at seeing bagpipers perform through Old Town. Transportation and parking can be difficult, however. While there are a number of parking garages on the side streets near the parade’s route down by Washington Street, they fill up quickly. I recommend parking near fibre space, then walking or taking the free King Street Trolley down to the festivities.