WASHINGTON — Lights, carolers, hand bell choirs, holiday wreaths and festive decorations are found spread across Old Town Alexandria during the holiday season.
It's not just DMV locals who enjoy Alexandria's holiday cheer. 'O, The Oprah Magazine,' named Alexandria one of the 19 most magical Christmas towns and villages across the world.
Ranked No. 7, the magazine described Alexandria as full of "good cheer each December."
"For a traditional American Christmas, head to Alexandria, Virginia, where the Old Town's streets and 18th-century row houses bustle with good cheer each December. Festive-seekers can find carolers, hand bell choirs, ample lights and decorations, while close by there's Mount Vernon, home to Aladdin, a Christmas camel, as well as a Colonial Christmas experience."
Here are some holiday activities in Alexandria for those in the festive spirit:
Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 23
Mayor Justin Wilson and Santa Claus will light the tree in front of City Hall. The program also features a performance of "Santa’s Spectacular," by the Metropolitan School of the Arts, carols by T.C. Williams High School Choir. Santa and Mrs. Claus are also rumored to make an appearance.
Christmas at Mount Vernon, Nov. 29 to Dec. 31
George Washington's Mount Vernon will be filled with holiday events from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31. Visitors can tour the mansion, meet Aladdin the Christmas camel and hear stories of Christmases past.
During Mount Vernon by Candlelight, visitors can listen to sounds of the holidays while viewing Christmas trees.
During Christmas Illuminations on Dec. 20 and 21, visitors can enjoy fireworks choreographed to holiday music, all while local choirs serenade Mount Vernon.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30
Old Town businesses welcome the first-ever Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt. Shop and dine in Old Town Nov. 30 and get your map stamped to win the grand prize. Visit 10 of your favorite businesses to be eligible to win.
49th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade, Dec. 6
In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants named after it's original founder, John Alexander. The city continues celebrating its heritage with Scottish festivities.
At the Campagna Center's Scottish Christmas Walk and Parade, dozens in Scottish wear parade through Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands, along with terriers and hounds. The parade starts at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and ends at Market Square with a massed band concert.
20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, Dec. 7
The 20th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will be at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. Dozens of brightly lit boats will ride along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline.
There will be dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m.m including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company and holiday music. There will be a Letters to Santa station, a bookmark making station and other crafts. Food, hot chocolate and more will be available,.
Santa will arrive by fire-boat at 3 p.m. at the Alexandria City Marina to take pictures with families and children.
Water Skiing Santa, Dec. 24
Water-skiing Santa and his crew are arriving for the 34th year in Old Town Alexandria. Visitors can see Santa Claus water-skiing. The best views are at Waterfront Park and the Alexandria City Marina.
For more holiday events, visit the Alexandria City Website.