Tree lighting, Turkey Trot to take place in Alexandria this week

Tree lighting, Turkey Trot to take place in Alexandria this week
The 41st annual Turkey Trot last year (Courtesy Photo)

By Missy Schrott |

The City of Alexandria hosts its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Market Square this Friday, Nov. 24. The event will feature performances, the lighting of the tree and a visit from Santa.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a welcome by the Town Crier and remarks from Mayor Allison Silberberg. Following a performance by Santa’s Frosty Follies from the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, Silberberg will be joined by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in lighting the tree.

Once the tree is twinkling, guests are invited to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus on stage and enjoy a performance by the Virginia Bronze Resonances Handbell Ensemble. The city is encouraging attendees to use public transportation or walk to the event.

Meanwhile, the morning of Thanksgiving, the 42nd Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot takes place in Del Ray. The five-mile course starts at 9 a.m. at George Washington Middle School, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. Participants are welcome to run or walk the course, but the roads will only be closed for 75 minutes. The race is still open for registration, with prices ranging from $10 to $25 at

Representatives from the Alexandria Police Department, the Alexandria Fire Department and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office will serve as grand marshals of the Turkey Trot in honor of their service to the city, particularly in the light of the shooting at Eugene Simpson Field this summer, according to a press release from the Del Ray Business Association.

“We are so thankful for the dedication of our Alexandria first responders, as they work tirelessly to serve and protect our city every single day. We are especially grateful for their tremendous work responding to the June shooting at Eugene Simpson Field,” Del Ray Business Association President Dennis Belmont said in the release.

Runners and spectators are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items the day of the rice that will go toward supporting local nonprofit ALIVE!