Visit Alexandria announces waterfront festival, arrival of tall ship

Visit Alexandria announces waterfront festival, arrival of tall ship
(Photo Credit: R. Kennedy for ACVA)

As part of the city’s ongoing King Street Corridor Initiative program, Visit Alexandria is launching a waterfront festival and other programming throughout the fall and winter.

Visit Alexandria also announced that the U.S.S. Providence, a replica tall ship, will be permanently docking in the city in June of next year. The ship will provide chartered cruises, beer cruises, educational programs and public tours, according to the news release.

A major piece of Visit Alexandria’s programming is a weekend-long festival, Portside in Old Town, that will take place along the waterfront on Oct. 12 to Oct. 14. The event will include tours of tall ship Godspeed, a waterfront beer garden manned by Port City Brewing Co., a pop-up restaurant from Pizzeria Paradiso and live music, according to a news release.

The festival will also include LED light performance artists sponsored by The Athenaeum, a pop-up exotic car exhibit that doubles as a preview of the Alexandria Festival of Speed & Style, a pizza-making demonstration by Pizzeria Paradiso for children, a decorative craft workshop by AR Workshop for kids and a free outdoor fitness class from Sand & Steel Fitness. 

The event will provide a preview of future programming, including Portside History with the Office of Historic Alexandria, Portside Arts with the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the Mobile Art Lab, Portside Fitness from local fitness businesses and Portside Kids activities for children and their families. 

Other events planned for the fall and winter include a waterfront beer garden hosted by Port City Brewing Co. during two weekends in October – Oct. 19 and 20 and Oct. 26 and 27 – with food from Chadwicks Restaurant and Mia’s Italian Kitchen, and an outdoor screening of film shorts in November from the Alexandria Film Festival. 

During the holiday season, Portside Holidays will take place, which will include events like story time with Santa, a hot chocolate bar, a Pacers holiday run meet-up and a community sing-a-long. Beloved annual events like the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, the Waterskiing Santa Show and First Night Alexandria will also be part of the Portside Holidays celebrations. 

Portside is part of the King Street Corridor Initiative, a partnership between the city and Visit Alexandria. Its goal is to program, beautify and market King Street and make Old Town a competitive with new attractions across the river in D.C. and Maryland, like The Wharf and National Harbor.