Old Town Alexandria Hosts Scottish Christmas Walk, Boat Parade of Lights

R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

With December comes plenty of holiday cheer, and Old Town Alexandria has just the festive weekend coming up to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights returns Saturday, Dec. 5 as a highlight of the annual Scottish Christmas Walk weekend. The annual weekend celebration commemorates the Scottish heritage of Old Town Alexandria.

The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 with the Heather and Greens Sale. A variety of fresh wreaths, garlands and heather bundles will be available for sale, with the proceeds helping the Campagna Center to serve more than 2,000 children and families in Alexandria.

Later in the evening, sample the best beer, wine and food from Scotland at the Taste of Scotland event. Patrons' Hour begins at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening for general admission at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $110 and also benefit the Campagna Center.

Take the opportunity to explore some of Alexandria's historic homes at the Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. Buy your ticket in advance for a special rate of $35.

Old Town's annual parade also begins at that time. Go to watch the Scottish marching units, dancers and dignitaries wind through the streets before finishing in Market Square with a live concert.

The fun continues at sundown as dozens of decorated boats illuminate Alexandria's harbor at the annual parade of boats. Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM serves as this year's parade announcer. A panel of judges will award prizes to the most festive boats, including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box and Hardiest Souls.

Even the big man himself is scheduled to make an appearance at the Alexandria City Marina at 4:15 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive by fire boat before heading to the Torpedo Factory Art Center to meet children until 7 p.m. From 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., the art center's holiday festival will feature live music and gift shopping along with free snacks and drinks.

Check the website for a complete list of information and events, like a holiday marketplace and a visit with Santa.

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