Old Town Alexandria has a lot of exciting events planned in July 2023. This is a big month for our port city. Alexandria's birthday is recognized as July 13, 1749. The city is turning 274 years old! The date in 1749 was when the first lots were auctioned to the original trustees of the city. There were 84 lots sold in 1/2 acre plats. There were four lots per block for a total of 2 acres per block.
Among the early trustees i.e. the original property owners, two of George Washington's half brothers- Lawrence and Augustine- owned lots in Alexandria. Other notable landowners were John Carlyle, William Ramsay, and George Mason. George Mason is often forgotten as a founding father of the United States. As a trustee, Mason is also one of the founders of Alexandria, Virginia.
July is historically a major month in Alexandria. We will celebrate America's Independence Day on July 4. Two years prior to July 4, 1776, citizens of Fairfax County met in Alexandria to pass the Fairfax Resolves on July 18, 1774. George Mason wrote the Fairfax Resolves with George Washington on July 17, 1774 while the two men were staying at Mount Vernon. Washington and Mason had previously discussed the Resolves with Fairfax citizens throughout July. The Fairfax Resolves were a series of 24 Resolves, whose language and principles were later adopted into the Virginia Declaration of Rights. The Virginia Declaration of Rights was a foundational document that led to the Declaration of Independence and eventually the U.S. Bill of Rights. The Fairfax Resolves are a big deal not only in Alexandria history but also in American history. We will be providing more information on the Fairfax Resolves as we get closer to July 18, and remember their passage.
In the meantime, check out some of the key events in and around Alexandria this July:
July 1: Independence Fireworks at Mount Vernon. Ready to watch fireworks pop off over the Potomac River? Mount Vernon is only 8.5 miles south of Alexandria. They will be hosting a fireworks display on Saturday evening, July 1. Check it out here.
July 4: Happy Independence Day! Being in Alexandria and Mount Vernon is a great way to celebrate America's birthday. Alexandria is one of the most historic cities in America. As previously mentioned, the ideas discussed in our city helped shape the principles incorporated into the text of the Declaration of Independence.
On July 4, Mount Vernon will be hosting a day long event called "An American Celebration at Mount Vernon." Visitors can see a George Washington interpreter, listen to live music, and watch daytime fireworks. Before visiting Mount Vernon, kick off the day with one of our George Washington or Revolutionary War tours to catch the celebratory spirit and learn more about America's founding. Use promo code "USA2023" to get 10% off from July 1- July 8. Click here to learn about the American Celebration at Mount Vernon.
July 8: USA/ Alexandria Birthday Celebration. On Saturday evening at Oronoco Bay Park, there will be food, music, and a fireworks display at 9:30 pm to celebrate both Alexandria's Birthday (July 13) and America's birthday (July 4). Oronoco Bay Park is only a few blocks from King Street. It is located near West's Point, which is where the first official tobacco inspection warehouse was established in 1732. The tobacco inspection station became the catalyst for Alexandria's growth and formal establishment by the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1749. Check out the link to learn about the USA/ Alexandria Birthday Celebration. Our "USA2023" promo code will be good through July 8 for 10% off on our tours. Take a tour and learn about Alexandria's origins before enjoying the evening festivities.
July 15: 10th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl. Ready to try excellent craft beers and check out some of Alexandria's top restaurants? This Pub Crawl is sponsored by Port City Brewing Company and will take place on Saturday, July 15 from 1:30 pm- 6:00 pm. Alexandria History Tours will be offering a special deal. If you take a tour with us on Saturday, July 15, we will be giving away a complimentary Alexandria History Tours pint glass to our guests. Learn more about the Pub Crawl here. Also, our tours discuss the history of taverns in Alexandria and colonial Virginia. We walk to several of the most iconic taverns and discuss their importance in history. We recently posted about Andrew Wales, who was the first brewer in Alexandria in 1770.
Finally, we still have our Farmers' Market taking place every Saturday morning (rain or shine) from 7 am to noon. Alexandria's Farmers' Market goes back to our founding in 1749. The two original lots were designated specifically for a market square next to City Hall. Thus, the current market square is still serving its original purpose as a center of local commerce and trade. Even George Washington brought produce from Mount Vernon to Alexandria's market square. As a result, Alexandria can claim to have the oldest active farmers' markets in America!
There is plenty to do in Alexandria, Virginia in July 2023. We are excited to celebrate America's birthday and Alexandria's birthday. This will be a fun month and a great summer. Be sure to redeem the promo code "USA2023" to get 10% off on all tours from July 1- July 8. Don't forget to visit us on July 15 to get an Alexandria History Tours pint glass for the Pub Crawl. We will see you soon!