Weekend Picks: July 9-12, 2015

Does “the weekend is almost here” sound like music to your ears? Good, because this weekend Live Music Week gets underway, with jazz, country, rock, bluegrass and more taking over dozens of Alexandria restaurants and bars. The party continues with waterfront fireworks at Alexandria’s birthday celebration, plus a historic breweries tour and the second annual Port City Old Town Pub Crawl. Ready, set, rock and roll:


1. Alexandria Live Music Week 

alexandria-va-this-weekend-july-activities-live-music-weekImage credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Alexandria’s first-ever Live Music Week officially kicks off this weekend, with shows at over a dozen venues across the city on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But that’s not all: more than 30 venues will showcase our city’s live music scene over 10 days, through July 19. Expect everything from jazz to bluegrass to Irish folk music at neighborhood favorites including Blackwall Hitch, the Birchmere, Daniel O’Connell’s, Murphy’s, Port City and the Fish Market, just to name a few. Let the toe-tapping and hip-swinging commence!


2. Robert Earl Keen at the Birchmere

alexandria-va-this-weekend-july-activities-robert-earl-keen-birchmereImage credit: Darren Carroll Photography

Speaking of live music, get grooving early this weekend with Robert Earl Keen at the Birchmere on Thursday night. The Americana music pioneer is revisiting his roots with his new bluegrass album, Happy Prisoners, featuring his veteran band in an all-acoustic outfit. Expect bluegrass classics by Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, plus fan favorites rearranged pickin’-and-grinnin’ style so you can’t help but sing along.


3. Second Thursday Art Night at Torpedo Factory

alexandria-va-this-weekend-activities-july-torpedo-factory-art-nightImage credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Second Thursdays at the Torpedo Factory are always a blast, with open studios and galleries that inspire conversations with the artists themselves. But this Thursday TFAC is cranking up the volume—literally—with an appearance by honky tonk band Crooks and Crows starting at 8 p.m. Don’t forget to grab a passport and get stamps at 10 stops in the building for your chance to win a prize at the end of the night.


4. Alexandria/USA Birthday Celebration 

alexandria-live-music-week-2015-birthday-celebration-fireworks-old-townImage credit: Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

Who says patriotic parties end after July 4th? Not Alexandrians! At the city’s big birthday bash on July 11, a dazzling fireworks display over the Potomac marks the anniversary of Alexandria’s founding 266 years ago. The celebration at Oronoco Bay Park also features live music by the Tower House Band and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, food sales and free birthday cake. The party kicks off that evening at 6:30, with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Happy birthday, ALX!


5. Historic Breweries Guided Tour and Tasting + Port City’s Old Town Pub Crawl

alexandria-va-this-weekend-old-town-pub-crawl-beer-tourImage credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria has been a pub hub since before our country was founded, and this weekend you have two hop-portunities to soak in our rich brewing culture. A guided walking tour on Saturday morning explores the history of brewing in Alexandria with “hop stops” along the way. Then that afternoon, Port City Brewing Company embarks on its second annual Old Town Pub Crawl, with stops at Old Town favorites (and live music hotspots) including Daniel O’Connell’s and Virtue Feed & Grain.


For more information about things to do this weekend in Alexandria, click here.

Header image credit: Victor Wolansky Photography