It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After nearly a year of special events, tours and exhibits honoring Alexandria’s role in the War of 1812, the celebration will close with the much-anticipated Signature Event Weekend on August 30-31. From Saturday to Sunday, visitors can enjoy 1812-centric activities like the Signature Event, which will transform the waterfront into a lively festival equipped with history activities and boat rides, and the British Embassy Challenge, in which Alexandrians will face off against the Brits in a friendly rematch to restore honor after our 1814 surrender. So though the British will still find the relatively same gorgeous, waterfront town they encountered 200 years ago, this time, we’re ready for a fight—here are some top events you won’t want to miss over this history-filled weekend:
1. Signature Event
Sunday, August 31, 2014 from noon-5p.m.
Waterfront Park, 1A Prince Street
Along the waterfront, history buffs, families and essentially anyone who enjoys a good time in the sun will gather for the War of 1812 Signature Event a waterfront festival featuring boat rides courtesy of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, living history presentations, educational activities and live entertainment, plus food trucks and a beer tent.
2. Wreath Laying Ceremony
Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 10 a.m.
Presbyterian Cemetery & Columbarium, 600 Hamilton Lane
Image by Fort Lee Traveler
At the Presbyterian Cemetery & Columbarium, officials will honor War of 1812 veterans interred on the grounds with a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Robert Allison Jr. At the conclusion of the ceremony, visitors will have the opportunity to help mark the graves of 1812 veterans throughout the cemetery.
3. Challenge with the British Embassy
Cricket Match: Jefferson Cricket Field, Potomac Park, Washington, DC on Saturday from noon-6 p.m.
Yacht Race: Old Dominion Boat Club, 1 King Street on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Tug of War: Waterfront Park, 1A Prince Street on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Image by Toffehoff
For this buzzed-about event, Alexandrians will square off with members of the British Embassy to restore honor to Alexandria after our surrender 200 years ago. Don your red, white and blue and cheer on Team Alexandria at a Cricket Match, a Yacht Race with expert boat masters at the Old Dominion Boat Club and a Tug of War, featuring our very own (and very strong) Alexandria fire fighters.
4. Special Tours at Alexandria Historic Sites
Sunday, August 31, 2014 from 1-5 p.m.
Historic sites throughout Alexandria
At some of Alexandria’s premiere historic sites, see special 1812 exhibits illuminating life and struggles in the time of America’s second war for independence. Special tours will take place at the following sites: Carlyle House (last tour at 4 p.m.), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Lee-Fendall House Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, the Lyceum and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
5. U.S. Navy Band Concert
Sunday, August 30, 2014 from 3-4 p.m.
Market Square, 301 King Street
Image by Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Delight in some instrumental tunes from the U.S. Navy Band, the same group who would have been responsible for protecting the United States by water from the British back in 1812!
Find out what else is going on during the War of 1812 Signature Weekend here.
Read more about Alexandria’s commemoration of the War of 1812 here.
Header image by Toffehoff