Let the Festivities Begin

City kicks off 275th anniversary celebrations.

Alexandria is pulling out all the stops as the city prepares to celebrate the 275th anniversary of its founding with festivities kicking off April 6 along the waterfront.

“Any birthday or anniversary we acknowledge what we have been through and where we are going,” said Ebony Fleming, Director of Communications for the City of Alexandria. “Our priorities are to recognize our past and look to our future. There are so many stories we want to be able to tell about who and what has made our city strong.”

Founded in 1749 by Scottish merchants and named after John Alexander, Alexandria is the adopted hometown of the nation’s Founding Father and first president, Gen. George Washington. Over the past 275 years, the city has played significant roles in the nation’s narrative. From its dark past of being one of the largest slave-trading operations prior to the Civil War, Alexandria has transformed to a thriving city regularly named a top tourist destination in the country.  

Mayor Justin Wilson, center, is joined by city council members and dignitaries in cutting the ribbon at the site of the Buried Ships of Robinson Landing archaeology exhibit April 6 at Robinson Landing. 


The city kicked off its celebration with the Town Crier, Ben Fiore-Walker, welcoming hundreds of attendees to the waterfront with entertainment provided by the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums.

Mayor Justin Wilson and members of City Council participated in a ribbon cutting to officially open the Buried Ships of Robinson Landing archeology exhibit.

“This is one of the best places to appreciate the bridge between the old and the new,” Wilson said. “At every chapter we have made our city stronger and we will continue to do that.”

The archaeology exhibit showcases the recently uncovered ships that were discovered at the Robinson Terminal South location prior to the development of Robinson Landing.

“We are about to debut a 24/7 walk by exhibition that celebrates the ships that were excavated on this very site,” said Gretchen Bulova, Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria. “It is the ultimate example of the power of place.”

Dignitaries then moved to Windmill Hill Park for the planting of the first of 275 new trees across the city.

“Increasing our tree canopy is an important investment we can make in the future of our city,” Wilson said. “As we think about the 275 years of our history and turn the next chapter we will leave this living legacy for the next generation.”

Jacob Simmons of the Virginia Department of Forestry presented Wilson with a certificate recognizing the city’s 41st year as a Tree City USA.

“We have a city that has done so much to understand the past,” said Jan Abraham, president of the Robinson Landing Homeowners Association. “We are so honored to be part of this place and to honor the work that has been done.”

The 275th anniversary events will continue through September with the city’s birthday celebration to be held July 13 in Oronoco Bay Park.

For more information on all upcoming events, visit www. alexandriava.gov