Celebrating George Washington’s Birthday in Alexandria (photos)

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Gen. George Washington (Brian Hilton) and wife Martha (Kari LaBell) arrive by horse-drawn carriage. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Thousands took advantage of mild weather on Monday, Feb. 17, to celebrate the 288th anniversary of the birth of George Washington with a parade in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

Dating back to 1923, if not earlier, the event is billed as the nation’s largest George Washington Birthday Parade.

Politicians, military marching bands, colonial reenactors and community and historical groups made their way through the historic streets of Old Town along the mile-long parade route.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and Town Crier Ben Fiore-Walker were joined on the reviewing stand by George and Martha Washington themselves, admirably portrayed by Brian Hilton and Kari LaBell.

The grand marshal for this year’s parade was retired Rear Adm. Robert Shumaker. The naval aviator spent eight years and one day as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Shumaker coined the nickname “Hanoi Hilton” and was involved in the creation of the tap code, which allowed POWs to communicate through their cells.

This year’s parade was dedicated to Kathleen Kelly (1944-2019), a volunteer for Historic Alexandria for more than 30 years.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from the 2020 George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, Virginia, by clicking on the photo icons below.

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