In Virginia, crowds gathered along the streets of Old Town Alexandria to participate in an annual tradition on Presidents’ Day, the George Washington Birthday Parade.
“It’s really exciting. This is the first time we’ve actually been (to the parade),” said Andrew Scott of Springfield, Virginia. His wife and young son watched as fife and drum bands, Masonic groups from around the nation and other organizations came through and waved to the crowds.
For Scott’s 7-year-old son, Jack, his favorite part was catching the candy handed out.
“I got a bag and then three pieces of candy in my pocket,” Jack said. But when asked if he would share the candy with his parents, he said, “No” with a laugh.
This year, planners modified the parade route, organizers say, to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the city’s iconic George Washington Masonic National Memorial, with the route ending at the memorial.
While some spectators had to come to Old Town early to get parking spaces and quality lookout spots along the parade route, Deborah Morton of Alexandria had the luxury of watching from a bench outside her son’s place, which is along the parade route.
“It’s local people, local groups, local bagpipes,” Morton said. “It just feels like a good hometown thing to do.”