Founded in 1749 by three Scottish merchants, the city of Alexandria, Virginia, celebrates its Scottish heritage with its annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend draws crowds of nearly 30,000 people to the Old Town district of Alexandria. Weekend events include historic home tours, Santa visits, a holiday market, Scottish food/drink events, lighted boat parade, and the regionally acclaimed Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Proceeds from the weekend events go to The Campagna Center, an Alexandria-focused organization that delivers “exceptional educational and social development programs for children, teens, and adults.”

Event Details

The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade is held annually on the first Saturday of December. The parade and other events are held in the historic Old Town of Alexandria, Virginia. The parade typically begins at 11:00 a.m. (be sure to verify the time each year) and last 1 to 2 hours. Details about the parade can be found online by visiting the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade’s Facebook page or on The Campagna Center’s parade webpage. Additionally, you can call The Campagna Center at 703-549-0111 for more information.

The 2017 Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2th, 2017.

The Parade Experience

The first time we attended the parade was two years ago and we had a wonderful time despite the chilly temperatures. We weren’t sure what to expect the first time we watched the parade. We were, however, pleasantly surprised by how fun it was. I loved seeing so many Scottish clans (families) present and featured in the parade. There were pipe and drum bands, Scottie dog rescues and clubs, dignitaries, dancers, reenactment groups, and even a Santa Claus sighting. 

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Tips for Attending the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade

• Many streets are closed for the event, so be sure to arrive early to secure a parking space. I highly recommend one of the numerous parking garages that are well marked and easy to access in Old Town.
Use the bathroom before you leave your home/hotel. There limited public restrooms available.
• Prepare for the weather! December in Northern Virginia is unpredictable, so check the weather reports before you leave home.
• If you arrive early enough, you can snag a curb seat so you won’t have to stand. Don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on or folding chairs because the sidewalk is cold and hard.