Lights Going Out

Photo courtesy of wharman
Old Town Gazebo, courtesy of wharman

Ever done a nighttime walk through Old Town over in Alexandria?

If you’ve ever been over across the Potomac for dinner some weekend evening, you’re aware of the “period people” who meander along King Street, sharing the city’s history with passersby and giving the place a quaint atmosphere. (At least, a much better one than that of creepy Williamsburg.)

One of the key places along the King Street corridor is Gadsby’s Tavern, the center of social and political life in Alexandria during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

All summer long, the Tavern Museum has been hosting lantern-light tours of the 1785 Tavern and 1792 City Hotel, giving visitors an idea of how patrons from the city’s past experienced life before electricity. The tavern itself was host to many dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances and local meetings. George Washington was a common visitor, as were fellow Founding Fathers John Adams, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

The last tour date of the summer is this Friday evening from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are a modest $5 per person (5 and up) and the tours last roughly 30 minutes, depending on how knowledgeable and entertaining your guide is. Keep in mind that the last tour begins around 9:15 p.m. You can call the Tavern for more information at 703.838.4242.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is located at 134 North Royal Street; there are a few parking garages with low rates within several blocks of the place. So if you’re out and about in Old Town this Friday, end summer on a high note with a quick, fun, educational stop and learn a bit about Alexandria while you’re at it.

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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