One of the most popular celebrations in the Washington area begins tomorrow night: the ninth annual Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the city's riverfront this weekend.

Once there, they will find musical entertainment, children's events, fireworks, arts and crafts, clowns, food, and 15 vessels for landlubbers to visit.

A restored locomotive will also be on display, and canoes can be rented for a water's-eye view of the festivities.

The festival begins at 6 p.m. tomorrow and continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Events will be at Oronoco Bay Park, at the north end of Union Street; Founders Park, on North Union between Cameron and Oronoco streets; and at the city marina, behind the Torpedo Factory Arts Center at the end of Cameron Street.

Among the highlights: a Caribbean music festival from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and a Carolina beach music festival from noon to 6 Sunday.

Performers include Adam Ant, Seduction and Technotronic.

The National Concert Band of America will perform at 8 Friday night, followed by fireworks at 9:30.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children ages 6 to 12.

A free shuttle will run between the King Street Metro station and a bus stop at Pendleton and North Fairfax streets.

Free parking will be available at the TransPotomac Center at the end of First Street.

For more information, call the Alexandria chapter of the American Red Cross at 549-8300.