Alexandria's Carlyle House

Celebrates Anniversary

The Carlyle House Historic Park will offer free admission from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday in a special housewarming to commemorate the 252nd anniversary of the day in 1753 when Scotsman John Carlyle and wife Sarah Fairfax moved into their stone mansion in the new town of Alexandria.

Tours, music and costumed reenactors will welcome visitors to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority's museum in Old Town. Hands-on activities for children will enhance the learning experience and allow families to discover more about life in the colonial period

In a special ceremony at 2 p.m. on the front steps of the house, the George Washington chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will present a plaque to the museum designating Carlyle House as its first official SAR Liberty Site.

The SAR's Liberty Site program will recognize structures having historic significance to the Revolutionary War, to the patriots of that war and to the cause of liberty. The Fife and Drums of Prince William III will perform during the ceremony.

Carlyle family artifacts on display for the event include the ancestral bed, a silver tankard with Carlyle and Fairfax family coats of arms, a mahogany double chest and the family Bible. For more information about the event and the Carlyle House, which is located at 121 N. Fairfax St., call 703-549-2997.

Irish Eyes Will Smile

During Old Town Festival

Alexandria's annual Irish Festival will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at Waterfront Park. Held every August, the Gaelic celebration benefits next year's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Irish musicians, dance groups and pipe bands will perform. Irish and Celtic arts and crafts will be on display and for sale, and Irish and American food will be available.

Waterfront Park is on the Strand, between King and Prince streets in Old Town. Admission is free. No coolers are allowed.

Maps and information on the park and parking can be found on the City of Alexandria Web site, ci.alexandria.va.us. Search under the "GIS & Maps" and "Recreation and Parks" links.

For more information on the festival, call the Ballyshaners information line at 703-237-2199 or visit www.ballyshaners.org.

The Carlyle House Historic Park will commemorate its 252nd anniversary on Sunday. Admission will be free.