Birthnight Ball

The George Washington Birthnight Banquet & Ball

                                                               ...a tradition since 1797 at historic Gadsby’s Tavern

Tickets to this event sell out more than one month in make your plan early!


The Birthnight Ball originated in Britain to commemorate the birthday of the monarch. Following the American Revolution, the birthday of George Washington was celebrated in the same fashion. The first public celebration of Washington’s Birthday was at Valley Forge during the winter of 1778 on February 22. The Virginia Gazette reported a ball for Washington’s Birthday on February 26, 1780.  The first Birthnight Ball in Alexandria is documented in 1787.

The first Birthnight Ball given by John Gadsby was on February 10, 1797. Washington did not attend because he was still serving as President in Philadelphia. In 1798, Washington attended the Birthnight Ball held in his honor. Washington attended the Birthnight Ball again in 1799 and noted in his diary, “Went up to Alexandria to the celebration of my birth day. Many maneuvers were performed by the Uniform Corps. And an elegant Ball & Supper at Night.”


Dance Classes

Prepare for the George Washington Birthnight Ball with instruction from Dance Master Corky Palmer. Learn the basic steps of English Country Dancing. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

5:30 p.m.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

134 North Royal Street, Alexandria

Ticket Prices are tiered starting at $125
Click here for information and to purchase tickete

The Banquet

Banquet Menu will be added soon.


The Ball
18th-Century English Country Dancing with dance instruction, live music, tavern games, and a period dessert collation will follow the banquet. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced dancers, the ball begins at 9 p.m.

Additional Support

Consider supporting the preservation and education programs of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum with an additional donation to George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet & Ball.