PARADE RULES & PROCEDURES
The City of Alexandria, Virginia, George Washington's hometown, will stage its 219th celebration of the birth of the Father of our Country with month-long festivities during February 2016, the 240th year of our nation's independence. The Citizens of Alexandria hope that the weather for the celebration of the 284th anniversary of the birthday of George Washington will feature clear skies, fair to moderate winds, abundant sunshine, and warm temperatures!
A. Invitation. No individual or organization will be allowed to take part in the George Washington Birthday Parade without the prior approval of the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee.
B. Performance. Individuals and organizations who participate in the Parade are expected to perform courteously, in good taste, and with safety in mind at all times.
2. Assembly and Check-in
A. Assignment of Assembly Areas. Prior to the Parade, each individual unit will be assigned two unique numbers corresponding to their place in the Parade: the Division Number which designates where each unit will assemble and will correspond with the Divisions indicated on the enclosed Assembly Area Map; and the Parade Order Number which designates the exact order of each unit within the Division and in the Parade as a whole.
B. Formation Times: On Parade Day (Monday, February 15, 2016) units in Divisions 1 though 5 should form in their assigned Assembly Area not later than 12:00 Noon. Units in all other Divisions will form in their assigned Assembly Area not later than 12:30 p.m. Parade Marshals will direct the line-up of the marching units within each Division and may change the Parade Order Number if necessary. The lead unit will cross the Start Point on a signal promptly at 1:00 p.m.
C. Unit Check In. Units will check in with a Parade Marshal at their assigned assembly area. Reporting to the Parade Start Point is not required. However, a Parade Information Booth will be located adjacent to the Start Point. Any individuals requiring assistance should go to this location.
D. Streamers and Patches. Uniform Patches will be distributed by the parade marshals in each division before the start of the Parade. Streamers for Flags will not be available this year.
E. Unit Leaders. Each Unit shall designate one individual to be the On-site Unit Leader who must be at the Parade Site on Parade Day. He or she, should be familiar with the information detailed in this Rules & Procedures document and will be responsible for the order and conduct of each unit. At the time of Unit Check-in, the Parade Marshals will provide each Leader with a badge that must be worn at all times until release. Please indicate the name of this Leader on the Application to Participate and contact the Parade Director if there are changes as we must have this Leader properly identified prior to Parade Day!
F. Release. After completing the Parade Route, all units are released from the Parade when they cross the Release Point at the intersection of Fairfax and Gibbon Streets, near St. Mary's School.
A. First Aid and Evacuation: Alexandria Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services will provide units to render first aid or other emergency assistance as required and to evacuate any sick or injured. In the event of an emergency please contact the nearest Parade Marshal or Police Officer.
B. Law, Order and Traffic Control: The Alexandria Police Department will clear the Parade Route from curb to curb, maintain order, and control vehicular traffic.
4. Parking, Vehicle Access and Staging Areas
On Parade Day, all streets on the Parade Route and in the Assembly Area will be posted to prohibit vehicle access and parking commencing at 10:00 a.m. until the end of the Parade. Only vehicles with Permits will be allowed within this perimeter. Please make certain that your parking and logistical requirements are communicated to the Parade Director prior to Parade Day!
A. Parking Permits: Since the commencement of the construction of the new Wilson Bridge, general parking beneath the Bridge and in other areas near Jones Point Park will not be available. The new construction project has impacted other parking areas in the vicinity as well. Since entry into the neighborhoods adjacent to the Parade Assembly Area is restricted to residents, parking near the Parade Assembly Area for parade participants will be almost impossibly difficult. The Parade Organization has reserved most of the available parking areas and parking lots near the Parade Assembly Area in order to make certain that space is available for Parade Participants who truly need it and these spaces will be assigned subject to availability. The Parade Director will provide a parking pass for each vehicle assigned to this reserved parking and it is vital that those who are assigned to these spaces display this parking pass as directed. Parade Marshals assigned to monitor these areas will not have the authority to make exceptions to this requirement.
B. Equestrian Units: All horse units will stage at the St. Mary's School parking lot located at Green Street and South Royal Street. Each vehicle must display a St. Mary's School Pass at all times.
C. Passenger Vehicle Parking: All units requiring the use of a passenger vehicle near the Parade Assembly- Area will notify the Parade Director via notation on the Participant Information Sheet or directly prior to Parade Day. Subject to availability, each group will be assigned a specific parking space in a specific parking area. Each vehicle must display a Parade Parking Permit at all times. If a nearby vehicle is not required, participants are encouraged to make use of the free parking near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station and the free shuttle bus service being provided by DASH on Parade Day from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
D. Buses: All units requiring the use of a bus must notify the Parade Director via notation on the Participant Information sheet or directly prior to Parade Day. Each bus will be assigned a specific area to drop off the unit and a specific area where each bus may park after that. Each bus must display a Parade Bus Permit at all times.
5. Orders for All Units
A. Command: The conduct and movement of the parade will be under the command of the Parade Marshals. All Unit Leaders (and individual members of all Parade Units) are expected to agreeably comply with the directions of Parade Marshals at all times. Failure to act in conformity with this instruction will result in the immediate removal of the offending unit from the Parade. "No quarter given or should be asked" on this point!
B. Rate of March: All units will march at a pace set by the lead unit. Each subsequent unit is expected to keep pace and maintain a proper interval.
C. Interval: To insure no distracting gaps for parade spectators, all units will maintain an interval (distance from the front of one unit to the rear of the unit preceding) of not less than 15 feet and not more than 25 feet throughout the parade. Youth Group units forming in Divisions 9 and 10 will maintain a 5-foot interval between other units within these Divisions. Please maintain the integrity of each unit; do not encroach on the preceding unit or the unit to the rear!
D. Demonstrations: It is imperative that prolonged gaps in excess of those prescribed in paragraph C above not be allowed to develop. Units, therefore, must not stop their forward movement at any time except for brief demonstrations of less than one minute in duration. And afterwards please "mind the gap:" close up the space so that the proper interval is restored.
E. Amplified Sounds: Unless specifically approved in advance of Parade Day, no amplified sounds (including, but not limited to, sounds from noise-making devices, portable "bull horns," or loudspeakers) will be permitted in the Parade. Upon request, the Parade Director will consider permission for use of sound amplification devices on an individual basis, however requests must be made in advance of Parade Day and approvals will be specific.
F. Safety First! Please ... no objects (including candy) are to be thrown by Parade Units (items may be handed to spectators, but please do not throw anything!). Unless specific permission is given prior to Parade Day, no fireworks or discharge of firearms will be permitted during the Parade.
6. Awards & Post-parade Reception
All participating units are invited to send representatives to the Awards Reception in the Ballroom of American Legion Post 24 located at 400 Cameron Street (near the Southwest intersection of Cameron and Royal Streets). Special Awards as well as Awards for First, Second, and Third place will be announced in each category immediately after the Parade.
7. Contacting the Parade Organization
A. Information. In order to provide Parade Participants with access to Parade information, a site has been established online at the address http://www.washingtonbirthday.net. Please take advantage of the information posted there including maps, forms, announcements, and (when available) the order of march and results of parade awards judging. The primary public contact telephone number is (703) 829-6640; see information in “C” (below) to contact the Parade Director.
B. Status. In order to check the status of the Parade (in case of inclement weather, for instance) please go online to http://www.washingtonbirthday.net/parade or telephone (703) 829-6640 at any time for a status update. Please do not contact the Parade Director about Status unless you cannot access these locations! Any cancellation or other such vital information will be announced via these locations; do not rely on information from other sources.
C. Parade Director: The e-mail address of the Parade Director is firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone and text messages direct to Joseph Shumard, Parade Director at (703) 408-4483. Additional contact information may be found on the website in the "Contact Us" section. Make any necessary contact at any time, even on Parade Day!
THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR CELEBRATION!