George Washington's birthday celebrated in Old Town

AP Photo

The nation’s largest George Washington birthday parade marched a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. With nearly 3,500 participants, the parade includes historical groups, equestrian units, bands, performance groups, youth from scouting groups and animals.

Like our first president, Hoellman Young claims Alexandria as his home town. He and his wife, Joyce, never miss a parade.

“We enjoy the parade and like what it represents,” he says.

It's a new tradition for four-year-old Tia and her brother, six-year-old Raheim. They were recently adopted from the West Indies. Their mother wants them to understand more about America and its presidents.

Julia Zhu Mead was at the celebration with her husband and two children.

“I was not born here. I’m a naturalized citizen so for me it’s really significant… It’s really important for my kids to inherit and learn those values.”

The bash continued at Washington’s home in Mt. Vernon. In the crowd of thousands was Chris Jackson, who drives from Pennsylvania every year with his son to celebrate.

“I hope he takes away a piece of Washington’s character. There is a reason we honor Washington,” he says.