Summer is ramping up, and Memorial Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the sunshine while honoring the servicewomen and men who have sacrificed so much. Whether it’s flag waving at a parade, ogling throngs of motorcycles, or jumping up and down (and up and down and up and down…) to Rocknoceros, we’ve got your weekend covered.
Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival
What started small in 1951 has continued, as a community rally’s each year to remember our fallen heroes. The Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival combines the best of both worlds. Families can gather in the streets and watch the festivities march by or take part in the numerous games, amusement park, and pony rides that mix with musical acts and food vendors. Come early for the Don Beyer 3K Fun Run or watch the parade on Park Avenue.
When: May 29, 9 am-5 pm
Falls Church City Hall
300 Park Ave. (Falls Church, Va)
United States Navy Blue Angels
In honor of the U.S. Naval Academy graduates, the Blue Angels will be filling the skies over Annapolis for everyone to see! If your kids ask: the fastest speed flown during an air show is about 700 mph (just under Mach 1) and the slowest speed is about 120 mph, both flown by the solo pilots during the show. And yes, young ladies: 14 members of the 2017 team are women!
When: May 26, 10:04 a.m.
550 Taylor Ave. (Annapolis, Md)
National Memorial Day Parade
Nobody does a Memorial Day parade like our nation’s capital. Take the whole family to enjoy this spectacle hosted by the National Veterans Center—which includes musical performers, celebrity veterans, and supporters of the military–and you’ll be celebrating the true meaning of Memorial Day. The parade route begins at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW and proceeds along Constitution Ave., past the White House, ending at 17th Street.
When: May 29, 2 pm
Corner of Constitution Ave. and 7th St.
Make your way to the annual three-day community celebration in Vienna that features food, crafts, family-friendly music (including Rocknoceros, the Banjo Man, Bee Bee the Clown, and Noland the Magician), and carnival rides.
When: May 27-29
245 Maple Ave. (Vienna, Va)
Bring your vehicular fanatics (and a few pairs of ear plugs, perhaps) to the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally, and be prepared to have them beg for a Harley of their own. The rally hosts riders from around the nation and the world in a massive assembly of bikers and the bikes they love. Preceded by a candlelight vigil on Friday night to a wreath-laying ceremony and a thunderous route that starts at the Pentagon and finishes at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the camaraderie shared by the bikers will show your kids what loyalty is all about.
May 27-29, Ride for Freedom on May 28 at 12 p.m.
22nd St. and Constitution Ave., NW
Hometown Holidays Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade
Featuring the Rockville Band and Chorus, a ceremonial wreath laying and 21-gun salute, and 60 parade units with marching bands, drill and majorette units, and floats, Monday’s ceremony and parade promises to be a multi-sensory experience your kids won’t forget. Head over to Rockville during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) for the Taste of Rockville to enjoy food and drinks from some of Rockville’s best restaurants for only $1.25 per ticket.
When: May 29, 9 a.m.
Cost: Free ($1.25 for Taste of Rockville tickets)
30 Maryland Ave. (Rockville, Md)
National Memorial Day Concert
This star-studded production—featuring such celebrities as Renee Fleming, Vanessa Williams, and Auli’i Cravalho from Disney’s Moana—on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol includes musical performances, documentary footage, and dramatic readings that honor our nation’s military servicemen and women. This year, the concert pays tribute to the last surviving Doolittle Raider, as well as the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and the Tuskegee Airmen. Laurence Fishburne and Joe Mantegna co-host.
When: May 28, 8 p.m.
West Lawn of the United States Capitol
E. Capitol St. and First St., NW
How do you like to celebrate Memorial Day (and the start of Summer) with your family? Dish in the comments section below.
—Katie Brown and Victoria Mason