Memorial Day is filled with BBQ’s, family time, picnics and celebrations to honor those who have served and given their lives to protect the freedoms of the United States. There are many Memorial Day events in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas from festivals and parades to ceremonies to honor those who have served our country from the American Revolutionary War to modern-day conflicts.
Memorial Day Events in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. is the epicenter for Memorial Day weekend activities. The events kick off on Sunday with the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally that starts at the Pentagon at noon and arrives at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool for special programs by 1:30pm. Thousands of riders participate in this event. Sunday evening is the 25th Annual National Memorial Day Concert sponsored by PBS. The concert, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, which takes place on the west lawn of the Capital Building, is hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise. The National Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 2pm on Monday, May 26th at Constitution Ave and 7th Street NW. The parade will have marching bands and veterans’ units representing all 50 states, patriotic floats and helium balloons. The parade, sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee, is the largest Memorial Day event in the United States. Over 250,000 people line the streets of the parade to honor those who have sacrificed to secure America’s freedom. Memorial Day in Washington D.C. is a great time to visit the many memorials along the National Mall. There will be special wreath laying ceremonies at the Navy Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial and Air Force Memorial. Do not miss a visit to Arlington Cemetery (Link to blog post about Arlington Cemetery) on Memorial Day. It is an awe-inspiring site to see the thousands of flags that are placed at the gravestones of our fallen heroes. There are over 250,000 flags placed by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) and other military and civic groups. There will also be a special wreath-laying event and concert at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Memorial Day Events in Baltimore Area
There are many Memorial Day events held in the Washington suburbs and Baltimore area. Rockville, Maryland is hosting the Hometown Holidays Festival May 24th to 26th at Rockville Town Center. There will be children’s rides, family activities, seven stages for entertainment, the Taste of Rockville and a Fine Arts festival. To cap off the weekend, there will be a Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade featuring marching bands, military units, community groups and more. Sharpsburg, Maryland, home to the Antietam National Battlefield, is holding a special Memorial Day ceremony and parade, which ends at the Antietam National Cemetery with a wreath-laying ceremony. Ft. McHenry National Monument will be providing living history programs over Memorial Day Weekend. There are also flag programs, Ranger talks and a moment of remembrance. The Maryland Zoo hosts the very popular Brew at the Zoo fundraising event May 24th and 25th from 1 to 7pm at the zoo. You can sample great food and local, regional and national beers. The Sowebo Arts and Music Festival is held on Sunday, May 25th from noon to 8pm at the Hollins Market. The free festival has food, drink, music and art and crafts and an art show.
There are so many great things to do over the Memorial Day Weekend in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Enjoy the holiday and take a moment to think about those who have served to protect our freedoms over the last two and half centuries. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!