If you're in the area having a "stay-cation" this weekend, check out these 10 Memorial Day weekend events happening all over Northern Virginia.
Memorial Day (formerly called Decoration Day) has been an official federal holiday since 1971. Way before then, though, Americans have been honoring our country's fallen heroes with parades, fairs, concerts, ceremonies, and salutes. Here are 10 Memorial Day weekend events that span all of those time-honored traditions.
1. Ride of the Patriots to Rolling ThunderSunday, May 27 Fairfax, Virginia, to Washington, D.C.
Each year, members of “Rolling Thunder” and other motorcyclists, veterans, and supporters of the military join on a ride from Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax
to the Rolling Thunder in Washington, D.C., a weekend event that honors Prisoners Of War and those Missing In Action. Patriot Harley-Davidson will have live bands Friday and Saturday, food trucks, and other vendors. [caption id="attachment_8355" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
2. Jimmy’s 21st Anniversary Bash and Bike RunSunday, May 27 Herndon, Virginia, to Washington, D.C.
Celebrate the anniversary of Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern,
and enjoy music all day. Motorcyclists are invited to a enjoy a free continental breakfast and then head from Jimmy’s to Rolling Thunder in D.C., returning to Jimmy’s in the early afternoon. From noon until late at night, there will be live music, food, and merchandise sales to benefit K-9s for Warriors.
3. Herndon Memorial Day ObservanceMonday, May 28 Herndon, Virginia
The Town of Herndon hosts its observance ceremony
at Chestnut Grove Cemetery. This annual event begins at 10 a.m. with a color guard.
4. ViVa Vienna! FestivalSaturday-Monday, May 26-28 Vienna, Virginia
Sponsored each year by the Rotary Club of Vienna, ViVa! Vienna!
celebrates one of the area's most beloved Memorial Day weekend events during this three-day fun festival. The event in downtown Vienna includes a Memorial Day tribute (on Monday at 1 p.m.), children’s activities, carnival rides, food and craft vendors, and community booths. There will be all sorts of live entertainment -- see the full schedule here.
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5. Star-Spangled SingalongSaturday, May 26 Reston, Virginia
Check out this Memorial Day weekend event by The Reston Chorale and Brass of the Potomac. A Star-Spangled Singalong
will be held at the Reston Town Center from 7 to 11 p.m. All are welcome to take part in a free sing-along of patriotic music in a salute to the troops; plus there will be children’s activities and refreshments. Admission is free; donations of items for troop care packages are welcome!
6. Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and FestivalMonday, May 28 Falls Church, Virginia
Each year the City of Falls Church celebrates the military and honors fallen heroes with a memorial ceremony and community festivities
. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m., takes place at City Hall, and includes a veterans ceremony at the Falls Church Veterans Memorial, a Don Beyer 3K Fun Run, contests, and a parade down Park Avenue. Enjoy live entertainment, amusement rides, pony rides, food vendors, art and craft vendors, and business booths. Admission is free! [caption id="attachment_8353" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
7. Ringing in Hope Race and Fun RunMonday, May 28 Ashburn, Virginia
This 5K race (8 a.m.), 10K race (8:10 a.m.), and 1K fun run and walk (9:30 a.m.) are all held to salute the troops. The Ringing in Hope races
take place at One Loudoun. After the races, celebrate with prizes, family fun like moon bounces, live music, and other festivities at the finish line.
8. Manassas National Battlefield Park Memorial Day ObservanceMonday, May 28 Manassas, Virginia
Join park staff at Groveton Confederate Cemetery
in observance of Memorial Day for a musketry salute in memory of war dead. The ceremony
begins at 12 p.m.
9. Memorial Day Jazz FestivalMonday, May 28 Alexandria, Virginia
The 39th annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival
in the City of Alexandria is a free afternoon of fun and live music at Waterfront Park. The program, from 1 to 6 p.m., includes performances by Encantada featuring Julie Mack (Brazilian Jazz); Project Natale (Infused Jazz); The Rick Whitehead Trio (contemporary jazz), and The Village Jazz Band (Dixieland Jazz).
10. Wolf Trap Summer Blast-OffSunday, May 27 Vienna, Virginia
At the Wolf Trap Summer Blast-Off
, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will kick off Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts’ summer season with a program of band favorites around 8 p.m. A fireworks display will follow the concert around 9:30 p.m. Pro tip: Plan to arrive early to get a seat or a spot on the lawn, and bring a family picnic dinner (or buy food there). [caption id="attachment_8356" align="aligncenter" width="680"]
Courtesy wolftrap.org[/caption] Is your Northern Virginia stay-cation going to include one of these Memorial Day weekend events? Let us know which one you're headed to in the comments!