Memorial Day weekend in Washington, with our many military and war memorials and active military personnel and veterans, is a time of reflection and celebration. Parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, festivals and, of course, the annual National Memorial Day Concert give visitors and locals plenty of opportunities to remember those who have sacrificed to serve their country. Here’s a roundup of Memorial Day events this weekend:
VIVA! VIENNA! MEMORIAL DAY FESTIVAL through Monday. Vienna celebrates the holiday weekend with entertainment, food vendors, artisans, crafters, amusement rides and more. Bring the whole family to this one.
While dozens of concerts and shows play on eight stages across the Rockville Town Center, nearly 20 of the city's restaurants, from barbecue to baguettes, serve up samples ($1.25 per ticket) at the Taste of Rockville. Other events include a craft festival, games and activities for children and a Memorial Day parade Monday from 9 a.m. to noon complete with marching bands and firetrucks.
MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE TO WOUNDED WARRIORS 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pay tribute to the nation’s wounded warriors at this family festival. Tons of exhibitors and six area bands provide the day’s entertainment, including music by Marcus Johnson Project and the Blackbyrds. Barbecue, beer and wine are included in the price of admission.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT 8 to 9:30 p.m. The “National Memorial Day Concert” may be the one Memorial Day event that’s quintessentially the District. This nationally televised show on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is co-hosted by actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, with remarks by retired Gen. Colin L. Powell. The long list of performers include: the National Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Chorus and Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, Daughtry, Natalie Cole, Trace Adkins, “American Idol’s” Jessica Sanchez and British tenor Russell Watson. The grounds fill up early, so it’s best to arrive about 5 p.m., when the gates open.
2012 SUMMER BLAST OFF! 8 p.m. “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band takes the stage once again this year at Wolf Trap to salute our troops and kick off the summer with a bang. Expect a lively set, followed by a fireworks spectacular. Arrive about 6:30 p.m. for optimal lawn viewing.
THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY PARADE 2 p.m. This year’s official National Memorial Day Parade honors the generation of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in Iraq during the past decade. All Iraq War veterans are invited to participate.
WOMEN’S MEMORIAL 15TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY 4 p.m. Commemorate women who have served in the nation’s military with a ceremony and keynote speech by Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Howard, the first African American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship.