The Sunset Parades are one of several regular military parades in the DC region during the summer. The Marine Corps' famed Silent Drill Team is a highlight, but the parade also features The Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps, also known as the Commandant's Own. You can see some photos of the parades and find more information here.
The Sunset Parades are usually held at the Iwo Jima Memorial (formally known as the US Marine Corps War Memorial). But because of ongoing renovations of the areas around that memorial, the 2018 season will instead be held at the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial (at the western end of the Reflecting Pool).
The parade takes place on Tuesday evenings through the late-spring and summer. As its name suggests, the Sunset Parade starts in daylight and ends in twilight or, later in the season, in dark.
2018 Schedule of the Marine Corps Sunset Parades
The schedule for the 2018 Sunset Parades has now been finalized. It is:
June 12 | 7-8pm
June 19 | 7-8pm
June 26 | 7-8pm
July 10 | 7-8pm
July 17 | 7-8pm
July 24 | 7-8pm
July 31 | 7-8pm
August 7 | 7-8pm
August 14 | 7-8pm
Please note that it's an outdoor even and is highly contingent on the weather. Evening thunderstorms are common in DC in the summer, and there aren't any makeup parades for ones that are canceled. Please also note that while I confirm this schedule directly, it is possible for it to change (you can confirm here).
If Tuesday evenings don't work for you, there's also a Friday night parade at the Marine Corps Barracks Washington at 8th and I. They also have a longer season, so they might also work better if you're visiting in the weeks before or after the Sunset Parades begin. You can find more information here. Please note that the Friday night parades require tickets (the Tuesday night parades do not require tickets).
Tickets to the 2018 Sunset Parades
No tickets or reservations are required. It's free! General seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.
- Stephan Van Dam;Illustrator;Editor
- Publisher: VanDam, Inc
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- Fodor s Washington D C with Mount Vernon Alexandria Annapolis Full color Travel Guide
- Fodor's Travel Guides
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's very rich history.
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
- Barbara Noe Kennedy