2017 Memorial Day Weekend events honor the fallen with ceremonies and salutes, and kick off the summer with festivals and fireworks in Northern Virginia. Annual Memorial Day gatherings remember the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The long weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer with pool openings and festivals.
2017 Memorial Day Weekends Events Honor the Fallen
Memorial Day Weekend Observances, Arlington National Cemetery, May 25 – 29
“Flags In”, Arlington National Cemetery, May 25
For more than 60 years, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) has honored America’s fallen heroes by placing American flags at grave sites for service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just prior to the Memorial Day weekend. Within four hours, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 228,000 headstones and at the bottom of about 7,000 niche rows in the cemetery’s Columbarium Courts and the Niche Wall. It’s an incredibly moving sight, and a popular time to visit. This tradition begins at 1:00 pm; visitors may watch but do not participate.
Wreath Laying and Other Events, May 27 and 29
Many military organizations conduct annual memorial services, wreath laying ceremonies, and observances at Arlington during the Memorial Day weekend. All ceremonies and special events are free and open to the public. The National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military service members is scheduled for Monday, May 29 at Arlington National Cemetery. The observance includes wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and an observance program in the Memorial Amphitheater.
Learn more about ways to explore Arlington National Cemetery during the Memorial Day Weekend and year-round.
Ride of the Patriots 2017, Fairfax, May 26 – 28
The 19th Annual Ride of the Patriots® to Rolling Thunder® is the largest open ride to Rolling Thunder, the largest single-day motorcycle event in the world. The ride originates from Patriot Harley-Davidson in the City of Fairfax and has become the signature event for the Fairfax, VA Chapter. The weekend of activities includes Friday’s ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the police-escorted ride to the Pentagon on Sunday. Follow the link for full schedule details.
A Star Spangled Salute, Reston Town Center, May 27
Join Reston Chorale for a free evening of patriotic music remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. You can also show your support for our troops by donating care package items for those deployed overseas. Visit www.restonchorale.org to see the list of needed items. Children’s activities include creating thank you cards for the troops.
Herndon Family Gathering and Rolling Thunder Send-off, Herndon, May 28
Rolling Thunder motorcyclists, who descend on the Nation’s Capital every Memorial Day to observe the holiday and to honor service men and women who died in the line of duty, are expected to line up at 9:00 am to begin their ride into Washington, DC. All Herndon citizens are invited to send them off; American flags will be provided. Free; 9:00.
Memorial Day Ceremony, Leesburg, May 29
This annual observance will commemorate those who have lost their lives in battle, serving the United States, as well as recognize the brave military men and women who serve our country. Held at the Loudoun County Court House, this ceremony is highlighted by the reverent laying of the wreaths at several war memorials. 10:00.
Air Force Memorial Wreath Laying, Arlington, May 29
The 9:00 am wreath-laying ceremony is open to the public and activities include the national anthem, invocation, speeches, the laying of the wreath and the sounding of Taps.
Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas, May 29
Join park staff at Groveton Confederate Cemetery in observance of Memorial Day for a musketry salute in memory of war dead. The free ceremony begins at noon.
2017 Memorial Day Weekend Events Kick Off Summer Fun
El Galeon Visits Alexandria, Alexandria Waterfront, May 25 – 29
Alexandria welcomes the return of El Galeón, a full-size reconstructed Spanish sailing vessel used in early Colonial times, as she makes a stop on its journey up and down the Eastern U.S. Coast. Experience daily tours aboard this 1/1 scale replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon and learn about early European sailing techniques and technology. Tickets are $10/$5 adults/children 5 – 15; daily 10:00 – 7:00.
Viva! Vienna! Festival, Vienna, May 27 -29
ViVa! Vienna! is a family and community oriented celebration of Memorial Day and the greater Vienna Community spirit with rides, food, crafts, vendors and entertainment. Vendors include handcraft artisans, retail vendors, and community and non-profit organizations. 100% of proceeds go to charitable, community and humanitarian organizations. Sat and Sun 10:00 – 10:00, Mon 10:00 – 6:00.
Delaplane Strawberry Festival, Sky Meadows State Park, May 27 – 28
The annual family-friendly Delaplane Strawberry Festival returns to Sky Meadows in May. Enjoy hayrides, old fashioned field games, dancing, music, magic, storytelling, crafts, a petting farm, an antique car show, a bake sale, hiking, face painting, cake-walking, a corn hole tournament, a monkey and more. Pack your own picnic or purchase pizza, wraps, hot dogs, funnel cakes, and, of course, strawberry shortcake and sundaes. Enjoy the day then take home a flat of delicious fresh strawberries. $20 per vehicle in advance, $25 at the gate. 10:00 – 5:00.
Wolf Trap Summer Blast-off!, May 28
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band launches Wolf Trap’s summer season with a program of concert band favorites, followed by a fireworks display. The event is free but arrive early to guarantee a spot; the park will close at capacity. Gates open at 6:30 pm for Lawn seating. Fireworks viewing area opens following the performance, at approximately 9:30 pm. Fireworks begin at approximately 9:45 pm.
Memorial Day Festival and Parade, Falls Church, May 29
The 36th Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival offers a day of family fun. A 3K Fun Run and the Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade highlight the event, plus enjoy amusement rides, arts and crafts, food, pony rides, and live entertainment . 9:00 – 5:00.
Free Fairfax County Parks Salute Active Military and Veterans, Multiple Locations, May 29
To say thank you for service to our country, the Fairfax County Park Authority is offering free admission to military members and their families at all Fairfax County RECenters and lakefront parks. Complimentary RECenter admission includes the use of pools, fitness rooms, drop-in fitness classes, gyms and mini-golf. Lakefront park amusements include carousel rides, boat rides, train rides, mini-golf and camping. This offer excludes the Water Mine, regulation golf and food vendors.
40th Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival, Alexandria, May 29
The 40th Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival will feature a variety of musicians and diverse styles of jazz throughout the day. Festival attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food will be available for purchase or pack a picnic Free, 1:00 – 6:00.
Northern Virginia Waterparks Open for the 2017 Season
The expanded Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston opens its 2017 season just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend. In addition, all five NOVA Parks waterparks open for the May 27 to 29 weekend, along with Splashdown Waterpark and Signal Bay in Manassas.
Whichever 2017 Memorial Day weekend events you choose, we wish everyone a safe and rain-free weekend in Northern Virginia.