Parades, wreath layings and concerts across the United States will honor servicemen and women over the Memorial Day weekend. Here are 10 free events to mark the long holiday weekend in the nation’s capital.


The National Park Service hosts a talk, “Abraham Lincoln: Poet” at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial.

Jazz in the Garden begins its 16th season in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden with the 19th Street Band. The concert runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The D.C. Outdoor Movie will screen “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” at 7:30 p.m. at Farragut Park as part of its summer series.

The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally honors prisoners of war and those missing in action. The group’s candlelight vigil will be held at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Friday at 9 p.m. The group’s annual ride leaves the North Pentagon parking lot at noon Sunday.


The National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History will both have extended hours until 7:30 p.m. on Friday,  Saturday and Sunday.


The National Memorial Day Choral Festival features nine choirs from across the U.S. as well as the U.S. Air Force Orchestra. The concerts starts at 3 p.m. at the Kennedy Center.

The National Memorial Day Concert kicks off Sunday at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the Capitol. The PBS-sponsored event will feature performers including the Beach Boys, Renée Fleming and the National Symphony Orchestra. Gates to the concert open at 5 p.m.


The Memorial Day observance at the World War II Memorial will be held at 9 a.m.

National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery is free and open to the public. The 148th observance begins with U.S. Army Band performing at the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. followed by a wreath-laying at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The National Memorial Day Parade runs along Constitution Avenue, starting at 2 p.m. In its twelfth year, the parade showcases America’s military history and honors those who have served. This year’s parade will feature a tribute to the World War II generation, commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War and honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.