Marine Corps Evening Parade: Friday Night Summer Parades

The Marine Barracks at 8th and I Streets, SE is known as “The Oldest Post in the Corps”.  Attending a Friday Evening parade here in the summertime is a chance to witness the history of the Barracks and the pomp and circumstance of the Ceremonial Companies housed here.

What to Expect

Prior to the parade beginning, a few Marines come out to speak. They give background information on themselves, the buildings, the history of the parade and the Marine Corps.

Source: Marine Barracks Washington

Once the parade begins you are in for a real treat. The Evening Parade features “The Commandant’s Own,” The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Ceremonial Marchers, and Chesty XVI, a bulldog who is the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington.

Have Younger Children?

Families with younger children looking for an earlier option to see a parade can look into the Tuesday night Sunset Parades at Arlington National Cemetery which feature many of the same bands and companies performing from 7 to 8 p.m. weekly.  No reservations are necessary for the Arlington Sunset Parades.  You must provide your own blankets or lawn chairs. The Arlington National Cemetery website has the current schedule, but these parades typically run from late spring to early summer.

The action can be a little slow moving at times but the precision and ceremony of it all is really a sight to see. We particularly liked watching the Silent Drill Platoon. The parade wrapped up around 10 p.m.

Friday Evening Parade

The Friday Evening Parades are a long-standing summer tradition for the Marine Corps dating back to 1957. 

Friday Evening Parades are held weekly from May 3rd through August 23rd weather permitting. Reservations are required to attend the Friday Evening Parades and can be obtained through the Marine Barracks website here.


The Friday Evening Parades are free to attend, but reservations are required through the Marine Barracks website here to secure your spot. According to the website, reservations typically open in March!

Hours & When to Go

  • Dates: The parades are held weekly from Friday, May 3rd through Friday, August 23rd, 2024, weather permitting.
  • Gates for ticket holders open at 7 p.m. and you must arrive to your seat by 7:45 p.m.
  • At 8 p.m. any remaining seats are filled by non-ticketed guests from a stand-by line.
  • The parade itself does not begin until 8:45 p.m. but you can walk around and talk to the Marines to pass the time.

Getting There & Parking

Public transportation is the recommended way to get to the parade.

The Barracks are easily accessible via the Easter Market metro stations (orange, blue and silver lines). The walk from the stations is approximately 0.3 miles.

There is no public parking available at Maritime Plaza, although a free shuttle service is offered from there to the Barracks.

Good to Know Before You Go

  • The Marines we met were very willing to answer questions and pose for photos.
  • No food or drink is allowed into the Parade Grounds but they do provide free water and restrooms on the grounds.
  • For the Friday evening parades you have many options of family friendly restaurants nearby the Barracks if you want to grab a bite to eat beforehand.  Matchbox, Ted’s Bulletin and Molly Malone’s are just a few of the other choices located along Barracks Row.
  • Make a reservation to attend one of the final parades this summer at 8th and I.  You will not be disappointed in the pageantry and history on display by the United States Marine Corps.
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