Numerous observances have become tradition of Memorial Day in the United States. The half-staff position of the flag, the National Memorial Day Concert on the U.S. Capitol lawn and the thousands of parades held in cities across the country are but a few ways we’ve come to honor our veterans and active military. If you’re planning a destination Memorial Day celebration, consider these top parades in the U.S. – they’re well worth a trip.


See A Memorial Day Parade In One Of These 7 Great Places



1. Washington, D.C.

The National Memorial Day Parade, the nation’s largest Memorial Day event, takes place annually in the nation’s capital. The parade, in its twelfth year, runs along Constitution Avenue, drawing thousands of spectators to the National Mall area. Featuring marching bands, floats, performers, youth groups and veterans, the parade will start on 7th Street NW and end on 17th Street NW. The event is a moving timeline of U.S. military history, honoring those who have served past and present. This year, the parade is scheduled for Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m.


2. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Memorial Day Parade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania may not be the largest of its kind, but it’s one of the oldest ceremonies in the running. This year marks the 150th year of the Gettysburg Annual Memorial Day parade. Set to begin at 2 p.m. on Lefever Street, the parade runs northeast to Middle Street and ends at Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at the Rostrum in the cemetery at 3 p.m.


3. New York City, New York

If you like having options, head to New York City for a whole selection of Memorial Day parades you can watch. The city has parades all over the five boroughs. The largest of these is the Little Neck-Douglaston parade in Queens. Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade is the oldest – in a tie with the Gettysburg parade – at the 150 mark this year. In Manhattan, you’ll find a smaller parade that starts at Dyckman Street and Broadway in Inwood.


4. Rockville, Maryland

Rockville’s 73rd annual Memorial Day Parade is the grand finale to a weekend-long celebration. As such, the event will top off festivities with a bang. The parade will feature than 60 parade units, including floats, marching bands and majorette units. More than 20,000 spectators are expected to attend. Starting with a performance by the Rockville Band and Chorus at 9 a.m. to the parade at 10:30, the Rockville Town Center is sure to be a hub of activities this Memorial Day.


5. Commerce City, Colorado

It’s the state of Colorado’s largest Memorial Day parade, with more than 100 entries ranging from antique cars to featured horses. Commerce City will kick off its 53 annual parade at 10 a.m. on 65th Avenue and Newport Street. This 1.5 parade route lasts about two hours. A Memorial Day Ceremony recognizing the grand marshals will take place 9:30 a.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Park prior to the parade.


6. Chicago, Illinois

Memorial Day parades have been a part of Chicago’s history since 1870, growing in scale and pizazz each year. The Chicago Memorial Day Parade begins at noon, after the Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. in Daley Plaza. Self-proclaimed as one of the “largest Memorial Day parades in the nation,” this Chicago event is an integral part of the city’s fabric.


7. Ohio

Ohio wins – for the highest number of Memorial Day parades in a state. Based on last year’s list of Memorial Day events written by Northeast Ohio Family Fun, the state had at least 30 parades, just in the northeast region. Ranging from parades paired with pancake breakfasts to ceremonies hopping across schools, the festivities were varied, intimate and reflective of their local communities.



This article was written by Hanna Choi.