The Sunset Parades are conducted on Tuesdays only beginning 5 June 2012 – 14 August 2012 and the start times are as follows:
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
**The Sunset Parades on August 7th and 14th begin 30 minutes earlier.** The start times are as follows:
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
A one hour performance, the Sunset Parade features the music of "The Commandant's Own", The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and precision drill by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.
The Sunset Parade is open to the public at no charge. Reservations are not necessary. Spacious lawns provide ample room for guests to bring lawn chairs and blankets for informal viewing. No other type of seating is available, except for invited guests of the Parade Reviewing Officials.
There are no public parking spaces available at the Memorial grounds on Parade evenings. Guests may park at the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors' Center for a small fee. Marine Barracks provides a free shuttle bus service from the visitors center to the war memorial grounds from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. before the parade and from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. following the parade.
History of the Sunset Parade
On Nov. 10, 1954, the 179th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, a bronze monument modeled after the famous photo of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, was unveiled at the Arlington National Cemetery. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial to all Marines who had died to keep their country free.
Since September 1956, marching and musical units from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., have been paying tribute to those whose "Uncommon valor was a common virtue" by presenting Sunset Parades in the shadow of the 32-foot high figures of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial.