Friday Evening Parade
Established in 1801, Marine Barracks Washington, is the "Oldest Post of the Corps" and has been the residence of every commandant of the Marine Corps since 1806. The selection of the site for the Barracks was a matter of personal interest to President Thomas Jefferson, who rode through Washington with Lt. Col. William Ward Burrows, the second commandant of the Marine Corps, in search of a suitable location. The site now occupied was approved due to its proximity to the Washington Navy Yard and because it was within easy marching distance of the Capitol.
Marine Barracks, 8th & I
Washington, D.C.

Attendance at this parade is a one-of-a-kind experience. For more than 60 years, the "Oldest Post of the Corps" has displayed the pride, professionalism, and esprit de corps of Marines throughout the world.

Guests will see the finest in military excellence including performances by "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, "The Commandant's Own" United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the esteemed United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. Following the ceremony, our guests will have the opportunity to meet Marines who performed throughout the parade as well as take photographs with the Marine Barracks mascot, Chesty XVI.

Reservations are required for the Friday Evening Parade. Reservations for the 2024 Parade Season will open in March. For groups of nine guests or less, please use the module below

Groups of ten or more guests are considered large groups. Utilize the Large Group Reservations tab to make your reservation.





Parade Timeline 
7pm: Gates open 
8pm: Gates close 
8:45pm: Parade begins 
10pm: Parade concludes  

Security Policies
All persons, bags, clothing and other items entering Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., may be subject to screening/security checks.

Items not permitted include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Weapons of any kind or object that appear to be weapons (toy guns, squirt guns, etc.) 

    • Exceptions will be made for officially credentialed federal law enforcement agents, to include D.C. Metropolitan Police. Nonfederal law enforcement officials may turn side arms over to the Barracks guards prior to the parade. Any other visitors carrying firearms will not be permitted to enter. Any confiscated items will be held by Barracks guards and returned at the conclusion of the parade. 

  • Self-defense equipment (e.g., knives, pocket tools, pepper spray, mace, stun guns) 

  • Restraining devices (e.g., handcuffs, zip ties) or any suspicious items (e.g., box cutters, razor blades, duct tape, wire) 

  • Pets – Only trained service animals recognized by federal law are permitted. 

    • Please note that military working dogs are used to screen guests during parades. Service animals should remain on a leash or in a harness and under the control of the owner at all times. 

  • Food or beverages, with the exception of water and baby food. Exceptions may be made for special dietary or medical needs. 

    • Due to the routinely hot and humid summer weather, guests are encouraged to bring their own water to stay hydrated throughout the parade. Additionally, several refilling stations with cups and ice water will be available. 

  • Alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) and any illegal substances are strictly prohibited 

  • Folding chairs, with the exception of cane-chair and seat-walker mobility aids 

  • Items that may be disruptive (e.g. laser pointers, air horns) 



Parking and Public Transportation 


Limited public metered parking is available throughout the local area.  

Additionally, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., offers convenient, paid parking for guests visiting for the Friday Evening Parade. For a flat rate of $10, guests may park at Maritime Plaza, 1201 M Street SE. Complimentary shuttle service will run between Maritime Plaza and Marine Barracks Washington before the parade from 6 PM to 8:45 PM and after the parade from 9:45 PM to 11 PM.  


Public Transportation 


The nearest metro stop is Eastern Market Station, just a four-block walk away from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Please allow plenty of time when traveling to and from the Friday Evening Parade via Metro. For more information on the D.C. Metrorail, please visit: 


Metrobus and DC Circulator 

There are several bus routes available for guests traveling to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. To plan your trip with the most up-to-date and accurate information, please visit: Metrobus | WMATA 



Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available in the Washington, D.C. area.  


Micro-Mobility Services 

For guests with a short commute, D.C.'s micro-mobility services provide an alternative way to travel to the Friday Evening Parade. There are a surplus of dockless electric scooters and bicycles through companies like Lime and Capital Bikeshare.  

The "Oldest Post of the Corps," was established in 1801, and has performed military reviews and ceremonies since its founding. The present-day Evening Parade was first conducted on July 5, 1957.

The presidential inaugurations and specific occasions prompted the parades and ceremonies conducted at the Barracks during the early 1900s. The traditional reveille and morning muster parades were conducted with varying frequency at the post, and they eventually resulted in more formalized ceremonies. In 1934, when MajGen. John H. Russell, Jr. was the 16th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Barracks initiated its first season of regularly scheduled weekly parades. The parades were conducted in the late afternoon, usually on Mondays or Thursdays and varied from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The parades were commonly referred to as "Sunset Parades." The ceremonies were conducted from April to November, concluding the week of the Marine Corps Birthday, November 10.

The basic format for today's Evening Parade was similar to that envisioned and directed by Col. Emile P. Moses and Maj. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., Marine Barracks' Commanding Officer and Executive Officer respectively, in 1934. Col. Moses and Maj. Shepherd (who later became the 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps), sighted the symmetry of the parade deck: Bordered on its long axis by graceful maple trees and shrubs fronting officer's row and the barracks' administrative offices, to the north of the picturesque home of the Commandant, and to the south the Marine Band Hall made famous by the immortal John Philip Sousa. They conceived a balanced pageant that would perfectly match the splendor of its old-fashioned setting. The shadowy arcade was envisioned by Major Shepherd, "as wings to a stage, a runway from which Marines would march to their places on the parade deck."

Using the resplendent setting of the Barracks, wistful imagination and the Marines' flare for showmanship, the parades were to be a showcase for the ceremonial prowess of Marines and the musical eminence of the U.S. Marine Band, which had achieved international renown under the premier military band leader of all time, John Philip Sousa.

In planning the parade sequence and format, Colonel Leonard F. Chapman Jr., the future 24th Commandant of the Marine Corps, insisted that the parade adhere to strict regulations. The parade drill would be without fancy theatrics, which frequently characterized drill routines of that period. Since its inception, the Evening Parade has become a unique patriotic tradition of the "Oldest Post of the Corps". The parade's heritage is entwined with former military rituals such as tattoo, retreat, and lowering of the colors ceremonies. The Evening Parade is offered solely to express the dignity and pride that represents more than two centuries of heritage for all Americans.


In the event of inclement weather, our standard procedure is to plan to proceed as scheduled, unless  weather conditions pose a safety risk to our guests or Marines. In such cases, we prioritize safety above all else. The decision to postpone or cancel parades is not taken lightly, and is typically delayed until as close to the scheduled time as feasible, to provide the most precise and up-to-date weather evaluation. For the latest information regarding the impact of weather on Marine Barracks Washington ceremonies, please refer to our official Facebook or Instagram pages.  

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Friday Evening Parade

Barracks Marines with Alpha Company, execute “eyes right” during a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, Aug 12, 2022. The hosting...


Friday Evening Parade

Marines with the Official U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard present the U.S. flag during a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Aug...


Friday Evening Parade

Barracks Marines conduct “pass in review” during a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, July 8, 2022. The hosting official for the...