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.

Guaranteed seating for the Evening Parade requires a reservation. Parade reservations must be requested online by selecting the respective date(s) in the Make a Reservation tab.

A group reservation form is required for groups larger than 9.  Send your group reservation information to:
The request should include the name of the party (either group or individual); the number of guests in the party; a return email address; and a point of contact with a telephone number. An alternate parade date should be included in the request in case the first date requested is unavailable.  The maximum group reservation is 200 per organization.

If you cannot select a parade date or it is not published, this means it is not available or has reached max capacity.


8th & I Streets SE
Washington, DC 20390


Public metered parking is located throughout the local area.
For a flat rate of $10, guests attending the parade may park at Maritime Plaza.
Shuttle service will run from Maritime Plaza to Marine Barracks Washington from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Shuttle service returning to Maritime Plaza will run from 9:45 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., is within easy walking distance (four blocks south) of the Metro's Eastern Market exit (blue/orange/silver lines) at Pennsylvania and 8th Street, SE.

7 PM: Gates open
8 PM: Gates close
8:45 PM: Parade begins
10 PM: Parade concludes

Guests may enter through the assigned gate depicted on their reservation (subject to change upon arrival). Seating at the ceremony is on a first come, first serve basis and large parties are encouraged to arrive early to ensure the whole group can sit together. While entering the installation, guests are subject to random searches and will be required to have all bags or additional items searched.  Clear bags are recommended to expedite your entry into the parade. 

Please note that weapons are not permitted at Marine Barracks Washington, except for officially credentialed federal law enforcement agents, to include D.C. Metropolitan Police. Any form of weapon, to include, but not limited to, knives, pocket tools, firearms, stun guns, batons and mace, will be confiscated prior to any Evening Parade. 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.

No food or beverages are permitted with the exception of water and baby food/bottles.  Drugs and drug paraphernalia, weapons of any kind, and contraband are not allowed on the premises of "8th and I."

Military Working Dogs (MWD) are used to screen guests during parades, service animals must be kept on a leash at all times and cannot interfere with the MWDs. Service animals must be identified as service animals. NOTE: At various parades during the year, we fire live cannon shots, this may startle some service animals, so ensure to bring appropriate hearing protection.

Due to the routinely hot and humid weather during the summer in the National Capital Region, 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 set-up for guests' convenience.

Due to weather, parades can be cancelled. Because Marine Barracks Washington D.C. is dedicated to showcasing ceremonial excellence, typically a Sunset or Evening Parade will not be canceled until right before show time. Please go to our Facebook or Instagram pages for immediate information about parade cancelations. 

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.

Weather Cancellations

Because Marine Barracks Washington D.C. is dedicated to showcasing ceremonial excellence, typically a Sunset or Evening Parade will not be cancelled until right before show time.
Please go to our Facebook or Instagram pages for immediate information about parade cancellations.

Marine Barracks Facebook
Marine Barracks Instagram


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...