• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 3

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 4

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 5

    Allie & Ryan

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Is A Parade?

So a few people have asked me lately, what is a parade? Here is your answer! (Just to let you know my husband is not a marcher, he sets up the parades and dismantles them at the end of the evenings.)

In the summer Marine Barracks Washington (8th and I) puts on parades on Tuesday and Friday nights. Tuesday nights are slightly more informal, similar show but it is not at the Annex. Tuesdays are done up at the Iwo Jima Memorial near Arlington Cemetery. If you take the metro to Arlington they have free busses up to the memorial for the parade and back at the end but I've walked it as well. If you want to pay a ridiculous amount of money to park in the cemetery lot you can, but metro is the best way to go!

Most people have never even been to the Iwo Memorial, but it is gorgeous. You can see all of DC behind it too. Now as I said these are a little more informal. You sit on the grass and people bring blankets and lawn chairs. Guests of honor have their own folding chairs. It can get pretty warm so please make sure you have water and other appropriate hot weather necessities. They have water stations available for free public use, but if it is crowded they can get used up pretty quickly. The parade is always at sunset, as of right now I know it is 6:30pm. You can get there as early 5pm if you want to claim a good spot. Earlier in the summer the parade starts at 7pm.

Now I know I haven't answered your question yet, but I am getting there. Friday nights you usually need tickets, you can get them online at this site. They are available there, and free, but they can fill up sometimes! These start at 8:45pm.

Now on Fridays when you arrive each section has a Marine or two who knows a LOT about the Barracks and the Annex and the history of the Commadant... all sorts of good things. Try and stump them, it is fun.

Then the President's Own Band plays. They march and play a mix of modern music, marching songs, and patriotic tunes. On Tuesdays the band has the night off but the Commodant's Own Drum and Bugle Corps will play and be just as wonderful.

Then the Silent Drill Platoon comes out. SDP are awesome. They march in perfect time and throw their rifles high into the air. Every time I hold my breath hoping they don't drop them. I've seen it enough times that I have seen the poor guy they pick to do the solo routine drop it. Yikes. Ryan and I don't bet on it happening I swear. Extra PT for someone! These are the men you see on the commercials for the USMC, throwing their rifles from coast to coast. Their Color Guard is famous as well with hundreds of appearances across the country every year.

But it all is still very impressive in my opinion! I've seen at least four parades a summer since I met Ryan, and I still enjoy them. The official website puts it pretty well, "The evening parade has become a universal symbol of the professionalism, discipline, and Esprit de Corps of the United States Marines."

Ending formation... some of the time! This pose is a huge hit with the crowd, how they get to that point is pretty awesome to watch.

And since I went back in my laptop for these pictures you can get a peek at the ONE time I dyed my hair... red!

Ryan and I had broken up for a brief period and I wanted a change so I did some temporary dye. I liked it... but not many others did! My mom made me use dye away less than a month later for our family picture that was taken for our church.

Hope that answers some of your questions, if you are in the DC area in the summer time be sure to check it out!!!!


  1. I have seen the silent drill team it's pretty awesome. Thanks for posting the pics.. I miss DC

  2. My hubs first started his USMC days working at 8th & I. We got to go up there and were guest of the Commadant's, and had great seats to see the Parade over a year ago. It was amazing! It is a MUST see for anyone and everyone!


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