WASHINGTON -- The sound of thousands of motorcycles revving on a spring Sunday can mean only one thing: It's time for the annual Rolling Thunder Run, which kicks off Memorial Day events around Washington, D.C.
Rolling Thunder brings more than 250,000 motorcyclists to D.C. each Memorial Day weekend to raise awareness of U.S. veterans and soldiers missing in action or held as prisoners of war. The three-day event kicks of Friday evening with a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, followed Saturday by a barbecue, speaking program at the Reflecting Pool and wreath presentation at the U.S. Navy Memorial.
Bikers will begin assembling in Pentagon parking lots at 7 a.m. Sunday for the noon ride to the U.S. Capitol; check out the run route to catch a glimpse of the action.
For the sounds of music, not motorcycle engines, stop by the U.S. Capitol West Lawn Saturday evening for the annual National Memorial Day Concert by the National Symphony Orchestra. Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host for the eighth year; performers include "American Idol" winner Candice Glover, Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Chris Mann.
Gates open at 5 p.m. for the free event, which starts at 8 p.m. Bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic dinner under the stars. (If you can't make it to the concert, PBS will air the show live.)
Monday's National Memorial Day Parade along Constitution Avenue begins at 2 p.m. J.R. Martinez serves as Grand Marshal this year alongside honorary Grand Marshals Robert Griffin III and his parents, U.S. Army veterans Robert Griffin, Jr. and Jacqueline Griffin.
The 2013 parade commemorates veterans from the Revolutionary War through the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with special tributes honoring the 70th anniversary of World War II, 60th anniversary of the Korean War and 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The Pentagon Channel will live stream the National Memorial Day Parade online.