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Best Memorial Day Parades in the US

Michelle Malven / iStock / thinkstock.com

Michelle Malven / iStock / thinkstock.com

Memorial Day is that awesome holiday that breaks the three-day weekend dry spell from President’s Day. It’s the mark between spring, and soon-to-be, summer weather to kick-start summer festivities, and give thanks to those who served in the US armed forces. It’s an ideal day to spend time with the family and watch a memorable parade. Talk a walk through history as you explore the best Memorial Day parades in America.

Washington DC
It’s no secret that the country’s capital would put together the most patriotic parade in the states. Hosted by the American Veterans Center, this parade recognizes those who have served from the Revolutionary war to the present day Iraq war. This popular parade attracts more than 250,000 visitors to marvel at military bands, floats, choruses and recently served-time vets. The parade glides past famous landmarks, including the white house.

Chicago, Illinois
This Memorial Day Parade has been tradition since 1870. This is one of the largest parades in the nation attracting school musical corps, drummers and floats. The wreath laying ceremony takes place at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza to recognize soldiers who past while at war. Gold Star Family members are recognized from wearing the gold star pin, a symbol and remembrance of their loved one who they lost at battle.

New York City, New York
Not only does Memorial Day weekend kick-start summer NYC festivities, but is also a time to reflect on our nation’s history and fallen soldiers. The Brooklyn Memorial Day parade is in its 147th year of existence and welcomes non-soldiers to march in the parade. This parade is double exciting as Memorial Day coincides with Fleet Week, the annual celebration of sailors who serve on ships, to come and explore life on land for several weeks. The ships sail up the Hudson River, and thousands of men and women in navy uniforms frolic the streets for fun and excitement.

San Francisco, California
In San Francisco, anything goes, and that includes a spectacular parade. Visitors flock to Presidio to celebrate heroes in uniform with marching bands, floats and active duty military personnel and led by the 191st Army Band. Liberals and young-at-heart stay active throughout the holiday with Memorial Day Yoga Hike or dancing at the Carnaval festival.

Denver, Colorado
The Memorial Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony takes place around Civic Center Park and within downtown Denver streets. The parade is followed by the Veterans Memorial Day Tribute and Veteran’s Monument. When in search for other festivities, look no further than the Denver Day of Rock block party concert or Artstir Denver, an art market featuring local vendors and artists.


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