This was the highlight of our 5-day trip, a definite 'must see' for anyone visiting Washington DC. The fact that the President and First Lady were in attendance made the evening even more special!
Through a stroke of luck we were able to secure tickets at the last minute. Arriving at the barracks at 7:00pm (an easy walk from Eastern Market metro station), we were quickly escorted to our bleacher seats (padded, so relatively comfortable) and settled in for the 2-hour wait. Time went by quickly though, helped by the fact that some of the band members helped keep the guests entertained, and by the spectacle of watching the Secret Service get prepared for the special guests!
The parade is spectacular...amazing musicianship and precision. From military classics to Motown hits, silent rifle drills and canons firing...an impressive experience overall! I have not attended the Iwo Jimo parade, but from reviews it sounds like the performances are identical. I did appreciate being able to sit in elevated bleachers for a better view, which I don't believe is an option at Iwo Jima where you sit on the grass. Also, this location was easy to get to (about 4 blocks from Eastern Market metro station) and we were able to enjoy an early dinner beforehand at one of the many restaurants between the metro and the barracks.
If you're visiting Washington, be sure to plan ahead and get your ticket request in. This parade is an event that you will not want to miss!
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