Archive for May 2016

Celebrating Memorial Day 2016 in DC and Alexandria

In our nation’s capital, honoring fallen military members is important. This upcoming Memorial Day will be an exciting time in the D.C. and Alexandria region, with concerts, parades, and other events that remind us of the price of freedom.

National Memorial Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of onlookers will pack the National Mall at 2 PM on May 30 to watch one of the country’s most significant Memorial Day events: the National Memorial Day Parade. Broadcast around the world, the procession runs down Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets. This year’s themes include remembering Gulf War veterans and honoring those who were lost during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

PBS Memorial Day Concert

Hosted by actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, this year’s Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 29 between 8:00 and 9:30 PM features a star-studded roster of celebrities and musicians. Colin Powell, the Beach Boys, and Trace Adkins are just a few who will be attending this exciting musical performance on the National Mall.

39th Annual Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival

The city of Alexandria hosts its own Memorial Day concert on May 30 at 1 PM in Old Town’s Waterfront Park. Performers include the U.S. Navy Commodores, Al Williams, and the Nitehawks. The park has lawn-style seating that allows outside food, though snacks will be for sale during the event.

All of these events are free to the public. If you are in the region to travel to any Memorial Day celebration or you simply want to visit D.C. to pay tribute to our men and women in uniform, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is the perfect choice. Thanks to a convenient location near Route 1 and amenities like free breakfast and WiFi, you can relax comfortably at the Holiday Inn after a long day of partaking in the excitement of Memorial Day in D.C.

Museum Week 2016 in DC: 3 Great Exhibits

If there’s one thing D.C. is known for besides being the center of the U.S. government, it’s the many museums that attract millions of visitors each year. The Smithsonian Institution alone has over 14 museums in the D.C. area, and there are several other independent art museums and galleries to suit many different interests.

To celebrate the awesome museums of our nation’s capital, Museum Week DC will run from May 23 to May 29. Here are three of our favorite events taking place at the District’s museums next week:

Three Centuries of American Prints at the National Gallery of Art

At this exhibit, a collection of over 150 prints will be displayed to show how America and its population have been depicted over the last 300 years. The prints date from 1710 through 2010 and include works from famous American artists like Jackson Pollock and James Whistler. You can check out the exhibition all week at the National Gallery of Art, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and 11 AM to 6 PM on Sunday.

WONDER at the Renwick Gallery

The newly renovated Renwick Gallery opened to the public in November of 2015 after two years of improvements. To celebrate the re-opening, contemporary American artists were assigned specific galleries of the building and tasked with creating an on-site art installation from unexpected materials like marbles, wood strips, and index cards. The nine different installations collectively turn the museum into one massive work of art. You can see WONDER until July 10 during the museum’s operating hours between 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM.

Meet an F-4 Pilot at the International Spy Museum

On Friday, May 27 between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM, Marine pilot Mark A. Hewitt will be at the Spy Museum Store signing copies of his books. Hewitt also served as Director of Maintenance in the Border Patrol and Air Force and has been a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His books are espionage thrillers involving terrorists, the CIA and his fictional pilot hero Duncan Hunter.

Planning to be in D.C. or the vicinity during Museum Week? The best choice for accommodations is the Holiday Inn Express Alexandria – Fort Belvoir. With a free shuttle to the Huntington Metro stop, easy access to Route 1 and great amenities like free Wi-Fi, at the Holiday Inn you’ll unwind in comfort after a long day of taking in all of D.C.’s excellent museums.

Guide to Armed Forces Day 2016 in D.C.

For over 50 years, America has been honoring its military heroes with Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday in May. Armed Forces Day is the penultimate day of Armed Forces Week and two days before Memorial Day.

As you might expect, in D.C. there are lots of ways to pay tribute to the great sacrifices made by members of the U.S. military.

Visit the World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The World War II Memorial was opened in 2004 with a dedication ceremony hosted by President George W. Bush. It consists of an elegant fountain called the Rainbow Pool, flanked by 56 granite columns that represent the forty-eight states, seven U.S. territories and D.C.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial actually consists of three elements: a sculpture known as “The Three Servicemen,” the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The Wall is the most recognizable part of the memorial – it includes the names of over 58,000 soldiers who were either killed or went missing during the conflict.

Marine Corps Historic Half and Semper 5ive

If you’re looking for a more active way to celebrate Armed Forces Day and don’t mind traveling a bit, the Marine Corps Historic Half and Semper 5ive are being held in Fredericksburg, VA, about 50 miles south of Alexandria. Both runs will take place on Sunday, May 15 and will feature live entertainment and a subsequent Awards Ceremony.

GI Film Festival

Beginning on Armed Forces Day and ending the day before Memorial Day, the GI Film Festival is designed to honor the success and sacrifice of the military through film. There will be screenings of documentaries, short and feature films, as well as panel discussions and forums. Events will be held at the Angelika Film Center in Fairfax, Howard Theatre in D.C., and the Cannon House Office Building near the Capitol. Guests this year include Val Kilmer, Gary Sinise and Stephen Lang.

While you’re honoring our men and women in uniform, you’ll need a relaxing place to stay. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is located just a few miles from Fort Belvoir, Arlington National Cemetery, and the National Harbor. With great amenities like free Wi-Fi and a complimentary Express Start Breakfast Bar, there’s no better place to stay for Armed Forces Day than the Holiday Inn.