Celebrate Memorial Day Locally With ‘Ride of the Patriots’ and Ceremony
By Jennifer van der Kleut
Fairfax’s annual Ride of the Patriots event takes place Memorial Day weekend.
Are you ready for summer? Northern Virginia’s “unofficial kick-off to summer” happens this weekend with Memorial Day celebrations.In Fairfax City, that means the annual Ride of the Patriots and parade.
This Sunday, the familiar, rumbling sound of thousands of Harley Davidson motorcycles will be heard throughout downtown as the ride, which honors military and public safety personnel, thunders down Fairfax Boulevard.
Grab your seats early to watch the parade and Harley Davidson ride. Bleachers will be set up along the parade/ride route.
The ride also serves as ground zero for Rolling Thunder, a national motorcycle event and gathering.
Here are important things to know about this Sunday’s events, and how they will affect traffic and pedestrians.
Parade/Ride Route and Event Times
The parade will step off at 7:30 a.m. on eastbound Fairfax Boulevard from Capt. Pell’s Crab House near Plantation Parkway and will end at Patriot Harley-Davidson, at 9739 Fairfax Boulevard.Opening ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. at Patriot Harley-Davidson.Beginning at 9 a.m., motorcycle riders will depart under police escort for the Pentagon.
Fairfax City Police will begin establishing a temporary traffic pattern at 5:30 a.m., which will include road closures and lane shifts.Rebel Run will be blocked off at Fairfax Boulevard, and eastbound Fairfax Boulevard traffic will be diverted to the left lane of westbound Fairfax Boulevard beginning at Eaton Place. Eastbound traffic will then be diverted back to the eastbound lanes at Spring Street, while all westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane beginning at Spring Street and ending at Eaton Place.
The traffic patterns will return to normal around 11:00 a.m. after all event participants have departed the area.City of Fairfax Police will be monitoring vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the event and are encouraging travelers to plan accordingly.
Parking is available at Fairfax High School and the Fairfax Circle shopping center.
Food & Drink
Veteran groups will be set up along the route to sell food and drinks.
For information – including additional special events taking place at Patriot Harley-Davidson on Friday and Saturday leading up to the ride and parade on Sunday – visit www.rideofthepatriots.com or call 703-352-5400.