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Rolling Thunder will rumble back into Arlington this weekend

Motorcycle riders during Rolling Thunder 2018 (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Cookouts, a dip in the pool and the sound of a thousand motorcycles cruising down the highway. Yes, Memorial Day weekend in Arlington is almost here.

If you’re not among the approximately 35% of locals traveling for the holiday — at least according to our recent poll — you can expect the return of motorcycle-riding military veterans on Friday.

The annual Rolling Thunder rallies officially ended in 2019 but were quickly succeeded by Rolling to Remember, a nearly identical annual event focused on POW/MIA advocacy and organized by the group AMVETS. At the same time, the Rolling Thunder branding has lived on in parallel, with that group organizing a Thunder Alley vendor area near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.

Rolling to Remember, like Rolling Thunder before it, refers participants to a number of Arlington hotels, meaning that those in Crystal City and Pentagon City, as well as Rosslyn, can expect more rumbles of motorcycle engines throughout the weekend. The event has typically used the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City as its home base.

As in the past, bikers will rally in a Pentagon parking lot Sunday morning. The rally typically results in some rolling road closures in the area, as participants ride from the Pentagon, across Key Bridge and into D.C. around noon for a demonstration “to bring awareness and accountability for POWs and MIAs left behind.”

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