Rolling Thunder in DC: Unleash Your Thunderous Spirit at the Ultimate Motorcycle Event!

May 16, 2023


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A Thunderous Tradition Honoring Our Heroes and Celebrating Freedom

Vietnam Veteran Ray Manzo, coordinated the demonstration to bring awareness to the suffering of prisoners of war and servicemen who have gone missing in action in Southeast Asia. Manzo enlisted the help of the Vietnam War Veterans Motorcycle Club to rally a large number of prisoners of war supporters and veterans to ride to Washington and congregate on the Mall. The initial rally drew about 2,500 motorcycle enthusiasts. Rolling Thunder grew more popular and is now held on Memorial Day Weekend every year.

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Date and Time of the Next Rolling Thunder Rally:

Rolling Thunder XXXV "Ride For Freedom" Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Memorial Day weekend will be energized by the approaching Rolling Thunder event on Sunday, May 28, 2023, with a thunderous celebration of freedom and remembrance. Prepare to take part in an impressive show of solidarity and support for our valiant service members.

Thrilling Activities that Ignite Your Thunderous Spirit

The variety of heart-pounding activities available at Rolling Thunder will keep your heart pounding and your spirits high. Join the "Ride for Freedom," a magnificent motorcycle parade that passes through the center of Washington, DC, to show your support for POW/MIA awareness. Take in the lively atmosphere, interact with thousands of other riders, and feel the spirit of brotherhood that this event is known for.

Demonstration Ride

The culminating Demonstration Ride begins on Sunday noon and follows motorcycle drills, music & entertainment, special speeches & speakers. After gaining some inspiration, they formally follow a route through the streets of Washington. This weekend's event is not a celebration, but it serves as an important demonstration for awareness of missing POWs and MIAs and for suicide prevention.

Day of Prevention

Saturday morning's prevention runs begin at 2.2 miles from RFK Stadium to highlight physical and mental health. Stadium provides an event venue for Saturday & Sunday programming in 22-minute segments. The program offers notable speakers, Gold Stars, mission-focused concerts by many veterans as well as other programs focusing on both mental wellness health and suicide prevention.

motorcycle drill team performance, missing in action, parking

Where to Stay: Thunderous Hospitality in DC during Memorial Day Weekend

DC offers a variety of lodging options to fit every taste and price range when it's time to rest your booming spirit. You must arrange lodging in Washington, D.C., if you intend to attend the Ride for Freedom. There are several hotels and other lodging options in the area, but it's vital to reserve early because the event tends to get booked up quickly.

Here are a few suggestions for places to stay in DC during the Ride for Freedom motorcycle event:

  • The Willard InterContinental Washington
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C.
  • The JW Marriott Hotel Washington, D.C.
  • The Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.

All of these hotels are centrally located in Washington, DC, and they provide a range of extras and services to make your stay enjoyable. Many of the city's attractions, like the White House, the Capitol, and the National Mall, are also accessible on foot.

In Washington, D.C., there are many hostels and bed and breakfasts you can choose from if you're on a budget. These lodgings offer a more laid-back and intimate ambiance and are often found in the city's neighborhoods.

You may discover lodging in Washington, D.C. that will suit your needs for the Ride for Freedom motorcycle event, regardless of your tastes or spending limit.

Here are some additional tips for finding a place to stay in DC during the Ride for Freedom motorcycle event:

  • Reserve early. The event can quickly sell out, therefore it's crucial to reserve your lodging as soon as you can.
  • Organize your finances. In DC, there are numerous hotels and other lodging options, so you may find anything that fits your budget.
  • Consider your surroundings. You should choose a hotel in the city's center if you want to be near the excitement. Consider staying in a neighborhood if you're hoping for a more tranquil and laid-back experience.

You may locate a fantastic spot to stay in Washington, DC, for the Ride for Freedom motorcycle event with a little advance planning.

rolling to remember

Fuel Up with Thunderous Delights: Places to Eat in DC

Spend a delicious meal at one of DC's top restaurants after an exciting day at Rolling Thunder. If you're thinking about going to Rolling Thunder, there are lots of wonderful restaurants in Washington, D.C. Popular choices comprise:

  • Old Ebbitt Grill
  • The Palm
  • Morton's The Steakhouse
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • The Capital Grille

For those seeking a taste of traditional American cuisine, each of these eateries offers a variety of delectable selections.

rolling to remember

Places to Visit During the Ride for Freedom Motorcycle Event

You might be wondering what else there is to do in Washington, D.C. if you intend to attend the Ride for Freedom. Here are some recommendations for sites to see while you're here:

  • The National Mall
  • The Smithsonian Museums
  • The White House
  • The Capitol Building
  • The United States Supreme Court
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • The National Museum of the Marine Corps
  • The Air and Space Museum
  • The National Museum of Natural History
  • The National Gallery of Art
  • Memorial Bridge

These are just a few of the many locations to see when attending the Ride for Freedom motorbike event in Washington, D.C. You are sure to have a wonderful experience with all there is to see and do.

memorial bridge

Blessing of the Bikes at Washington National Cathedral

Riders assemble for the beloved ritual of the Blessing of the Bikes at the Washington National Cathedral, where their motorcycles are blessed for a season of safe riding. This yearly occasion brings together riders from all walks of life for a moment of spiritual connection and fellowship against the breathtaking backdrop of the cathedral. A unique moment of unity and blessings on two wheels is created when the love for motorcycles is combined with a dash of heavenly intervention.

The First Amendment Demonstration Run in Washington, DC has also developed into a show of patriotism and gratitude for all those who protect our nation. The annual First Amendment Demonstration Run in Washington, DC has been taking place since 1988. Motorcycle riders from all over the country and even the world congregate in the Pentagon parking lot before setting out on a predetermined course through Washington, D.C.'s Mall neighborhood.

usa rolling thunder

Tips for Attending Rolling Thunder

If you are planning to attend Rolling Thunder, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Arrive early. The rally is very popular, and it can be crowded.
  • Bring your motorcycle in good condition. The ride can be long and challenging.
  • Bring water and snacks. It can be hot and humid in Washington, D.C., in May.
  • Be respectful of other riders and spectators. Rolling Thunder is a family-friendly event.

Links to the Official Website of Rolling Thunder

The official website of Rolling Thunder is:


Veterans and those who support the military should attend Rolling Thunder. It's a time to honor POWs and MIAs and to remember the freedoms we take for granted in America. You should absolutely think about going to Rolling Thunder if you're going to be in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend.

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