Rolling Thunder gathers in nation's capital for annual 'Ride for Freedom'

- Thousands of motorcycle riders will be arriving in the nation’s capital this Memorial Day weekend as Rolling Thunder will hold its 31st annual Ride for Freedom.

The group kicked off their weekend of events with the “Blessing of the Bikes” at Washington National Cathedral’s cobblestone Walker Court at 5 p.m. Friday. Four hours later, a candlelight vigil was held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The highlight of this weekend will be the First Amendment Demonstration Run on Sunday as bikers will rally at the Pentagon before riding around the National Mall in D.C. where they will pay tribute to fallen service members, prisoners of war and those missing in action. 

The ride has taken place every year since 1988. (View schedule of events this weekend)

Here are the road closures for the Ride for Freedom on Sunday from around 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

• Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 3rd Street, NW
• 23rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Memorial Bridge
• 3rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue SW
• Independence Avenue, SW from 3rd Street, SW to 23rd Street, SW

The following streets will be posted as Emergency No Parking from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

• Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 3rd Street, NW
• 23rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Memorial Bridge
• 3rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue SW
• Independence Avenue, SW from 3rd Street, SW to 23rd Street, SW

All street closures and listed times are subject to change based upon prevailing or unexpected conditions.

The public should expect parking restrictions along the route and should be guided by the posted emergency no parking signage.  All vehicles that are parked along the route and in violation of the emergency no parking signs will be ticketed and towed.

Motorists could encounter possible delays if operating in the vicinity of this event and may wish to consider alternative routes. The Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Department of Transportation also wishes to remind motorists in the vicinity of this event to proceed with caution as increased pedestrian traffic can be anticipated.

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