Thousands of visitors to our Nation's Capital have enjoyed the best show in town absolutely FREE. Plan your school, family or organization's trip this spring and summer to include watching the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's time-honored tradition of a "Twilight Tattoo" and witness the U.S. Army's elite ceremonial units in action.

Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long live military pageant featuring Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band "Pershings Own." The show gives a glimpse into American history through performances by The U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from The U.S. Army Band Downrange, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.

Twilight Tattoo performances begin at 7 p.m., with pre-ceremony pageantry starting at 6:45 p.m.

Performances from April 30 through June 25, will be located at Summerall Field on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va.

Performances from July 9 through Aug. 20, will be located on Whipple Field on the installation as well.

Bleacher seating is limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

The history of Twilight Tattoo began more than 300 years ago as British troops were summoned from the warmth and hospitality of local pubs by a bugle and drum call to return to the barracks. The familiar tune told tavern owners "doe den tap toe," or "time to turn off the taps." The troops knew the call to mean "taps off," and minutes later they were back in their tents.

The modern-day call is known as "Tattoo" and during basic training the call signals the time to quiet down and hit the bunks. For MDW, the call serves as a tribute dedicated to the vitality of our nation and to the sacrifices of those who forged America into the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is for our forefathers and fellow Americans that MDW proudly presents "Twilight Tattoo."

The MDW Twilight Tattoo can trace its own history back to the years before World War II. Then, on the grounds of Fort Myer, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held military shows during the winter months. MDW revived the traditional show in 1961 to showcase the talents of its ceremonial units.

As Twilight Tattoo grew in popularity, the Army adapted the show, its location and the time of year it was performed to fit the growing needs of the American people. Settling on performances in the nation's capital throughout the summer months, has allowed thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.

For more information on group reservations, contact the U.S. Army Military District of Washington at (202) 685-2888 or visit

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