Veterans Day 2021: What’s open, what’s closed

Veterans Day falls on a Thursday this year, bringing closings and service disruptions to the D.C. region that residents should be aware of.

Held every Nov. 11 on the anniversary of World War I’s formal end, it was originally called Armistice Day — until a 1954 act rededicated it for veterans of all conflicts. The Department of Veterans Affairs deemed it a moment “to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

Here’s a rundown of what to expect during this federal holiday.

Stores and businesses

The U.S. Postal Service won’t be operating, but other couriers, including UPS and FedEx, are offering regular services. UPS Store and FedEx Office chains will be open, too, but hours might vary by location.

Most supermarket and department store chains are open during their regular hours, including Whole Foods, ALDI, Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Harris Teeter, Publix and Giant.

CVS and Walgreens are open. Smaller pharmacies, including those inside supermarkets, might have reduced hours or be closed despite the rest of the store opening as usual — call ahead to be sure.

Virginia’s ABC stores will be open during their regular hours.

Public transit

Metrorail will be open between 5 a.m. and midnight. Metro’s reduced service pattern due to the removal of 7000 series trains from service continues, with Red Line trains departing every 12 minutes, Green and Yellow line trains every 20 minutes, and Blue, Orange and Silver line trains every 30 minutes.

Free shuttle buses still replace service between Shady Grove and Twinbrook stations on Thursday, but weekday express shuttles will not be available.

Metrobus will operate on a Saturday schedule, but routes that do not normally run on Saturdays will be suspended. Check your line’s timetable for specifics.

Off-peak fares will be in effect and parking will be free at all Metro-owned garages and lots. MetroAccess customers can make reservations, but subscription trips will be canceled.

MARC trains will operate on their enhanced R schedule across all three lines. The Maryland Transit Administration will not run commuter buses other than line 201, which will operate on a weekend holiday timetable. Local MTA buses will run on a regular weekday schedule.

There will be no VRE service on Thursday.

Read below for more details on local transit services.


Since the District observes Veterans Day, students, teachers and most of the city’s public workers have the day off. All Department of Motor Vehicles locations and most employment offices will be closed for the day, although residents in need of vehicle or unemployment services are encouraged to use online options.

Most DC Public Library neighborhood branches are closed, but one library will remain open in each of the city’s eight wards. See a list of open library branches.

The District’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites are closed Thursday, but residents may still be able to make appointments at private clinics and pharmacies depending on their hours.

Recreation, community and aquatic centers will be closed, excluding surrounding grounds like playgrounds, courts and parks.

Households that normally have their trash and recycling picked up on Thursdays will be serviced Friday; collection will slide one day forward for the rest of the week.

Public parking meters do not need to be paid Thursday and residential street sweeping is suspended. Tickets for safety violations, like blocking a fire hydrant, will continue.

The DC Circulator will run as normal, with buses every 10 minutes during operating hours. DC Streetcar will also run on its normal schedule from 6 a.m. until midnight.

There will be no rush-hour reversible lanes on Canal Road between Chain Bridge Road and Foxhall Road Northwest, and on Rock Creek Parkway.


Montgomery County

County offices, public libraries and courtrooms are closed Thursday.

County-operated COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers will be open for regular hours, meaning parents still seeking to vaccinate their newly-eligible children can do so Thursday by scheduling an appointment through the online clinic locater.

Montgomery County’s RideOn and Flex bus services will both operate on a modified holiday schedule. The Flash Orange Line route will run on a weekend timetable. The TRiPS store at the Silver Spring Transit Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but the Mobile Commuter Store will be closed.

Parking at public garages and lots will be free Thursday, and curbside metering will be suspended.

Aquatic and community recreation facilities will stay open with the exception of senior centers. The Brookside Gardens visitor center and conservatory will be closed, but guests will still be able to access the gardens from sunrise to sunset. All county-run nature centers and the Josiah Henson Museum will be closed, but the public park grounds around them will remain open during daylight hours.

Trash and recycling will not be collected along county routes. Collection services will slide one day over through Saturday. The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station will be open for regular hours, but the county’s recycling center will be closed to drop-offs.

Prince George’s County

County administrative offices will be closed Thursday with the exception of public safety agencies. All public libraries are closed. Prince George’s County Public Schools, however, will be in session.

TheBus will run its usual weekday schedule on all routes except 51X, which serves county government buildings in Upper Marlboro; regular service on 51X will resume Friday. Call-A-Bus, Orange Circulator and PGC Link, including dialysis transportation, will not operate Thursday.

County-contracted trash and recycling collection will see no change Thursday, including for organics and yard trim. However, residents will not be able to request bulk trash pickup or drop off waste at the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill until Friday.

Anne Arundel County

Government offices are closed, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools will dismiss students two hours early with no afternoon special education or prekindergarten classes.

The county will close its COVID-19 testing clinics for Thursday, but is still offering vaccine appointments for eligible age groups.

Curbside trash and recycling collection will not be affected by the holiday, but landfill and recycling drop-off centers are closed.

All county library branches are open during normal hours, including for curbside service.

Annapolis Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule. Some county-operated shuttle and connector services are also running on a weekend timetable; find route-specific schedules on the Anne Arundel County Office of Transportation’s website.

The Pip Moyer Recreation Center will be open regular hours and the Stanton Center will be closed.

Charles County

All county offices are closed. Charles County Public Schools students have off, but teachers have an in-service day. Public libraries will also be closed Thursday.

No county-run COVID vaccination or testing clinics are scheduled Thursday, but normal services and appointments are being offered throughout the rest of the week.

School-based community centers, the Nanjemoy Community Center and all senior centers are closed. The Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for recreation activities, and indoor pools will have open swim from noon to 6 p.m.

Charles County’s VanGO buses will have their last departures between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. from the Waldorf and La Plata transfer points. Commuters are reminded that buses are limited to 75% capacity. For route-specific timetables, see VanGO’s website.



City government offices in Alexandria will be open on Veterans Day, although most courts and all motor vehicles locations in Northern Virginia, including 2681 Mill Road, will be closed. City museums will be closed except for the Alexandria History Museum, Alexandria Archaeology Museum and Gadsby’s Tavern.

Elementary school students have the day off due to parent-teacher conferences, save for Samuel W. Tucker Elementary, which will be in session due to its modified academic calendar. Middle and high school students have a normal day of class.

Public libraries will be open for regular business except for the Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library, Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library and Alexandria Law Library.

City-run recreation, art and nature centers, including the Torpedo Factory Art Center, will be open as usual.

Alexandria’s fare-free DASH buses and the King Street Trolley will both run on their regular weekday schedules.

Parking restrictions will be suspended at metered spaces and residential permit parking districts. Temporary no-parking signs will still be enforced.

Residential garbage and recycling services will not be adjusted this week, and the hazardous waste and electronics collection center at 3224 Colvin Street will be operating under its normal hours.

Arlington County

Administrative offices, libraries, public schools and county courts are closed. All Virginia DMV locations are closed but some services are still available online.

All county-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics and testing kiosks will operate as normal. Arlington is offering booster doses to eligible adults and Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 at the Walter Reed and Arlington Mill community centers. See more information on making an appointment.

Arlington’s ART buses will run on a holiday bus pattern, with routes 41, 42, 45, 51, 55, 77 and 87 operating on Saturday schedules; all other ART routes will not operate Thursday. The ART and STAR call centers will also be closed.

Metered parking areas will not be enforced on Thursday.

The county will run its normal trash, recycling and yard waste curbside routes on Thursday, including large metal and e-waste pickup on request. Electronics and earth products drop-off sites will be closed.

Prince William County

Administrative offices in Prince William County, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will be closed on Thursday. So will municipal courts and public schools. All Prince William Public Library branches are closed for the holiday.

The Prince William Health District will continue to offer COVID vaccines to all eligible age groups on Thursday, including children ages 5 to 11, at the Community Vaccination Center in Woodbridge and the Manassas Mall Clinic. Appointments may be required; click here for more details.

PRTC OmniRide Express buses are suspended on Thursday, but Local, Metro Express and East-West Express routes are running their regular weekday service.

Most county-owned parklands and outdoor recreation facilities will be open to the public.

Loudoun County

County and local government offices, courts and libraries are closed. Public schools will have regular classes Thursday.

Loudoun County Transit will not operate its commuter bus, Metro connection or courthouse shuttle services on Thursday, but local fixed-route buses will run on a normal schedule. See routes and timetables for local fixed-route bus service from Purcellville through Leesburg and eastern Loudoun County.

The Dulles Town Center COVID vaccine clinic only offers appointments on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and there are no free drive-thru testing events scheduled until next Tuesday, but pharmacies and other state partners may still have open slots depending on their hours.

Since Loudoun County does not offer trash or recycling collection, check with your local government, homeowners association or contractor for holiday services. The Town of Leesburg will have normal Thursday collection and the county’s landfill is still open.

Recreation and community centers are open during their regular hours.

Fairfax County

Government offices, public libraries and local courts in both Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax are closed on Thursday. Public schools will dismiss students two hours early.

The Fairfax Connector will operate on a regular weekday schedule except for routes 231, 232, 335, 351, 393, 394, 395, 396, 432, 461, 494, 495, 556, 585, 599, 624, 634, 697, 698, 699, 715, 722, 724 834, 835 and 985, which will not run on Thursday. Route 980 will run every 12 to 15 minutes instead of every 6 to 8 minutes.

Fairfax’s CUE buses will run on a modified weekday schedule with service reduced to one bus on each route.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment for all eligible ages at Fairfax County Health Department clinics and other locations via A pop-up clinic at the First Baptist Church of Vienna will accept walk-ins age 12 and older between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday.

The McLean Community Center is closed on Thursday, but the Reston Community Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at its Hunters Woods and Lake Anne locations.

Trash and recycling pickup will continue as normal for county customers. Residents with private collection should contact their hauler. The Interstate 66 Transfer Station and Interstate 95 Landfill Complex are open for disposals.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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