03/12/2013 10:06 am ET

DC Elephant Parade 2013: Circus Pachyderms Walking Through Washington Will Draw Tourists, Protesters (PHOTOS)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Elephants on parade! The annual tradition of actual elephants in an actual parade comes to D.C. next Tuesday night.

Children of all ages are encouraged to watch the the DC Pachyderm Parade, which will feature circus clowns, acrobats and elephants walking from Capitol Hill to the Verizon Center.

Click through the slideshow to watch elephants walk the D.C. streets from 2010 to 2012 -- story continues below...

DC Pachyderm Parade

The parade is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. but might be delayed or pushed forward, if trains or traffic are uncooperative. The parade will start on Virginia Ave, S.E. and New Jersey Ave. S.E., moving west towards South Capitol Street S.E. then heading north up Washington and Independence Ave S.W. past the National Mall and continuing up 3rd Street N.W. Here's a map of the route.

Those attending may want to follow the walk's Twitter account or call the Animal Walk Hotline at 866-683-3670 for updates. People planning on purchasing tickets to the circus will also want to call the number for a coupon code.

The arena will host the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "Dragons" circus from March 21 through March 24. The Greatest Show On Earth then heads to Baltimore from March 27 through April 7 and Fairfax from April 10 through April 21.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are likely to make an apperance. The group has been critical of Ringling Bros. on their ringlingbeasanimals.com site and has protested the DC Pachyderm Parade the last two years over conflict-of-interest rules. According to the Washington Post, PETA claims that Mayor Vince Gray's office was, "giving the circus special treatment in exchange for reduced-price audience passes that are handed to constituents."

For more information on PETA's claim, visit their 16-page factsheet.