Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on the sacrifices brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces have given for our freedom. It’s a time to stop and say thank you for all those who serve or have served. Around the US in every state celebrations will be held to honor our service men and women. Fireworks will be lit, ceremonies will be held and families will get together to enjoy each other’s company.
Each celebration is different and with the three day weekend it’s a perfect time to hit the road with the family and explore how other parts of the country commemorate Memorial Day. If you are thinking of taking a trip, below you will find places we highlighted that are easily accessible by car. Consider this your travel agent to the exciting Memorial Day festivities across our area of the United States.
1.) Washington D.C.
This first one is almost a no-brainer. There is no more patriotic place to celebrate the holiday then at our nation’s capital. With its monuments, rich history and current day politicians, it is a location where you can relive the history of the past while watching new history being made. Arlington National Cemetery will have a prestigious wreath-laying ceremony at 11 AM on Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Men in uniform will also be marching in the National Memorial Day Parade along the National Mall at 2 PM.
2.) The Jersey Shore
Every state along the east coast has a beach. People can talk about Maryland’s beaches or Virginia’s beaches but there is a certain Je ne sais quoi about the Jersey shore. With its mile long boardwalks that bring back memories of childhood and fun to its extravagant amenities in Atlantic City, there is something for everyone. Wildwood, NJ will be holding its 29th annual international kite festival, the largest in the nation. With large, intricate kites on display along the beaches from Friday through the end of Monday. They also will be holding a candlelight vigil on Saturday at 8PM and a ceremony on Monday at 10 AM, both at the Wildwood Vietnam Veterans memorial Wall.
3.) New York, NY
In a town that never sleeps there will be plenty of activities in the big apple over this Memorial Day weekend. If the big city is your preferred getaway then there are none bigger or better than New York City. Citizens will be able to tour ships from 8 AM to 5 PM Thursday through Monday at Sullivans Pier in Staten Island and Pier 92 in Manhattan. The Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, a tradition since 1867 will be held at 11 AM and the New York Philharmonic will perform a free concert at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine at 8 PM on May 26th.
4.) Charleston, SC
Celebrate Memorial Day the way it was first celebrated! One of the earliest observances of Memorial Day was by a group of freed slaves and it took place weeks after the Civil War ended in 1865 in Charleston’s Hampton Park. To celebrate, the Spoleto Festival starts a two-week run of events including opera, theater, jazz, symphonies and more. The event runs May 23rd through June 8th filling the city’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces. While you are there stop in for some authentic southern Barbeque at one of the state’s numerous mom and pop shops. As this writer can attest, there is nothing better than Carolina-style BBQ!
5.) Atlanta, GA
The furthest stop on our Memorial Day tour takes us to Atlanta. There is plenty to do in this southern city including fireworks and live music! The Atlantic Jazz Festival will be holding its 37th annual performance in Piedmont Park with music from the 23rd through the 25th. It is known to be the biggest, free Jazz festivals in the country bringing in well over 200,000 people each year. Stone Mountain Park, a short drive from the city offers a more relaxing and quiet atmosphere. With plenty of space to connect the family with the great outdoors. It also boasts kid-friendly activities such as the “Sky Hike”, a ropes-and-ladders obstacle course through the tree tops! To top off the Memorial Day weekend festivities the park will be hosting evenings filled with firework displays, free concerts, a laser-light show and more!