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Memorial Day 2013

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Fireworks, photo courtesy of Sandestin Resort.

Photo courtesy of Sandestin Resort.

Throughout the U.S., on the last Monday in May special events celebrate Memorial Day, whose purpose is to remember those who've died in war. (See Memorial Day history for a look at the significance of this holiday, first widely observed as "Decoration Day" in 1868 after the Civil War.) Meanwhile, this long weekend is also the unofficial start of summer; resorts and hotels dream up Memorial Day Weekend packages, and many cities have festivals in addition to traditional observances.

Memorial Day Weekend Events - Friday May 24 to Monday May 27 2013

-- you may also be interested in Fourth of July celebrations--

  • New York City
    During Fleet Week, families can tour ships, watch ships parade in the harbor, see competitions and musical performances by sailors; the Memorial Day service is a highlight. Other events in the Big Apple, too.
  • Queens, NY
    The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade is billed as the largest in the nation.
  • Washington DC: The many pecial events in the nation's capital include a major parade, flags at Arlington National Cemetary, and wreath-laying ceremonies.
  • Chicago: one of the largest parades in the country begins with a wreath-laying ceremony.
  • Colonial Williamsburg
    A Commemorative Program in Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area includes procession with Fifes and Drums and a service at the Governor's Palace, honoring the Revolutionary War dead. Also, during this weekend Colonial Williamsburg offers admission passes to active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans and their families.
  • Southeast US
    Dozens of events, such as free outdoor concert and fireworks in Vienna, in northern Virginia; affordable Freedom Weekend Aloft in South Carolina, with 100 hot-air balloons, amusement rides and games; patriotic laser and fireworks show at Stone Mountain Park; and more.
  • Texas: check out folk festivals, a Polka Festival, Crawfish Festival, and more.
  • Seattle, WA: Northwest Folklife Festival
    This giant event -- with music and dance at over 25 stages and other venues-- continues all weekend at the Seattle Center, and admission is free. Focus is on ethnic arts and cultures and visitors will find crafts, food, etc.
  • San Francisco
    Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies include a parade at the Presidio and observances at the USS San Francisco Memorial, and the WWII submarine the USS Pampanito (located at popular tourist spot Fisherman's Wharf)has a ceremony to remember veterans and boats lost at war. Also on this weekend is the Caribbean-themed Carnaval San Francisco Festival and Grand Parade.
It's also a good bet that any theme park you care to visit will have a terrific display of fireworks.

Continue to Memorial Day Weekend Packages at resorts in Florida, New York State, Vermont...
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