Planning for Memorial Day Events

Memorial-DayWe celebrate this federal holiday to remember the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Observed each year on the last Monday of May, the holiday originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Today Memorial Day is set aside to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. Placing an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries is usually done by volunteers. Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day –  Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U S. military veterans. Typically, the day/weekend marks the start of the summer vacation season.

There are several exciting ways to celebrate the Memorial Weekend. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is held throughout the entire month of May but it culminates on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 – 29, at Piedmont Park in Midtown with a two-day roster of performances by world-renowned jazz artists and bands. It is the largest free jazz festival in the country. Plan ahead and check the Atlanta Jazz Festival website for a list of entertainers and park rules. Jazz Festival Contact Information (404) 546-7246.

Another venue for Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta is the Decatur Arts Festival which draws artists from around the country. Special exhibits are held for free at local art galleries and a lively artists’ market is held at the main square. There also are literary, musical and performance art events held around town throughout the duration of the festival. Go to for additional information.

Stone Mountain Park has the biggest 2016 event on Memorial Day Weekend, the Salute to the Troops. Tickets to the park will give you access to the rides and fun attractions of this theme park, as well as admission to the famous salute. A spectacular laser show is choreographed with music and fireworks in a tribute to the soldiers who protect the country.

If you wish to escape commercialism of Atlanta Memorial Day, go to Roswell for the largest Memorial Day ceremony in Georgia. Keynote speeches, testimonies by veterans, salutes and time to reflect and commemorate fallen soldiers are part of the ceremony. See the following website – for a complete list of events in the Atlanta area during the month of May.

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