Memorial Day is May 28th and is a day designated to remember those we have lost while serving in our armed forces. It’s only right to take some time and remember those who have passed to keep us safe, so many places in West Michigan are hosting Memorial Day parades and events in honor of those men and women. The day is also the unofficial kick-off to summer, giving you time to spend with friends, family, and loved ones, with many West Michigan businesses hosting events to celebrate the season. Enjoy the beginning of summer, but still remember those who have served our country with the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day in Southern West Michigan
The Memorial Weekend Art & Wine Festival at Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs is a two-day celebration of regional art, music, food, and wine. Come kick off the summer meandering exhibits of different mediums, such as hand-crafted stained glass, jewelry, pottery, photography, and paintings, with a glass of bubbly or Pinot Grigio in hand.
Join the Michigan Maritime Museum for a celebration of the 2018 summer season at the Blessing of the Fleet on Friday, May 25th. The blessing is followed by the kick-off picnic at the most picturesque location in the heart of South Haven’s Maritime District and a live concert by legendary Great Lakes folk musician Lee Murdock. Come back for the 3rd Annual Harbor Walk to Fitness on Saturday, May 26th. The Harbor Walk runs from pier head to pier head in South Haven’s Maritime District with historical information markers all along the way. There is no registration or fee for this event, so just come on out and start your season off the healthy way!
The South Haven Center for the Arts is hosting their Mermaid Megafest over Memorial Day weekend. The purpose of the festival is two-fold: to raise awareness of the environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes ecosystem, and to break the Guinness World Record for the largest official gathering of merfolk. Guests will be treated to a pirate-themed carnival, a harbor boat parade, a siren’s ball, a laser light show, a mermaid academy on costuming and water safety, and Tales of the Sea: An Exhibition of Mythical Aquatic Art at the South Haven Center for the Arts.
With the official start of summer, Virtue Cider in Fennville kicks off their open-air concert series with Chicago-based musicians Ryley Walker and Bruce Lamont kick on Saturday, May 26th. On Sunday, May 27, swing by the cider house for a Memorial Day weekend cookout! They’ll be serving up grilled eats and lots of crisp cider to share on-site or take some to go for the rest of your Memorial Day outings.
The St. Joseph Memorial Day Parade honors those veterans who have served this great country and sacrificed their lives to keep its freedom. The parade starts at the intersection of Lake Blvd. and Park St. on Friday, May 25th at noon. A short program at the bandshell will be held after the parade.
Each year at 9:30am, the City of Hastings celebrates Memorial Day with a parade and ceremony at the Lawrence J. Bauer American Post #45. The long-standing tradition includes laying wreaths, playing Taps, and a 21-gun salute honoring those who served and gave their life for their country.
The extended holiday weekend is a perfect time for a Coldwater Country getaway. Bring the family and join in on this Memorial Weekend living history event: Civil War Days. The weekend includes Civil War drills and a Battle of Rich Mountain Battle Reenactment. Throughout the day, observe period craftsman at work or attend a Civil War Church Service on Sunday morning.
Memorial Day in Central West Michigan
The JW Marriott in Grand Rapids and their signature restaurant, six.one.six, will have their patios open for Memorial Day. Always at the forefront of inspired dining, six.one.six serves French cuisine with Alessandro Guerrazzi as their new chef de cuisine. The patio at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck will also be open for the weekend, as they serve their made-from-scratch comfort fare.
Great Legs Winery, Brewery & Distillery in Holland is kicking off Memorial Day Weekend with their Wine & Canvas Time event on Thursday, May 24th. There are two paintings to choose from: a summer-centric beach or an American flag painting. Stop by and paint to your heart’s content while enjoying some of Michigan’s best wine, beer, and spirits.
Jump Around Fun Center’s 11,000 square foot outdoor inflatable park in Ludington opens on Saturday, May 26th for its second season, just in time to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. They’ll be open for weekends only during their spring hours, but when schools get out for the summer, they will be open Tuesday through Sunday until Labor Day.
Visit Grand Haven for their Memorial Day Ribfest on May 25th and 26th. Two days of mouth-watering ribs, live entertainment, and a great selection of specialty craft beers, domestics, and spirits await you at this annual event. Come back on Monday, May 28th for the Grand Haven Memorial Day Parade. The United States Coast Guard color guard will lead the parade, followed by a short ceremony and performance by the Grand Haven High School Band.
Each year, the community of Lowell comes together to honor the men and women of the armed forces who have protected the United States. The annual parade begins at 10am on Monday, May 28th, followed by a short program to remember those who served to keep freedom alive.
In celebration of Memorial Day, Mecosta County hosts the 5th Annual Memorial Weekend 4 Veterans Car and Craft Show on Saturday, May 26th. There will be 32 awards given to the best of show, best car, best truck, best muscle car, best motorcycle, and many more. All proceeds will benefit the local Amvets Post 1941.
The Mt. Pleasant Area CVB’s annual 100 Days of Summer blog will be released on Memorial Day. The blog features more than 100 things to do, every day from Memorial Day until fall, including events, activities, local hot-spots, and more! If you want to spend your Memorial Day weekend on the golf course, the Mt. Pleasant area is home to 11 courses and retreats for you to choose from. Making it even easier, Michigan’s Central Swing will do all the heavy lifting, so all you need to do is enjoy your weekend!
Memorial Day in Northern West Michigan
Visit the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for Memorial Day Weekend. The hotel hosts nightly live musical entertainment by Dr. Alex Graham and the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Their Memorial Day Package also includes free golf on The Jewel with beautiful views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, evening receptions on Saturday and Sunday, and a full breakfast and dinner daily.
Since 1962, the Memorial Pageant Weekend in Mackinaw City has entertained families in what remains the longest-running, free Memorial Day historical program in the United States. This year’s festivities run from May 26th to 28th. There is no admission charge for the historical reenactment pageant or related events.
Start your summer with the Michigan Beer and Brat Festival, a Memorial Day weekend tradition, at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. Enjoy live entertainment while sampling an enormous selection of Michigan’s finest microbrews, local hard cider and mead, and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets. The weekend also includes the North Mitten Half Marathon. The route is a combination of paved roads, dirt roads, and trails, and consists of primarily flat, open trails on Crystal Mountain. Follow your exercise up with Micros on MountainTop, where you’ll enjoy Michigan microbrews, your barbecue favorites, and live music from John Pomeroy.
Kick off the summer travel season with a stay at Shanty Creek Resort, the four-season destination resort located in Bellaire among the chain of lakes region. Home to three distinct villages (Summit, Schuss, and Cedar River), each provides lodging, dining, golf, trails, and more! With lodging as low as $99 per night, now is the time to make reservations.
Memorial Day marks the season opening of Hearth & Vine Café at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, just north of Traverse City. Relax in the farm-to-table cafe where you can pair wood-fired pizza and other farmstead fare with Black Star Farms’ award-winning wine, cider, or craft cocktails.
Many of the Sault Ste. Marie area’s attractions are opening in time for Memorial Day. This includes the Valley Camp, the Tower of History, the River of History Museum, the Soo Locks Boat Tours, and the Soo Locks Visitors Center.