24 events to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer (2023)

Welcome to the Memorial Day weekend Spotlight readers!

While the annual federal holiday often is attributed to the beginning of summer fun, backyard barbecues and much anticipated vacations, Memorial Day is also a day to remember military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces.

So in between firing up the grill, blowing up pool toys and partying, take a minute to mentally thank those folks that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

To celebrate the official beginning of summer, check out these 24 events taking place in and around northern Colorado, down in Denver and up in Cheyenne for the week of May 27 through June 2

Saturday, May 27

1. Honor the fallen this Memorial Day weekend by taking some time to view the Field of Honor beginning at 10 a.m. at Spring Canyon Community Park, 2626 W. HOrsetooth Road, Fort Collins. The display will feature 500 American flags honoring military veterans, active duty, first responders, educators and other heroes. There is no cost to explore the exhibit. For more information, go to www.rotaryfcbreakfast.org.

2. If you’re looking for a fun and interesting day trip, head on down to Territory Days 2023 in Old Colorado City in the historic district on Colorado Avenue, between 23rd and 27th streets in Colorado Springs. The free event will include hundreds of vendors, food, educational displays, patriotic tributes, live music and more for all ages. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3IAsuwm.

3. A guided interpretive walk is set for 10 a.m. at Chapungu Sculpture Park, 5995 Sky Pond Drive in Loveland. The casual event will take attendees alongside High Plains Environmental staff for an informational walk around the park. All ages are invited to join and there is no cost to attend. Registration is requested and can be done by going to https://bit.ly/43olYRA.

4. Enjoy an evening of fun at Greeley Game Night at Boomer House from 6-11 p.m. at 1024 Eights St. The event is open to adults age 18 and older and will feature games for casual and competitive players. Admission is $9 per person. For more information, go to www.greeleygamenight.com.

5. Summer Splash: End of School Year Celebration will take place at noon at Lilah Blue, 721 Main St., Windsor with 15% off discounts for educators, permanent jewelry from Alaura Yates, skincare products from Jennifer Christine, summer beverages and snacks and more for all ages. There is no cost to attend the event. For more information, contact Lilah Blue at (970) 692-9368.

6. Passion. Audacity. Stubbornness: An Evening with Bruce and Denise Freestone is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at The University Center of the Arts Acting Lab, 1400 Remington St., Fort Collins. The couple will discuss the opening of the OpenStage Theatre and Company through stories of challenges and successes. Admission is $22 per guest age 17 and older and $15 for attendees age 16 and younger. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3IA1vRH.

7. Crabtree Brewing is hosting a mosaic making event at 1 p.m. at 2961 W. 29th St. in Greeley. Attendees age 21 and older can create a fun outdoor décor item while enjoying a beer. The cost to attend is $40 per person and includes all supplies to make a mosaic and attendees’ first beer. For more information, or to register, go to https://bit.ly/43pHe9x.

8. Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson is hosting Big Bad Biker Bash from noon to 5 p.m at 4250 Byrd Drive, Loveland. The event, open to all ages, will include a bikini bike wash, hog roast, vendor booths, cigar bar and more. Admission is free. For more information, contact the dealership at (866) 646-6296.

Sunday, May 28

9. Take a break from your grill to attend the Q BBQ Fest at 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. at Empower Field at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St., Denver. The event, open to all ages, will feature all-you-can-eat barbecue and beverages along with live music, cooking demonstrations, a 5K run and Rib Rumble. General admission is $109 for adults age 21 and older, $149 per person for VIP, $35 for youth age 13-20 and kids age 12 and younger are free with a paying adult ticket. For more information, go to www.qbbqdenver.com.

10. Studio Concert ’23: Stars of Dance Express is set for 3 p.m. at the Prairie Sage Stage, 1200 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins. The show will feature original choreography from Dance Express company members, volunteers and the company’s artistic director. The company is an all-inclusive dance studio that invites dancers with and without disabilities to perform. Admission into the show is $25 per person. All ages are welcome to attend. For more information, go to www.danceexpressfc.com.

11. The Tavern at Red Feathers Lake is hosting a wine tasting event at 2 p.m. at 1078 Ramona Drive, Suite 2, Red Feather Lakes. Adults, age 21 and older, can enjoy a sampling of wines from Ten Bears Winery as well as appetizers and live music. Admission is $18 per person. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/425tGi6.

Monday, May 29

Happy Memorial Day from the Greeley Tribune and A&E Spotlight staff. The holiday honors military personnel who died while serving in the United States armed forces. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971, reported The History Channel. Many people honor the holiday by visiting cemeteries or memorials, hosting family gatherings and participating in parades.

12. Linn Grove Cemetery will be hosting a Memorial Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Bell Tower at 1700 Cedar Ave., Greeley. All ages are welcome to attend the free event that will include different guest speakers. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3wAEx7j.

13. The 2023 Fort Logan National Cemetery Memorial Day Honors are scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. at 4400 W. Kenyon Ave., Denver. All ages are invited to attend the free event. For more information, go to www.honorbell.org.

14. Olinger Mortuaries and Cemeteries is hosting a Memorial Day Ceremony at noon at 300 E. 104th Ave., Northglenn. The event will include guest speakers and a fly over followed by lunch hosted by the VFW Post 7945 at 10217 Quivas St., Thornton. All ages are welcome to attend the free event. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3MRC5kT.

Tuesday, May 30

15. Join the Greeley Chorale at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 2101 16th St., Greeley for a pre-tour concert. The group will perform pieces from their upcoming tour to Spain and Portugal which include numbers in English, Latin and Basque. All ages are welcome to attend the concert and there is no admission fee. Donations are gladly accepted. For more information, go to www.greeleychorale.org.

16. Explore a variety of artwork from the comfort of your couch by tuning in to St. Francis in Fresco at 9 a.m. via Zoom. Hosted by The National Gallery, the program will explore works created between 1260 and 1320 as well as the techniques and materials used in creating the frescos. All ages are welcome to view the program. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3Wusunk.

Wednesday, May 31

17. The 2023 Loveland Food Truck Really kicks off at 5 p.m. at Fairgrounds Park, 700 S. Railroad Ave. with a variety of different food trucks and live music. All ages and well-behaved leashed pets are welcome to attend. There is no cost for admission and food trucks will accept cash and card payments. For more information, go to www.ln2foodtruckevents.com.

18. Individuals and teams of six are invited to join Avengers Trivia at 6 p.m. at After Hours Greeley, 4111 Centerplace Drive, Unit D. Adults age 21 and older can put their knowledge of Infinity Stones and superheroes to the test with free games. Cocktails and other beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, contact After Hours Greeley at (970) 576-9616.

19. Show off your dance skill by attending the Couples Dance Competition at 6 p.m. at the Tom Davis Saloon, 450 N. Cleveland Ave., Loveland. K99 will be on hand broadcasting as couples to throw down their best moves for chances to win prizes. Registration is just $5 per couple. For more information, or to register, go to https://bit.ly/3MROwx3.

Thursday, June 1

20. Join the town of Windsor for a ribbon cutting celebrating playground improvements at 10 a.m. at Boardwalk Park, 100 N. Fifth St. All ages are welcome to attend the event and get the first look at the new outdoor gym, climbing net and more. Residents can enjoy free snow cones. There is no cost to attend. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3OuOooG.

Friday, June 2

21. Join the Rialto Theater for Flashback Fridays at 7 p.m. at 228 E. Fourth St., Loveland for discounted movies. The theater will be kicking off the summer series with a screening “The Sound of Music,” rated G. All ages are welcome to come and watch the 1965 film classic starring Julie Andrews. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/45jikKi.

22. Fridays on the Plaza: Welshly Arms will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Depot Plaza, 121 W. 15th St. in Cheyenne. Welshly Arms is an indie rock band hailing from Cleveland that has performed at a variety of musical festivals and events. The free summer concert series welcomes people of all ages. For more information, go to www.cheyennepresents.com.

23. The First Friday Art Walk is set for 6 p.m. at 19 Old Town Square, Suite 230 in downtown Fort Collins. The self-guided walking tour will feature a variety of art styles, genres and mediums including fine to funky. The tour is free and all ages are welcome to participate. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3LGMyfj.

24. Historic Fall River Hydroplant Tours are available at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. at 1754 Fish Hatchery Road, Estes Park. The plant, constructed in 1909 produced electricity for the Stanley Hotel and surrounding areas. The tours are free and all ages are welcome to attend. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/3ovfrWj.


What does Memorial Day mark the unofficial start of? ›

Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer and is often observed with barbecues and other celebrations that stray far from its solemn roots.

What is the first unofficial day of summer? ›

(AP) — Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation's fallen service members, but it's come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawnmowers.

What is the unofficial day of summer? ›

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many volunteers place American flags on the graves of military personnel in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial beginning of summer.

What are 3 things you can do to observe Memorial Day? ›

How to Observe Memorial Day
  • By wearing your Memorial Day Button from the first of May until Memorial Day.
  • By visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
  • By flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon. ...
  • By attending religious services of your choice.
  • By visiting memorials.

Does Memorial Day marked the beginning of summer? ›

Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation's fallen service members, but it's come to mark the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts.

What is the first day of summer fact? ›

When Is The First Day Of Summer in 2023? The first day of summer arrives with the solstice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 10:58 a.m. EDT. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Earth is tilting mostly toward the Sun.

What is the special first day of summer? ›

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky. It marks the start of summer in the northern half of the globe.

What was the first month of summer? ›

The seasons are defined as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November) and winter (December, January, February).

Is the longest day the start of summer? ›

On the longest day of the year, Summer Begins in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also known as the Summer Solstice, which happens either on June 20th, 21st, or 22nd.

What do people do on Memorial Day? ›

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

What do most people do on Memorial Day weekend? ›

Many towns and cities across the US celebrate with parades and events to recognize Memorial Day—often concluding with a moment of silence or memorial service. These are excellent community events and are perfect for the entire family, combining excitement, education, and the outdoors.

What do most Americans do on Memorial Day? ›

Many people attend parades, go to the beach or have cook-outs with friends and family. But at its heart, Memorial Day is a day when Americans reflect on the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in military service.

What can I say instead of Happy Memorial Day? ›

Try something like: “Enjoy your weekend, but I want you to know that I will be remembering what this holiday is about.” “Enjoy your weekend, and I will be thinking about those who are no longer with us.” “I will be taking a moment this weekend to honor those who served our nation and are no longer with us."

Is it OK to say Happy Memorial Day? ›

So, can you say "Happy Memorial Day?" Yes, of course, you can...especially if it comes from a place of grateful joy for the life we live today that was provided by the sacrifices of generations before. On Memorial Day, take time to reflect on the men and women who gave it all for us.

What Memorial Day means to me? ›

Memorial Day is and always has been a very important and honorary day for all of those who chose to fight for our country. They were not forced to be put into that position; those certain people knew what they needed to do to make our country a better place. This is why we celebrate a day called Memorial Day.

What is a fun fact about Memorial weekend? ›

Memorial Day was first observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers on May 30, 1868. After World War I, Memorial Day was changed from honoring Civil War dead to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

What is a little known fact about Memorial Day? ›

Initially observed every May 30, the holiday was originally called Decoration Day until 1967, when the name changed. During the Vietnam War, the date was also moved to the last Monday of May when it became a federally mandated holiday in 1971.

What are 3 facts about summer? ›

Summer Weather Facts
  • July is the hottest month of the year.
  • The hottest part of the day is between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Summertime has lots of special weather, not just hot temperatures and sunshine.
  • Many places are very humid in summer. ...
  • July has the most lightning storms.
  • Fire season starts in July too.
Mar 7, 2023

What are some interesting facts about summer season? ›

The longest day of the year is in summer. The summer solstice marks the point when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky. This is the longest day of the year and after this point, the days slowly begin to get shorter until the winter solstice which occurs around 21 December.

What are 4 facts about the summer solstice? ›

5 Fun Facts About the Summer Solstice
  • Hotter Temperatures Occur When We're Farther From the Sun.
  • The Farther North You Are, the More Daylight You Enjoy.
  • Evening Bonfires Have Been a Solstice Tradition for Centuries.
  • Agricultural Abundance Inspired Festivities.
  • The Solstice is a Historically Popular Time for Weddings.

How do you celebrate the beginning of summer? ›

8 Fun Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Summer With Your Family
  1. Play With Shadows. ...
  2. Plan a Backyard Campout. ...
  3. Take a Sunrise Hike. ...
  4. Build a Sundial With Your Kids. ...
  5. Host a Good Old Fashioned Summertime Block Party. ...
  6. Make Sun Tea. ...
  7. Create Sun-Themed Arts and Crafts. ...
  8. Host a Bonfire.
Jun 26, 2019

How do people celebrate first day of summer? ›

Celebrate the first night of summer with a dinnertime picnic in an unusual place, like on top of your building's parking garage for city dwellers, or in a spot along a scenic country road. Play games or perhaps it's time to dust off your bikes and ride until hunger — or an inspirational patch of grass — strikes.

What happens on a summer day? ›

At or centred on the summer solstice, daylight hours are longest and darkness hours are shortest, with day length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The earliest sunrises and latest sunsets also occur near the date of the solstice.

Why is summer called summer? ›

Where did the word summer come from? The word summer is quite old. It's recorded before the year 900 and comes from the Old English word for the season, sumor. It's related to the Dutch zomer, the German Sommer, and the Sanskrit samā (which means “year”).

What is the best month of summer? ›

July: The Month of Fun

July is summer. Summer is July. It is prime vacation month with the best warm weather of the year, and Fourth of July is the best party of the year because it lasts all day.

What do you see in summer? ›

The nature in the summer season is full of bright colors, everything around is flourishing, the birds are singing and you can feel that the nature around you is lining! Plants and trees are giving fruits, a lot of flowers are blooming with the different colors and everyone can feel amazing smell in the air.

What is the shortest day of summer? ›

The June Solstice in the Calendar

Even though most people consider June 21 as the date of the June solstice, it can happen anytime between June 20 and June 22, depending on the time zone.

What is the shortest day of the year called? ›

The winter solstice occurs in December, and in the northern hemisphere the date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year. That is why it is known as the shortest day of the year, or the longest night of the year.

Which is the shortest summer day of the year? ›

The summer solstice is the smallest day of the year, and it occurs on the 21st of June, whereas the winter solstice is the biggest day of the year which falls on the 21st of December.

How do you honor Memorial Day? ›

Over the years, Memorial Day has grown to include traditions such as the red poppy of remembrance, various parades and ceremonies, and the National Moment of Remembrance. Attending parades and public ceremonies can be a great way to show your kids the importance of remembering.

Why is Memorial Day important? ›

Memorial Day is the day when the nation honors the brave, selfless men and women who gave their lives while in this country's service. It also is the day each year when Americans put special emphasis on remembering family members and friends who have passed away.

What are 2 ways Americans celebrate Memorial Day? ›

They attend events ranging from community gatherings to large sports competitions. The Indianapolis (“Indy”) 500 motor race, for instance, attracts an estimated 300,000 people on the Saturday before Memorial Day. But many Americans also visit cemeteries, where volunteers often place American flags on graves.

Who are we supposed to honor in Memorial Day? ›

Each Memorial Day, we come together as a nation to express our gratitude and pay tribute to those fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service and defense of this nation.

Do people BBQ on Memorial Day? ›

And yes, 44% of us do indeed plan to barbeque over Memorial Day weekend, while 16% take a trip. Memorial Day's place on the calendar has made it the unofficial start of summer for many.

What is the true meaning of Memorial Day? ›

The true meaning of Memorial Day is “to remember the uncommon courage of all who sacrificed their own lives to protect others and secure freedom,” Annibale said.

When did Memorial Day begin what was it called? ›

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, began during the American Civil War when citizens placed flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle.

Where did Memorial Day officially start? ›

Despite this, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966.

Is Memorial Day just for those who died in war? ›

Memorial Day is how we honor the soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen, and Marines who did not return home. The holiday dates back to the months immediately following the Civil War when a few towns and cities began honoring their dead.

What is a good Memorial Day message? ›

Honorable Memorial Day Quotes

May we never forget that freedom isn't free.” “We don't know them all, but we owe them all.” “Our flag doesn't fly because the wind moves it, but because of the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” “We come not to mourn our dead heroes but to praise them.”

What should you say instead of Happy Memorial Day? ›

-I hope your Memorial Day is meaningful. -I wish you an enjoyable weekend where you remember those who are no longer with us. -Please join me in remembering the fallen soldiers who are no longer with us this weekend. I hope you remember the purpose of this holiday and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Who actually started Memorial Day? ›

It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

What was the first Memorial Day celebrated? ›

On May 1, 1865, thousands of newly freed Black people gathered in Charleston, S.C., for what may have been the nation's first Memorial Day celebration. Attendees held a parade and put flowers on the graves of Union soldiers who had helped liberate them from slavery.

How do you observe Memorial Day? ›

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem.

What is the reason for Memorial Day? ›

Honoring the Civil War dead

Several places lay claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. One of the earliest accounts comes from Boalsburg, Pa., where, in October 1864, three women are said to have placed flowers and wreaths on the graves of men who had died serving the Union during the Civil War.

How did Memorial Day start in America? ›

Memorial Day originally was known as Decoration Day when it began as a way to honor veterans of the American Civil War, shortly after the war ended. At least 25 towns across the country claim to be home to the first Decoration Day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What is the month of May known for? ›

There are several awareness months celebrated in May — though the five that often get the most attention include Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, National Clean Air Month, and No Mow May.

Do you thank a veteran on Memorial Day? ›

While saying “thank you” to veterans on Memorial Day may not be the traditional approach, it is always important to show respect and honor to those who have served.

What flower is a symbol of Veterans Day? ›

Following its first nationwide distribution of poppies, the VFW adopted the poppy as its official memorial flower in 1922. However, a shortage of poppies from French manufacturers led to the idea of using unemployed and disabled veterans to produce the artificial flowers.

Are you supposed to say Happy Memorial Day? ›

What should we say instead? The COSF suggests wishing someone a meaningful Memorial Day rather than a happy one, or encouraging loved ones to help remember those who have served. Above all, it's important to remember the purpose behind the three-day weekend.


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