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Memorial Day Weekend in Massachusetts, it’s all here. From local parades, reminiscent memorial services, and special museum exhibits, to outdoor festivals and street performances – if you’re looking to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend throughout the Commonwealth, we have you covered.
Memorial Day is a time to honor the brave people who have served and protected our nation, as well as those who still do. It’s a weekend of local celebrations – small, big, local, and extravagant – and we hope that the following list of happenings will help you narrow down your plans.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!
Service of Commemoration – Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, 1:30-3:00 PM: Words and music will help us to remember those who have gone before us during this Memorial Day Service on Bigelow Chapel Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in Bigelow Chapel.
Street Performers Festival – Faneuil Hall, Boston, May 26-28: Street performers, world-class jugglers, clowns, storytellers, mimes, acrobats, dancers, storytellers, and others will perform on the cobblestone streets of the Faneuil Marketplace. Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Zoorassic Park! – Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, May 26-September 3, 2012: As visitors are immersed in a prehistoric journey through time at Franklin Park Zoo’s Zoorassic Park, they will be enthralled by the vast array of fascinating dinosaurs awaiting them. These large animatronic dinosaurs will excite visitors of all ages with their lifelike sounds and movements. From the imposing Tyrannosaurus Rex to a variety of other dinosaurs including a Massospondylus, which means “massive vertebra,” an Ornithomimus, which had a bird-like bone structure, to many others, this is a unique experience not to be missed!
Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, May 28, 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM: Free Memorial Day open house at the Museum of Fine Arts, featuring a collection of free guided tours.
2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, May 26-28: Gillette Stadium will be the home of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. The three-day event features championships in Divisions I, II and III, the only NCAA championship that involves all three divisions at one site. In addition to the actual lacrosse games, Gillette Stadium will be full of fan-oriented excitement including youth lacrosse clinics, interactive sponsor fan zones, and community-oriented initiatives.
LGBT International Hockey Tournament – Cronin Arena, Revere, May 25-28: Boston Pride Hockey is honored to host the 2012 Boston Beanpot Classic Hockey Tournament. The tournament is an adult LGBT-friendly ice hockey tournament hosted by Boston Pride Hockey Association.
GREATER BOSTON PARADES
Arlington: 9:30 AM
Cambridge: 9:30 AM
Hudson: 10:00 AM
Medford: 10:00 AM
Needham: 6:50 AM
NORTH OF BOSTON & GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY
Fight, Save, Buy, Wake Up! World War I Posters – National Heritage Museum, Lexington: Throughout America’s participation in World War I–from April 1917 through November 1918–colorful and compelling posters exhorted Americans to fight, conserve food, and buy bonds. At the beginning of the war, volunteer artists formed the Division of Pictorial Publicity of the Committee on Public Information. The Division created a host of advertisements, including 700 poster designs. Millions of their posters hung in public spaces and workplaces–citizens could not escape their pressing and persuasive messages.
Newburyport Spring Fest – Downtown Newburyport, May 27-28, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Celebrate the season in downtown Newburyport! Thousands attend to enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, food from Newburyport’s best restaurants and Kid’s Korner featuring entertainment for children and families and the ever-popular Teddy Bear Parade.
NORTH OF BOSTON PARADES
Haverhill: 10:30 AM
Lexington: 9:00 AM
Marblehead: 9:00 AM
Methuen: 10:00 AM
Salem: 10:30 AM
SOUTH OF BOSTON
Pearl Harbor Experience Season Opening – Battleship Cove, Fall River: This new exhibit recreates the sights and sounds of the surprise attack on December 7, 1941. The only outdoor multimedia reenactment of Pearl Harbor anywhere, it forges an emotional connection with the men & women whose lives were forever changed on that fateful day. Honors the bravery and sacrifices of our “greatest generation.”
Colonial Military Arts – Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, May 26-27: In early Plimoth Colony, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to serve in the town’s militia. Meet a member of New Plimoth’s militia in the center of the Century English Village. Free with general admission.
Military Service Appreciation Day – Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford, May 26-28: On Memorial Day Weekend all active duty, retired and reserve military personnel and their dependents who show proof of served will be honored with free admission to the Zoo.
Spring Revolutionary War Encampment – Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven, May 26-27: The Fairhaven Village Militia, the Fairhaven Office of Tourism, and guests present a two-day historical encampment at Fort Phoenix. Talk to period costumed men and women about the fort’s history and life in the 1770s. See military drilling, flintlock musket and cannon firing demonstrations, and camp cooking demonstrations. Try tomahawk throwing or children’s games. Also see activities such as spinning, fire starting, demonstrations of 18th-Century dentistry and more.
Cemetery Tour: Portrait Stones of Burial Hill – Burial Hill, Plymouth, May 26, 1:00 PM: Burial Hill boasts a superlative collection of rare 18th and early 19th-Century portrait stones. These unusual grave markers feature carved images of graciously attired people not unlike painted portraiture, right down to tiny details of dress, hairstyle, and posture. Learn about this special genre of gravestone art on a one-hour walking tour with Dr. Donna Curtin. Sponsored by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society; free, and open to the public. No reservations required. Meet at the Burial Hill Entrance by First Parish Church.
Memorial Day Holiday – Fall River – Battleship Cove, Fall River, May 26-28: Free admission for all veterans throughout Memorial Day Weekend – all active duty, retired and reserve military personnel who show proof of service will be honored with free admission to Battleship Cove! Special oral histories from veterans will be shown throughout the weekend.
Annual Fisherman’s Memorial Service – New Bedford Waterfront, May 28, 10:00 AM: Starting at the Seamen’s Bethel, the annual walk from Seamen’s Bethel on Johnny cake Hill down Union St. to Pier 3 on the New Bedford Waterfront will honor all of the many fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.
SOUTH OF BOSTON PARADES
Brockton: 11:00 AM
Cohasset: 10:30 AM
Taunton: 9:30 AM
Fairhaven: 8:30 AM
New Bedford: 11:00 AM
Plymouth: 9:30 AM
Somerset: 10:00 AM
Fall River: 1:00 PM
Swansea: 1:00 PM
Westport: 8:00 AM
CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
Massachusetts National Cemetery – Bourne, May 28: Annual Memorial Day Services.
Cape Cod Scenic Railroad – West Barnstable, May 26: Opening day, tickets on sale for scenic passenger train rides from West Barnstable, until train time 11:50 AM. Visit the historical museum 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Every Saturday, May 28 through October 15, 2012.
41st Annual Figawi Regatta – Hyannis to Nantucket, May 26-28: Sailboat race from Hyannis to Nantucket Island and back; weekend-long festivities at Hyannis Yacht Club, Hyannis & Nantucket Boat Basin, Nantucket.
Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village – Sturbridge, May 26-28: Wool Days means sheepshearing at Old Sturbridge Village, plus demonstrations of other parts of the seasonal processing of wool, including scouring, carding, dyeing, spinning, and weaving. Try your hand and learn about other fibers available to early New Englanders at our textile exhibit. Wool Days fall on Memorial Day weekend, when the Old Sturbridge Village stagecoach returns for the summer, along with the Quinebaug River Boat Ride.
AIS 44th Annual Memorial Powwow – Camp Marshall, Spencer, May 26-27: Native American powwow.
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS PARADES
Ashburnham: 8:45 AM
Ashby: 10:00 AM
Fitchburg: 10:00 AM
Westminster: 11:00 AM
Veteran Bridge Ceremony – West Springfield, May 28, 7:30 AM: In honor of all veterans a ceremony will occur on the bridge where a wreath will be thrown off of the bridge at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair – Cummington, May 26-27: Sheep shows, sheep dog trials, spinning contest, fiber contests & workshops, handcraft & hand spun yarn contests, fleece show & sale, and shearing demo & shearing service.
Antique & Classic Automobile Show – Chesterwood, Stockbridge, May 27, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Car enthusiasts of all ages make a day of it, looking at cars and exploring the historic home, studio, gardens, and woodland walks of America’s foremost public sculptor Daniel Chester French, creator of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial. Chesterwood offers breathtaking vistas of the Berkshire Hills that provide a fitting backdrop for the occasion. Local food and beverage vendors from around Berkshire County will be serving throughout the historic site.
Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale – Lee Premium Outlets, Lee, May 25-28: Annual Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale featuring incredible savings on spring clearance and summer merchandise at participating stores.
3rd Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races – Tanglewood, Lenox, May 26-27: This annual event starts and finishes at the iconic Tanglewood Music Center in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Come experience the Berkshires, a true slice of Americana featuring the quaint towns, beautiful views, and friendly people depicted in Norman Rockwell’s art and James Taylor’s music. We celebrate running – a true American pastime – on the national holiday honoring our fallen soldiers, featuring the Memorial Day Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, the Berkshires 10K & 5K, the MDM 15K Trail Race, the MDM Trail-Road Challenge, the MDM Kids Run and the MDM Pre-Race Expo at Tanglewood.
First Comprehensive Survey of Canadian Contemporary Art – Mass MoCA, North Adams, May 27: Oh, Canada! features more than 100 works by 62 artists, including more than a dozen major new commissions.
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS PARADES
Agawam: 10:30 AM
Amherst: 9:30 AM
Chicopee: 10:00 AM
Easthampton: 10:30 AM
East Longmeadow: 10:50 AM
Greenfield: 10:00 AM
Hampden: 10:00 AM
Holyoke: 9:00 AM
Ludlow: 9:00 AM
Monson: 10:00 AM
Montague: 10:15 AM
Northampton: 9:30 AM
Palmer: 10:15 AM
South Hadley: 11:00 AM
Southwick: 9:30 AM
Ware: 1:00 PM
West Brookfield: 9:00 AM
Westfield: 10:00 AM
West Springfield: 9:00 AM