The ultimate Memorial Day weekend guide

Grab your best red, white and blue attire, because Memorial Day is upon us


Grab your best red, white and blue attire, because Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a day of remembrance for those who’ve died while serving in the American armed forces.

It’s also the unofficial start of summer. From music festivals to sporting events to ceremonies to honor fallen heroes, metro Atlanta has plenty of offerings to help you commemorate the occasion.

» RELATED: Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day: When is each, why is it celebrated?

And we’re keeping you busy all holiday weekend long with our annual list of things to do. Take a look at the roundup to decide how you’ll be celebrating.

Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is making its way back to Piedmont Park for its 41st anniversary. This year, Dianne Reeves and Matthew Whitaker are among the artists taking the stage. Along with the music, people will also be able to visit the Artist Market to scout all types of unique and collectible artwork.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. May 26-27. Free. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta. atlantafestivals.com.

RELATED: Atlanta Jazz Festival lineup and concert schedule

Memorial Day weekend at Stone Mountain Park

Tip your hat to American soldiers by attending the annual laser and fireworks show at Stone Mountain Park. Each night, enjoy the cool effects in the sky as well as the specially choreographed musical tribute dedicated to brave servicemen and servicewomen.

9:30 p.m. May 25-28. Free with $15 parking. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. stonemountainpark.com.

Six Flags Over Georgia

Looking for a thrill? The amusement park has a host of fun rides, including the all-new Twisted Cyclone roller coaster officially opening Memorial Day weekend. If you’re hoping to cool off, make your way to Hurricane Harbor Waterpark to take a dip in the Calypso Bay.

May 25-28. 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday. $67.99 general admission, $47.99 children under 48 inches tall. Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway SW, Austell. sixflags.com/overgeorgia.

Brew at the Zoo Atlanta

If you’re in the mood for an ice-cold beer, you’re in luck. Spend the day with the animals and sample more than 70 selections of brews and wines. If you’re a part of the VIP club, you’ll have exclusive access to special tastings and a lounge area.

5:30-9:30 p.m. May 26. VIP $135, nonmembers $65, members $60. Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta. zooatlanta.org.

Atlanta Braves baseball game

It’s the Braves versus the New York Mets on Monday. Cheer on your favorite players as you munch on yummy popcorn and hot dogs. Plus, you get to take home a Braves hat and make a $3 donation to the United Service Organizations of Georgia with your Military Appreciation Day ticket package.

1:10 p.m. May 28. $18-$57. SunTrust Park, 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta. mlb.com/braves.

» RELATED: Hartsfield-Jackson expects 1.7 million passengers over Memorial Day weekend

Yaarab Shrine Circus and Carnival

At an event known for having the “World’s Largest Shrine Circus,” attendees will be in for a treat as they watch the clowns and trapeze artists perform under the big top. A ticket will also grant circusgoers access to the Midway Carnival, which offers more than 40 carnival rides and delicious eats like funnel cakes and fried Oreos.

Through May 28. Gates open at 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. Saturday, noon Sunday, 10 a.m. Memorial Day. General admission $7, parking $5. Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta. yaarabshrine.net.

Red, White, Bluegrass and Bach

Listen to patriotic music by the Main Street Orchestra and see the Fort Benning Silver Wings parachute across the lawn at this family-fun outing. Bluegrass music will also be featured, and folks can fill their bellies at one of the many food trucks on-site.

7-10 p.m. May 25. Free. Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee. suwanee.com.

Marietta National Cemetery

For 72 years, the National Memorial Day Association of Georgia has encouraged the community to give reverence to U.S. veterans at its annual ceremony. This year is no different as current and retired military servicemen will lead the program.

Noon May 28. Free. Marietta National Cemetery, 500 Washington Ave. NE, Marietta. nmdaga.org.

Gwinnett’s Fallen Heroes Memorial

This service pays tribute to Gwinnett residents who have died in the line of duty. From older vets to the most recent casualties, the neighborhood will applaud the troops for their dedication to the country.

1-2 p.m. May 28. Free. Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. gwinnettcounty.com.

Memorial Day Paddle

Float through the Chattahoochee River for a relaxing morning paddle ride. During your excursion, you can point out wading birds, raptors and other animals. All participants must know how to swim.

9 a.m.-noon May 28. Nonmembers $35, members $30. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. chattnaturecenter.org.

Roswell Remembers

Coined as the “Largest Memorial Day Ceremony in Georgia,” this event attracts approximately 7,000 people each year. It will include bagpipe and bugle music, a 21-gun salute and a wreath laying. Following the service, locals can also delight in the picnic and concert right after.

10 a.m. May 28. Free. Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill St., Roswell. roswellmemorialday.com.

Dacula Memorial Day 5K and Parade

Kick off the morning with a run through the park, then attend the parade, which will feature veterans, active servicemen and women, military vehicles, marching bands, horses and much more. The celebration is rain or shine.

5K at 7:30 a.m., parade at 10 a.m. May 28. Free. Race begins at Dacula Park, 205 Dacula Road, Dacula. Parade begins at Hebron Baptist Church, 202 Hebron Church Road, Dacula. daculamemorialday.com.

City of Smyrna Memorial Day Ceremony

Organized by the Smyrna Veterans Committee, the occasion praises those who sacrificed in defense of our nation. It will include musical acts, a wreath-laying ceremony and a host of speakers.

9:30 a.m. May 28. Free. Twentieth Century Veterans Memorial, 2800 King St. SE, Smyrna. smyrnacity.com.

» RELATED: These are the worst times to drive in Atlanta this Memorial Day weekend



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