Spend your Memorial Day Weekend at one of these 5 terrific events around Arizona.
From solemn remembrance events to family-friendly festivals involving barbecue and bunting, the Valley serves up many ways to enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend.
5/26-29: Memorial Day weekend at Lake Pleasant
Memorial Day weekend at Lake Pleasant is viewed by many as the kick-off to summer. Pleasant Harbor Marina and RV Resort will have camping and a club house with a pool, in addition to a full-service marina all weekend. Guests can rent boats, jet skis, kayaks and more to soak in the sun. Memorial Day weekend activities include a daily boat cruise, dive-in movie, a sunset music cruise, live entertainment, a farmers market, a bonfire, and a cornhole tournament. A Memorial Day breakfast will be served at Dillon’s Bayou Restaurant & Bar on Monday.
Details: May 26-29, varying times and activities. $6 entry fee, prices for activities vary. Pleasant Harbor Marina, 8708 W. Harbor Blvd., Peoria. 602-269-0077, pleasantharbor.com.
5/26: Star Spangled Celebration in Laveen
The Star Spangled Celebration is a free community event honoring veterans, police and firefighters who died in the line of duty. The event features informational booths, children’s activities, police and fire demonstrations, live music, a bike rodeo and a fireworks show. Proceeds from the event will benefit non-profits.
Details: 5-9 p.m. Friday, May 27. Cesar Chavez Park, 7858 S. 35th Ave., Laveen. Free. phoenixheroes.org.
5/26-28: Phoenix Caribbean Carnival and Parade
The Phoenix Caribbean Carnival is a multi-day celebration of Caribbean culture that takes place over Memorial Day weekend. A variety of parties and performances will take place at various Phoenix venues, with the cornerstone of the event being Sunday’s festive parade and “Carnival Village” featuring Caribbean entertainment, food, dance, arts and crafts. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. at Third Street and Thomas Road, heading north to Steele Indian School Park. Village entertainment and vendors will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Details: 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, May 26, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, May 27 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, May 28. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Call for prices. 480-525-4627, phoenixcarnival.com and facebook.com/phoenixcarnivalaz.
5/29: Memorial Day from Pioneers’ Cemetery Association
The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association presents its annual Memorial Day observance. Free public parking for visitors will be located at Wesley Bolin Plaza, and attendees will be able to tour the cemeteries and visit the historic Smurthwaite House after the program.
Details: 9 a.m. Monday, May 29. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street, Phoenix. Free. 602-534-1262, azhistcemeteries.org.
5/29: Memorial Day commemoration in Mesa
This event will include a flyover and dove release, as well as a Memorial Day service conducted by local fraternal organizations. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony. Covered seating will be provided but please arrive early to secure a spot. Bringing a hat, umbrella, sunscreen and water are recommended.
Details: 9 a.m. Monday, May 29. Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, 7900 E Main St., Mesa. Free. mountainviewfuneralhomeandcemetery.com/annual-memorial-day-commemoration/.
5/29: A Day of Remembrance in Anthem
The Anthem Veterans Memorial will host a memorial observance, including a keynote address by Lt. Col. David Clukey, U.S. Army. Lt. Col. John Simmons, U.S. Air Force (Retired) will be the Master of Ceremonies, and the Jr. Air Force ROTC cadets from Sandra Day O’Connor High School will be offering assistance before and during the ceremony. Lawn chairs are welcome and encouraged. Special music will be provided by ProMusica.
Details: 9 a.m. Monday, May 29. Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. 623-742-6050, onlineatanthem.com.
5/29: Memorial Day Picnic in Gilbert
The Memorial Day Picnic is a chance for the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts to celebrate the kick-off of the summer season. Parents, alumni, volunteers, friends and fans will enjoy a picnic lunch featuring hot dogs, beans, salad and dessert. The Academy Youth Guard and each section of the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform, presenting the latest and greatest of the Academy offerings, and the celebration will conclude with a full ensemble performance of the 2017 Academy field production.
Details: Noon-3 p.m. Monday, May 29. Campo Verde High School, 3870 S. Quartz St., Gilbert. $5. 480-730-5594, arizonaacademy.org.
5/29: Memorial Day candlelight service in Avondale
Avondale and various community groups once again will offer a service to honor those who have served our nation. There will be a candle-lighting ceremony, a Scottish-American military-remembrance table presentation and more.
Details: 7-8 p.m. Monday, May 29. Avondale City Hall, 11465 Civic Center Drive, Avondale. Free. 480-735-4881, avondale.org.
5/29: 11th Annual Flags for Our Fallen
Riders United for a Sovereign America will line Cave Creek Road with more than 250 American flags and park their bikes in between them to salute families on their way to the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. This year, the organization will be at the location all weekend and is seeking volunteers for flag preparation, sponsorship ribbons and grounds maintenance. Riders arrive at 5 a.m. on Memorial Day. The ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. Registration and flag-sponsorship details are online.
Details: 5-9 a.m. Monday, May 29. 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. Free to participate; $10 each or three for $25 to sponsor flags. ridersusa.net.
5/29: Gilbert Historical Museum Memorial Day event
The Gilbert Historical Museum will host a morning of celebration and remembrance for Memorial Day. A collaboration between the Museum and American Legion Post 39, the event will include a flag and wreath ceremony, musical performances and several speakers.
Details: 9-10 a.m. Monday, May 29. Gilbert Historical Museum, 10 S. Gilbert Road. Call for prices. 480-926-1577, gilbertmuseum.org.
5/29: Memorial Day Program in Mesa
Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park presents a program that includes the Avenue of Flags, where more than 90 United States flags, donated by the families of deceased U.S. veterans, are flown each Memorial Day to pay tribute to their loved one’s service. A World War II aircraft will also do a flyover during the program. Refreshments will be served immediately after the service.
Details: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, May 29. 6747 E. Broadway Road, Mesa. Free. 480-830-4422, dignitymemorial.com.
5/29: Memorial Day service at Green Acres
The annual service includes a warbird flyover, posting of colors, bagpiper, wreath and flag presentation, and special guest speakers.
Details: 10-10:45 a.m. Monday, May 29. Green Acres Mortuary and Cemetery, 401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. Free. 480-945-2654, greenacresmortuary.net.
Ongoing: American Indian Veterans National Memorial
See the first and only known national memorial to American Indian veterans on display at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The memorial, outside of the Collector’s Room of the Heard Museum Shop, consists of several sculptures by acclaimed Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser and Michael Naranjo. Several bronze-colored panels detail the story of American Indians in conflicts from the 17th century to the 21st century and pay tribute to American Indians who received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration.
Details: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Free to see the memorial in the courtyard outside the museum. 602-252-8848, heard.org.
5/27-29: Prescott Off Street Festival
Not that anyone needs a specific excuse to head to Prescott for Memorial Day weekend, but the town hosts an arts-based festival with more than 100 vendors showing off and selling their arts and crafts. Motorists might appreciate the fact it’s set up on a lot behind the Chamber of Commerce, thus not impeding traffic around Courthouse Square.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, May 27-29. Behind Prescott Chamber of Commerce, 117 W. Goodwin St. Free. 928-445-2000, prescott.org.
5/27-28: Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture
The festival returns to the Museum of Northern Arizona. Zuni artisans from throughout the Southwest will share expertise in carving, weaving, painting and more. Enjoy traditional dances while learning about all facets of Zuni life and culture.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28. Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff. $12, $8 for ages 10-17, free for age 9 and younger. 928-774-5213, musnaz.org.
5/27-29: Taylor Trapper Days in Snowflake
Forget how much that doggy is in the window. The real question is, how much can that doggy pull? Find out during Trapper Days, featuring a weight-pulling contest among large dogs. There also will be a pancake breakfast, barbecue, dance and more. Festivities also include a wagon-ride tour of historic homes.
Details: 6:30 a.m. Saturday, May 27; home tour is 5 p.m. Monday, May 29. Venues and admission vary per event, check website or call for details. 928-536-7366, snowflaketaylorchamber.org.
5/27-29: Wyatt Earp Days
How do you celebrate the life and times of one of the Old West’s most infamous lawman? With shootouts, hangings and a chili cook-off. Those first two aren’t real, but the last certainly is. Be sure to catch the 1880s fashion show to see what was hot on the red carpet, if the 1880s had a red carpet outside brothels.
Details: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Monday, May 27-29. Along Allen Street in downtown Tombstone. Free. 520-266-5266, tombstonechamber.com.
5/28: World’s Shortest Memorial Day Parade in Crown King
The annual event draped in red, white and blue to honors military veterans. All are invited to join. From Phoenix, take Interstate 17 north to Bloody Basin Road (Exit 259). Follow Forest Road 259 (Crown King Road) for 24 miles to Crown King. It’s a rough, narrow unpaved road with sharp switchbacks. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended.
Details: Noon Sunday, May 29. Followed at 12:10 p.m. (give or take a few minutes) by a family carnival at the Fire Department. Free. 928-632-7911, CrownKingAz.com.
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