Unique Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations Across the US

Memorial Day is typically associated with All-American themed festivities, lively parades and even solemn ceremonies held to honor the sacrifices of our military men and women.

In another long-held tradition, weekend partygoers across the country will be spending the three-day weekend in their own backyards and at barbeques, or at their local beaches and parks, with brews in hand to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. Here’s a look at some alternative approaches to celebrating patriotism that will be taking place across the U.S. this year:

May 24-26, 2019

RuPaul’s DragCon LA 2019

Los Angeles Convention Center, California

Celebrating its fifth year running, the world’s largest, family-friendly drag event for all ages invites anyone with a fantastic sense of flair to take part in three days of art, culture and all things drag. The DragCon experience incorporates main-stage presentations; panels with fan-favorites from the TV show and special guests; Werk Room photo opps; a drag makeover with Carson Kressley; a Kids Zone with Drag Queen story hour; live podcast tapings; and, of course, vendors and merchandise.

May 25-27, 2019

2019 Movement Music Festival

Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan

Electronic music fans from around the world will be spending their Memorial Day weekend in Detroit, the birthplace of Techno, to celebrate the city’s musical legacy and dance until they drop. The festival takes place in Hart Plaza, Detroit’s legendary riverfront destination, with a host of pre-parties and after-parties planned to take place nearby.

May 25, 2019

Great American Beach Party

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida

The Great American Beach Party free all-day event will return for its eighth year to the sands of Fort Lauderdale beach on Memorial Day weekend with live music, sand-sculpting contents, an art exhibit display, a classic car show, and paratrooper demonstrations. This year’s musical headliners are 1960s jazz-rock veterans Blood, Sweat & Tears, with supporting artists Swahili Band, Pitbull of Blues, Shane Duncan, The Storm, Sabor Latino and Pocket Change.

May 26-27, 2019

Atlanta Urban Vegan Fest Memorial Day Weekend Party

Omenala-Griot Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

Those who don’t partake of traditional barbeque-fare prove that they can still satisfy the need for great-tasting holiday nosh. Vegan bacon, tacos, burgers, doughnuts, cookies and more are served up at Atlanta’s indoor/outdoor event, which brings together the city’s finest vegan chefs and restaurateurs. A live DJ, free giveaways and group games support an atmosphere of family-friendly fun.

May 23-26, 2019

Phoenix Fan Fusion

Phoenix Convention Center, Arizona

Self-identified geeks and pop-culture aficionados will fill this three-day event formerly known as Phoenix Comic Con over the holiday weekend. Among the many celebrity guests that are scheduled to be in attendance (and presumably available for photos and autographs) include Jeff Goldblum, Elijah Wood, George Takei, Billy Dee Williams, Paul Reubens, Matthew Lewis, John Barrowman and Catherine Tate. Special guests will also include comic-book creators, authors, video-game artists and voice actors from all realms of fantasy and fiction.

CALLING ALL #COSPLAYSER!! What does your #cosplaylineup look like?!? TAG a fellow cosplayer and share your daily line-up! This should be good!

EEEEEKKKK!! Only 2 days left before #PhxFanFusion!!! Who else is EXCITED!? pic.twitter.com/6y2txNS9JS

May 25-27, 2019

Albuquerque Wine Festival

Balloon Fiesta Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico

True oenophiles may wish to forego the traditional beer and barbeque scene this Memorial Day weekend in favor of sampling the reds, whites, pinks and bubblies produced by 20 local wineries at New Mexico’s biggest annual wine event: The Albuquerque Wine Festival. But, it’s not all beverages, with a fleet of food trucks and festival-style live music on site to round out the occasion.

May 24-27, 2019

Figawi Race Weekend

Nantucket Boat Basin, Nantucket, Massachusetts

For many sailors, Memorial Day weekend heralds the start of the racing season, starting with this east-coast regatta. Now in its 48th season, the Figawi Race Weekend will see over 200 sailboats entered in the 25-mile race, with more than three thousand enthusiasts and spectators coming in from all over the country. The event includes a parade honoring fallen military, vendors and a black-tie charity ball.

May 26, 2019

Carnaval San Francisco Grand Parade

Mission District, San Francisco, California

This year marks the 41st annual Carnaval San Francisco Grand Parade, accompanied by a free, two-day festival that draws thousands of attendees each year. The celebration combines international music, dance, arts & crafts and cuisine that lines the walkways between 16th and 24th Streets. This year’s theme “La Cultura Cura/Culture Heals” was chosen to bring awareness to the fact that the creation of art, music, dance and dialogue helps communities build support systems.

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