Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and there’s plenty to see and do in the Show-Me State.
In Cape Girardeau, a ceremony fitting of the Memorial Day observance takes place Friday-Sunday at Fort D Historic Site, when local re-enactors offer a living history encampment. During the weekend, the re-enactors pay tribute to America’s fallen soldiers with rifle and cannon fire.
Memorial Day first was observed after the American Civil War as a way to honor Union and Confederate soldiers who died during combat. Fort D was one of four forts built to protect Cape Girardeau during the Civil War and is the only one remaining. The event is free and open to the public.
Another place to learn more about the importance of Memorial Day is the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. Among the activities planned at Liberty Memorial are a vintage military vehicle display on Saturday and Sunday and a lecture focusing on the restoration and preservation of the memorial on Saturday.
Nearly 100 new Walk of Honor bricks will be dedicated during Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony at Liberty Memorial.
Elsewhere around Missouri:
- Check out the Jiggle Jam Family Music Fest Saturday and Sunday at the Crown Center Complex in Kansas City. Chock full of live performances and family activities, Jiggle Jam is a great destination for your holiday weekend. More than 25 bands/performers are part of the lineup.
- Enjoy one of Missouri’s largest festivals, St. Louis Bluesweek, at Chesterfield Amphitheater in Central Park. On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy the festival atmosphere for free and take in a concert for $10; it’s $25 if you want to sit in the amphitheater’s stadium-style seats.
- Stop by Mark Twain’s home town for a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza. The author and his works are celebrated during the annual Twain on Main festival on Saturday and Sunday. Activities include live music and games, special areas for kids, plus lots of craft and food vendors.
- Take in a variety of special Memorial Day weekend events in Branson. Don’t miss fireworks displays at both Big Cedar Lodge and Chateau on the Lake on Sunday. Also, Branson’s lineup of live shows gets into full swing, and the entertainment destination’s newest attraction, the Kapau Plummet water slide, makes its debut at White Water waterpark.
- The Pedaler’s Jamboree is an opportunity to ride your bike, camp and hear great music, all in one rollicking event. Pedaler’s Jamboree leaves Columbia’s Flat Branch Park on Saturday morning heading toward Boonville’s Kemper Park (taking Katy Trail State Park), where live performances carry into the evening (attendees can camp overnight). Live music and other activities happen along the 30-mile route to Boonville; note you can buy non-rider tickets if you only want to attend the concerts at Kemper Park.
- See a world-class air show during the annual Salute to Veterans Airshow at Columbia Regional Airport. This two-day event (Saturday and Sunday) includes exhibitions by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the Golden Knights (the U.S. Army parachute team), a variety of aircraft (including WWI fighter replicas) and the opportunity to connect with current and retired members of the U.S. military. Shuttles to the airshow depart from Hearnes Center in Columbia and from Jefferson City Memorial Airport. The event is free.
These are just a few of the events taking place in Missouri during the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Learn more online at VisitMO.com.