When the temperature starts to rise, the skies seem a little bluer, and the sun stays out to play a little longer in the day, you know it’s time for some fun in the sun. The end of May is vastly approaching, which means so is Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who lost their lives serving in the U.S. Military. Usually, people are excited to take advantage of the extended weekend, whether that includes spending time with family and friends, cooking something up on the grill while grooving to some tunes, or just using the downtime to relax. Take a look at some of the local activities going on this weekend below.
The Jacksonville Symphony presents a musical Memorial Day with their annual event where they sing patriotic tunes like the Star-Spangled Banner. The concert starts at 7:30pm and is located at the Times Union Center. Each performance lasts about 60 to 75 minutes, and there isn’t an intermission. Tickets for this two-day event are currently on sale, so be sure to grab yours, and don’t forget to bring a mask because they are required. 7:30p.m. $25-65. Times Union Center: 300 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL; www.jaxsymphony.org
Memorial Day Weekend at the Roma Flea Market
Visit the Roma Flea Market for some well-needed shopping, good food, drinks and music. This event is guaranteed to be a good time for all ages. Join in on a karaoke session on Saturday at noon or grab a cold one for $2.50 during Solo Cup Sunday. 8.am.-5 p.m. Free. Roma Flea Market: 7059 Ramona Blvd, Jacksonville, FL; www.ramonaflea.com
Florida Striders Track Club Memorial Day 5K
Looking to do something active? The Florida Striders are hosting their 38th Memorial Day 5K run. This runners club is dedicated to “promoting running for health, fun, and competition with an emphasis on fun.” So, get your running shoes ready to line up at the starting line at eight in the morning on May 31st. Unfortunately, there will not be a “formal” awards ceremony this year due to safety precautions, but finisher medals will be distributed and all finishers will receive a Florida Striders gaiter. Registration closes on May 27th, but they do offer race day registration at 6:30am. Further information can be found on the website. 8 a.m. $20-32. Town Hall Park: 2042 Park Avenue, Orange Park, FL www.laleggers.org
Visit Jax Veterans Memorial Wall
If you want to do something a little more subtle for Memorial Day, a great idea to show your appreciation for those who have lost their lives fighting for America’s freedom is to visit the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall in Downtown Jacksonville. This wall is the second largest memorial wall in the nation. It pays tribute to more than 1,700 local fallen heroes from all six service branches in the U.S. Military. Take some time to browse through the names, take pictures, and pay your respects to those heroic veterans. 1145 East Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL www.coj.net
Remember the Fallen Virtual 21k Walk
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of being around a bunch of people just yet, the Remember the Fallen Virtual 21K Walk is the perfect fit for you. The distance of this walk is significant because the 21K symbolizes the highest honor recognized in the military by many nations. The best part of “attending” this event is that you can take it at your own pace, choose your own location, and most importantly, show your support for a good cause! Registration is $29. All participants will receive a finisher medal and an official Tyvek Race bib. Various times. www.eventbrite.com // www.thevirtualrunchallenge.com
Beach Time & Barbecue
If you prefer to keep it simple, celebrate traditional style and head to the beach. Jax beach is always a great, FREE option because you can create your own experience. Pack a cooler with all your favorite drinks, grab some snacks, have family and friends tag along, and cool off in the water or relax on the sand as you play games and watch the waves, make it what you want. Or you can take a 30-minute trip to visit Fernandina Beach. It has a historic downtown area with numerous shopping and dining options.
And what’s a Memorial Day Weekend without barbecue? When you don’t feel like cranking up the grill at home, you can stop by a few of Jacksonville’s favorite barbecue joints:
- Jenkins Quality Barbecue is a Black family-owned barbecue spot known for its famous family secret barbecue mustard sauce recipe. www.jenkinsqualitybarbecue.com
- The Bearded Pig offers a casual southern barbecue setting with outdoor seating and a Beer Garden. www.thebeardedpigbbq.com
- Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q is one of the oldest barbecue establishments in Jacksonville and provides authentic barbecue in a traditional style. www.bonosbarbq.com
Whatever event you choose to participate in, always remember the reason we are celebrating Memorial Day is to honor those who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.
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