Families looking to celebrate the first weekend of the summer season and honor the nation's veterans have more than a dozen events to choose from as they pack their bags for a road trip. Here's the rundown for Memorial Day weekend events across the state:
Run for the Wall, May 22, Tuscaloosa
Riders from California embark on a ride to The Wall in memory of those who died and in support of those who remain POWs or MIAs. This is the 12th year the group will stop by the Tuscaloosa VA Hospital around 9:30 a.m. For more information: 205.554.2000.
Montgomery Symphony Orchestra's Jubilee Pops Concert, May 25, Montgomery
Families will enjoy this event on the lawn of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets for this free concert. www.montgomerysymphony.org
Memorial Weekend StayCation, May 25 – 28, Montgomery
Enjoy a weekend of fun in downtown Montgomery that starts Friday, May 25 with a Pub Crawl. Wristbands for the event are $10. After the Pub Crawl hop aboard the Harriott II for a cruise along the Alabama River. Boarding begins at 10 p.m. and the boat will cruise from 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. The Montgomery Biscuits will also be playing at Riverwalk Stadium with fireworks to follow. www.funontheriver.net. Also, the U.S. Open of Watercross Tour stops in Montgomery for the fun competition on the river May 25 & 26 at Waterfront Park. A free concert featuring Hunter Lawley takes place on the riverfront Sunday, May 26 and the weekend finale is a family fun day at Riverfront Park on Monday May 27.
Mammoths and Mastodons Exhibit at U.S. Space & Rocket Center, May 26, Huntsville
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center will open its new traveling exhibit, Mammoths and Mastodons, Titans of the Ice Age. Learn the story of Lyuba, the 42,000-year-old-baby wooly—the most complete mammoth ever discovered. Joust with mammoth tusks, touch colossal mastodon teeth, and real mammoth fur. Visitors will journey back in time to live among these larger than life creatures in the most captivating, interactive exhibition since the Ice Age. The traveling exhibit is free with your paid admission to the Space & Rocket Center. www.rocketcenter.com.Annual Memorial Day Weekend Tuskegee Airmen Fly-In, May 26, TuskegeeThe Fly-In at Moton Field is open to the public and features Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, historic aircraft, aerobatics, exhibits, vendors and military fly-bys. 334.727.3200, www.nps.gov/tuai.
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival, May 26-27, Decatur
One of the largest free balloon festivals in the Southeast featuring more than 60 balloons, balloon races, kite flying, car show, arts, musical entertainment, food and a children's area. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Event is free. For more information: 800.524.6181, www.decaturcvb.org.
Tannehill Civil War Reenactment, May 26-27, McCalla
Tannehill Ironworks and Historic State Park along with the Alabama State Militia Artillery will host the 12th annual Civil War Battle and Living History Reenactment with more than 500 re-enactors. Admission charged. Camps open at 9 a.m.; battles 2 p.m. For more information: 205.477.5711, www.tannehill.org.
Memorial Day Weekend Concert, May 27, Alexander City
Kick off the summer season with the family at a lakefront concert at the Lake Martin Amphitheatre. This year features Blackberry Smoke with Will Hodge and Moon Taxi. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. – show starts at 6:00 p.m. Admission charged. 256.234.3461, www.lmat.org.
Veterans Remembrance Ceremony, May 27, Ft. Mitchell
The general public is invited to attend a ceremony to remember our nation's veterans at 2:00 p.m. (EDT). The ceremony will be held at the flag pole area of the Ft. Mitchell National Cemetery. Contact James Sanders, 334.855.4731, for more information.
Fort Morgan Memorial Day Tribute, May 28, Gulf Shores
Uniformed living history interpreters honor the nation's military with artillery salutes throughout the day. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Admission charged. For more information: 251.540.7127.
Memorial Day Ceremony, May 28, Tuscumbia
This free ceremony honors all veterans and takes place at the Colbert County Courthouse. Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and is free. For more information: 256.383.7973, www.visitTuscumbiaAL.com.Lottie Memorial Day Services, May 28, LottieJoin the city of Lottie for the dedication of flags ceremony and other activities honoring the men and women who have served. 251.867.2445Anniversary of Veterans Memorial, May 28, Center PointThe free event takes place at Reed-Harvey Park and features an imported black marble bench and personalized bricks honoring all armed services. 10 -11 a.m. For more information: 205.853.9711, www.centerpointchamber.com.Memorial Day Celebration in Confederate Park, May 28, GreenvilleMusic begins at 9:30 a.m. with "New Vision" followed by the Memorial Day program at 10:30 a.m. There will be a "Walk of Honor" for all veterans present. For more information call 334.382.6383 or www.greenville-alabama.com.
Memorial Day Bug Races, May 28, Birmingham
Kids and families will have fun racing bugs at the 2nd Annual Memorial Day Bug Race. The event takes place at the Treetop Nature Trail on Terrace Drive at 10 a.m. Free after admission to Oak Mountain State Park. 205.620.2520, www.alapark.com/oakmountain.Memorial Day Ceremony, May 28, AthensThe American Legion Post 49 and the Alabama Veterans Museum, is conducting this annual ceremony on the Old L&N Freight Dock at the Alabama Veterans Museum at 10 a.m. on 100 West Pryor Street in Athens. The special guest speaker will be Lt. Gen. Richard Formica. For more information: 256.233.3023, or 256.771.7578, www.alabamaveteransmuseum.com.
Memorial Day Ceremony, May 28, Tuscaloosa
Memorial Day Ceremony is presented by the Veterans Memorial Park Association and begins at 9 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. For more information: 205.563.3220, http://www.tuscaloosaveteranspark.org/.
Memorial Day Service, May 28, Gadsden
The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association will host a Memorial Service at the Ola Lee Mize Patriots Park located inside Noccalula Falls Park from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information: 256.467.4042 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Blue Star Salute-Memorial Day Celebration, May 30, MontevalloThe celebration includes a Gold Star Salute to fallen heroes, a Buffalo Soldiers monument dedication, live music, displays of military equipment, costumed historical interpreters, and BBQ. 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission charged. Active duty and veterans get in for free. 205.978.5095, http:// www.americanvilllage.org.