By Mark Horning

Memorial Day got its start in 1868 after the Civil War when the last Monday in May was deemed Decoration Day in which time was set aside to decorate the graves of Union war dead with flowers. In the 20th century the date stayed the same but grew to include honoring all Americans who had died while in military service. Many see the three day Memorial weekend as the opening of the busy summer season that goes through to Labor Day. There are many ways to celebrate this national holiday in Northeast Ohio. Perhaps some of those listed below will give you some new ideas.

Cleveland POPS Orchestra
16th Annual American Salute
Severance Hall
11001 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio
(216) 231-1111

Date: Friday, May 19, 2017

This annual patriotic celebration features the best of military inspired music. Joining the Cleveland POPS Orchestra this year will be the Mutual Gifts Gospel Choir, The Jazz Ambassadors and the U.S. Army Field Band. Tickets range from $21 to $95 and can be purchased on-line at the address above or by phone.

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19th Annual Berea Rib Cook-Off
Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
164 Eastland Road
Berea, OH 44017
(440) 234-5181

Date: Friday, May 26 to Monday, May 29, 2017

This is one of the best family values around. Admission to the event is just $5 and free before 5 p.m. on Friday with children under 12 free all weekend with plenty of activities geared for the youngsters. With the low ticket price this gives you plenty of spending money to purchase BBQ, ribs and sides from the nation’s premier BBQ outfits. There is free parking and free live music featuring The Chardon Polka Band, Recess, Cruisin, Gary West for The Love Of Cash, Disco Inferno, 7 Nations Spazmatics, My Manic Episode, Caliber, Aftermath, The Colin Dussault’s blues Project and The Stickers (for performance times check out the website listed above). Hours for the event are Friday, May 26 noon to 11 p.m., Saturday, May 27 and Sunday May 28 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday, May 29 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bay Village Memorial Day Parade And Services
Huntington Park
28728 Wolf Picnic Area Drive
Bay Village, OH

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017

The parade is sponsored by the local veterans associations who invite all Veterans to join with the American Legion, VFW and VVA to march behind these various organizations and be recognized. The parade steps off at 8:45 a.m. at Huntington Park. The parade route travels west on Lake Road and takes a right turn at Cahoon Road where it enters Lakeside Cemetery ending up at the Gazebo with services and recognition of the city founders wbeing held. A 21 gun salute, taps and patriotic music will be part of the ceremony to honor the local Heroes and current Veterans in the community. All are invited to line Lake and Cahoon Rd to recognize the veterans, and enjoy the BHS Band, First Responders, and Scouts.  Please remember that this is a solemn occasion you are requested to provide due respect for the event. After the parade, families that wish to can make their way to Huntington Beach for a day of picnicking. Plenty of tables and a large pavilion are available with a beautiful view of Lake Erie.

Lakeview Cemetery
Garfield Monument Memorial Day Ceremony
12316 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-2665

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

Founded in 1869 by wealthy Clevelanders, Lake View Cemetery is modeled after Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery as well as a number of historic cemeteries in England and France. It is the final resting place of many of Cleveland’s elite including President James A. Garfield, Leonard Case (founder of Case Institute later Case Western Reserve University), Samuel Mather, Dr. George W. Crile (Cleveland Clinic founder) and Frederick C. Crawford (founder of Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum) among others.

Each Memorial Day the cemetery hosts an event on the steps of the Garfield Monument with the ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. It consists of a veteran’s program, a speaker and a patriotic band concert. Following the ceremony the public is invited to picnic on the monument’s lawn. The event is free and open to the public.

The Cleveland Indians
Memorial Weekend Home Series
Progressive Field
2401 Ontario Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 420-4487

Nothing celebrates America quite like baseball. Memorial weekend has the Cleveland Indians at home against the Kansas City Royals (May 26, 27 and 28) and Oakland Athletics (May 29 and 30). Last year the team took it all the way to the World Series and this season looks just as promising.

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