Memorial Day is a national holiday to commemorate and celebrate the brave men and women who have died defending our country.
Cemeteries, veterans organizations and other groups are hosting many events and services to honor their legacy. Throughout the weekend there will also be music and other special events.
Here are some local Memorial Day events.
▪ The Remember Our Heroes Car Show is Saturday, May 26, at Ting Park, 1151 N. Main St., Holly Springs. The car show, which begins at 8:30 a.m., features food, classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Prizes will be awarded. The event benefits the Holly Springs Veterans Park War on Terrorism Memorial. Attendees can order memorial bricks in the monument.
▪ Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham will have its annual “Memorial Day Remembrance: The American Soldier Through the Ages” May 26 and 27. Military living historians will represent soldiers through different time periods. The program is Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $3 for adults, $2 for kids 5 to 16 and free for 5 and under. bennettplacehistoricsite.com/special-events/
▪ At 7 p.m., Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre will host Triangle Wind Ensemble's American Celebration: Salute to the Cinema. This will have a musical salute to veterans, as well as music by James Horner, Bill Conti and John Williams. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and picnics are encouraged. Gates open at 6 p.m. The amphitheater is at 8003 Regenecy Parkway, Cary.
▪ The Tar Heel Detachment 733 of the Marine Corps League Department of North Carolina will host its wreath-laying ceremony at the N.C. Veteran’s Monument on the Edenton Street side of the State Capitol at 11 a.m. Retired Marine Sgt. Maj. Holly Prafke is the guest speaker.
▪ Historic Oakwood Cemetery will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 4 p.m. in the cemetery’s Veterans’ Field of Honor. Retired Col. Baron Hignite will speak, and there will be music provided by the Raleigh Moravian brass band.
▪ A Memorial Day service with a flag ceremony, music and a white balloon release, will begin at 11 a.m. in the chaplain mausoleum at Raleigh Memorial Park cemetery, 7501 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh. The service is sponsored by Heartland Hospice.
▪ Cary will hold its Memorial Day Remembrance at Veterans Freedom Park, 1513 N. Harrison Ave., from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Speakers include Paul Bary, who retired in 2016 from the United States Marine Corps as a Sergeant Major after 30 years of service, and Tom Baker, who served in the Navy from 2003 to 2013. For more information go to townofcary.org.
▪ The Garner Memorial Day observance is 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Garner Veterans Memorial at Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Road. Sponsored by the town, the Garner Veterans Advisory Committee, American Legion Post 232 and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10225.
▪ American Legion Post 7 in Durham will place flags on the graves of veterans at Maplewood Cemetery, 1621 Duke University Road, Durham. At 11 a.m. Monday, there will be a full service at Maplewood and a meal afterward.
▪ Orange County Veterans Memorial will held host a service at 2501 Holmstead Road in Chapel Hill. Visitors can start gathering at the flagpole at 7:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 7:45 a.m., when the Honor Guard readies for the flag raising. The memorial service will begin at 8:05 a.m. After the ceremony, motorcycle riders will depart for an Orange County Motorcycle Tour. This year, the Orange County Veterans Memorial Fundraising Committee aims to raise $500,000 to build a memorial. orangecountyveteransmemorial.com.
▪ The Johnston County Council of Veterans Organizations is sponsoring a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday inside the courthouse, 207 E. Johnston St., Smithfield. This year's guest speaker will be N.C. Sen. Ronald Rabin, who is a retired U.S. Army colonel. Info: 919-989-5067.
▪ The US Veterans Corps will hold a Memorial Day swim, called Laps of Honor, to raise money for organizations that support veterans and injured troops. The swim is 9 a.m. to noon at Glenridge Community Pool, 101 Autumngate Drive, Cary. Swimmers will do laps to honor units, veterans or specific service members. Breakfast will be served. For information or to donate, go to myusvc.com/lohevent.html
▪ This Memorial Day weekend will have plenty of concerts including Brian McKnight at Red Hat Amphitheater on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; the Outlaw Music Festival featuring Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Alison Krauss and others at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Friday at 5:30 p.m.; Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR and Lance Skiiiwater at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; and Sugarland at PNC Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m.
▪ Starting Friday you can celebrate Japanese anime culture at Animazement at the Raleigh Convention Center. The event attracts thousands of attendees and offers many different events, videos, cultural demonstrations, J-pop/rock concerts and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, go to animazement.com.
▪ The Freedom Balloon Fest hot air balloon festival will take place in Fuquay-Varina all weekend with balloon rides, a balloon glow and a Field of Flags that honors service members. For more details, go to freedomballoonfest.com or download the Project Uplift app.