Memorial Day Weekend is coming soon, and Pittsburgh is the place to be for inspiring ceremonies and patriotic events. Memorial Day pays tribute to all American men and women who died in active military service. Pittsburgh honors these heroes with a variety of events throughout the city. If you're spending Memorial Day weekend in Pittsburgh, here are some events that offer a way to pay your respects and have some family fun since the holiday is also the unofficial kickoff to Summer.
Memorial Day Flag Ceremony
Head to the Senator John Heinz History Center's Great Hall for a very moving and patriotic flag ceremony from 12-12:30 pm. Join local veterans and museum visitors to help to unfurl a giant 36-foot American Flag. During the ceremony, participate in the National Anthem and a moment of silence for those who served our country. Then help to ceremoniously fold the flag with the help of fellow visitors.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Celebration
Be at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum for a free celebration! The day begins with a ceremony at 11am that pays tribute to fallen Pennsylvania service members from the war on terrorism. Stay for the afternoon and enjoy family-friendly activities including crafts, face painting, a bouncy house and fun contests with prizes. Food can be purchased from Pittsburgh Barbeque Company as well as a variety of beverages and desserts.
See the new special exhibit, D-Day Pittsburgh 75 (May 27-June 30), which recognizes the 75th anniversary of D-Day. See historic artifacts including a torn 48-star U.S. Flag from a Landing Craft Infantry when it landed on Omaha Beach, rare materials related to the famous 82nd Airborne Division, medals, photographs and more. Enjoy a live concert by The Brass Roots featuring patriotic classics and a military medley, followed by Taps to close out the day.
Lawrenceville Memorial Day Parade
Put on your red, white and blue and head to Lawrenceville's 111th annual Memorial Day Parade, one of the longest-running parades in the country. The parade features more than 65 groups including marching bands, veterans' organizations, dogs, classic cars, local sports mascots and more. The parade kicks off at 10 am Monday, May 27 at 36th and Butler Streets and will last about 45 minutes.
Allegheny Cemetery Memorial Ceremony & Activities
Follow the parade into Allegheny Cemetery, the final resting place for more than 15,000 Veterans, for a Military Memorial Service at the Soldiers Memorial. The service includes a gun volley by Civil War reenactors, dove release and wreath laying ceremony. A community picnic follows the service with music, giveaways, refreshments, face painting, food trucks and a classic car show. Free to the public.
Visit a Memorial
Memorial Day is the perfect time to visit one of Pittsburgh's many memorials and monuments. You can visit:
Other Fun Events
Enjoy America’s favorite past time at one of the best ballparks in America – PNC Park – and cheer on the Pittsburgh Pirates as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers (May 24-26). The first 20,000 fans in the ballpark on Friday receive a free t-shirt.
Experience an evening of dazzling light at the Water Lantern Festival Pittsburgh (May 25) at Allegheny Commons Park West in the North Side neighborhood. The event features music, food trucks and an area to design your own lantern. At sunset, see the beauty of lanterns lighting up the water. Check out the web site for ticket prices.
Explore five Pittsburgh neighborhoods — Homewood, Larimer, East Liberty, Shadyside and Point Breeze — for OpenStreetsPGH (May 25). Busy neighborhood streets are closed to vehicle traffic from 9am to 1pm. You can bike, dance, skate, and run in a fun atmosphere. There are fitness workshops, kids’ activities, shopping, food, community arts and special promotions presented by local businesses and organizations.
Heavy metal music fans will love Apocalyptica – Plays Metallica By Four Cellos Tour concert (May 27) at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. Think heavy metal marries classical music. Concert starts at 7:30, doors open at 6:30.
Enjoy delicious food and great music at the Ribs & Blues Festival (May 26-27) at Kennywood Amusement Park. Local barbeque vendors will be at the park offering finger-licking ribs. Ride the coasters, play some games and walk through one of America’s finest amusement parks.