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2023 BEST Things to Do on Memorial Day in Michigan Weekend: Events, 5K Races, Celebrations

memorial day in michigan : wehre to celebrate memorial day weekend in michigan

What is There to Do in Michigan on Memorial Day?

Looking for fun and exciting ways to celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Michigan? Well, look no further! Michigan has an array of events to honor the memory of those who fought for our country.

From the incredible Fort Michilimackinac Historical Reenactment Pageant to backyard barbeques, 5ks to kids activities and Memorial Day ceremonies, we’re sharing everything you need to know about celebrating Memorial Day in Michigan!

Keep reading if you’re looking for “Memorial Day weekend events near me,” too. We have them across the state, from the Upper Peninsula to Michigan’s Thumb Coast . There are exciting Memorial Day weekend activities happening all over the state, from St. Joseph to Mackinaw City and beyond.

Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday for honoring and mourning the soldiers that lost their lives fighting for our country. Memorial Day takes place on the last Monday of May.
The Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of the summer season as Michigan travel heats up.

memorial day weekend in michigan
Memoria; Day Celebration in St. Joseph, Michigan

2023 Memorial Day Celebrations in Michigan

Across Michigan, there are plenty of Memorial Day Celebrations to choose from. Michigan has it all, whether you are looking for something active like a 5k, something more laid back such as BBQ, or even something more meaningful like an observance!

Active Outdoor Michigan Memorial Day Celebrations 

Memorial Day Mt. Pisgah Paddle/ Run or Walk/ Paddle- A Tribute to our Veterans
2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424
May 29, 10:00 am 

The Mt. Pisgah Paddle/ Walk or Run/ Paddle for Memorial Day is the perfect active family, fun outdoor celebration in Holland, MI. If you’re a fan of paddle sports, this is the perfect event for you. 

Participants will paddle 1.5 miles during this event, then walk or run 1 mile to paddle another 1.5 miles. The event starts in Lake Michigan along with the North Channel Break to the top of Mt. Pisgah and ends where you begin. There will be a beach pancake breakfast following the last paddle, all in honor of our Veterans.

PRO-TIP: Holland, MI is one of the top Michigan travel desinations,with a beautiful state park and iconic Lake Michigan lighthouse. You’ll want to visit the “Big Red” lighthouse while you’re in town. Bring your camera.

29th Annual Dick Berg Memorial Weekend Rodeo
401 S. State St., Gladwin, MI 48624
May 27, 2023

The Gladwin County Fair kicks off this weekend with one of the favorite events taking center stage. The Super Kicker Rodeo is fun to watch for all ages!

Tawas Memorial Day Weekend Art & Craft Show
228 Newman Street, East Tawas, MI, 48730
May 27, 2023

This show has something for everyone. There are jewelers, woodworkers, painters and potters. A wide variety of over 130 skilled crafters makes this show a must to see to start off the summer season.

Memorial Day Parades in Michigan

Memorial Day 5k Run/Walk
Harbor Springs, MI
May 29, 8:00 am 

The Harbor Springs Memorial Day 5k takes place before the parade, and the 3-mile race course will take you up along the coast of Lake Michigan through the quaint town of Harbor Springs. 

Memorial Day in Michigan is a beautiful time of year. Be sure and plan some time to take a drive north after the celebration. Michigan’s M-119 Tunnel of Trees is a scenic drive that’s beautiful anytime of the year.

Meaningful Michigan Memorial Day Celebrations 

Fort Mackinac Memorial Day Observance
Mackinac Island, MI 
May 29, 8:00 am

The Fort Mackinac Observance honors the soldiers who served at Fort Mackinac. The ceremony begins with soldiers assembling at Fort Mackinac, where they march to the cemetery and perform a short ceremony along with a 21-gun salute to celebrate Memorial Day in Michigan.

This is one of the most popular Michigan Memorial Day weekend events, if you can make it to Mackinac Island for Memorial Day, you’ll find it a very touching tribute.

If you decide to visit Mackinac Island for this tribute, use our Guide to the Best Mackinac Island Hotels to find a place to stay.

Ionia Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony 
100 W Main St, Ionia, MI
May29, 10:00 am

Enjoy a spectacular parade in downtown Ionia followed by a special ceremony at the Ionia County Courthouse. The ceremony commemorates the men and women who fought and have died fighting for our country. 

Michigan memorial day celebrations

Fun and Laid Back Michigan Memorial Day Celebrations 

Memorial Day – Start of Summer Celebration Benton Harbor
Coloma / St. Joseph KOA Holiday, 3527 Coloma Rd, Benton Harbor, MI
May 26 – 29, 2023

Honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy the blessings of freedom and the first weekend of summer kicks off! The weekend includes our holiday weekend charity pancake breakfast to benefit Care Camps, family-friendly activities.

Things to do in Muskegon mi

Greater Muskegon Memorial Day Ceremony
Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave STE 200, Muskegon, MI
May 29, 10 a.m.

Immediately following the Greater Muskegon Memorial Day Parade, a musical ceremony will be held at the beautiful and historic Frauenthal Center, featuring the Mona Shores Marching Band. This patriotic event will include a musical program, guest speaker and honor Veterans.

Memorial Day Family Camp at Camp Nissokone in Oscoda
Camp Nissokone, 6836 F-41, Oscoda, 48750
May 26 – May 29

Escape from life’s many interruptions as you relax and play together as a family on Memorial Day weekend in northern Michigan’s Oscoda. Strengthen relationships and help create unforgettable memories that your family will share for a lifetime.

The camp offers activities from archery to ziplining, arts & crafts, guided river trips, paintball, horseback rides and more to bring your family closer together. Our full-service kitchen prepares three hearty meals each day that will make the whole family smile.

1st Annual Memorial Day Benefit Car Show
8969 Hyne Rd, Brighton, MI
May 29, 2 – 7 p.m.

Live music, food truck, burnouts, handmade trophies, raffles and more!

Stormcloud Memorial Day Party at The Taproom 
366 Parkview Lane Frankfort, MI, 49635
May 29, 3:00- 8:00 pm

Stormcloud Brewing Company of Frankfort, Michigan, is throwing a party to kick start the summer.At this event, you will be able to enjoy live music, lawn games, local food trucks, and plenty of beer to go around.

The event takes place outdoors in downtown Frankfort, one of the top Michigan beachtowns. You’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of Northern Michigan in the summer just blocks from stunning Lake Michigan beaches. There is no party like a Northern Michigan Party!

memorial Day parade- things to do in Michigan on memorial day

Michigan Memorial Day Parades

Plymouth Memorial Day Parade
Downtown Plymouth, MI 48170  

Charming Plymouth Michigan honors its veterans annually with one of the biggest Memorial Day parades in metro Detroit. Parade-goers line the streets to pay homage to the local veterans in this popular parade featuring local bands, veteran’s groups and more.

St. Joseph Memorial Day Parade
Park and Lake Streets, St. Joseph, MI 49085
May 26 from 12 – 1 p.m.

What better place to honor our veterans than beautiful St. Joseph, MI?  This patriotic parade runs along Lake Street, parallel to the Lake Michigan coastline. Follow the parade to the bandshell, for a short program honoring those who fought for our country.

Among the celebrations listed above, Michigan also has several fantastic Memorial Day parades across the state. You can check those out in our Guide to Michigan Memorial Day Parades.

Dexter, MI Memorial Day Parade
Where: 7530-7576 Ann Arbor St, Dexter, MI 48130
When: May 29, 10:00 am

Right outside of Ann Arbor, head northwest and find the little town of Dexter, Michigan. The town may be small, but their Rotary Club is mighty and so is their Memorial Day Parade.

If you’re looking for more things to do in May in Michigan, be sure and use our Michigan May Events Calender.

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About The Author ~

Emily Lance is a Content Creator for She grew up in the small town of Dexter, Michigan, just outside of Ann Arbor, and is currently attending Michigan State University, where she majors in Journalism with a focus in Sports journalism and Media Relations and a minor in Media Photography. Emily has also loved writing and taking photographs/videos of her surroundings and travels. Emily loves to explore new places, kayak, ski, and go boating in her free time.