Commemorating Memorial Day in West Michigan

Memorial Day seeks to remember all those that have died honoring our country through service in battle. This holiday began almost 150 years ago as “Decoration Day” and officially became Memorial Day in 1967. Families and friend mark the death of loved ones nationwide through ceremonies, visits to the cemetery, outdoor celebrations, and parades. So what’s going on in West Michigan this year? Plan your outings by checking out this event list.

The official Grand Rapids Memorial Day parade will begin marching at 7:30 p.m. on May 30th. The parade will begin on Division Ave traveling to Fulton. The parade will end at Veteran’s Memorial Park where there will be a ceremony held in honor of our veterans.

The Grand Rapids Bicycle Memorial Day Time Trial race will take place on May 30th beginning at 8 a.m. This event, sponsored by the Grand Rapids Bicycle Company, has approximately 20 different categories to choose from and cash prizes are awarded. The race is a 17 mile time trial that begins at the Steelcase Pyramid. Come honor our veterans through physical fitness! Registration ends on May 28th.

The Spring Parade of Homes marks its 16th year in Grand Rapids and is a Memorial Day tradition. It begins on May 27th and lasts until June 11th. This event features new homes by the Home and Building Association of Grand Rapids. Come enjoy all the many unique styles of homes in your neighborhood. Hours are 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 pm to 9 p.m., and Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call 800-305-2021 for more information.

The city of Holland will begin its yearly Memorial Day Parade on May 30, beginning at 9:30 a.m.. This parade will travel from Eighth Street and River Avenue to Columbia. It will then travel south to 16th St and east to the Pilgrim Home Cemetery where a ceremony will take place. Please contact Michele Zeilinger at [email protected] for more information.

The city of Zeeland begins its Memorial Day parade on May 30 at 9:00 a.m. The parade begins its route on Main Ave and Centennial St. It heads west to State St. and follows Central Ave. to Maple St. The parade is followed by a ceremony at Lincoln Street Cemetery.

The Walker Memorial Day Parade will be on May 30, beginning at 12:00 noon. The parade will begin on Lake Michigan Dr., between Lincoln Lawns and St. Clair, NW. For more information, please contact the Recreation Department at 616-735-6286. Deadline for registering to be a parade participant is May 8th.

The City of Grand Haven will host its annual Memorial Day Rib fest on First St. This “Battle of the Bones” will help benefit the Ward Goff Scholarship Fund. The kick-off party will take place on Friday, May 28th beginning at 3 p.m. Ribs will be served from 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. Expect live music and festivities will last until 11 p.m. On Saturday, the rib fest will begin at 11 am until 7 pm but celebrate until 11 p.m. with live music. Grand Haven will end its celebration on May 30th with a parade at 9:30 a.m. beginning at Franklin St. and ending at Waterfront Stadium. For more information, contact Mrs. Sabina Streng at [email protected]

Memorial Day may provide perfect opportunities for fun and relaxation, but it is more important to reflect on the many individuals that have died for this country in service. Make sure to check out your local newspapers for more information on upcoming events closer to Memorial Day Weekend.