Memorial Day is a holiday that was created to honor the fallen soldiers of the Confederate and Union Armed Forces of the American Civil War, it was extended after the first World War to commemorate all soldiers of all wars. We currently use this as a kick-off of summer vacations. Below is my top five list of happenings in the area, as well as a couple day trips that you can take. Whether you plan on staying home, staying local or taking a small trip, I’m sure you’ll find something enjoyable here.

5. 8th Annual Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race

The 8th Annual Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race is one of the only times during the year that runners are allowed to run on the Mackinaw Bridge. The race is 5.6 miles long with a gradual incline of 5 degrees. If you feel your in shape enough to run the course, you can sign-up at the official 8th Annual Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race website. After the race, stick around for the Memorial Weekend Pageant & Grand Fireworks where there will be fireworks at dusk and a re-enactment of Pontiac’s siege of Fort Michilimackinac. I guess you could call this one a bonus trip, a nice drive to the bridge and plenty of events to keep you going all weekend.

4. Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival

Another cool event happening this Memorial Day is the Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival which happens every year in downtown Detroit. Whether your into electronic/techno music or not, this is a great way to spend sometime downtown Detroit and people watch. Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival, or DEMF as it is sometimes called, kicks off on Saturday, May 28th and runs through Monday, May 30th with over 50 bands and DJs playing electronic and techno music. This is a great event to participate in even if its just for one day or the whole weekend. Check out Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival website for more information.

3. Magic and It’s Mysteries at Crossroads Village

Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad opens up for it summer hours Memorial Day weekend. Kicking off the summer hours is the Magic and It’s Mysteries theme where old time ‘Snake-Oil Salesman’ do their pitches, learn different magic skills and illusions from old time magicians. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad or any of the 1800′s style amusements rides. Get more information and ticket prices at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad website.

2. Boating and Swimming at the Holloway Reservoir

Since Memorial Day weekend launches the start of summer activities, why not get your boat and swim trunks broken in for the season at the Holloway Reservoir? There are some great places to hangout on check out Buttercup Beach at Wolverine Campground, a great place to swim, have a cookout and enjoy the sun with your family. Launch your boat at the Walleye Pike Boat Launch on Henderson Rd, the old IGA Supermarket in Columbiaville or at Zemmer Park off of Zemmer Rd. Speaking of Zemmer Park you can also just go there and hang out for some swimming time and hanging with family and friends.

1. Stay Home and Barbeque

This has to be one of the best ways to spend Memorial Day weekend, invite your friends and family over to the house and celebrate the start of summer. I am a fan of this because there is no better way to spend an extended weekend than with family, friends, good food and some friendly competition. Grab a few adult beverages and set up a friendly Cornhole or horseshoe tournament; check out the pages for official rules and tournament brackets. After you have declared a winner of your friendly tournaments, fire up the grill and cook some burgers, dogs (Koegel Viennas of course), and brats.  For the kids, just fire up a sprinkler or set up a slip ‘n slide and they will sure have a hay-day while keeping cool. Don’t forget the sunblock and bug spray to keep everyone happy.

These are just five of things you can enjoy during the Memorial Day weekend, what do you have planned? A trip up north? Paying respect to the fallen soldiers and military men who are serving? Let us know we are always open to your suggestions, plus everyone else will can benefit from your input.