Growing from the ashes of America’s Civil War, the earliest U.S. observances of a Memorial Day honoring the service and sacrifice of servicemen and women began in 1868. Now, the nation pauses every year during the last weekend in May to remember America’s veterans. Around those observances, we’ve even found time for a celebration or two to welcome the summer season — and here in Vegas, that means a LOT of celebrations. Check out some of the events on tap for this busy, busy weekend in Sin City.
MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES
Saturday, May 28
Nevada Veterans Memorial – A National Tribute (Now open to the public)
Where: 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas
The Nevada Veterans Memorial – A National Tribute is a national monument recognizing the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families. The two-acre memorial and park, the largest veterans monument in the West, features 18 larger-than-life statues, from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terror.
Monday, May 30
Memorial Day Ceremony at Spring Mountains
Where: Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway, 2525 Kyle Canyon Road.
- 10:30: Raising of flags to half-staff
- 11:00 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.: Silent Heroes of the Cold War talk and tour
- 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m.: Johnny Cash Tribute by Jimmy Ray and Cyndi Cantrell
- 5 p.m.: Lowering of the colors
Memorial Day Ceremonies at So. Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Where: 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive; Boulder City
CONCERTS AND NIGHTLIFE
Check out the top 15 hottest shows and pool parties being thrown in Las Vegas this holiday weekend.
5 FESTIVAL OPTIONS
Memorial Day weekend is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors — and what better way to do that than to take in a community festival. Here are four happening in the Las Vegas area this weekend.
Where: Various sites; May 26-30
What are more natural bedfellows than punk rock and bowling? For such an oddball pairing, expect a lot of fun at the annual two-day Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, featuring more than 200 bowling teams battling at a host of area lanes for supreme Punk Rock Bowling Champion bragging rights. And did we mention a list of amazing punk acts performing like Bad Religion, Devo, the Descendents and NOFX, just to name a few. And some of those shows are even family-friendly…whoda thought?
Where: Bicentennial Park, 999 Colorado St, Boulder City, NV; May 27-28
For the second consecutive year, Boulder City plays host to the Best Dam Barbecue Challenge, pitting some of the nation’s best pitmasters head to head. Dozens of professional teams will battle it out for large cash prizes as well as an automatic place in the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue, one of the biggest competitions in the world. And of course…visitors get to sample a whole lotta barbecue!
Where: Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas; May 28
The annual Brews & Blues Festival celebrates a cornerstone of America’s creative history – the blues. Enjoy dozens of nation’s best touring and regional blues acts as well as Las Vegas’ best purveyors of the blues. While you get your blues on, you can also sample some of the area’s finest microbreweries.
Where: Sante Fe Station Hotel & Casino, 4949 N Rancho Dr., Las Vegas; May 28-29
The annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow is a community celebration of all area American Indian culture hosted by the Las Vegas Paiute tribe. The pow wow is open to all, including an opening ceremony, drum circles, musical performances, bird dancing and even singing competitions.
5. Puerto Rican Festival Las Vegas
Where: Clark County Amphitheatre, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy., Las Vegas; May 29
Live music, arts and crafts, vendors – and of course, loads and loads and loads of awesome Caribbean food headline the 2016 18th annual Puerto Rican Festival Las Vegas, a celebration of Boricua heritage and culture.