Not only is Memorial Day an important time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, but it is a day to spend quality time with family and friends as a kickoff to summer. The holiday weekend is usually filled with large gatherings, parades, picnics or weekend trips. Obviously, in the COVID era, things are going to look different this year.
Even as states and counties begin to reopen, the amount of coronavirus cases is still concerning. The Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to encourage citizens to stay home and practice social distancing. Masks are highly recommended whenever you leave the house; most businesses won’t let you in without one. It’s safe to say everyone is feeling the fatiguing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still have a long way to go. With this in mind, please celebrate responsibly this Memorial Day. Here are some ideas for spending Memorial Day with your quarantine crew.
- Have a mini cookout. Fire up the grill for a barbeque or have a shrimp boil. Set up lawn games like horseshoes or cornhole to play with the kids. Relax by the pool if you have it open. Break out the sidewalk chalk and make your driveway a patriotic sight for people passing by.
- Honor those in your life who died in combat or those who served and are no longer with us. Visit their graves or find your own way to honor them throughout the weekend. Watch their favorite TV show, drink their favorite beer or listen to their favorite songs.
- Make your home a vacation destination. I was supposed to travel to Italy over Memorial Day weekend. Obviously, that is not happening. In honor of the canceled trip, I might lay out by the pool (my makeshift Lake Garda) with some limoncello. If your Memorial Day trip was foiled by coronavirus, try bringing the vacation to you.
- Get outdoors. Break out the bike, kayak, fishing rod, picnic supplies or hiking boots and spend the day enjoying Lancaster’s natural beauty.
- Set up a video party with those you normally would spend the holiday with and keep the tradition going.
- Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday at 8 p.m. which will be broadcasted by PBS. The concert will feature performances and tributes filmed from around the country to honor the troops and our veterans.
- Go camping. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recommends looking for opportunities to camp close to home. Private campgrounds are now allowed to operate. Certain state parks and state forests are open for dispersed and primitive camping as well. Be sure to check or call before making any concrete plans. If all else fails, sleep out in the backyard for a night.
- Create your own drive-in theater. Set up an old bed sheet, a projector, some cushions and outdoor chairs for a cozy movie night in the backyard.
- Gather the family around a campfire. Roast marshmallows, tell stories and sing some campfire songs for a good old-fashioned summer night.
- Create your own parade. Since most parades are canceled this year, your neighborhood could coordinate a social distancing parade where each family gets in their own car and parades around the neighborhood with patriotic gear or signs of support.