Sure, the weather has (finally) started to act like it’s supposed to this time of year, but we all know summer really starts over Memorial Day weekend, when everyone begins flocking in earnest to lakes and northwoods, and firing up those grills and fire pits. But Memorial Day is also a day to reflect and remember, and there are all sorts of ways to do that this year.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

For a full memorial observance, plan to visit Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, which has a full day of events planned, including a memorial service, live music, and walking, trolley, and horse-and-carriage tours. There are many familiar names here, including Humphrey, Wellstone, Fridley, Wirth, Pohlad, and Pillsbury, among others. (Also? Tiny Tim.)

Not surprisingly, the fine folks over at the Minnesota Historical Society have several events lined up:

Stop by Historic Fort Snelling on Monday for Military History Living Timeline, when costumed guides will lead visitors through interpretations of generations of American military life.

At the nearby Fort Snelling National Cemetery, there will be a ceremony honoring the veterans buried there at 10 a.m. on Monday.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The James J. Hill House in St. Paul offers a memorial tribute to Mr. Hill himself, who died on May 29, 1916, with the Death of an Empire Builder, which includes special exhibits and an organist playing music that was played at Hill’s funeral. Tours take place Saturday and Sunday.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

To pay tribute to veterans of any war that the U.S. has been in, take some time to visit the State Capitol grounds memorials. They’re beautiful and moving, and the location can’t be beat — adjacent not only to the Capitol, but to the Minnesota History Center, which will be open on Memorial Day.

Looking for something a little more light-hearted? This is the opening weekend of the summer-long Summit Avenue Walking Tours. Learn about the grand homes on Summit Avenue, with information about the people who lived there, the architecture, social history, and preservation efforts. Tours offered Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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