By Cortney Mohnk

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Minnesotans chose to pay tribute to those who died while serving in the United States military in a variety of forms. Parades, walks and runs are a common way to spend time in reflection and recognition, as well as spend time outdoors with our loved ones. Here are some great events in Minnesota to honor those who have lost their lives for our freedom this Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day March & Mayhem For Them
Bay Point Park
329-397 Bay Point Road
Red Wing, MN 55066
www.marchforthem.org

Organized by army veteran Tom Wright, this event pays tribute to the fallen comrades of participants with a 28-mile march along the Great River Road. The march maintains 3mph as it passes markers honoring military members lost at each mile. Volunteer hosts provide refreshments at checkpoints for marchers every hour. Participants are encouraged to sign up in advance. Meet either at the Hastings American Legion at 5:15 a.m. on Memorial Day and take a shuttle bus to Bay Point Park in Red Wing, or meet at Bay Point Park at 5:45 a.m. to begin the march. Celebration to follow the day-long event with dinner and entertainment at the Veterans Memorial and Rotary Pavilion along the Hastings riverfront which is free for marchers.

Raymond Memorial Day Parade
MACCRAY East Elementary School
309 Day St. N.
Raymond, MN 56282
(320) 967-4439
www.raymond-minnesota.com

Raymond residents and guests convene for an observance of veterans at 9 a.m. on Memorial Day. Beginning at MACCRAY East Elementary School, the parade marches to a variety of Raymond cemeteries. At each, the names of deceased vets are read as American flags mark their graves. Prayers led by the American Legion Post Chaplain and 21 gun salutes also highlight this day of remembrance.

Challenge Hearts & Minds 5K
Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant
7890 Main St. N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369
www.charitieschallenge.org

Monday, May 28 marks the 13th annual Memorial Day 5K for Challenge Hearts & Minds. This USATF certified course around Arbor Lake in Maple Grove can be run or walked and results are posted by age group. An Irish breakfast will be waiting afterward for participants and is included in the race registration fee. Sign up online in advance to receive a discount. Proceeds go to Charities Challenge RxExercise programs.

Related:  5 Bucket List Items To Cross Off In Minnesota

Willmar Memorial Day 5K
Flags of Honor Memorial
N. Highway 71
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 222-9622
www.willmarlakesarea.com

Begin Memorial Day weekend with a run or walk around Robbins Island in Willmar.  This race begins at the Flags of Honor Memorial at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 26. Refreshments, race shirts and vouchers to Dad’s Belgian Waffle Feed are included in the registration fee. Children of racers are welcome to come early to the free kids fun run at 8:30 a.m.

Historic Fort Snelling Living Timeline
200 Tower Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55111
(612) 726-1171
www.mnhs.org

This isn’t your traditional Memorial Day parade but a “living timeline” and historical reenactment.  Fort Snelling staff model the variations in military dress over time while in character. You can also walk through the barracks of the fort to learn what the experience of a soldier might have been like. Fort Snelling is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all Memorial weekend but the “living timeline” parade happens just on May 28th.

Related: Best Places To Buy Running Shoes In Minnesota

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