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Where to celebrate Memorial Day across the U.S.

Where to celebrate Memorial Day across the U.S.
Memorial Day parades, services and outdoor concerts mark the unofficial beginning of summer. (Larry Deklinski / Associated Press)

Still looking for somewhere to go for Memorial Day weekend? These cities get it right, some with remembrance ceremonies and others with music celebrations.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital always hosts the National Memorial Day Parade, which starts at 2 p.m. May 27 along Constitution Avenue. This year the parade is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

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Also the 30th National Memorial Day Concert takes place 8 p.m. May 26 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The free concert, open to all, is dedicated to men and women in uniform. It features a long list of luminaries, including former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell; actors Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinise and Sam Elliott; and singers Patti LaBelle, Gavin DeGraw and Alison Krauss as well as military bands.

Chicago

Summer fireworks season at Chicago's Navy Pier starts May 25.
Summer fireworks season at Chicago's Navy Pier starts May 25. (Nick Ulivieri Photography)

The city's Memorial Day Parade has been held since 1870. Events begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, with a wreath-laying ceremony at Daley Plaza followed by the parade at noon, which begins at State and Lake streets.

Saturday evening, watch the fireworks at the Navy Pier, starting at 10:15 p.m. Free.

Baltimore

A visitor looks at grave markers at the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park.
A visitor looks at grave markers at the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park. (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

The Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania is not far from the city. All are welcome to attend One Hundred Nights of Taps played each evening at 7 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the Soldiers’ National Monument. Buglers include military veterans, Civil War reenactors and community band members.

In Baltimore, check out SoWeBo Arts & Music Festival from noon to 8 p.m. May 26. It's held at the historic Hollins Market and features local music and artists as well as entertainers and food.

Atlanta

On Memorial Day weekend, the city erupts with music, starting with the free Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park on May 25 and 26. The festival is hosting 31 days of jazz during May.

There’s more music at the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival in Central Park on May 24 and 25. Tickets cost $25 for evenings of outdoor music and entertainment.

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St. Louis, Mo.

Memorial Day in St. Louis is all about the music, this time the blues. The Bluesweek Festival with more than 50 performers will be held May 25-27. It's open to the public; free.

Hop over to Alton, Ill., to see what's described as the oldest consecutive running parade in the nation. The first one was held in 1868 after the end of the Civil War. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on May 27.

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