Top 5 things to do this weekend

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:33 AM

And some have to work — but I hope they, too, get to share in the fun and mark the meaning of Memorial Day.

Why exactly do we celebrate Memorial Day? Click here for an explanation.

Here's my top 5 things to do on Memorial Day weekend:

(1) Grand Haven Memorial Day Parade —starts at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, and runs from Franklin Street to Waterfront Stadium in downtown Grand Haven. After the parade, a ceremony marking the meaning of Memorial Day is at the stadium, and the orator is Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brady of the U.S. Coast Guard. What a great way to begin Memorial Day.

(2) Spring Lake Memorial Day Parade — begins at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Buchanan and Exchange streets in the village, and ends at Spring Lake Township Cemetery for a ceremony. The Spring Lake Heritage Festival Committee is assisted by the Spring Lake High School Honor Society seniors who pass out more than 2,000 American flags to the people along the parade route. Families are encouraged to dress in red, white and blue; and to decorate their trikes, bikes and wagons to march in the parade. All veterans are welcome and honored. The parade committee sponsors a contest for second-grade students who submit an essay on what it means to be an American and/or the meaning of Memorial Day. Three winners are selected and presented with an American flag, have the honor of riding on the Knights of Columbus train in the parade, and have their essays read at the ceremony in the cemetery.

(3) Seventh annual Rib Fest Battle of the Bones – Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, at VFW, 20 N. First St. in downtown Grand Haven. The family-friendly event, open to the community, focuses on mouth-watering barbecued ribs. There's live music under a tent at the VFW on Friday night, and the rib-cooking contest begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Ribs and sides are sold from 11 a.m. until they run out. The judging takes place from 2-5 p.m., with live music from 1-5 p.m. Proceeds go to the local VFW's Ward/Goff Scholarship, which benefits area students. The live music under the tent continues from 7:30-11:30 Saturday night.

(4) Fruitport Old Fashioned Days – began earlier this week and runs through Memorial Day. Most of it is in the Village of Fruitport and Pomona Park. The fun includes a carnival midway, Sunday fireworks (no rain date), 5K and 10K road race on Saturday, children's parade on Saturday, Vegas nights on Saturday and Sunday, free circus Saturday through Monday, Memorial Day Parade at 2 p.m., community marketplace and Corvette show on Sunday, free petting zoo and wildlife exhibit, pony rides available, Lions Club Ox Roast sandwiches daily, Community Pig Roast on Sunday. For details, visit fruitportlions.com.

(5) Klever Innovations Kickoff to Summer Run — Saturday, May 26. This event has become the annual start of the season for runners. And there are lots of them in the area. But this is more than serious running. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes a 5K run/walk, 1-mile Fun Run, and a Tot Trot obstacle course for ages 3-6. All events are followed by an awards ceremony and proceeds benefit the Tri-Cities Family YMCA, which is where the event is centered. For details, call Brooke Sheldon at 842-7051, ext. 20, or e-mail racedirector@tcfymca.org, or visit tcfymca.org.

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