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There is a lot going on for Memorial Day

AS it has in years past, the third annual Drifter Memorial Ride will make a stop at the grave of SSG Greg Riewer in Frazee. The ride begins at 12:15 p.m. Monday at the Frazee Event Center, where it will also end with a special meal for the ride participants.

Traditionally, the Memorial Day holiday is meant to be celebrated as a time of remembrance, for those who have died in the service of their country.

But the weekend that precedes this observance has also become a time for celebrating the return of summer, with picnics, parades, live music under the stars, and a host of other outdoor activities -- and this year is no exception.

The Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes is planning a full weekend of celebrating, starting with live music by Mike Hokenson on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Holiday Beach Bar & Grill, and continuing with a "Kick Off to Summer Party" on Friday.

Friday's summer kickoff party begins with a 6 p.m. summer, then continues with a sunset pontoon ride at 8:30 p.m. -- but be sure to get there early, as the pontoon ride is only available to the first 20 people to sign up.

The fun continues at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, with a 1 p.m. boat ride, beach volleyball, games, prizes and more. The Island Steel Drum band will perform from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by Skyline at 9 p.m.

The festivities continue Sunday with a Holiday Inn 35th Birthday Brunch -- including cake and a performance from Danny Craswell's "Island Music." The party begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m.

The Lodge on Lake Detroit is also planning two special "Live at the Lodge" concerts over the weekend.

Pianist Carol Lebedoer-Johnson presents "Island Perfume" on Friday, and the Dave Ferreira Trio performs with saxophonist Russ Peterson on Sunday. Both concerts will take place from 7 to 10 p.m.

But in addition to all the summer fun, there will also be several remembrance-themed events on Monday.

The 3rd Annual Drifter Memorial Day Ride will begin promptly at 12:15 p.m., departing from the parking lot of the Frazee Event Center. Participants can register at the Event Center from 10 a.m. to noon, and there will be a light lunch of hot dogs, chips and pop available.

The ride will include stops at SSG Josh Hanson's gravesite in Pelican Rapids, the Roadhouse Bar in Cormorant and SSG Greg Riewer's gravesite in Frazee before returning to the Frazee Event Center, where a meal will be served for all riders. Cost is $15 per rider, plus $5 for bringing a passenger. For more information, or to register, call SSG Andy Riewer at 701-429-1471.

The In Their Own Words Veterans Museum in Perham will also be offering free admission all day Monday, to allow the public to stroll through the exhibits focusing on the history of America's veterans.

In Detroit Lakes, the VFW, American Legion and their auxiliaries will once again host a Memorial Day Parade, starting at 10 a.m. in front of the community center and proceeding down to the bandshell at the Detroit Lakes City Park, where a program will follow. A luncheon will be served at the American Legion on West Lake Drive following the program.

The Avenue of Flags at Oak Grove Cemetery in Detroit Lakes will also be open from Friday through Monday.

In Audubon, the local VFW and American Legion posts will host a special program, starting at 10:30 a.m. in the Fire Hall. Guest speaker will be George Schwantes, a retired chaplain of the Army National Guard who once served at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He is also an ordained Lutheran minister who once served in Audubon, LaPorte and Apple Valley, Minn., as well as Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Audubon VFW Auxiliary will serve lunch following the program.

In Lake Park, the American Legion will host a gravesite firing salute at the Olson Keeping Memorial, followed by lunch at the Legion hall in Lake Park.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454