Summer is fast approaching – according to the calendar it will not officially arrive until June 21st this year but for the average Minnesotan it starts on Memorial Day Weekend. Although we see this weekend as the beginning of summer let’s not forget the actual intent for this special day. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service and we are thankful to all our service men and women!
Here in the Northland we have all survived the winter, and have been working hard since our snow glaciers melted to get our lawns, gardens and plants back in order and this weekend is our first chance to really get out and enjoy everything Minnesota has to offer as far as summer activities go. Top of the list no matter where you end up is firing up the grill and enjoying a nice get together with family and/or friends. In case you have not yet seen it, the new Explore Minnesota commercial has a lot of ideas of things to do and explore in our great state.
Here in Minnesota we like to say that we have 2 seasons, winter and road construction. Much of the road construction has already begun but after Memorial Day it really picks up. AAA predicts that the majority of Minnesotans will travel over 50 miles on the upcoming weekend. All these people traveling at the same time coupled with the road construction, road closures and detours make the ideal mix for large traffic jams. Many people will skip out of work early or leave their relaxing weekend early to try and avoid the majority of traffic. If you are thinking cool or rainy weather may keep people home, you are wrong there! Minnesotans are hardy (it is not uncommon to see people out in the snow in shorts when the temps get above freezing in March) and we don’t let a little thing like rain or cool weather spoil a weekend at the lake with family, friends, boating and grilling. We have been looking forward to this weekend since Labor Day last year when we “officially” ended summer and have been getting everything set for weeks so we can just relax and enjoy this weekend. You do need to plan ahead if you don’t have a place to stay as the resorts and hotels fill up fast.
For those folks that choose to stay at home and not battle the crowds headed up north on the packed roadways there is plenty to do as well. Here in the Twin Cities Fort Snelling opens for the season this weekend. There will be activities honoring Memorial Day itself and then there is Fort Snelling Park which offers numerous trails for biking and hiking. There are all the parks and lakes around the cities you can visit, many parks start their summer concerts this weekend, there are farmers markets, the Twins are playing at Target Field, there are day trips for hiking and biking and so much more.
Remember for those of you trying to follow the fashion rules – white shoes are only to be worn from Memorial Day up until Labor Day (with the exception of white sneakers which can be worn at any time). There is much discussion as to whether this rule is outdated or not but it is one to keep in the back of your mind! Enjoy those white shoes starting Monday!