Memorial Day is approaching. For most of us, that means a long weekend spent remembering and celebrating the lives of those soldiers taken from us too soon. If you’re spending the holiday in Tuscaloosa this year we want to help you out by giving you some ideas to make your Memorial day the most memorable one yet!

Memorial Day Program at Veterans Memorial Park

Since this holiday is about remembering the late soldiers who fought for our freedom, Veterans Memorial Park will be hosting its annual Memorial Day Service on Monday morning. The service will feature guest speaker, Allison Spann, daughter of war hero, Johnny Spann. Spann was a captain in the Marine Corps. and became the first American casualty in Afghanistan while serving his country. Iraq war veteran, Colonel Duane Lamb, will also speak at the ceremony. The program will conclude with an Armed Forces Medley and tours of the Park’s military exhibit.

Van De Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park

Now, it’s summertime here in Tuscaloosa and whether you prefer a lake, pool, pond or just a backyard patio- this holiday is meant to be spent outside. Luckily in this city, we have numerous options for outdoor adventures. One of Tuscaloosa’s latest attractions is the Van De Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park. The park is still under development, but the fun has already begun. The hiking, biking, and walking trails have already been opened to the public and include a path across the historic 1882 King Bowstring Bridge. The camping sites are also up and running and each one includes a fire ring, water hook up for your RV and access to 33 acres of freshwater ponds for fishing. If that’s not enough, the park also offers porch-style swings, fire pits, a horseshoe pit, the Big Bat House and canoe and kayak rentals. This park is the one-stop shop for all your outdoor fun this Memorial Day.

Pontoon Rentals and Picnics at Lake Tuscaloosa

If you’d rather spend your holiday weekend in a boat on the river don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. At Lake Tuscaloosa, you can rent pontoon boats for the whole family to enjoy. Float across the water all day while you take in the stunning views around you. Just be sure to pack a lunch because when it’s time for your mid-day meal, you’ll certainly want to indulge at one of the beautiful picnic areas along Lake Tuscaloosa.

Evening Cruise on the Bama Belle Riverboat

If an evening boat ride sounds better to you, Tuscaloosa is home to the Bama Belle Riverboat Cruise. The spectacular riverboat has been a part of Tuscaloosa for years and offers Sunset Cruises, BBQ Cruises, and Afternoon Cruises Friday through Sunday. The Bama Belle cruises along the Black Warrior River and offers snacks, drink, and cocktails available for purchase on board. A live band is also part of the journey and offers plenty of entertainment. This is the perfect excuse to unwind and take in the breathtaking views of the Black Warrior River.

Host a Cookout Catered by Dreamland

Lastly, if you volunteered to host the annual neighborhood cookout this year, but then realized you’re not in the mood to cook that much food let the experts at Dreamland Bar-B-Que help you out. You can focus on all the details like decorations, seating arrangements and activities while they take care of the rest. Take advantage of the scrumptious hickory smoked ribs, southern sides, and delicious desserts that only the professionals at Dreamland can cook up. Don’t waste your time slaving in the kitchen this holiday, get outside and enjoy your long weekend. The chefs at Dreamland Bar-B-Que will take great care of you, and your neighbors will love you for it.

Written By: Bailee Kennamer – Intern