Culture Hacks: Memorial Day
Sure, it will technically still be spring until late June, but Memorial Day weekend—kicking off this weekend—always feel like the real opening ceremonies to summer, or at least the pre-party. One of the busiest road trip weekends of all the national holidays, this year over 37 million Americans are expected to travel to get their red, white and blue on in 2015– the largest number of travellers in the last 10 years. That means it’ll be a party wherever you happen to be, as long as you’re doing it in the great outdoors (yes, patios count). Here’s where to ring in the start to endless days and relaxed work hours…
1. BEACH BUDDY
There’s no better way to get your tan started a little early than by marking Memorial Day with your first annual beach weekend getaway. From bed and breakfasts in New England to seaside cottages on stilts in North Carolina, to Santa Monica’s famous Shutters on the Beach, America has some of the most beautiful places on earth where land turns to sand on the Pacific and the Atlantic. Linen shorts paired with loose knit sweaters are beach weather-ready, especially for nighttime campfires.
2. BACKYARD BBQ
Kick off weekly summer backyard (or balcony) potlucks by firing up the BBQ and hosting a BYOB. Create your very own Star-Spangled soundtrack of summer jam songs that pay tribute to the USA, from Will Smith’s “Miami” and Tupaq’s “California Love” to Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago” and everything The Beach Boys ever wrote. Ask guests to dress their “most patriotic” – you’ll get endless joy out of what shows up at your door.
3. PARK PICNIC
Dust off the cooler and grab a bag of ice because nothing turns the local park into a VIP experience quite like cold bevvies on a blanket surrounded by your favourite people. Throw in a hibachi, hot dogs, a football, and frisbees and you’ve got yourself the best staycation on a budget.
4. FAM JAM
Whether you’ve got an in-ground pool or just a sprinkler, you can easily host a waterpark-themed brunch for the extended family on your back patio. Bonus points if you can find an old school Wet Banana for ’80s throwback nostalgia, and you’d be surprised how much entertainment a few water guns from the dollar store can bring. Dormcore might be the questionable fashion trend du jour but you can get away with flip flops on your own turf. Fill the freezer with frozen goodies for the afternoon and think Greek salads, fruit kabobs and homemade pastries for a seasonal take on the traditional late breakfast.
5. BLOCK PARTY
Hosting your own block party is a lot easier to plan last minute in the social media era, but you don’t necessarily need a suburban or city street alliance to make an outdoor party out of your surrounding area. Tailgate parties let you bring the show on the road, provided every car has a designated driver. Bring the party to the nearby baseball diamond for an impromptu game of America’s favourite sport. Check local listings for neighbourhood hosted block parties if you’re in the mood to block party hop. Santa Monica’s famous Main Street party gets bumping every year, and there’s something strangely alluring about Tito Jackson’s annual turkey fry block party in Boston. Who knew?