Memorial Day weekend is a special holiday for honoring and remembering the lives lost in the country’s armed services. Offering a day without work, school and other obligations, Monday, May 29th is an important day for Fort Collins and for the entire country.
There are several events happening in Fort Collins (and one in Loveland!) where you and your family can honor the lives of lost veterans — in addition to a few activities to take advantage of the long weekend. Whatever you choose to take part in this year, immerse yourself in the tight-knit Northern Colorado community and help us honor our community’s veterans.
Saturday, May 27 – Sunday, May 28
Photo courtesy of Realities Ride and Rally and Bob Gobeille
Realities Ride and Rally is a two-day festival and motorcycle ride celebrating the lives of veterans who sacrificed our freedom by helping local children in need. Join the riders and non-riders and rally together to support Realities for Children, a local nonprofit organization that provides for the unmet needs of at-risk children who have been abused or neglected.
This free community event is taking place on Saturday and Sunday at Civic Center Park, offering something for the entire family. At the rally, you’ll find food trucks, live entertainment, a patriotic pin-up girl contest, a tattoo contest, a hot wing eating contest, a kids’ patriotic bicycle parade, face painting, fireworks, beer gardens and more!
You’ll enjoy your time even more once you realize that absolutely every dollar you spend on food, drinks and fun goes directly towards the mission of Realities for Children.
If you are a biker, register for the Realities Ride and join the World’s Largest Poker Run (as confirmed by Guinness World Records)! The ride includes breakfast for riders, a skydiving presentation of our nation’s colors and live music at every stop — all along the brand new 2017 route featuring ride leaders, traffic-controlled intersections and breath-taking scenery.
Saturday, May 27
Image courtesy of Odell Brewing
Odell’s Small Batch Revival is returning to Odell Brewing for its third year. This time, they’re celebrating small-batch brews with a full day of music and beer.
Head to the Odell patio and tap room between 1 and 6 p.m. on Saturday to experience the craft beer celebration. This year’s event will feature up to 50 different beers including their Jolly Russian, Elephunk, Myrcenario, Russian Pirate, the Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Chocolate Rye Stout and more exciting concoctions. Enjoy live music from Choice City Seven, The Reminders and Eufórquestra while you sip and celebrate.
When hunger strikes, you can enjoy a delicious meal from a variety of Fort Collins best food trucks.
Grab your tickets for $35 each and you’ll get a commemorative stainless steel pint and two free beer tokens!
Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29
Celebrate Memorial Day at Resthaven Funeral Home at their annual event featuring special services, refreshments, entertainment, fireworks, musical performances, skydivers and a host of other events honoring veterans.
The festivities begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and end on Monday with the traditional Memorial Day service starting at 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, May 24 – Monday, May 29
Photo courtesy of Veterans Plaza Northern Colorado
Don’t miss the annual Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at the Veterans Plaza specifically dedicated to honoring our Vietnam War veterans this year.
The memorial Wall will arrive in Fort Collins as early as Wednesday afternoon with an escort of State Troopers, Police, delegates from the Sheriff’s Department and assorted motorcycle associations. After the wall’s construction on Thursday, reading of the name ceremonies and the 21 gun salute start right away. These will continue Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday until the wall is taken down on the afternoon of Memorial Day. If you would like to volunteer to help with construction and/or deconstruction, contact Diggs Brown at (970) 980-1080.
On Saturday, The Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado will be hosting reenactors, a Bob Hope USO Show, live music and entertainment. There will also be food trucks and a beer garden!
The official Memorial Day ceremony will take place on Sunday beginning at 12 p.m. However, visitors can visit the plaza and see the many displays set up by veteran-oriented organizations as early as 9 a.m. The formal ceremony includes the raising of the colors, a prayer, guest speakers, inspirational observances, a 21-gun salute, taps and a flyover by a squadron of Air Force Huey helicopters.
On Memorial Day itself, Veterans Plaza will observe a day of solitude. The plaza will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a short ceremony consisting of a prayer, taps and a 21-gun salute at 3 p.m. as the wall is taken down.