KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Memorial Day, the federal holiday the last Monday of May for honoring people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, is often the start of people’s summer activities spanning the three-day weekend.
Here in East Tennessee, there is always plenty to do no matter what day or holiday it is, but there are some certain things to remember for this year’s Memorial Day weekend.
(Most) Schools Out for the Summer
Most area school districts scheduled their calendar school years to end just before the holiday weekend. Be aware that students will be marking the start of their summer vacations. Some school districts are already done for the year, while others don’t finish out until the first week of June. Knox County School’s last day of instruction is Thursday, May 23.
National Parks, State Parks will be open
If you and your family love to celebrate holiday weekends with camping, glamping, hiking or any other park-related outdoor activities, you’re in luck for Memorial Day weekend: Parks in East Tennessee are open.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park doesn’t have any planned events on the holiday, but will still be accessible.
The David Crockett Birthplace State Park is planning what it’s calling “a special Memorial Day weekend” with activities the whole family can enjoy such as the Jacob Brown Trade Faire, frontier skills demonstrations, a Divine Worship Service on the Nolichucky River and more.
The Seven Islands State Birding Park is hosting a “Wildflower and Plant ID Hike” Saturday, May 25 starting at 8 a.m. in Kodak. Participants are encouraged to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and sturdy walking shoes.
Other East Tennessee state parks have activities planned, you can find the full listing here.
No mail or packages will be delivered
The United States Postal Service (USPS) along with other delivery services like UPS and FedEx observe the Memorial Day holiday, so don’t expect your mail or packages to be delivered on Monday.
Also, even during Memorial Day weekend, those who want to ship parcels will need to check company websites to learn what days deliveries are available.
No local government services, except waste collection
The city and county governments also observe the Memorial Day holiday, so that also means services such as maintenance (except for emergencies), administrative or business resources, court and other departments will be closed.
City offices and recreation centers with the city of Knoxville will be closed Monday.
The city says Waste Connections’ pickup of garbage and recyclables will continue Monday as regularly scheduled. The only holidays waste isn’t collected are Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
KAT buses and trolleys will operate on a Saturday schedule on Memorial Day.
Some businesses, restaurants have deals
O’Charleys says it’s honoring members of the military on Memorial Day with a special – buy one, get one free for select entrees. To redeem this offer, show a valid military ID.
Academy Sports + Outdoors is offering a 10% military and first responder discount for the Memorial Day weekend. Outdoor gear and apparel are essential for some looking to kick off the summer.
The Crowne Plaza Knoxville in downtown is hosting a special Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet on Friday, May 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WindRiver is hosting a Southern Smoke-out on Friday night, with options such as live music, lawn games and great food. Ticket includes Citico’s buffet, drink specials, full bar, and live music by J. Luke Cochran Duo.
Other fun for Memorial Day weekend
Baseball, the classic American sport – if you love baseball and the Smokies team, the series against Pensacola is happening Memorial Day weekend:
Tennessee Smokies vs Pensacola Blue Wahoos, May 22, 2019 to May 26, 2019; Wednesday – Saturday at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Tennessee Smokies stadium in Kodak. On Monday enjoy $1 hot dogs and $1 12 ounce fountain drinks all night long.
Bearden Beer Market Fun Run is happening Monday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. This is part of a weekly Group Fun Run through the neighborhood, open to all levels of walkers and runners followed by $1 off all pints.
There’s also the South Knox Fun Run on Alliance Brewing Company starting at 6:30 p.m. This also is a group run, “social pace 3’ish miles,” followed by $1 beers. All levels are welcome.
And, another group run is the Knoxville Track Club’s Monday evening social pace group run. Meet at Balter Beerworks and afterwards, stick around for a discounted beer.
Visit Knoxville has list of area concerts, activities and more. Click here for the full calendar