Memorial Day Weekend celebrations and commemorations in The Woodlands
THE WOODLANDS, TX – For many in The Woodlands area, this is the most frazzled weekend all year outside of the November / December stretch. The entire school year is over for all by now, and parents are scrambling to accommodate their homebound children (see our Woodlands Online Summer Camps Guide for ideas), while the roads are bracing for more than 42 million drivers this weekend. The skies won’t be much better; travel experts predict this Memorial Day weekend could be the busiest at airports since 2005. Add to this the local stress of having Hurricane Season looming large next week.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the hassle of the weekend as it impacts most of us personally. However, to borrow a quote from another annual holiday period, there’s a reason for the season. Memorial Day and its accompanying weekend exists not for mattress sales, but to remember, reflect, and respect the countless US military servicemen and servicewomen who have fallen in battle over the decades.
The origins of Memorial Day have a long history that began with a commemoration under a different name: in May of 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The date of May 30 was selected because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Over the years, many states, organizations, and towns claimed they were the first to commemorate the date that – over time – morphed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. In 1971, Memorial Day Congress finally declared it declared a national holiday. In December 2000, Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
For some of us, Memorial Weekend is an annual reminder of family members or friends who died while members of the military. For many others who haven’t been touched by the cost of service to the country, it’s an opportunity to celebrate life and community. The Woodlands has many possibilities for you to celebrate, commemorate, or otherwise observe and enjoy the weekend.
Local musician John Vidovic is offering a relaxing evening of guitar music as he presents Romancero Gitano by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for Classical Guitar and Chorus. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Trinity Downtown Lutheran Church, 800 Houston Avenue in Houston, this is a ‘freewill offering’ concert. Let Vidovic’s music put you in the proper frame of mind to deal with the weekend.
One way to get into the spirit of the weekend is to support local small businesses, many of which are run by veterans and military families. Deacon Baldy’s Food Truck Park and Bar is doing all they can to support businesses like there. As a local small business who was forced to close most of 2020, they know how hard these times are for others. So this covered outdoor venue is offering a Vendor Night tonight from 6 - 10 p.m. and inviting small businesses to do a pop up, free of charge, to allow the chance to get some foot traffic and hopefully promote themselves.
As mentioned earlier, it might be hard for some of us to get in the proper mood to commemorate the weekend, and we might need a little help ‘centering’ ourselves. Fortunately, The Woodlands Resort predicted the need, and is offering a special one-hour yoga class in its surrounding, pristine woods. Take 60 minutes to reflect and reminisce before you get caught up in the barbecuing. If you like some height to your meditation routine, The Westin is offering Rooftop Yoga; just don't lose track of yourself and roll off the edge.
If you’re going to celebrate America, there are few ways to do it better than with American music, and nothing screams American music like ‘80s pop… and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has just the playlist for you. Tonight, dance/funk sensation and former Prince ‘nemesis’ Morris Day and the Time will take the stage, alongside other icons from the past like Atlantic Starr and Rose Royce.
As we continue our theme of meditation and reflection, Texas TreeVentures in Creekside is offering an interesting take. Forest Bathing, also known as Forest Therapy, is a slow and relaxed stroll of approximately three hours and a distance no longer than one mile, through a natural environment. During the walk, Gabriela, your Forest Therapy Guide, will help you awaken your senses and slow down to be present, away from your worries, and connected to nature. Available for wanderers aged 5 and up.
Of course, the big celebration / commemoration of the weekend is the Memorial Day in The Woodlands festival, ironically taking place the day before Memorial Day. The festival features live music, children’s activities, strolling entertainment, and more at Town Green Park. The evening concludes with a dazzling fireworks display (time and weather permitting) choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack. Concessions will be available for purchase. Please be advised the Festival beverage booth will be cashless. Guests may pay with cash but will need to have exact change. A care package drop-off booth will be available onsite to accept donations of recommended items to be shipped to the troops. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with the Welcome and National Anthem, followed by live music by variety band Rapture and a keynote speaker. The fireworks are scheduled to commence at 8:55 p.m. Be aware that coolers, picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs are permitted, but glass is prohibited.
Fielding’s Local Kitchen & Bar is having its annual Memorial Day Patio Party celebration in style with live music and all American features. Join in starting at 3 p.m. and enjoy live music, delightful food from Chef Edel, and exhilarating cocktails from their head bartender Luis V. Slightly more laid back is the Memorial Day Brunch at Fielding’s Wood Grill. Beyond their signature brunch from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., they’ll have Memorial Day features to enjoy as well.
If you’re in a mood to splish-splash, good news! All of the Woodlands Township swimming pools will be open for Memorial Day. Admission fees will apply as normal.
Finally, the Memorial County Veterans Memorial Commission is holding its annual Memorial Day Observance & Dedication of The Line, starting at 9 a.m. at the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park. With patriotic music supplied by The Conroe Symphony Orchestra Brass Quartet and featured speakers Brigadier General John C. Hafley and Congressman Morgan Luttrell, this is the definitive reminder of what the day is all about.
No matter how you celebrate, commemorate, or observe the Memorial Day Weekend, all of us at Woodlands Online wish you a peaceful, relaxing, and uplifting one.