This three-day weekend is the traditional kickoff to a summer full of events, entertainment and barbecues. We handpicked the best that Philadelphia has to offer for Memorial Day Weekend. Whether you're looking for food, shopping or a traditional observance, we've got options.
Tippler's Tour: Ben's Kites and Flights
If you mix Philadelphia's rich history with a sampling of beer, you've got yourself a Colonial-guided pub crawl. What will be a weekly tour begins May 22 with stops at Salon 401, National Mechanics, Victoria Freehouse and City Tavern. Fill up on drinking-related Benjamin Franklin quips, as well as small snacks at each stop.
Thursday., May 22, 5:30 p.m.,$35-$40,Historic Philadelphia Center, 600 Chestnut St., 215-629-4026,www.historicphiladelphia.org
Fireworks at Longwood
You don't have to wait until the Fourth of July to watch a great big fireworks display. Get to Longwood Gardens for a fireworks and fountain spectacle that will incorporate big band Broadway hits. Dancing is encouraged.
Saturday, May 24, 9:15 p.m.,$18-$38,1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, Pa.,610-388-1000,www.longwoodgardens.org
While bacon has had its moment in the sun with dedicated fanfare that stretches from candy to toothpaste to sunscreen, Cochon 555 is more interested in celebrating the entire pig. The multi-city tour will land in Philly on Sunday to offer up a heated competition that can only be described as the Holy Grail of pork. Five local chefs will show off their chops by preparing up to six different dishes with one 200-pound pig. That's one pig per chef, so come hungry. The purpose of the cook-off, besides stuffing attendees with indulgent food and bestowing bragging rights to the winning chef, is to show support for local and sustainable pig farming.
Sunday, May 25, 4-8 p.m.,$125 - $200, Le Meridien Philadelphia, 1421 Arch St.,www.cochon555.com
Eakins Oval (also known as the Park on the Parkway) was transformed last summer into a hotspot for outdoor activities, and this year will be no different. Start your long weekend off at PHAIR, an open air pop-up market. You'll find table after table of local vendors selling fine art, jewelry, crafts and more. Plus there will be music, food trucks and a special appearance by the Victory Brew Pub on wheels for those who want to sip and stroll.
Thursday, May 22-Saturday, May 24, Pay as you go,The Oval, 2601 Ben Franklin Pkwy.,www.theovalphl.org
Statue rededication at Laurel Hill Cemetery
Sure, this is a weekend packed with cookouts and parties, but let's remember that the root of the holiday is not just to have off on a Monday. Honor American soldiers at Laurel Hill Cemetery's public rededication ceremony of the bronze "Silent Sentry" statue. The historic Civil War monument, which was once located at Mount Moriah Cemetery, will now preside over the gravesites of Civil War Veterans at Laurel Hill. Join others in the observance of Memorial Day and the ceremonial unveiling of the statue.
Sunday, May 25, noon, Free,Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave.,215-228-8200,www.thelaurelhillcemetery.com