What To Do Memorial Day Weekend: Events, Parades and More

There are plenty of things to do during Memorial Day weekend 2022, including craft fairs, parades and much more

David Everett Strickler 4 Yo3wmi Ru Unsplash

Memorial Day weekend is here, which means so is the unofficial start to summer. The three-day weekend is typically filled with days spent outdoors at the lake or beach, grills fired up to cook a variety of burgers and Memorial Day recipes, and red, white and blue desserts that Gordon Ramsey would approve of (maybe). While you are out enjoying any one of the events we rounded up for you below, don’t forget the purpose of this national holiday: honoring those who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day Parades and Celebrations

You can find parades, community picnics and Memorial Day ceremonies in every corner of the state. Here’s a growing list of NH Memorial Day parades and ceremonies.

Opening Day at Canobie Lake Park, May 28, Salem

It’s hard to imagine a summer of fun without a trip (or two!) to Best of NH winner Canobie Lake Park. This year marks 120 years for the amusement park and with more than 85 rides and attractions, Canobie truly boasts something for everyone of all ages. So grab some popcorn or an ice cream, take a thrill ride on the Yankee Cannonball, drive an antique car or enjoy a relaxing boat ride along Canobie Lake. canobie.com

Opening Weekend for Wilderness: Light Sizzles Around Me, May 28-September 11, Canterbury

This exhibit features a uniquely inspired group of sculptures and two-dimensional works more than a decade in the making. The exhibition represents renowned artist Lesley Dill’s ongoing investigation into the significant voices and personas of America’s past. For Dill, the “American” voice, grew from early America’s obsessions with divinity and deviltry, on fears of the wilderness “out there” and wilderness inside us. The extremes of both shaped history and gave pulse and heat to the words of activists like John Brown, Sojourner Truth, Mother Ann Lee, and Dred Scott. Dill writes: “These personas and their times stir something deep in my own family history and sense of self. I am compelled to this restrictive time-period of limited access to a diversity of written word, and the bravery of these figures’ response.” shakers.org

Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad Opening Weekend, May 28-30, Multiple locations

Take an old-fashioned train ride along the western shores of Lake Winnipesaukee or along the Pemigewasset River, and finish your trip with a rail bike tour along Lake Winnisquam. hoborr.com

2022 Lisbon Lilac Festival, May 28-29, Lisbon

Head to picturesque Lisbon and enjoy amusement rides, parades, fireworks, shopping, food and more. Facebook

Fireworks, May 29, Hampton Beach

It may not be warm enough to swim in the ocean (unless you’re brave!) but if you’re heading to the coast to celebrate the long weekend, then make sure you top off your Blink’s Fry Dough with a fireworks display. Fireworks are shot off between the top of B and C streets, so grab a blanket or a chair and watch the show. hamptonbeach.org

Darci Lynne, Hampton, May 29

Singer and ventriloquist Darci Lynne is the youngest contestant to ever win NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” garnering over 87 million views on AGT’s YouTube and the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show. She won the hearts of America with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable talent. In 2018 she kicked off her national tour selling out her first headlining family friendly show in just six minutes, continually adding shows to meet the overwhelming demand.  On the heels of a record-breaking 2020, Lynne has kicked off her 2021 “My Lips Are Sealed (Except When They’re Not) National Tour where she is sharing her passion for performance and bringing her enchanting show from New York to Nevada. casinoballroom.com

Wildquack Duck Race & Music Festival, May 29, Jackson

This annual event includes duck races, traveling train rides, a silent auction, games and live music. Local and visiting food vendors offer fabulous barbecue foods, fair foods, kettle corn, ice cream, lobster sandwiches and more. Watch the “ever-growing” parade starting from the Covered Bridge at 1:30 p.m., have your picture taken with “Wildquack” the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce Duck, visit local businesses and really enjoy this “ole” fashioned “day in the park.” jacksonnh.com

32nd Annual Chowderfest, May 29, Waterville Valley

Head to Town Square just in time for lunch as area restaurants vie for the coveted title of best local chowder. Your admission fee covers generous samples of chowder and a voting ballot. There will also be free live music at the Town Square gazebo. waterville.com

Cisco Brewers Portsmouth 5K, May 29, Portsmouth

The Cisco Brewers Portsmouth 5K is back and better than ever. This legacy road race, celebrating 25 years in 2022, is a community-wide fundraising event for Krempels Center and the largest race in the Seacoast Road Race Series. Post-race festivities will feature a *new* BBQ feast catered by Cisco Brewers, live music, kids activities and more. Lace up your sneakers and make a difference in the lives of brain injury survivors and their families. runsignup.com

30th Annual Memorial Day Craft Festival, May 30, Meredith

Over 100 juried craftsmen and women from all over New England will display and sell their work including fine jewelry, scarves, photography, country woodcrafts, pottery, music and more. Come and sample the culinary delights of herbal dips, maple, hot sauces, jams and jellies. castleberryfairs.com

It’s all about getting outdoors and exploring the beauty of the Granite State, so here are of our favorite outdoor attractions to explore Memorial Day Weekend

Polar Caves
705 Rumney Rte 25 in Rumney

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves
1712 Lost River Road in North Woodstock
603-745 – 8031

Mount Washington Auto Road
1 Mount Washington Auto Road in Gorham

America’s Stonehedge
105 Haverhill Road in Salem

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Guide to Summer, Weekend Trips