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Memorial Day at Lakewood
May 30Free and Open to the Public
Update: Due to weather, our Memorial Day Ceremony has been cancelled this morning. Refreshments, tours and activities will continue as planned, beginning at noon. Some activities will move into the Garden Mausoleum. Any further changes due to weather will be posted here.
Join us on this special day of commemoration to honor and remember those who are loved and missed. This year, we are proud to announce the return of our popular Memorial Day Ceremony in person at the Soldier’s Memorial. This year, in honor of Lakewood’s 150 Anniversary, we are celebrating legacy throughout the day, from our keynote address to the activities following the event.
CANCELLED: Memorial Day Ceremony | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Onsite at the Soldier’s Memorial | Free and open to all
We are honored to invite you back to Lakewood’s grounds for this treasured tradition. After a two-year hiatus the Memorial Day ceremony returns. And this year, in honor of our 150th Anniversary, we are “Celebrating Legacy”.
Seating will be provided but of course we encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets as well, especially if you arrive closer to the start of the ceremony, since seats fill up fast.
Keynote Speaker | Cathy Wurzer
Cathy Wurzer is the host of Morning Edition and Minnesota Now on MPR News. She is also the co-host of Almanac, a weekly public affairs program produced by Twin Cities Public Television for Minnesota’s statewide public television network. Wurzer has won four Emmy Awards for her work on Almanac. Prior to her return to radio, she was an anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. She has also been a talk show host for WCCO-AM radio, a producer for KMSP-TV, and political reporter for KSTP-AM radio.
She is the founder of the End in Mind Project, a nonprofit organization that takes the universal experience of dying to help people re-imagine what it means to live fully at any stage of life.
Ceremony Vocalist | Thomasina Petrus
Thomasina Petrus is a 30 year equity actor and premier jazz vocalist in the Twin Cities. She is a founding member of New Dawn Theatre, a company member of Penumbra Theatre, and Brownbody.org, and has collaborated with the Twin Cities’ most beloved artists, mentors and friends. Select original productions include: ‘The Best of Billie & Me’, ‘Etta James… Dreams to Remember’, ‘Hot Chocolate Holiday’ (theatre musical and concert series), a 5-women a cappella ensemble ‘The Sound Effects’, and “HOLD“, a musical poem-play with incarcerated women for HCL, ‘BROWNBODY(.org), a celebration of the Black experience on Ice’, and Lady Day @ Emerson’s Bar & Grill, by Lanie Robertson. Petrus is a Playwright Center McKnight Theatre Arts Fellow, African American Registry Artist, Ivey Award winner, MN Theatre Award Winner, and Star Tribune Honoree. Last but definitely not least, creator of Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle, featured at the MN State Fair, local retailers and online.
Concert Band | The Minnesota State Band
The Minnesota State Band is the Official Band of the State of Minnesota and has been in existence for over 120 years (since 1898). The band is the only remaining State Band in the United States. The Minnesota State Band is one of the few community bands anywhere that regularly travels internationally and they have represented the State of Minnesota on six International Goodwill Tours since 1986. While international travel is important, the band sees its primary mission as providing high quality music to the residents of Minnesota.
Memorial Day Celebration | Noon – 4 p.m.
Various locations | Free and open to all
Update: Activities will continue today, but some may move into the Chapel or Garden Mausoleum.
Activity and Refreshment Tents
Swing by the big tent near the Living Memory Tree for music, refreshments, and artist-inspired activities for the whole family.
- Listen to live, local music by folk artist Ellis Delaney
- Enjoy cookies, coffee, and lemonade compliments of Lakewood
- Learn more about genealogy and researching your family history with the Minnesota Genealogical Society in the Garden Mausoleum
- Write a postcard to a veteran with custom postcards designed by Streetcorner Letterpress
- Create a one-of-a-kind watercolor painting with COMPAS teaching artist Heidi Jeub
- Tie a ribbon to the Living Memory Tree to honor someone you love and miss. Learn more about this unique tradition.
Live music from local musician Ellis Delaney will be in our historic chapel between 12 – 3pm.
A transplant from Texas to Minnesota at age 16, Ellis got her start at open mics, and grew her following touring full time. Ellis has been recognized both for her songwriting skills as well as her engaging performances. She became a mainstay at several folk festivals, and has been a repeat performer and voted audience favorite at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Moab Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, and Rocky Mountain Folk Festival. Ellis released her tenth album, Ordinary Love, in 2020.
Historic Memorial Chapel
Experience the historic Memorial Chapel, an architectural gem in the heart of the city – self guided tours will be provided, or you can get a digital version of the self-guided chapel tour here.
Hop aboard a trolley for a free 45-minute guided tour of Lakewood. Trolley tours will meet outside of the chapel and will be seated first-come, first serve. Trolley tours will be available between noon and 3 p.m.
Note: Trolleys may leave early once they are filled so you may need to wait for the next trolley to start loading up.
Visit the Reception Room in the upper level of the Garden Mausoleum to get tips and tricks on researching your own genealogy with the Minnesota Genealogical Society in our Garden Mausoleum. They will be onsite with small workstations and other helpful information to get you started in your genealogical research.
Take a ride on the historic Como-Harriet Streetcar Line and enjoy the scenic views between Lakewood and Lake Harriet ($3 per person, round trip. Children under 3 are free.) The streetcar runs from 9:30am – 8:30pm on Memorial Day.
During Memorial Day weekend, you can purchase fresh floral bouquets for loved ones’ graves. Prices range from $10 to $25. Look for the tent just inside our main gate. You can also find containers for bouquets of fresh flowers and a limited number of small flags along the main road as you enter the cemetery. You may use them free of charge.
Locating a Grave
If you need assistance locating a grave, we have several helpful options:
- Utilize the burial search feature on our website, which includes a printed map, or GPS directions using Google Maps
- Visiting our administrative building right as you enter the front gates and asking anyone on the Lakewood team for assistance
- Stopping by our Information Kiosk which is on the lower east side of the administration building
- Calling or emailing our office in advance for directions. Call 612-822-2171, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting To Lakewood
You may park along roads in the cemetery, except where there are “no parking” signs. Traffic in the cemetery on Memorial Day can be heavily congested, especially when entering or exiting the cemetery at the 36th Street & Hennepin Avenue entrance. To avoid traffic congestion, you can also use the 40th Street gate, which is open on Memorial Day.
There is a bus that stops right outside of Lakewood’s gates, the Garden Mausoleum is about two “city blocks” away from the entrance.
Lakewood has one small bike rack near the front gates. Please do not lock bikes to any of our signs or trees. A Nice Ride station is available on 34th/Hennepin, and 36th/Bryant, just a few blocks away from our front gates. Please use caution when biking through Lakewood on Memorial Day as we see a heavy increase in traffic.
Looking for a fun and exciting way to get to Lakewood for Memorial Day without having to park onsite? Consider taking the Como-Harriet Streetcar! You can park near Lake Harriet station and take the streetcar between the two destinations. Streetcar runs from 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The streetcar leaves approximately every 15 minutes and costs $3 per person, round trip.