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Community Celebrations

Memorial Day

May 29 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pm

Lakewood Cemetery
Free and Open to the Public
Purchase Tickets

Join us on this special day of commemoration to honor and remember those who are loved and missed at our annual ceremony in person at the Soldier’s Memorial, followed by a special celebration with activities and refreshments for the whole family. This event is free and all are welcome.

For more information, a digital version of the event program is included below: 

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. Seating will be provided but we encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets especially if you plan to arrive closer to the start of the ceremony as seats may fill up fast.

Ceremony Speaker | Kelly Grosklags

Traumatic loss as a young child motivated Kelly’s life-long quest to create a healing community that minimizes suffering and honors grief. From early on, she was inspired to become a voice of compassion who could guide, comfort, and support terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For over 28 years, Kelly’s expertise while working in oncology, palliative care, and hospice has been welcomed by patients, caretakers and clinicians. She is the founder and CEO of “Conversations with Kelly,” executive producer of the documentary, “Dying is Not Giving Up,” Podcast Host, Author, International Public Speaker, and an End of Life and Grief Therapist. She is Board Certified in Clinical Social Work and has earned a Fellowship in Grief Counseling from the Association of Health Care Professionals and a Fellowship in Thanatology from the Association of Death Education and Counseling.

Ceremony Musician | Tonia Hughes Kendrick

Tonia is a contemporary gospel singer, songwriter, recording artist, and musical theater actress. Notably among Minnesota’s most gifted artists, audiences are drawn to her passionate delivery. Her openness to engage in culturally diverse collaborations has catapulted her music career. She has performed at Orchestra Hall, the Dakota Jazz Club countless local venues and theaters, and has even performed onstage at the renowned Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Tonia’s continued work as a performing artist and worship leader in both massive and small venues is nothing short of medicinal to those present.

Celebrant | Mary Vidas

An ordained Celebrant, Life Tribute Professional, and Interfaith Chaplain serving the Minnesota and Twin Cities area, Mary is known for her quality of care, community engagement and compassionate service. Often called upon to serve our military families, as a Clinical and Community Chaplain, Mary provides counseling and support to those experiencing grief and loss, sudden and/or difficult death, or facing critical health and life transitions. Recipient of the Arthur Naftalin Award for Public Service, Mary also works closely with organizations and community groups in designing and officiating living tributes, dedications, community celebrations, and public events.  

Ceremony Band | Minnesota Freedom Band

The Minnesota Freedom Band is a Twin Cities based, non-profit Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied concert, jazz and marching band.  We are committed to presenting quality performances, providing opportunities for our members to improve musicianship and gathering to build relationships with each other and with our community.

Memorial Day Celebration | 12 – 4 p.m.

Various locations | Free and open to all
Click here for a map of today’s activities and offerings

Activities and Refreshments | 12 – 4pm

Swing by the big tent near the Living Memory Tree for music, refreshments, and artist-inspired activities for the whole family. We will also feature activities in the Garden Mausoleum. In the event of rain, the activities will be moved into the Garden Mausoleum, and the concert will move into Lakewood’s chapel.

Music by Jaspar Lepak | 12-3 p.m.

A child of the Sonoran Desert, Jaspar Lepak is a folk/Americana songwriter whose remarkable gift for melody is only surpassed by her poetry. Deeply influenced by the many places she has called home (Tucson, Durban, Seattle, and currently Minneapolis), she sweeps across landscapes with an emotional depth that is extraordinary,  while her clear, pure voice touches the heart. “You’ll find more than enough beauty and original charm to make you a fan.” ~  Rolling Stone South Africa

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.

Garden Mausoleum

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.

Trolley Tours

Join us for a free trolley tour of Lakewood’s grounds to learn more about our history, some notable names, what we’re doing today and more. While we will do our best to keep the trolleys on schedule, they may get slightly off schedule due to traffic. We appreciate your patience and flexibility on this busy day!

Trolley tours will take place at 12pm | 12:15pm | 12:30pm | 1pm | 1:15pm | 1:30pm | 2pm | 2:15pm | 2:30pm | 3pm

Como-Harriet Streetcar

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 – 8:00pm on Memorial Day.

Flower Tent

During Memorial Day weekend, you can purchase fresh floral bouquets for loved ones’ graves. 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:

  • Utilizing 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

Getting to the Event

The Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at the Soldiers Memorial. Signs will be posted, you can also click here for GPS directions to the ceremony site (this may differ from the signs.)


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. Due to the popularity of this event, we strongly encourage carpooling. A limited number of parking spaces will be available near the ceremony and celebration areas – signs will be posted directing you to the ceremony handicap parking.


A bus stop is located right outside of Lakewood at 36th and Hennepin, from there it is approximately a 3/4 mile walk to the ceremony site, or a brief walk to the celebration site.


Lakewood has one small bike rack near the front gates. Please do not lock bikes to any of our signs or trees. Please use caution when biking through Lakewood on Memorial Day as we see a heavy increase in traffic. We strongly encourage bike riders to park their bike and walk.

Como-Harriet Streetcar

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.

Rain Plan

In the event of strong rain or storms the ceremony will be moved into the chapel. All activities will be moved into the Garden Mausoleum and music during the community celebration will be moved into the chapel. In the event of heavy storms, the trolley rides and streetcar rides will be cancelled.

Questions? Call (612) 540-5165 or email us at

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