The Ultimate Memorial Day Weekend Party & Event Guide

By Parker Diakite


As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend often serves as a preview of what to expect this upcoming summer season.

Related Post: Five Great Road Trips For Memorial Day

From day parties, cultural events, concerts, festivals, and more, here’s how you can take full advantage of the three-day weekend across the country.

African American Heritage Statewide Festival – Newark, New Jersey

Now in its 52nd year,  the African American Heritage Festival is four-day festival dedicated to celebrating African American culture and freedom.

This year’s event will take place from May 24 through May 27.  A fireworks show will take place on May 25 and the official parade will kick off on May 26 at 1:00 p.m.

A full event schedule can be found here.

Related Post: 5 Destinations for A Low-Key Memorial Day Celebration

Aruba Soul Beach Festival

If you’re in Aruba for Memorial Day Weekend, be sure to head to the 19th Annual Soul Beach Music Festival.

The star-studded lineup includes John Legend, Charlie Wilson, Ella Mai, and H.E.R.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival

And if you’re not in Aruba this Memorial Day Weekend, no worries.   Atlanta is hosting its own Caribbean Carnival Festival on May 25 and May 26. 

The two-day event will be held in Central Park.

Photo courtesy Instagram | @officialatlantacarnival
Costume designed by Instagram | @antiguandesigner

Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music – Chicago, Illinois

Explore Chicago’s music legacy through ragtime, jazz, and blues through this exhibition on display at the Chicago Cultural Center, which highlights the contributions of important places and people that shaped the music scene.

Carefree Black Girl Cookout -Charlotte, North Carolina

CareFree Black Girl, LLC is a lifestyle brand that focuses on women empowerment, entrepreneurship and the arts.

This weekend, the organization is hosting a cookout that will feature performances, wellness activities, a glam bar, hair products, and more.

Cultural Traffic Arts Fair – Detroit, Michigan

Cultural Traffic Arts Fair is a global platform, hosting artists, independent and experimental publishers together. Here is where culture and creativity meet!

The fair will include live events, readings, screenings, music and artist-led performances on May 27 at the El Club.

Get your tickets here.

DanceAfrica – Brooklyn, New York

This year’s DanceAfrica performances will offer spectators a taste of the rich culture and traditions of Rwanda in acknowledgement of the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Performances are happening all weekend-long at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

DC Black Pride – Washington, DC

Despite being known for the parties, there are events happening all-week long in the nation’s capital for DC Black Pride.

This year’s event features a transgendered reception, a Unity Ball, and workshops. Pride Praise Fest is slated for May 26 at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown at 9 a.m.

Houston’s Afro Beat Expo

This annual 4-day Afro-Caribbean weekend experience is about sharing and preserving the rich mix of deep cultures within our community through music, dance, poetry, arts, and food.

Photo courtesy of Afro Beats Experience Festival

Memorial Weekend Honoring Black Palm Springs – Castic, California

Honor Black people this weekend during the Val Verde Park Annual Memorial Weekend Fest and Camping Events.

Val Verde served as a safe haven for Black people during the 1930s when they were barred from public recreational spaces in LA.

You can spend the day by bringing a tent or camping for the whole weekend.  There will be live music, poetry, art, yoga, grilling and more.

Orlando Urban Film Festival

The 6th Annual Orlando Urban Film Festival will take place Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 2. 

Orlando’s Black Film Festival, OBFF, was created to expose Florida’s underserved African American film and music producers, and a diverse culture of content creators.

San Francisco Brian Copeland’s “Not a Genuine Black Man” Returns to The Marsh

The longest running solo show in San Francisco theater history, titled “Not A Genuine Black Man” by award-winning actor and playwright Brian Copeland is returning to the Bay Area.

This funny, honest, and harrowing piece recounts the struggles Copeland faced growing up in what was declared one of the most racist suburbs in America.

There are a few show time options to choose from.

Sunday Brunch & Day Party – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Beautifully Black PHL & Day Dream Philly is teaming up with Chef Milly for a Sunday Brunch and Day Party at the Golf and Social. 

Urban Beach Week Miami

Miami’s Urban Beach Week is one of the largest Urban Festivals in the world, according to organizers. More than 300,000 people make the annual trek to South Beach for a weekend full of fun, food, festivities, entertainment, music and more.

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