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7 things to do Memorial Day weekend

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Welcome to the unofficial start of summer.

You survived Snowmageddon in January and made it through weeks of spring showers in May, and now Memorial Day weekend is finally here.

So, what are you going to do?

Whether your idea of summertime fun is swimming, barbecuing or relaxing by a bonfire with family, here are some great ways to spend your three-day weekend.

Visit the Boardwalk

If you can’t swing a trip to the beach this weekend, the Boardwalk at Hersheypark might be the next best thing. Like most area pools, Hersheypark’s Boardwalk – complete with a wave pool, lazy river, water slides and other water attractions – will open for the season this weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday. While you’re there, check out the park’s more than a dozen roller coasters, including its newest ride Laff Trakk which opened in 2015. And, on your way out, don’t miss the newly updated tour ride at Chocolate World right next door. Memorial Day weekend park hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Visit for more info.

The Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest

Free wine sampling, free admission and free parking make The Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest the event to be at Memorial Day weekend. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, attendees can enjoy unlimited wine samples from more than 20 Pennsylvania wineries, cooking demonstrations with regional chefs, culinary workshops, musical entertainment, local artisan vendors and children’s activities at Mount Hope Estate & Winery, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim. For more information, visit for more info.

Chili Cookoff

You can’t celebrate the unofficial start of summer without a cookout. Head to Mudhook Brewing Co. between noon and 5 p.m. Saturday for burgers, hot dogs, chips, beer and, of course, chili. Pre-sale tickets are $5 or stop by the day of the event for $7. A ticket includes six chili samples plus live music. Visit for more info.

Creek Fire

After you’ve filled up on cookout and picnic food, spend your Saturday evening relaxing by the floating fire pits on the Codorus Creek. Children’s activities, including sidewalk chalk, paper helicopters and a magician, will kick off the event at 7 p.m. at Foundry Park. Irish folk performer Ian Carroll will entertain the crowd at 9 p.m., followed by the lighting of the fire pits at dusk. Can’t make it Saturday? Creek Fires will continue on the fourth Saturday of the month through September.

Memorial Day Parade

You can’t go wrong with a holiday parade. Celebrate the memory of those who served our country with this 149-year-old tradition in Gettysburg. A parade will step off from Lefever Street at 2 p.m. Monday and head northeast to Middle Street, west on East Middle Street and south on Baltimore Street to the Soldier’s National Cemetery. The parade will be followed by a ceremony with keynote speaker Congressman Scott Perry at 3 p.m. at the Rostrum in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

Looking for more Memorial Day parades? Look on your borough’s website to see if a parade is scheduled in your area.

Steam into History’s Lincoln funeral train

Veterans ride free (with a paid guest) at this special Steam into History train ride commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train. Guests will learn about the origin of Memorial Day and how it relates to those who served during the Civil War. U.S. Navy Veteran Kent Courtney will also share stories and songs throughout the ride in memory of those who have fought for our freedom. Courtney has previously been featured on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, PBS, “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Rides are scheduled for 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Monday and 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. Visit for more information.

‘American Pickers’ auction

If you’re a fan of the History Channel show “American Pickers,” you won’t want to miss this Memorial Day weekend auction at Good Old Boy Country Auctions in Manchester Township. Owner Bob Sholly will be auctioning off thousands of antique items, ranging from old mill wheels to local signs – some of which were featured on an episode of the show in December. Word on the street is “Pickers” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz might even stop by for a visit. The auction is open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Monday at 545 E. Locust Lane, Manchester Township.