Get-out guide for the Memorial Day weekend

Get-out guide for the Memorial Day weekend
Flags fly over the gravestones of Civil War veterans in the Soldiers Lot at Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, Vt. on Friday, May 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Memorial Day weekend is here and for a lot of folks that means it's time for a campout, family barbecue or just relaxing at home and enjoying an extra day off.

Before we get into some of the helpful information we've pulled together for those of you who are still making plans, we ask that everyone take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really about.

Don't forget while you're enjoying the weekend (or even if you're stuck working) that this is a holiday to honor those who died while serving in the military. Here are links to the official ceremonies that are planned in Oregon and Washington:

As far as the history of Memorial Day, did you know that it started after the Civil War to honor the soldiers who had died on the battlefield? And did you know that it was originally called 'Decoration Day?' Follow these links to learn more about the holiday's history:


If you're planning to hit the road, getting a good price on gas is important. With the cost per gallon so high these days, every penny can count on long trips. And of course you'll want to check out traffic conditions before you leave. Here are some helpful links:

The Oregon State Police also wants to remind folks to drive safe this holiday weekend. Police will not only be on the roads looking for impaired drivers but will be keeping an eye out for those who aren't wearing a seatbelt. It's part of the national Click It Or Ticket campaign, which runs through June 3.


If you haven't reserved a camping spot for the weekend, you might have a hard time finding one at the last minute. There are still options, though.

Oregon has over 50 first-come, first-served state park campground. In Washington, reservations are preferred at state campgrounds but drop-ins are welcome if there is space available. And there are always the Bureau of Land Management campgrounds, many of which are first-come, first-served.

Keep in mind that campgrounds at higher elevations may still have snow. For example, Mount Hood favorites like Trillium, Olallie Lake and others will be snowed in. Those sites probably won't open for at least another couple of weeks.

If you want to avoid the holiday crowd, you can always go camping the following weekend and get a night for free. Saturday, June 2 is State Parks Day in Oregon - the one day a year where you can camp overnight at any state park for no charge.

Close to Home

For those of you who are spending the Memorial Day weekend at home, there will be plenty to do in our neck of the woods this weekend.

Family Fun

First of all, the Portland Rose Festival officially begins. On Friday, CityFair will open to the public along the waterfront in downtown Portland. And of course to get the party started right, there's the big fireworks show over the Willamette River that night.

The 106th annual Multnomah County Fair is also coming up this weekend at Oaks Amusement Park in Southeast Portland. The fair runs Friday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Tickets for rides will be sold at the park.

Also, Portland Parks & Recreation is offering extra open play swim sessions on Memorial Day at three local pools:

  • East Portland Community Center and Pool at 740 S.E. 106th - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mt. Scott Community Center and Pool at 5530 S.E. 72nd - 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (leisure pool only)
  • Southwest Community Center and Pool at 6820 S.W. 45th Avenue - 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Grown-Up Fun

The Portland Art Museum will be open on Monday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you've been wanting to see the Mark Rothko or John Frame exhibitions, this will be your last chance. You can also meet John Frame in person from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The 22nd annual Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country will be running May 26-28. More than 150 Willamette Valley wineries and tasting rooms will open up their doors to the public.

Jet Fly-overs

The Oregon Air National Guard is scheduled to conduct Memorial Day flyovers at various locations throughout Oregon and Southern Washington. F-15 Eagle Fighter jets from the 142nd Fighter Wing based in Portland, and the 173rd Fighter Wing in Klamath Falls, are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following locations and approximate times on May 28.
142nd Fighter Wing

  • 10:50 a.m. Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.
  • 10:51 a.m. Mountain View Cemetery in Oregon City.
  • 10:55 a.m. Winona Cemetery in Tualatin.
  • 10:55 a.m. Crescent Grove Cemetery in Tigard.
  • 10:56 a.m. Oregon Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Portland.
  • 10:57 a.m. Beaverton Memorial Park in Beaverton.
  • 11:00 a.m. Forest View Cemetery in Forest Grove.
  • 11:02 a.m. Heritage Park in Scappoose.
  • 11:05 a.m. Longview Memorial Park in Longview, Wash.
  • 11:06 a.m. Whittle Hubbard Cemetery in Castle Rock, Wash.
  • 11:10 a.m. Hoffman Veteran Memorial Park in Woodland, Wash.
  • 11:11 a.m. Northwood Park Cemetery in Ridgefield, Wash.
  • 11:12 a.m. Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Vancouver, Wash.
  • 11:12 a.m. Fairway Village in Vancouver, Wash.
  • 11:25 a.m. Sunset Heights Memorial Gardens in Tillamook.
  • 11:32 a.m. Depoe Bay Harbor in Depoe Bay.
  • 11:37 a.m. Dallas Cemetery in Dallas.
  • 11:38 a.m. Independence State Airport in Independence.
  • 1:00 p.m. Forest Grove Memorial Flag Pole Park in Forest Grove.
  • 1:20 p.m. Military Veterans Memorial Site in White Salmon, Wash.
  • 2:10 p.m. Benton County Veterans Memorial in Corvallis.
  • 2:25 p.m. Veterans Gateway Memorial Dedication in Hillsboro.
  • 3:01 p.m. Water Front Park in Portland.

173rd Fighter Wing

  • 10:30 a.m. Memorial Day Celebration in Glide.
  • 11:00 a.m. Memorial Day Observance in Klamath Falls.
  • 11:15 a.m. Memorial Day Service in Eagle Point.
  • 11:30 a.m. Veterans Remembrance Ceremony in Canyonville.
  • 11:40 a.m. Memorial Day Tribute in Roseburg.
  • 12:00 p.m. Memorial Day Service in Grants Pass.
  • 12:00 p.m. Memorial Day Celebration in La Grande.
  • 12:15 p.m. Memorial Day Observance in Baker City.
  • 12:15 p.m. Memorial Day Celebration in Malin.
  • 1:00 p.m.  Memorial Day Service in Bend.

All flyovers will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and at about 400 mph airspeed.  Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.