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Memorial Day events kick off summer
Parade, aquatic center help usher in holiday

Annual Memorial Day parade

When: 10 a.m. Monday

Where: Green Street from First Baptist Church to E.E. Butler Parkway, then to Spring Street

Memorial Day Blast

What: Relay races, field day activities, campfires, music concerts and a hoedown

When: 1-8 p.m. Friday through Monday

Where: Unicoi State Park and Lodge, Helen

Admission: $5 parking.

More info: 800-573-9659 ext. 305 

 To celebrate the unofficial start of summer, the outdoor water park at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville will open for the season from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Splash Zone has two three-story body slides, a swirl pool, a current channel and a zero-depth entry to the playground with a variety of interactive water features.

Starting this weekend, hours for the outdoor Splash Zone will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for Gainesville and Hall County residents, $7 for nonresidents. The zone will stay open through Labor Day weekend. The zone will stay open through Labor Day weekend.

JB Jams music from a live DJ will be offered from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

The Frances Meadows Center is located at 1545 Community Way NE, Gainesville.

For more information, visit online or call 770-533-5850.

On Monday, Gainesville will welcome the holiday with floats and fun.

Organizers are gearing up for the ninth annual Memorial Day parade along Green Street in Gainesville, with about 75 entries on board so far, some featuring a large number of marchers.

"It's going pretty much like it did last year," said Cheryl Vandiver of last-minute details.

The event is set to start at 10 a.m. Monday, with parade participants gathering at First Baptist Church at 8:30 a.m. Tony Manzo of Gainesville will open the parade with a flyover in his Boeing-made P-17 Stearman biplane.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is the grand marshal and Pearl Harbor survivor Mack Abbott is the honorary grand marshal.

The Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7 is sponsoring the parade, which will travel from the church to E.E. Butler Parkway, then go to Spring Street and disband. Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 772, will serve free hot dogs and hamburgers after the parade in Roosevelt Square between the Joint Administration Building and Georgia Mountains Center.

The American Legion also is cooking hot dogs and hamburgers at its post on Riverside Drive, after the parade.

If you feel like driving, but not too far, check out the drop-in at city of Suwanee's town park.

With the help of the Gwinnett Community Band and Silver Wings parachute demonstration team, Suwanee will kick off Memorial Day weekend with a patriotic concert beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, at Town Center Park. This event is free and open to the public.

A nonprofit group of musicians from throughout metro Atlanta, the Gwinnett Community Band will perform patriotic marches and other popular favorites. As part of this event, at approximately 7:30 p.m., weather permitting, members of the Silver Wings will drop in - literally - at Town Center Park.

Silver Wings is the Command Exhibition Parachute Team of the U.S. Army Infantry and is based at Fort Benning.

Canned good donations will be accepted on behalf of area food co-ops. Those who donate five nonperishable food items will receive a city of Suwanee reusable bag.

Parking is available at Town Center Park, located at the intersection of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, and across the railroad tracks on Main Street (take the pedestrian underpass to Town Center).

Bring picnic baskets, blankets, chairs, and canned goods, but no alcohol please. For more information, contact Dave Dellinger at 770-718-7676 or Roger Keebaugh at 770-869-7941.