Celebrate Memorial Day where it all began

Memorial Day is fast approaching, rain or shine, and we have the inside scoop on the best places to celebrate our U.S. veterans and reconnect with friends and family.

We have to remember that Memorial Day is about more than hotdogs and burgers on the grill. It's about remembering our fallen soldiers who fought to protect our country and their fellow Americans, and there’s no place better to honor their service than Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, where Memorial Day began in 1864. The Pennsylvania Military Museum will be joined by the Pennsylvania National Guard on May 20, to host the 99th annual Celebration of Service: Honoring Pennsylvania Veterans. The service will run 12:30-5 p.m. and feature a military band concert and equipment displays in addition to the memorial.

During Memorial Day weekend, Boalsburg also holds its annual Memorial Day parade, May 26, starting at 3 p.m. The parade takes place right in the middle of the Boalsburg Carnival, May 24 – 28, offering rides, games and lots of crave-worthy carnival food.  

Don't forget to take a peek into the 1800s on Monday, May 30. Boalsburg has its very own functioning blacksmith shop at the Heritage Museum. The museum holds demonstrations 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., to show you and your family what life was really like way back when. You can also see Civil War era reenactments at the Boal Mansion from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m., for an even deeper look into 19th-century life.

Perhaps the most beautiful way to celebrate the start of summer is with a fireworks display. The Lake Raystown Resort sets off its annual Memorial Day fireworks show over the lake, Sunday, May 27, starting at dusk. Enjoy the beautiful display both in the sky and reflected on the lake’s surface, to close off a perfect Memorial Day weekend.

Of course, between carnivals, parades and blacksmith shop adventures, enjoy a stay at one of Happy Valley's best B&Bs. Rejuvenate yourself during the festivities at some of our favorites: the Hublersburg Inn; Earlystown Manor; Our Fair Lady; the Queen, a Victorian B&B; Riffles and Runs; and the Gage. You can also check out any number of local hotels that are just as charming.

Happy Valley is also home to countless restaurants with tantalizing menus and rich histories. With so many options, from pizza to Cajun, you're sure to find something that's perfect for your family.

So, raise those flags and celebrate in the birthplace of Memorial Day! 

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