Memorial Day and other holidays can be hard on your wallet, especially if you have a large family that you have to entertain. Save money this Memorial Day by participating in free or inexpensive community events that are sponsored by your local neighborhood organizations.
In many towns and cities, Memorial Day usually begins with a free parade down on the main street or avenue. Families can see marching high school bands, parade floats, National Guard vehicles, political candidates, clowns, and veteran honor guards. Free candy for the kids is usually thrown from the floats or vehicles and that can make the little ones very happy.
Visitors should get to the parade route early in order to reserve a good spot. Some parades can be quite lengthy, and last for an hour or more. Lawn chairs will make everyone more comfortable.
Many veteran organizations will open their lodges and halls to the public on Memorial Day. These “open houses” allow the citizens to see how their local community organizations work. The two main veteran organizations are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
Each individual veteran post may honor veterans in a different way. At some posts, the public may be invited to an honor guard memorial service. Veterans are honored with public speeches and a 21-gun salute.
After the honor guard ceremony, the veteran posts may be opened to the public for a fund-raising breakfast. For a small contribution, visitors will be treated to a big breakfast that includes pancakes, toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, and coffee or milk. This is a great activity to feed the family inexpensively, and help pay for the operating costs of these veteran organizations. It’s a win-win type of situation.
Other veteran organizations may hold a potluck, or barbecue dinner for the public. Usually for a small donation, the public can enjoy various salads, casseroles, and desserts. Sometimes the veterans are cooking hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken for the attendees. The entire family can enjoy great food and company for a minimal amount.
Those interested in these activities should call their local veterans organizations for Memorial Day activities, or check with someone from the Town Hall or City Building.
A Memorial Day picnic in the park is another low-cost option for the family. Many communities will sponsor these types of events. Local vendors will set up to sell beverages, hot dogs, hamburgers, and other goodies. Game booths for the children will keep them busy for hours. Various local bands may be scheduled to provide free music. Of course, families can pack their own food to enjoy the activities in the park as well and save even more money.
The local volunteer fire department might schedule a fund-raising benefit event, and perhaps a community dance afterwards. These affairs are not expensive, and help to buy equipment for the firefighters.
Check out other low-cost or free events in your area to help you save money this Memorial Day. Have a safe and fun filled holiday while staying within your budget!
Lauralynn Schueckler is the Online Marketing Specialist at Advantage Credit Counseling Service. She is the author for Advantage CCS’s Blog called Dollars & Sense. Advantage Credit Counseling Service is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Contact Advantage Credit Counseling at 866.699.2227, or visit them online at www.advantageccs.org.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.