FREDERICKSBURG, VA — It's not the typical start to summer, but nevertheless Memorial Day weekend is approaching. This year, Fredericksburg's Memorial Day ceremony will be virtual due to the coronavirus crisis. For the Memorial Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery, visit the city’s Facebook page on Saturday, May 23.
Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, was first started shortly after the Civil War as a way to remember and commemorate all who died in the defense of the United States. It was originally celebrated on May 30 each year but was moved to the last Monday of May as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971.
In Stafford County, the Memorial Day 2020 Ceremony at the Stafford Armed Services Memorial was canceled due to coronavirus. The ceremony is typically held the Friday before Memorial Day.
Even though Fredericksburg has entered phase one of Virginia's plan to ease coronavirus restrictions, many government services and other activities were already closed.
Here's a breakdown of how the holiday could affect your routine:
City of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford government offices: All government offices are closed Monday, May 25.
State Courts: Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed Monday, May 25.
Animal shelter: The Fredericksburg SPCA building is closed to the public. Adoptions are still happening, though. To see all available animals, visit Fredspca.org/adopt.
Parks: Most Fredericksburg recreation buildings, tennis and basketball courts, and other facilities remain closed. All trails and most parks are open, with the exception of certain amenities.
Libraries: All Central Rappahannock Regional Library Branches are closed until further notice.
Fredericksburg Trash & Recycling: Regular service.
Post offices: Closed on Monday, May 25.
FRED Transit: Open Monday, May 25.
VRE: Closed Monday, May 25.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park: The grounds will be open at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Monday, May 25. But all public buildings are closed and public programs canceled. Roads, trails and parking areas remain open but are not maintained. Restrooms are closed.
Things to do
- Visit a park: Pack a picnic, take the dog for a walk or play catch with the family while practicing physical distancing from others. Fredericksburg parks are open, although playgrounds, city fields, tennis courts and basketball courts are closed. Fredericksburg has provided a list of suggested walks.
- Watch the National Memorial Day Concert: The concert will be broadcast on PBS stations and live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube.
- Order takeout: Enjoy a holiday meal at home with your family. Check our Fredericksburg area open-closed and the city's list of open restaurants.
- Order online for pickup or delivery from breweries and wineries in the Fredericksburg area.
- Take a virtual tour: Explore digital resources from landmarks like Smithsonian museums, Mount Vernon and the National Zoo.
- The Fredericksburg Area Museum is offering new electronic field trips. Viewers can tour FAM's exhibit These Old Walls: A Town and Its Stories to discover the difference between primary and secondary sources.
- Children (and adults) can learn about the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Chancelorsville through Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park Virtual Classroom.