Memorial Day marks the country’s first national holiday out from under heavy COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Crowds are expected to return in mass to hot locales like beaches and malls, which are fully open with loose mask policies.
Miami-Dade County and local cities prepare for what could be a busy, crowded holiday weekend, working to avoid a repeat of this year’s Spring Break.
Keep track of Memorial Day events and news in South Florida here. This blog will be updated throughout the afternoon.
Hyundai Air & Sea Show kicks off Memorial Day Weekend in South Beach
The Hyundai Air & Sea Show, a two-day military celebration, kicked off its first day to calm audiences as party crowds returned to South Beach.
Miami Beach’s “high-impact” rules limited overcrowding at the beach and traffic congestion. So far, police said there had not been any “significant issues.”
The Air & Sea Show rolled out COVID measures, like virus-sniffing dogs and sanitation stations, while a vaccination site was located nearby.
The Saturday afternoon scene on South Beach was laid back, particularly on the stretch of sand hosting the air show. Mostly, people had taken off their masks and found spots to watch military cargo planes and A-10 warthogs fly-overs.
What will the weather be like Memorial Day weekend?
The holiday weekend began bright and shiny on Saturday with low chances of rain, according to the National Weather Service. But in true South Florida fashion, thunderstorms are forecast for Sunday and Monday, soaking Memorial Day.
There is a 30% thunderstorm chance on Sunday and 40% Sunday night. A hazardous weather outlook alert has been issued on the weather service’s website and a suggestion to keep checking on that forecast before we hit the long weekend.
According to the outlook, the potential Memorial Day Weekend thunderstorms could be soakers, with occasional “cloud-to-ground lightning” and gusty winds.
Rip currents could form along South Florida beaches through the weekend, too.
On Memorial Day, Miami-Dade and Broward counties are looking at a 50% storm chance that rises to 60% Tuesday. Wednesday remains at 60% and the weather could remain unsettled through Friday.
Local attractions away from Miami Beach, downtown Miami holiday hotspots
With the Hyundai Air & Sea Show, causeway closures and a heap of tourists, Miami Beach and downtown Miami will be one of the hottest spots in Miami-Dade.
If you’re looking for a more low speed Memorial Day vacation with a possibility of less tourists? There are a plethora of South Florida gems.
At Zoo Miami, new Sumatran tiger Ndari, who was born in January and other zoo babies are waiting for visitors to their enclosures.
Jurassic Garden at Fairchild Tropical Garden is open as well teaching kids and adults about prehistoric creatures.
Dezerland Park, one of Florida’s largest indoor amusement centers, is also open for guests too.
MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways see closures on holiday weekend.
On Friday, the MacArthur, which links South Beach and downtown Miami, began keeping only one eastbound lane of traffic open until about 4 a.m. the following day. The closures will start again at 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and end at 4 a.m. on Sunday and Monday.
The Julia Tuttle Causeway, which links Mid-Beach with 36th Street in Miami, will have two eastbound lanes open from 10 p.m. until about 4 a.m. the next day. The 10 p.m. lane closures will take effect every day through Sunday.
What’s open and closed Memorial Day weekend?
Unlike 2020’s Memorial Day weekend, there are a lot more places to take the family or friends.
Miami-Dade and Broward beaches and parks will be open, with a few guidelines that must be followed.
Aventura Mall, Dolphin Mall and the Simon-owned malls (Dadeland Mall, The Falls, Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace, International Mall, Sawgrass Mills, Coral Square, Town Center at Boca Raton) will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
As for banks, courthouses and county or city government offices, thoses will be closed in accordance with the federal holiday. As well, as mail not being delivered and the stock market being closed.