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Top Five Things to Do on Memorial Day

Someone tell Mother Nature, but Monday is the unofficial kickoff to summer.

About time!

The question becomes, now what? Well, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve highlighted a few reflective activities because this is, after all, Memorial Day, a few learning opportunities (we checked to see which museums would be open for you) and a recreational option for the weekend leading into the holiday. We hope you have an excellent holiday weekend, but just as much, we hope you take the chance to thank a solider. (Shameless plug: Please consider a donation to our corporate charity for military families, Townsquare Cares!)


Airman 1st Class Logan Smith of the Warren Color Guard (Airman 1st Class Dan Gage/USAF)

Service at Beth El Cemetery

Seymour at First Ave.
VFW Post 1881
and on Facebook

The central city cemetery divided by Pershing Ave. is actually three cemeteries: Lakeview to the south of the road, Olivet to the north and Beth El, which occupies the northwest corner of the area. VFW Post 1881 Quartermaster Jon DeRouen is the contact for an 11 am memorial and wreath laying service Monday morning at 11, followed by a free picnic for veterans and their families at 1 pm.

Traditional military bag pipes and a trumpeter will be part of the ceremony honoring the sacrifices veterans have made in the service of our country. The FE Warren Air Force Base Honor Guard will service the colors. Brigadier General Kathy Wright, Assistant Adjutant General of the Army, Wyoming, will be the keynote speaker, and proclamations from Gov. Mead and Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) will be shared.


The Cheyenne Capitol, part of the trolley tour. (J. Green/TSM)

Trolley Tour Historic Cheyenne

Purchase tickets and board at the Depot, 121 W. 15th St., 307-632-3133
Depot Museum website and on Facebook

The Cheyenne Street Railway Company operates the trolley-styled buses that give tours of the historic areas of Cheyenne. Scheduled tours have started for the year, although you can charter the trolley for events year ’round. A historic tour of Cheyenne, narrated by the trolley conductor, would be an excellent way to take in some of the sights of Cheyenne without burning too much shoe leather. On Memorial Day, there are two bus tours at 10am and 1:30 pm, which deviate from the weekday schedule. Two two-hour tour will take you from the Depot Museum through Cheyenne and to the Old West Museum at Frontier Park (where admission is included). If you’re looking for even more museums, ride the trolley during a non-holiday weekday, when the 90-minute tour includes brief stops at four museums, the state capitol and historic Governors’ Mansion. Adult tickets are $10 or $15 (the more expensive ticket price includes a two-day pass to all of the museums on the tour), children ride for $5. Call the Depot Museum for advance tickets — suggested if you want to make one of the two Memorial Day tours.


Visitors in period garb. (City of Cheyenne)

Walking Tour of Lakeview Cemetery

Seymour Ave. at Pershing Blvd., website or 307-632-6402

The Lakeview Cemetery walking tour is an excellent opportunity for quiet reflection on Memorial Day. Self directed, you are able to spend as much, or as little, time as you like at each of the 22 tour stops, and you are welcome to be distracted along the way. While not a veterans’ tour per se, you will note many military markers throughout the cemetery.

The tour is careful to focus not only on the famous former residents of Cheyenne buried there, but on normal citizens who have passed before as well. From the tour website, “You will be asked to look at cemetery markers not simply as mute stones but as works of art and as commentaries on our society.” The tour normally takes about an hour, and a guide is available from the office at 2501 Seymour Ave. The tour is free but donations for beautification and improvement are appreciated.


A vet receives a free haircut. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty)

Help a Veteran

We’ve already made our shameless plug for Townsquare Cares, but there are many other ways to help vets besides sending a check to our charity. Our Business Assistant Dawn recommends contacting the local VA hospital to volunteer for a day. (See their volunteer page here or call 307-778-7317.) Our IT guy Jon has been known to pick up the tab for vets in local restaurants and bolt before he’s found out (he’s shy that way). It’s unfortunate but true: veterans are more likely to be homeless, poor, and suffer from mental illness than our population at large. If you can’t give money, sometimes just saying hello and thank you, while sticking around long enough to hear their story should a veteran want to talk, is enough. Because vets are more likely to need emergency community services, consider volunteering for those groups, as well. Be creative.


Curt Gowdy. (Wyoming Travel and Tourism)

Camp, Boat and Picnic at Curt Gowdy

25 miles west of Cheyenne on Happy Jack Rd., website, or phone 307-632-7946

While most of the items here are of the reflective sort, we understand the Memorial Day holiday is the unofficial opening of the summer season and many of us will want to do something fun outside over the long weekend.

Unfortunately, after promising mild and sunny weather all week, the weatherman has downgraded his forecast of the weekend. It now looks like it’s merely going to be cool, with a good chance of rain and lightning. That said, if you can avoid the weather, Curt Gowdy is just up the road from here and offers a great chance to make sure your boat is ready for the summer, and to fire up some charcoal. If you’re particularly intrepid, you might find a dry patch to camp in, even.

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