Tributes, weather and festivals: Your guide to Memorial Day 2019 in Sacramento region

Remembering our nation’s veterans

Our nation's veterans are remembered during a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon on Monday, May 28, 2018.
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Our nation's veterans are remembered during a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon on Monday, May 28, 2018.

Memorial Day weekend in the Sacramento region is filled with solemn tributes to members of the military who died in service. For many, the holiday also is the unofficial kickoff of summer, and the calendar is filled with events large and small.

From memorials to weather to traffic and what’s open and closed, here’s a look at what the holiday weekend holds.


If you’re planning to run errands on Memorial Day, here is what will be closed:

  • Federal government offices
  • State government offices
  • Federal and state courts
  • Post offices
  • Most banks and credit unions
  • Sacramento City Hall and city offices
  • Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado county offices
  • Public schools and colleges

Emergency and sanitation services, however, will still operate over the holiday.


The National Weather Service predicts highs ranging from 68 degrees to 76 degrees with chances of thunderstorms this weekend for the Sacramento region. It expects a greater likelihood of rain in the foothills and mountains.

On Memorial Day, Sacramento can expect cloudy skies and a high of about 73 with winds of about 5 mph, according to weather service forecaster Eric Kurth.

If you live in the foothills, you may want to consider broiling the chicken wings this year rather than grilling in the backyard.

The weather service predicts a slight chance of rain showers in the suburbs east of Sacramento, with rain more likely in the mountains.

Kurth said Citrus Heights, Roseville, Folsom, El Dorado Hills and Placerville may see some rain on Monday.

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With the three-day weekend, it may not come as a surprise that almost 43 million Americans will be taking a vacation for Memorial Day, according to AAA.

Since most travelers are going by car, delays on major roadways may be up to three times longer than those on a typical evening commute, AAA said.

More than 5 million of these vacationers will be from California, according to AAA, breaking a travel record for Memorial Day in the state.

If you are headed west, watch out — AAA said the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to see 1.6 times more traffic than normal.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Parking meters in the city of Sacramento will not require payment
  • Regional Transit will be running on a Sunday schedule
  • Amtrak will be running on a weekend schedule
  • BART will be running on a Sunday schedule

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Several local cemeteries will host remembrances for those who died in service:

  • Former military personnel and Boy Scouts will observe the holiday at the New Auburn Cemetery (1040 Collins Drive, Auburn) at 9 a.m. Monday, where wreaths will be presented at the gravesite and the Auburn Area Honor Guard will deliver a rifle salute.

  • Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park (4701 Marysville Blvd., Sacramento) will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. with a presentation of colors.

  • Mount Vernon Memorial Park (8201 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks), which is home to a veterans’ garden, will host a large ceremony with a military band at 11 a.m.

  • A ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (5810 Midway Road, Dixon), a Veterans Affairs cemetery.

Watch children learn about California and Sacramento history during the inaugural Waterfront Days in Old Sacramento on Friday, May 24, 2019. The Memorial Day weekend event runs Friday through Sunday.


If you’re not in the mood for travel, plenty of fun festivals and galas are in town this weekend.

  • The Sacramento County Fair returned to Cal Expo on Thursday with a patriotic theme and is set to run through the holiday with pig races, rodeos, dog shows and more. You can pick up some deep-fried chicken skin through Monday evening. Admission is $8 at the door, and kiddos get in free. Fair hours and more information can be found here.
  • Or, just a few minutes away in Old Sacramento, you can can check out the Waterfront Days heritage event, which begins Friday and lasts through Sunday. Historical re-enactments such as gold panning, blacksmithing and carriage riding are all part of the daytime fun. After sundown, expect beer and country music. A cannon will be fired off, too. The event is free, and more information can be found here.
  • At least three music festivals will be ongoing this weekend: the Strawberry Music Festival in Grass Valley, Operation Restore Maximum Freedom in Davis and Torchfest in Sacramento. Between the three, there’s something for everyone, from straight-ahead jazz to indie surf rock.
  • Parents with kids might want to head over to the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in Land Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday for the International Kids Festival, where pony rides, face painting, rock climbing and more is being offered for free. Entertainment includes performances by dancers, gymnasts and athletes.
  • This weekend, there’s going to be two consecutive days of cars in Old Sacramento. Karmecca, a car show for after-market mods, is coming to 2300 Front St. at noon Sunday, followed by the California Automobile Museum’s annual Memorial Day show just next door at 9 a.m. Monday.

For veterans and military personnel

  • Active military personnel with appropriate IDs will be admitted free to the Sacramento County Fair on Memorial Day.
  • Raging Waters, the water park at Cal Expo, will admit both veterans and military personnel for free all weekend long.
  • Seven local museums are admitting military personnel and their families for free up until Labor Day. The participating museums are: the Aerospace Museum of California, the California Automobile Museum, the California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, the Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum. Some museums may be closed on Monday.
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