Memorial Day Events in North Carolina's Piedmont Triad and Beyond

Posted by Steve Vincent on Apr 18, 2016 3:30:16 PM

In Family Outings, Memorial Day, parade, Community Events, Triad Life

Originally known as “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day got its start in 1862, when General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. On that first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.*


Now, more than 150 years and many armed conflicts later, the last Monday in May is officially observed in the U.S. as Memorial Day, and it serves to commemorate the American military men and women who have died in all wars. Unfortunately, we could find surprisingly few official Memorial Day events scheduled in Greensboro, High Point, or Winston-Salem this year. See our suggestions below, and check with your local American Legion posts, churches, and other organizations to find out what Memorial Day plans they may have on offer. Please leave a comment about any other commemorative events you know about - we'd love to add to our list.

And of course, if this summer brings a change in employment, relocation to a smaller or larger home, or a move away from the area, please let The Vincent Group at GreatNest help you buy and/or sell your home. We’d be honored to be your real estate agency of choice, and we are confident we can save you money!

National Moment of Remembrance: 3 P.M.

Whether you’re at home or celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer on Memorial Day this year, don’t forget to participate in the "National Moment of Remembrance" at 3:00 PM local time—make time to pause and think about the meaning of the day.

Thomasville, NC’s Memorial Day Parade and Celebration

The Thomasville Memorial Day Parade and Celebration is the largest in the Southeastern US. All events associated with the Thomasville Memorial Day Celebration are FREE. Opening ceremonies are at the NC Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall on I-85 starting at 9:30am. The parade begins at the Big Chair at 10:30 a.m. and winds nearly one mile to Cushwa Stadium for the rest of the day's festivities, including free hot dogs and drinks to the first 10,000 people. There will be special performances at the stadium by the Special Forces Association Parachute Team, Vietnam-era helicopters and a Blackhawk for people to sit in and take pictures of.  Special plaques will be presented by several high-ranking Generals to families who lost loved ones in the line of duty in the previous year. Following presentations, there will be a keynote address and a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. Admission is always free and there are no vendors. If you are a veteran and would like to march in the parade, or for general information, call Thomasville Tourism at 1 800-611-9907.

Living History Weekend at Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield Park

The weekend before Memorial Day, the men and women of the Guilford Militia, an organization of dedicated Revolutionary War enthusiasts, typically present a variety of interpretive programs clad in replica Revolutionary War clothing, carrying the firearms of 1781, and living the life of the 1780s soldier and camp follower. The public is invited to visit with them in their re-created 1781 camp at  from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. In addition, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park has other Memorial Day weekend special events planned. For more information and updated schedules for this year, look at Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield Park and at the NC Living History Facebook page.

Memorial Day on Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington

If you feel like traveling further afield to honor those lost – and perhaps start the summer off at the beach – head to Wilmington, NC, where at 5:45 p.m., people of all generations from across the state will gather together on the deck of Battleship NC to pay their respects. An emotional ceremony, preceding and concluding with military musical arrangements provided by a military band, will feature a guest speaker reflecting on the past as well as where we are today. Find more information about the Battleship North Carolina and the event itself here.

The Vincent Group at GreatNest is a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas. We will save you money in buying or selling a home by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Our experienced real estate professionals are ready to answer your questions or get started looking for the property that suits your taste and budget.  Call us at (336) 790-5210, email Steve Vincent, and visit our website at


* Source of information about the history of Memorial Day: