Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of the summer travel season, and to ease holiday weekend highway congestion, the Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures from noon Friday through 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Here’s a look at weekend events, safety tips and the all-important holiday forecast:
Sunny skies, with no rain expected until late Monday
Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton is forecasting sunny skies Friday through Sunday, with a 30 percent chance of rain late in the day on Monday. The risk of rain jumps to 60 percent Tuesday, she said.
Temperatures will be close to normal, with afternoon highs of 81 Saturday, 82 Sunday and 83 Monday, Minton said. Morning lows will be in the upper 50s Saturday, low 60s Sunday and mid-60s Monday.
Atlanta’s normal high for late May is 81, and the normal low is 62.
Minton said travelers headed to the Georgia coast and to Gulf coast beaches will also find sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s.
State agencies teaming up for “Summer of Safety”
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia Department of Public Safety are teaming up this summer to push the messages that wearing seat belts and life jackets, obeying traffic and boating laws and signs and staying sober, whether operating a boat or a car, are keys to staying safe.
“It is up to you to buckle on that life jacket, buckle up that seat belt and stay sober if you are behind the wheel, any wheel,” said Col. Eddie Henderson, director of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “So far this year on Georgia waters, we unfortunately have already had 10 boating fatalities, only two short of last year’s total. Our goal with this ‘Summer of Safety’ is to stop that trend.”
Remembering the reason for the holiday
Marietta National Cemetery will hold its annual Memorial Day remembrance ceremony at noon Monday at the cemetery at 500 Washington Avenue in Marietta.
Other ceremonies are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday at Alpharetta City Hall and 10 a.m. at The Park at City Center in Woodstock, Freedom Park in Milton and Roswell City Hall. In Dacula, the 22nd annual Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10 a.m. along Dacula Road.
Braves, Hawks, arts and all that jazz
The Braves play the Brewers at Turner Field at 7:35 p.m. Friday, 4:10 p.m. Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday before beginning a West Coast road trip Monday night.
Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the Hawks and Cavaliers begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Philips Arena.
The annual – and free - Atlanta Jazz Festival runs Friday through Sunday at Piedmont Park.
The Decatur Arts Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Decatur.