15 things to do this weekend in metro Atlanta: Memorial Day events, splash pad openings and more

5 Things , You Might Not Know About Memorial Day.Memorial Day isn't just an opportunity for a barbecue or beach trip. It's a day honoring American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.1. , It originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865).2, Roughly 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War — making it the deadliest war in American history.3. , Red poppies are known as a symbol of remembrance. It's a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war.4. , It wasn't always Memorial Day — it used to be known as Decoration Day.5. , President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act on Dec. 28, 2000, designating Memorial Day as a National Moment of Remembrance

The long Memorial Day weekend is packed with plenty of events scheduled throughout metro Atlanta. Holiday events include Stone Mountain Park’s four-day Memorial Day Weekend, complete with a new Music Across America Light Show followed by an extended fireworks finale. And as summer unofficially gets underway, two local splash pads are hosting fun events with music and a movie.

Check out the following 15 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend:

Intown Atlanta

2023 Atlanta Jazz Festival

Atlanta Jazz Festival, one of the nation's largest free jazz festivals, returns to Piedmont Park May 27-29.
Courtesy of John Stephens

Credit: John Stephens JAS PHOTO

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Credit: John Stephens JAS PHOTO

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, May 27-Monday, May 29. Free. Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta.

Celebrate the music, culture and art of jazz at the 46th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival with 15 artists performing over three days.

4th Annual Memorial Day Classic 5K at Atlanta

7 a.m. race day packet pickup and registration, 8 a.m. race. Monday, May 29. $40. Historic Fourth Ward Park, North Avenue NE and N. Angier Avenue NE, Atlanta.

The annual Memorial Day 5K Classic features a Red White and Blue Mile to pay tribute to fallen heroes. When you get to this final mile, think of the soldiers who lost their lives in battle, and if you have an 8x10 photo of a friend or family member you’re running in memory of, organizers will place it along the route.


Continuing Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28. $45 and up for one-day admission, $95 for all four days, plus taxes and fees. Some activities have additional charges. Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta.

Gather with fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, video games and tabletop games for cosplay, browsing in the exhibitors’ hall, meeting celebrity voice talent, designers, writers and more.


Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical”

Watch “Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical,” which combines music, dance and drama, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Credit: From cobbenergycentre.com

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Credit: From cobbenergycentre.com

7 p.m. Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27 and 1 p.m. Sunday, May 28. $79 and up, plus fees. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2853.

Watch the first Indian Broadway-style musical — which is also the most expensive theater production in India — as it combines music, dance and drama to create a grand spectacle.

Memorial Day 5K/10K/15K

7:30 a.m. Monday, May 29. $40 5K, $45 10K, $50 5K in advance and $45 5K, $50 10K and $55 15K for race-day registration. Free for active and retired military (shirt not included with free registration but can be bought for $15). Sprayberry Square Shopping Center, 2550 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta.

Run in your choice of three distances to pay tribute to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died while on active duty.

“A Night with Barry White”

8 p.m. Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27. $30-$45. Marietta New Theatre in the Square, 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 770-426-4800.

Take a trip down memory lane as bass-baritone J. Henry Live and Underground Sound perform Barry White’s classics.


Memorial Day Weekend at Stone Mountain Park

Enjoy Stone Mountain Park’s extended fireworks finale with a specially choreographed musical tribute to the troops.

Credit: From stonemountainpark.com

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Credit: From stonemountainpark.com

11:30 a.m. attractions open, 9:30 p.m. light show Friday, May 26. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. attractions, 9:30 p.m. light show Saturday, May 27-Monday, May 29. Attractions ticket $39.95 plus tax for adults, $34.95 for children. Light show included with attractions ticket or $5 separately. $20 daily parking pass, $40 annual. Free attractions ticket with valid ID for active duty, veterans and retired military personnel. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407.

Watch a new Music Across America Light Show followed by an extended fireworks finale. The Air National Guard Band of the South will perform in the evenings from Saturday-Monday.

Summer Splash Pool Party

Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Free. Browns Mill Aquatic Center, 4929 Browns Mill Road, Stonecrest. 770-224-0200.

Kick off the opening of the Browns Mill Aquatic Center for the season with DJ entertainment, pool games, free barbecue lunch by Soul Truckin’ Good and free ice cream from Not As Famous Cookie Company (food available while supplies last.)

Friends of Decatur Library Book Sale

9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Free admission. Decatur Library ground floor, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-370-3070.

Score some great bargains on used books for all ages in a wide variety of categories.

North Fulton

Alpharetta Arts Streetfest

More than 100 artists will have their colorful art creations for sale Memorial Day Weekend during the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 27 - 28 at The Grove behind the Alpharetta Community Center in Wills Park, 175 Roswell St. Courtesy Awesome Alpharetta

Credit: Awesome Alpharetta

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Credit: Awesome Alpharetta

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28. Free admission. The Grove at Wills Park, 175 Roswell St., Alpharetta.

Browse through handmade goods from 100 artists, treat yourself to festival fare, and let the kids enjoy activities like face painting, gemstone mining, sand art and more.

Avalon Nights Live

6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, May 26. The Plaza in front of Regal Cinemas, 400 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-765-1000.

Bring a chair or blanket and kick off the weekend with music from Better Than The Beatles.

Paint Like Bob Ross

10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27. $70. Hammond Park Activity Building, 6005 Glenridge Dr., Sandy Springs. 770-730-5600

Create a Bob Ross landscape painting — complete with “happy trees” — with step-by-step instruction from a Bob Ross certified instructor.


Splash Night

Enjoy the splash park as well as food and music at Sugar Hill's Splash Night.

Credit: Courtesy of exploregwinnett.org

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Credit: Courtesy of exploregwinnett.org

5 p.m. event starts, 6:30-7 p.m. All-Stars Performing Arts Academy performance, movie at sunset. Friday, May 26. Sugar Hill Splash Park, behind City Hall, 5039 W. Broad St. NE, Sugar Hill. 770-945-6716.

Enjoy the Splash Park along with live music from Used Groove, food trucks, King of Pops popsicles, inflatables and Marvel superheroes. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will start at sundown, and the first 100 people to arrive will receive a free Black Panther mask.

Red, White, Bluegrass & Bach

7 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, May 26. Town Center Park, Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 770-945-8996.

Have fun at the Red, White, Bluegrass & Bach Memorial Day weekend concert with fun and patriotic music by the Main Street Symphony, bluegrass music, food trucks, a salute to veterans and more. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and wear red, white and blue if you’d like.

Memorial Day Weekend Patriotic Concert

4:30 p.m. doors open, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. concert. Sunday, May 28. Free. Save your ticket by reserving it online. Tickets are also available at the door. Seating is first come, first served. Braselton Civic Center, 40 E. Lake Dr., Braselton. 706-654-3915.

Salute the music of American composers with a concert from the North Georgia Winds.