With a spring that brought news of international conflict, ongoing U.S. wars and the death of Osama bin Laden, the road to Memorial Day 2011 seems particularly hard-fought.
The holiday meant for honoring fallen U.S. service members will be met with a parade and concert, at 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. Monday, respectively, on the Capitol’s West Lawn. (Watch for coverage and photos on PostLocal.) As tourists spill in and temperatures rise, other places in the District will be gearing up for celebrations to greet the unofficial start to summer.
Your complete guide:
Cook-out cheat sheet
- BARBECUE Planning to fire up the grill? Jazz things up with one of these winning concoctions from Post food section’s inaugural Barbecue Sauce Recipe Contest. The first-place recipe combines mustard, ancho chili powder and fresh lime.
Plus, check out these test-kitchen-approved recipes for kebabs, chicken, brats and more.
- COCKTAILS Even if you can’t make it to the beach this weekend, a fruity, well-garnished cocktail can transport you (and your guests) to a seaside state of mind. Try these easy-to-make muddlers from Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
- WINE Toast to the warm days ahead with the ultimate summer wine — rose. Wine columnist Dave McIntyre recommends some of his favorites.
- ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS Add creative flair to your cook-out with these outdoor-friendly accessories.
- BEST BETS From sunset at Mount Vernon to the “Viva! Vienna” festival, Going Out Guide complied this list of regional events going on over the weekend.
- NIGHTLIFE AGENDA The unofficial start of summer means an extra night of events. Going Out Guide has compiled this itinerary for the long weekend.
- NEW PATIOS AND ROOFTOPS Dine alfresco at one of these new hot spots.
- WEATHER Capital Weather Gang forecast: A sundrenched holiday weekend lies ahead.
- NON-TOURISTY ITINERARIES As The Arrival of the Houseguests kicks into high gear, avoid Smithsonian overload with these off-the-beaten path ideas.
- ROLLING THUNDER Whether you’re participating in the annual rally or just motorcycle-watching this Memorial Day weekend, share your photos.
Heading away for the weekend?
- GAS PRICES: DOWN FOR NOW You’ll be pleased to know, day trippers, that gas prices have gone down in advance of Memorial Day weekend.
- BEACH GUIDE 2011 Discover the latest restaurants and beachfront fun at your go-to shore spot.
- ADVENTURES WELCOME Get your fitness on with this list of adventurous activities to do within driving distance of D.C.
- SEASIDE RETREAT If you own — or just like to daydream about owning — a summer home, get inspiration from Cheryl and Andy New’s freshly renovated Dewey Beach townhouse.
Use #MemorialDay on Twitter to share your plans with us. And if you need inspiration, we’ll be dropping in event notifications on our @Washingtonpost and @PostLocal Twitter accounts throughout the long weekend. View the conversation here: