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Memorial Day Celebration

Celebrate the City of Minneapolis’ 150th Anniversary at Lakewood Cemetery Monday, May 29, 2017

The City of Minneapolis, incorporated in 1867, grew from the wilderness into a thriving city of business, culture and community. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, join us at Lakewood as we honor Memorial Day by paying tribute to the sacrifices of military men and women, as well as those who’ve made Minneapolis what it is today.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (612) 822-2171 or email info@lakewoodcemetery.com.

Memorial Day Ceremony
At 10:30 a.m., our Memorial Day ceremony is held near the Soldiers Memorial monument. To locate the ceremony site within the cemetery, see map of the cemetery (PDF). This year’s ceremony will include Robert Robinson’s gospel quartet, the Minneapolis Police Band and a dove release. Our guest speaker, Stephen E. Osman, is a retired historian with the Minnesota Historical Society, who managed Historic Fort Snelling for over three decades and actively researches, speaks and writes about Minnesota’s role in the Civil War and the U.S.-Dakota War.

Please note: Chairs are available, but seating is limited. You are welcome to bring your own blanket or portable chair.

Tours, Activities & Exhibits

All activities take place from 12 p.m. (noon) to 3 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Special exhibit: “The Making of Minneapolis: A Great City Grows in the Wilderness”
Minneapolis was born in a place of great promise. But it took many individuals with vision and daring to fulfill that promise. From entrepreneurs to laborers and land developers—all did their part to create the grand city that is Minneapolis. Learn about the early history of Minneapolis—and how Lakewood fit in— at this special exhibit offered this Memorial Day.

Special walking tour: “The People Who Shaped Our City”
Take a stroll through Lakewood’s oldest sections to visit the gravesites and learn the stories of individuals behind well-known place names, from Walker to Pillsbury, and those whose names are less familiar. Imagine the families who came and grew here, their triumphs and tragedies. Tours depart at various times throughout the afternoon.

Trolley tours of Lakewood’s history, art and gardens
Take a trolley tour of Lakewood to see monuments of local politicians, business leaders and other community members. You’ll also learn about Lakewood’s landscape and gardens and see artistic monument styles from the Victorian era to today. Tours depart at various times throughout the afternoon.

Horse-and-carriage rides
Travel through the cemetery as visitors once did – by carriage. Enjoy a pleasant ride around Lakewood’s oldest section with views of beautiful monuments and Lake Calhoun.

Children’s activities with the Living History Society
Join members of the Living History Society for children’s arts & crafts activities. Living History Society members will be dressed in 1860s attire, and will provide a glimpse into what children did for fun in the early days of Minneapolis.

Historic streetcar line rides - 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Take a round trip on the historic Lake Harriet streetcar this Memorial Day, brought to you by the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. Board at Lakewood’s old streetcar entrance (follow the signs in the cemetery that day). The Minnesota Streetcar Museum charges $2 for a round trip; kids 3 & under ride free. Note that Lakewood’s front gates close at 8 p.m.

You can also park at the 42nd Street Depot by Lake Harriet and ride the streetcar to Lakewood. See the Minnesota Streetcar Museum website for more information.

“Lakewood Chapel: 1910 to Today” exhibit, lower level of Lakewood’s chapel
Discover Lakewood’s Byzantine-style mosaic chapel, from its 1910 construction to its 1997 renovation. The exhibit includes historic photos of the Lakewood trustees who commissioned the chapel to be built, many of whom were prominent in Minneapolis’ growth as a city.

“History of Lakewood” exhibit, lower level of Lakewood’s chapel
This exhibit explores the history, art and culture of Lakewood, including facts about Minneapolis history, cemetery art and sculpture, symbolism, horticulture and famous people memorialized at Lakewood.


Enjoy free coffee and cookies while listening to live music from local country/folk group Jack Klatt & The Cat Swingers in Lakewood’s beautiful outdoor garden area.


Listen to live music and view the spectacular mosaic interior of Lakewood’s Byzantine-style chapel, built in 1910. From 12-1 p.m., enjoy the baroque style of the Flying Forms, a viola and harpsichord duo, and 2-3 p.m., listen to the lovely sound of harp and flute from harpist Catherine Victorsen and flutist Jane Strauman. Self-guided tour brochures of the Chapel are available in the Chapel foyer.

Self-guided tours of the cemetery

Lakewood offers three self-guided walking/driving tour brochures:
  • Lakewood Cemetery: A Self-Guided Tour
  • Lakewood Memorial Chapel: A Visitor’s Guide
  • A Tour of Memorial Symbolism at Lakewood Cemetery
You can pick up these free tour brochures in Lakewood's Administration Building (at the front entrance), in the Lakewood Memorial Chapel, or in either mausoleum on Memorial Day or anytime during Lakewood’s daily hours of operation. To download the tour brochures now, visit Lakewood's online bookstore.

Parking, Flowers and Other Details

Floral arrangements
During Memorial Day weekend, you can purchase fresh floral bouquets for loved ones’ graves. Prices range from $8 to $25. Look for the tent just inside our main gate. You can also find containers for bouquets of fresh flowers and a limited number of small flags along the main road as you enter the cemetery You may use them free of charge. See our decoration policy.

You may park alongside roads in the cemetery except where there are "no parking" signs. Traffic in the cemetery on Memorial Day is congested, especially when entering or exiting the cemetery at the 36th Street & Hennepin Avenue entrance. You may also enter and exit the cemetery at Dupont & 40th Street (this gate is open Memorial Day only). See a map of the cemetery (PDF).).

Another option is to park at the 42nd Street Depot by Lake Harriet and ride the streetcar to Lakewood. See the Minnesota Streetcar Museum website for more information.

All food and activities are free, except for the $2 streetcar rides provided by the Minnesota Streetcar Museum.

Call (612) 822-2171 or email us at info@lakewoodcemetery.com if you have questions about this event.
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