Pay tribute to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Memorial Day Commemorations at NCA Cemeteries
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is committed to observing Memorial Day 2020 in a manner that honors those who sacrificed for our nation, while also protecting the health and safety of visitors and team members. All 142 Veterans Affairs national cemeteries will be open for visitation throughout the Memorial Day weekend. Families and friends are welcome to place flowers or individual flags at veterans’ graves. Cemetery visitors are asked to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health and safety guidelines. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCA is using public guidance to maintain physical distancing, limit size of gatherings and encourage vulnerable populations to remain sheltered in place. The health and safety of visitors, veterans, volunteers and team members must be the primary consideration at this time. NCA made the difficult decision to not host public events for Memorial Day, including the mass placement and retrieval of gravesite flags by any group. NCA relies largely on volunteers for placement and retrieval of gravesite flags for Memorial Day and these activities attract thousands of volunteers annually. Limiting the number of volunteers is impractical. Cemetery staff will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony to officially commemorate Memorial Day. While the NCA cannot extend an invitation to the public to attend because of health and safety concerns, NCA will share pictures of the event on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and social media.
National Memorial Day Concert
The annual National Memory Day Concert that traditionally airs from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol will switch to a virtual event Sunday, May 24. Showtimes for local stations are here. Hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, the PBS concert will feature new performances and tributes filmed around the country to honor the military as well as heroes on the front line of the pandemic. Among those appearing will be retired Gen. Colin Powell, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Fleming, Trace Adkins, CeCe Winans, Kelli O’Hara, Mary McCormack, the National Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Jackson, Sam Elliott, Laurence Fishburne and Esai Morales. The National Memorial Day Concert will be live streamed on PBS.org, YouTube and Facebook. Visit the website for more information. Follow this link for the concert performers.
Shelby County Arts Council
Shelby County Arts Council (SCAC) is offering weekly live music performances. The soulful sounds of Stephen McCullough & Tommy Bowen will livestream Thursday, May 21 on Facebook and YouTube. SCAC offers classes in painting, writing, music, pottery and more. Art and music classes are scheduled to return in person Monday, June 1. For upcoming events, click here. Follow this link for donations and memberships. To learn more, visit shelbycountyartscouncil.com.
Lyric Fine Arts Theatre
If you missed the Marlow Shepherd and Abraham Becker concert, you can replay it here. The event was livestreamed on Facebook Thursday, May 14. For other live stream performances you may want to see, click here. A Birmingham landmark since 1914, the historic Lyric Theatre needs your help more than ever. Make a donation at alabamatheatre.com/cash-donation.
Facebook celebrates the class of 2020 graduates. Parents can comment or post a message to their graduate by using #graduation2020 on Facebook or Instagram.
Birmingham Heart Walk goes virtual
Heart and stroke survivors will participate in the Birmingham Heart Walk on Saturday, June 13 through virtual activities. Because of social distancing, survivors and team members can walk around the neighborhood or get moving in their homes. Wear a Heart Walk shirt and post photos and videos by using #BhamHeartWalk. Friends and family may join through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Proceeds will support research, heart health, advocacy, CPR training and programs to promote better health. To register, go to www.birminghamheartwalk.org. Visit www2.heart.org or download the Heart Walk mobile app to learn more.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Bellingrath Gardens and Home is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Phase I of the opening applies to the gardens only; the home will remain temporarily closed. During phase I, the Magnolia Café will be open for drinks only. The Bellingrath Gift Shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain will be open for restroom use only. Phase I includes adherence to COVID-19 safety guidelines and procedures recommended by government and health officials. These guidelines include social distancing of at least 6 feet; hand sanitizer stations in all buildings; protective shields in the buildings; masks for employees who interact with the public; and hourly cleanings of restrooms, door handles and other surfaces. Guests are welcome to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer. Details about the safety precautions are available on the website. Bellingrath Gardens and Home is eager to welcome the public back to enjoy the gardens. The horticulture staff has worked diligently to update and enhance the 65-acre estate during the weeks that the property has been closed to the public. Bellingrath Gardens and Home is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the garden and estate home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. For more information, visit bellingrath.org or call 251-973-2217.
Talladega Superspeedway returns June 21
Talladega Superspeedway’s Geico 500 will restart Monday, June 21 without fans in attendance. Five NASCAR Xfinity Series events and two NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series races are confirmed, including a race in each class at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR said it will continue to collaborate with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of competitors and surrounding communities at all events. Event procedures will be significantly modified in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state and local governments, including hosting one-day shows at the tracks. Other adjustments include mandating the use of protective equipment, health screenings for all people before entering the facility and maintaining social distancing protocols throughout the event. NASCAR released its next wave of races in the realigned 2020 schedule, all of which will be held without fans in attendance as restrictions and safeguards related to the pandemic remain in effect. Stay tuned for updates and more information.