Boalsburg, PA Memorial Day Festival 2023

Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, is a small village with a big claim to fame: it is the birthplace of Memorial Day. The tradition of honoring the fallen soldiers with flowers dates back to 1864, when three local women met at the cemetery to decorate the graves of their loved ones who died in the Civil War. Since then, Boalsburg and neighboring communities have observed what was first known as “Decoration Day” until it was officially declared a national holiday in 1971 and named Memorial Day.

Each year, Boalsburg celebrates Memorial Day with a festival that attracts thousands of visitors. The Boalsburg Memorial Day Celebration, “A Day in Towne,” will take place on Monday, May 29th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival features food, music, craft vendors, and historical reenactments. Some of the highlights include: 

  • Two Civil War battle reenactments at the historic Boal Mansion and Estate, will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can also tour the mansion and see its collection of artifacts and memorabilia from various wars and periods of American history.
  • A car show at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, which showcases exhibits and artifacts related to the state's military history from the colonial era to the present day. 
  • A tour of the Boalsburg Heritage Museum, which displays collections and exhibits about the village's history and culture, including its role in the origin of Memorial Day. 
  • A service at the Boalsburg Cemetery, where the famous three ladies who started the tradition of decorating graves are buried. The service honors the soldiers of the past and present with speeches, prayers, and music. 
  • A 3.8 mile run/walk through historic Boalsburg, organized by the Nittany Valley Running Club. The race benefits local causes and welcomes participants of all ages and abilities. 
  • A parade and carnival hosted by the Boalsburg Fire Company, featuring rides, games, food, and entertainment. 

The Boalsburg Memorial Day Festival 2023 is a great opportunity to experience a slice of American history, celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day and enjoy a day of fun in this vibrant community. For more information, visit

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