Memorial Day 2017: Your all-day (and night) guide to things to do in Atlanta

9:57 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Atlanta Events
Jonathan Phillips
 Ann Harris carries an American flag down Dacula Rd. while on horseback during the 2015 Dacula Memorial Day Parade. The parade, now in its 24th year, remains the only Memorial Day parade in Metro Atlanta, largest in the the state of Georgia and one of the largest in the nation with more than 150 units participating this year. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL

Marking the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day always takes too long to get here -- and then passes by frustratingly fast.

But what if you could stop to smell the proverbial roses -- hour after hour after hour?

We’ve rounded up a host of fun (a circus!), exhilarating or suitably patriotic things to do all around metro Atlanta on Monday  (we’ve even included one that starts on Sunday night and goes into the wee hours of Monday morning to help kick off the holiday). Many of them are free and suitable for people of all ages.

You don’t have to do them all, of course. (But if you do, drop us a line...We’d love to know how it’s done!)

John Spink
Sgt. Alvin Tanner, a trumpet player for the 116th Army Georgia National Guard Ceremonial Brass, is reflected in his music stand during the 2016 City of Smyrna Memorial Day Ceremony.
Jonathan Phillips
- A color guard leads the annual Dacula Memorial Day Parade down Dacula Rd. in  2015. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
This file photo shows some of the clowns from the:Yaarab Shrine Circus and Carnival. Memorial Day is the final day for this year’s version of the circus, which also features animals, high-wire acrobats, trapeze performers, motorcycle stunts and more. Veterans get free admission all day.
Frank Duffy, left, helps his friend Francis Turner stand during a tribute to the Army during the 2016 Roswell Remembers Memorial Day celebration .Turner was a technical sergeant in Patton's Third Army. The largest Memorial Day ceremony in the state will take place again this Monday. Ben Gray /
Memorial Day observance at Marietta National Cemetery. HANDOUT
The Gwinnett Braves is thinking about dropping the “B” word from its name. The team’s GM said potential fans confuse the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves with the Major League team. (Video by Matt Kempner, edit by Erica Hernandez
For the AJC
The 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Jazz Festival will take place on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, but there will be 40 days of jazz-related events at various venues. That includes special concerts on Memorial Day afternoon at four BMW dealerships around metro Atlanta CONTRIBUTED BY MATT ALEXANDRE PHOTOGRAPHY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Riders encounter a fiery blast on the new Justice League: Battle for Metropolis ride at Six Flags Over Georgia. CONTRIBUTED BY SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA
Stone Mountain Park/Jewel Wicker
Stone Mountain Park will feature a special patriotic fireworks display after the laser light show on Memorial Day night. Photo credit: Stone Mountain Park