How to Celebrate Memorial Day During a Pandemic


Given that Memorial Day is a day to honor those who died for our freedom, it’s a novel experience to celebrate it while mostly confined in our homes — so this one deserves a special tradition. In light of this, American Veterans (AMVETS), a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the United States military, has resurrected and updated a beloved event.

Rolling Thunder, now Rolling to Remember, is a nationwide virtual challenge that advocates for the 82,000 soldiers missing in action and raises awareness about the fact that 22 veterans a day are lost to suicide. While the event was originally held as a community ride in D.C., it has undergone changes that have made virtual participation possible — and broadened the scope of it. Motorcycle riders across the U.S. are challenged to ride 22 miles in their home communities over Memorial Day weekend to support this cause. If you have a metal steed, you can sign up here and track your ride through this app. Whether or not you ride, you can make a donation on their website and sign their petition here.

Of course the holiday has morphed and is now known largely as the unofficial beginning of summer and the start of barbecue season. With that in mind, here are some other ways to celebrate the holiday, including a virtual ceremony honoring the fallen, various special meal options and more.

Grilling Tips from Top Bay Area Chefs

Planning on grilling? Many of us are. Here are some recipes and tips from top chefs in Marin. For those of us without grilling appliances, tools, or desires, there are many local restaurants offering special menus for the occasion.

Nick’s Cove (Marshall)


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It’s been just about two months of sheltering in place in the Bay Area. 8 weeks! We are so ready to see you all again. 🧡 This has been so hard but things are looking up and we are doing a great job of flattening the curve. Thanks to all who continue to support us and other local restaurants through gift cards, take-out and fundraisers. We are so looking forward to seeing you in here, enjoying food cooked with love, well-deserved cocktails and grateful hospitality! Gorgeous shot by @applewhite_design 💛🧡

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In addition to their regular menu, Nick’s Cove will be offering Memorial Day menu specials including pulled pork sandwiches, warm Dungeness crab dip, and grilled romaine salads. They also have CSA boxes of produce grown in their on-site garden as well as bouquets of hand-picked flowers. Order your box online for pickup at the Tomales Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. 

Boudin Bakery (Corte Madera)


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Fire up the grill this Memorial Day weekend with our new Surf and Turf meal. Go to for details.

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Available for pick-up, Boudin will be offering special at-home Surf & Turf Feasts of fresh Dungeness crab, 6 oz. grass-fed center cut filet mignon, linguine with pesto sauce, Caesar salad, and one of their famous golden sourdough loaves.

Pacific Catch (Corte Madera)


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To celebrate the re-opening of many of our locations (Corte Madera, Cupertino, Dublin, Palo Alto and San Francisco) we partnered with @oinker.eats to giveaway a delicious spread like this. ✨Head over to her account for more infos. #sffoodie #eaaaaats #sfeats #southbayfoodie #giveaway #treatyoself #marineats #yelpsouthbay #yelpeastbay

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Opening just in time for memorial day, Pacific Catch will be offering take-out, delivery, and curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Left Bank Brasserie (Larkspur)


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Roasted chicken package for 4 is back! Pick up at #leftbanksantanarow Or #leftbanklarkspur . . . #delivery #santanrow #lifeontherow #Larkspur #chickenfamily #familydinners

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Starting Friday, May 22nd through Memorial Day, Left Bank Brasserie will be offering a whole roasted chicken family meal, served with pomme frites and a mixed greens salad. Cook-at-home butcher shop options are also available: 8oz. skirt steaks, burger patties and buns, 6 oz. Swanson Island BC salmon fillets, and house-made garlic pork sausages. Sommelier’s selected bottles of Zinfandel are 50 percent off.

Balboa Cafe (San Francisco)


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New on the weekend brunch menu: breakfast sandwich on @janethebakery baguette, housemade sausage, and other good stuff. Get it while it’s still available. Call for pick-up or delivery through @postmates and @doordash and don’t forget the Pliny!

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Starting Thursday, May 21st, Balboa Cafe will be offering at-home Balboa Burger Kits ($25) equipped with two 8 oz. patties, house-made pickles and pickled red onions, half of a Jane the Bakery baguette, and a recipe card with guidance on making fries at home. Available for take-out and delivery.

Virtual Events

Marin County United Veterans’ Council (San Rafael)

In light of COVID-19 restrictions, Marin County will continue the annual tradition of honoring the fallen with a special Shelter-in-Place twist: an online ceremony, streamed live via their Facebook page at 8:30 a.m. on Memorial Day.

City Hall Lights (San Francisco)

Tune in here to watch San Francisco City Hall and its impressive lighting features dress the building’s exterior with a patriotic display of red, white, and blue.

How to Help

For more ways to support local businesses, go here.

For more on Marin:

Sabrina BioSabrina Tuton-Filson is the Assistant Editor at Marin Magazine and a graduate of Elon University where she studied Professional Writing and Fine Art. Born and raised in San Francisco/Marin, she loves traveling just as much as coming home to the Bay Area. She has curated a sophisticated palate for food, travel and culture and uses her travels as an outlet to develop her photography portfolio and hone her writing craft.