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Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the kick-off to summer. Dating back to the Civil War, Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day and has its roots in the traditions of women and freed slaves, decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. With more than 750,000  soldiers dying in the Civil War – an unheard of number that to this day surpasses the deaths for every other military conflict the US has been in combined by over 50,000 –  the ceremony of burying and memorializing those soldiers became more significant than ever.

While the holiday has always been celebrated in late spring/early summer, claims for the “first” Memorial Day celebration range through April, May, June, and July. By 1890, every state had their own official Decoration Day. Traditional celebrations included decorating the headstones of fallen soldiers with flowers, and potluck gatherings. Conversely, the first Federally recognized Memorial Day was not until 1971, when the date was officially moved to the last Monday in May. Today, the celebration of Memorial Day has evolved to include parades and a national moment of silence, as well as camping and cookouts to celebrate the kick-off to summer.

Like most businesses, Gourmet to Go will be closed in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. We hope all of our customers get to spend the long weekend experiencing the holiday in the way that best suits them!

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