Tips for a Safe and Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Not only is Memorial Day an important time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, but it is a day to spend quality time with family and friends as a kickoff to summer. The holiday weekend is usually filled with large gatherings, parades, picnics, or weekend trips. 

As summer travel season starts full swing and as you make your plans, there are a few things to know before you hit the road. Make sure all of your travels will be safe and enjoyable this holiday weekend and beyond by knowing what the road ahead will bring.

ODOT Memorial Day Weekend Travel Advice

Plan ahead. Go to to see the latest road conditions, closures, and delays.

Just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the Oregon Department of Transportation  has advice for travelers who are about to hit the road.

An ODOT release said to prepare for the traffic, drivers should consider other ways to reach the destination that mean they don’t have to sit behind the wheel. Public transportation, buses and trains are alternatives. Consider ride sharing.  Click: to find a carpool match. Those staying local should think about how to get around town without driving to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

To make a trip safer and less stressful:

*Plan ahead. Go to to see the latest road conditions, closures, and delays. Make sure to check the entire route.

*Leave early and allow plenty of time to get to the destination.

*Follow the speed limit.

*Be alert. Be patient. Share the road.

*Remember to pack water, snacks and other emergency kit supplies in case the trip is delayed.

*Use special caution in work zones. Work crews may not be present during holiday weekends, but some work zones may remain set up for safety.

ODOT says Memorial Day weekend is expected to be one of the busiest on record with nearly 500,000 people in Oregon expected to drive to their holiday destination.

AAA expects 600,000 Oregonians to hit the road over Memorial Day weekend

Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians plan to travel over this Memorial Day weekend. Most will go on road trips, but many will be flying as well.

Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon said the organization is expecting nearly 44 million Americans to travel for the holiday weekend, which is close to the record in 2005. She said beaches and places with warm weather are popular destinations, as well as theme parks.

“Anaheim in fact is the top domestic destination for members of AAA Oregon” she said. “And the top regional destination is Bend. Top international destination is Rome for members of AAA Oregon.”

Most people will be traveling by car — some 38.4 million nationally, which Dodds said is the highest number for Memorial Day since AAA started tracking in 2000.

Air travel will rival the 2005 record, with 3.5 million people flying to their destinations.

Dodds said people seem willing to spend their money on travel despite inflation.

“We’re still seeing that pent-up demand for travel, after the [COVID-19] pandemic when people had a few years where they couldn’t travel or were reluctant to travel,” Dodds said. “So, travel is back now and we are beating those pre-pandemic years of 2018 and 2019 when it comes to volume.”

Dodds said gas prices are about where they were a year ago as are air fares. The busiest travel days will be the Thursday and Friday before the weekend, Memorial Day itself, and the following Tuesday.

Dodds said she recommends being patient and preparing for more people on the roads and at airports.

Statewide Memorial Day Celebration – Salem, OR

Join the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs for Oregon’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony in person at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the Oregon World War II Memorial.

When: Mon. May 27, 2024, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

Where: Oregon World War II Memorial – Corner of Cottage Street NE and Court Street NE Salem, OR Get directions on Google Maps to Oregon World War II Memorial

Cost: Free

The event will honor all of the nation’s fallen service members and feature remarks from ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels and Oregon Adjutant General Alan R. Gronewold, along with other Veteran leaders and state dignitaries. The event will also include a color guard ceremony, the national anthem, and other ceremonial elements.

The event will also be livestreamed on ODVA’s Facebook page for those unable to attend. This event is free and open to all.

Stay Safe and Healthy During the Holiday Weekend

10 ways to prevent injury and illness during the holiday weekend

As the holiday weekend approaches, public health officials are reminding Oregonians about a few simple steps they can take to stay safe and healthy.

“If you’re going to the beach or spending time at a river or lake, the water’s often still pretty cold this time of year and can cause problems for even the strongest swimmer. If you go in the water, stay where it’s shallow, wear a life jacket when boating, and keep a close eye on kids when they’re around the water.”

Food safety is another thing to keep in mind. Warmer weather makes it easier for food to spoil. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne diseases. Cooking meats to a proper internal temperature and keeping cold foods cool helps reduce foodborne bacteria from growing.

Here are 10 ways to prevent injury and illness this holiday weekend:

  • Avoid alcohol when swimming or boating.
  • Always wear life jackets for swimming and boating.
  • Don’t swim alone or in bad weather and stay where it’s shallow.
  • Supervise children at all times in and near the water.
  • Prevent sunburns, use plenty of sunscreen.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Don’t leave food out for more than two to three hours.
  • To prevent foodborne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.
  • Cook meats to minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria; 160°F for ground beef, pork and lamb; 165°F for poultry.

Oregon offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Whether it’s swimming, surfing, fishing, or some other outdoor play, stay aware of any current health alerts and advisories.

For more information on water recreation, please visit

For more information on food safety, visit

Boating on Oregon’s Waterways – Prepare to Play

Is the water calling? The Oregon State Marine Board wants to remind boaters to be aware of their surroundings, have all the required gear, and let others know their recreation plans.

“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boat with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be top of mind for all boaters,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways.”

The agency advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s websiteto find out whatequipment is required based on the size and type of boat.

The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:

  • Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
  • All children 12 and under are required to wear alife jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
  • In Oregon, all motorboat operators with propulsion greater than 10 horsepower must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating the boat. Paddlers of nonmotorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity.
  • Fill out a float plan and leave it with friends and family. This way they can call for help if you are overdue.

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit


Troopers of the Oregon State Police (OSP), Washington State Patrol (WSP), and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be especially watchful for traffic violations that often lead to tragedy on our highways.  Speed & distracted driving top the list, along with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and failing to use safety belts and child safety seats.

“Speeding continues to be one of the highest contributing factors to serious injury crashes and fatalities,” stated OSP Superintendent Terri Davie.  “Speeding tickets are easily the most common ticket issued; however, it isn’t the goal of law enforcement.  The goal of speed enforcement is to potentially save your life and the lives of others.”

“Driving responsibly and at a reasonable speed is the best way to help ensure you and your passengers will arrive at your destination safely,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said.  “We know people are eager to get out and travel, but reckless driving will not get you there sooner – it will just create dangerous conditions for you and everyone else on the road.”

“Summer holidays should be a time of fun and family, not sorrow and tragedy,” Chief John R. Batiste of the WSP said.  “We ask everyone driving the I-5 corridor to slow down, pay attention, drive sober, and buckle up.  When it comes to safe highways, we are truly all in this together.”

Five simple strategies for drivers to help make I-5 safer for everyone:

•            Slow down

•            Drive sober

•            Be patient

•            Put your phone down

•            Buckle up

Each state agency will use its best strategies to provide additional enforcement presence during this busy Memorial Day weekend, including the use of existing grant funding and shifting resources already on the road over to the I-5 corridor.

The Oregon State Police wants all drivers to get to their final destination safely.  We think that working together, we can. Oregon State Police

Please don't drink and drive free image download

Memorial Day Oregon | May 27, 2024 — Guide to Observances Around the State

Oregon has a long, truly remarkable tradition of formal, civic observance of Memorial Day, the last Monday of every May set aside from work, under federal law, to remember those who have died during their U.S. military service.

The diversity and depth of Memorial Day commemorations around the state are testaments to the power and dedication of people. Over the years, local veterans groups, supporting municipal governments and citizens in each area of Oregon have helped organize and attend these ceremonial Memorial Day events.

As a result, Oregonians are fortunate to have many Memorial Day observances across the State from which to choose. Each commemoration reflects a community’s unique local customs. Each is tinged with its own richness and meaning. MORE INFO:

Use the interactive State Map to find a Memorial Day event near you, get full details & directions, then go attend.

We Hope You Will Drive Safe and Have A Safe and Healthy Memorial Day Weekend!

We’ll be enjoying the long holiday weekend too and will be back in the office on Tuesday 5/28

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