The first long holiday weekend of the summer is finally here, and it's time to get out and explore!

While camping and barbecuing is high on the list of things to do for many, there are organized activities taking place around the Valley. For live music, there's plenty to pick from: Ukulele Russ kicks off Talkeetna's Live at 5 concert series on Friday; The Glacier Hoppers play on Friday at the Palmer Alehouse; and on Saturday, the Super Saturated Sugar Strings are at the Alehouse. And don't miss a full weekend of rodeo at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, along with live music and bull riding championships.

Of course, the real reason of Memorial Day weekend is to honor those who died while serving their country. The Veterans Wall of Honor hosts the Memorial Day event at 1 p.m. Monday in Wasilla, with burgers and hotdogs served afterward.

The Veterans Wall of Honor is a monument dedicated to Alaska's veterans, both living and fallen. Names of those who have served are etched in the granite panels, representing every branch of the military. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, celebrations are held there to honor those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

In Denali State Park, the Alaska Veterans Memorial is located at Mile 147.1 and features five towering 20-foot tall concrete panels, representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, arranged in a semi-circle, paying homage to our veterans.