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Queens residents will pay homage to veterans during 10 parades over Memorial Day Weekend, including the nation’s largest in Little Neck/Douglaston. But the world’s most diverse borough will also host other spectacular Great Outdoors events inspired by the long weekend.

The LIC Community Boathouse will provide free kayaks and canoes for East River exploration on Monday, May 29, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. People of all ages and skill levels are invited – and well-behaved dogs can go on the rides, too. The watercraft will depart from the beach just to the north of Socrates Sculpture Park in Hallets Cove at the LIC/Astoria border. (Weather permitting.)

Mix history with great music at the Scott Joplin Memorial Concert at St. Michael’s Cemetery on Saturday, May 27, at 2 p.m. The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will perform some of the composer’s songs, while attendees will enjoy a free barbecue.

The East Elmhurst burial park offers a concert in Joplin’s honor every year, but this is the centennial celebration of his interment there. Thus, the event will include the placement of a memorial bench at the honoree’s grave.

Known as “The King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote such early 20th century genre favorites at “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” which revived and won an Oscar as part of the score to the 1973 Robert Redford-Paul Newman film “The Sting.” Joplin was a member of St. Michael’s Church in Manhattan at the time of his death. Thus, he was interred in the corresponding cemetery on April 5, 1917, but in a community grave because he had died penniless. In October 1974, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers installed a plaque at the site.

And for a solemn way to pay respect, Maple Grove Cemetery honors the dearly departed via a respectful commemoration on Saturday, May 27, at noon. Volunteers are invited to plant flags on the graves of veterans throughout the Kew Gardens resting grounds.

Top image: St. Michael’s Cemetery; bottom image: LIC Community Boathouse


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