Summer swoon: Unique activities abound on holiday weekend

Ladies and gentlemen, start your summer.

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it marks the unofficial beginning of the summer months. Schools have started letting out, community pools are opening up, and with three days to take advantage of, local residents have plenty of time to relax and find something fun.

Of course, in Indiana, the weekend means the Indianapolis 500 for thousands and thousands of Hoosiers. But even if you’re not heading out to the speedway, there are plenty of other activities worth your time.

Enjoy live outdoor music while sipping the best of Johnson County wine, or pick fresh locally raised food for your weekend cookout. Take in the breathtaking beauty in the intersection of faith and art, or run a mile with the community to honor our veterans.

Here is a rundown of some of the best Memorial Day weekend has to offer:

Sweet Spring Market and Sidewalk Sales

Details: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 300 and 400 blocks of East Jefferson Street, Franklin

What: While the courthouse square will be packed with strawberry-seeking residents at Strawberries on the Square, the merchants down in Franklin’s East Market District will be serving up something sweet. The shops in the 300 and 400 blocks of Jefferson Street, including Farm Girl Mercantile, Upstairs Basement, FrenChic and Salvage Sisters, will have local vendors set up outside the shops in addition to their own fully stocked stores. Organizers have planned sidewalk sales, fashion, antiques, flowers and more during the special event.

Greenwood Farmers Market

Details: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, 525 N. Madison Ave.

What: Indiana’s famous farm-fresh produce won’t be in full harvest for a few weeks still, but vendors at the Greenwood Farmers Market still have plenty of fresh food, flowers and other items to make your Memorial Day weekend taste great. Spring produce and herbs are plentiful during the county’s first farmers market to open, and people can pick up handmade goods, live plants, honey, baked goods, locally raised meat and so much more.

Yoga in the Park

Details: 10 a.m. Saturday, Greenwood Amphitheater, 100 Surina Way

What: A three-day weekend is a great chance to relax, and what better way to get that started than some early morning yoga at one of the county’s most popular parks? Studio You Yoga will offer the soothing hour-long session appropriate for all skill levels. The instructor will provide space for people to take rest and explore different variations of a pose, so they can choose any option that’s right for them. Cost is $15 and tickets can be purchased at the Greenwood Parks and Recreation website. Participants should bring a yoga mat, towel and water.

Public pools

Details: Franklin Family Aquatic Center — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; Freedom Springs Aquatic Center — 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday starting May 25; Edinburgh Aquatic Center — noon to 6 p.m. daily starting May 26 for public swim, free family swim 5 to 6 p.m. every day of the week.

What: Very few things are more closely tied to summertime than a refreshing dip in pool, and communities throughout Johnson County are ready to cater to your splish-splashing fun. The Franklin Family Aquatic Center opened last weekend, and Greenwood’s Freedom Springs Aquatics Park and the Edinburgh Aquatic Center will open Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West”

Details: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon 5 p.m. Sunday, Eiteljorg Museum, 500 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

What: With most of the big, bombastic activities of the weekend happening outdoors, sometimes it’s nice to take a break indoors with some contemplation. The Eiteljorg Museum’s new exhibition helps do that. “Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West” is now open at the museum and continues through Aug. 4. A traveling exhibition organized by the New York Historical Society, “Acts of Faith” explores how different faiths and religious traditions impacted the American West in the 19th century, and how religions were impacted by the American West itself. Artworks, cultural objects, dioramas and displays tell fascinating interwoven stories of peoples from many different spiritual traditions in the West. The exhibition is included with regular museum admission.

Veterans Benefit Concert

Details: 5 p.m. Saturday, Johnson County Park Amphitheater, 7105 S. Kern St., Edinburgh

What: Among the barbecues, pool parties and other activities, the true meaning behind the Memorial Day holiday can sometimes get lost. But at a time when it’s important to honor and remember all of the veterans who served, and those who have given their lives to protect our freedom, this special concert offers a way to make an impact. Organized by Dog Tags of Johnson County, the event is intended to raise funds to help veterans in need of assistance. Southern Indiana Garage Band will provide the tunes, and organizers have lined up pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, sides, desserts and bottled water. Entry is free, but free-will offerings will be accepted.

Picnic Concert Series

Details: Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Mallow Run Winery, 6964 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville

What: Among the gently rolling hills of Bargersville, Mallow Run Winery has carved out an idyllic warm-weather paradise with live music, wine and other goodies for purchase, food trucks and more. The annual Picnic Concert Series kicks off Saturday with local favorite Tastes Like Chicken performing from 6 to 9 p.m. Live music will also be offered from noon to 3 p.m., and again from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Memorial Day Mile

Details: 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Amphitheater, 237 W. Monroe St., Franklin

What: In what has become a Memorial Day tradition in Johnson County for the past 10 years, the annual mile-long race will bring more than 1,000 runners, and more supporters, into the heart of downtown Franklin early Monday morning. Organizers have lined up competitive races for the men’s and women’s divisions, as well as a family walk-run to close out the event. After you’ve burned off some energy, stick around downtown for the annual Memorial Day service on the courthouse lawn.