With the first three-day weekend many have had since New Year's, Rogue Valley residents will find plenty of ways to while away 72 blissful hours away from work.
But if you need a little help, here's a suggested itinerary. Bring your running shoes, a full tank of gas and some cash. The weather is supposed to be just about perfect, so throw in some sunscreen for good measure.
- 8 a.m., Jacksonville: You're going to need sustenance for the big Memorial Day weekend blow-out, so fill up on pancakes, eggs, sausage, ham and biscuits and gravy at the Warren Masonic Lodge, California and Oregon streets, Jacksonville. $5 for all you can stuff.
- 10 a.m., Grants Pass: Boatnik parade. If you've never been to Boatnik, you haven't lived ... in Grants Pass, anyway. The theme this year is "Let's Make a Difference," which is a tall order with no libraries or sheriff's patrols. But local residents are putting aside the gloom and doom of budget cuts for the annual celebration by the Grants Pass Active Club. It starts downtown — just follow the crowds across the Caveman Bridge. Then lollygag around the booths in Riverside Park while the kids make themselves dizzy on the carnival rides.
- 1 p.m., still in Grants Pass: Watch the sprint boats hold a buoy race on the river from Riverside Park. Then at 3:30 p.m. comes the drag boat exhibition, a 1/4-mile course starting at Seventh Street Bridge. Finish off the day with a picnic at the park.
- 9 a.m., wherever you are: Sleep in. It's a three-day weekend, after all.
- 2 p.m., Ashland: Be inspired. See "Elephant Man," at Oregon Stage Works, a play about John Merrick, a sideshow freak whose "head is so big because it is so full of dreams." OSW is next to the A Street Market Place near Ashland's historic railroad district.
- 6 p.m., White City: Show your versatility and head out to the Southern Oregon Speedway for the Northwest Sprint Challenge, where you can watch those weird little cars with the wings and four-cylinder cars with souped-up engines. But bring your earplugs.
- 8 a.m., Medford or Ashland: The Rogue Valley Cup soccer championships begin at fields all over both towns. If you love the sport, you'll love this event. Thousands of competitors from hundreds of teams in five states compete on some 18 fields. If you're at a loss of where to begin, try Fichtner-Mainwaring Park on Stewart Avenue in Medford.
- 11 a.m., Eagle Point: Show your respect for those who've died in war at the Eagle Point National Cemetery, where thousands of flags and a 21-gun salute make for dramatic pictures. There'll also be a flyover by an F-15 Eagle fighter jet from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls.
- 1 p.m., home: You've got nine or 10 hours left before it's time for bed and another work week. Get your chores done, then relax.