Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start to summer is finally here and we can put the long, hard winter behind us and have some (mildly) hot fun in the (almost) summertime!

Sure enough, this weekend South Jersey is absolutely jamming with activities and things to do.  There are concerts and festivals, shows and parties, businesses, pools and beaches opening, and crowds of visitors headed for "The Shore". That is just as it should be.

Then, of course, Memorial Day Monday features many parades, observations and memorials for those who died serving America.

Welcome to Summer (unofficially, I know), but officially enough for me.

Here are the South Jersey Weekend Happenings:

- North Carolina Avenue Beach: The Traditional Unlocking of the Ocean” Fri. 5/22 @ Noon, Mayor Don Guardian will be joined by Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Frank LoBiondo and the Philadelphia Soul Cheerleaders The Mayor and friends will wade out into the surf and turn the key in the water to unlock the beach for the summer season,609-343-6326

- Boardwalk Hall: The Who with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Fri. 5/22

- Borgata: Brit Floyd, Fri. 5/22

-The Noyes Arts Garage, "Story Slam" Fri. 5/22 from 7-9:30pm

- Borgata: Wayne Brady, Fri. 5/22

- Tropicana: Multimedia Light & Sound Sound Show and $50 million renovation makeover launch, Fri. 5/22

- Claridge: Boxing, Dominguez vs. Perez, Fri. 5/22

- Boardwalk: Walk For Freedom, Sat. 5/23 from 9a-noon

- Tropicana: Dom Irrera, Sat. 5/23

- Borgata: Comic/actor Billy Gardell, Sat. 5/23

- Borgata: Comic Russell Peters, Sat.-Sun  5/23-24, Music Box

Other fun stuff to do this weekend...

- Ocean City: "Unlocking of the Ocean" ceremony, followed by the "Business Persons Plunge", Fri. 5/22 @ noon, 9th St. beach

- Wildwood: Unlocking of the Ocean" ceremony, Fri. 5/22 @ noon, Andrews Ave. beach

- Wildwood: International Kite Festival, Fri-Mon. 5/22-25, Rio Grande Ave. beach

- Wildwood: Boardwalk Craft Show, Sat-Sun. 5/23-24 from 9a-4p

- Wildwood: Farmer's Market Grand Opening, Sat. 5/23 8a-12/30pm

- Galloway: Hopefest Recovery Rally and Music Festival, Fri-Sun. 5/22-24, Hope All Day Recovery Center

- Ocean City: The Jersey Shore Pops presents a tribute to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Sat. 5/23 @ 7p, Music Pier

- Cape May- Music Festival, The Atlantic Brass band, Sun. 5/24 @ 8pm, Rotary Bandstand

- Cape May: Crystal Gayle, Convention Center, Sat. 5/23

- Ventnor: 16th annual Wayland Memorial Run, Sun. 5/24, @ 9am, Boardwalk

- Brigantine: Shore-De-Tour Classic Car Show, Sun. 5/24 from 8a-1p, Georges Pub, 609-457-0115

Guarded Beach Information...

- Ocean City: Memorial Day Weekend the following beaches will be guarded:Stenton Place, 12th Street, St. Charles Place, 26th Street, Brighton Place, 34th Street, 8th Street, 58th Street, 9th Street, 10th Street & 11th Street

- Wildwood:  Lifeguards will be on duty Memorial Day Weekend at a limited number of beaches from 10:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m.

- Ventnor: Memorial day Weekend, Lafayette, New Haven, Dorset, & Suffolk Avenue beaches

- Margate: Memorial Day Weekend, Clermont, Huntington, Thurlow & Washington Avenue beaches

- Longport, Memorial Day Weekend, 16th, 26th, 30th, & 33rd Street beaches

Memorial Day Observances...

- Estell Manor: Atlantic County Memorial Service, Fri 5/22 @ 2P, Veterans Cemetery, County Park

- Absecon: Parade, Mon. 5/25 from 9:30-11:30a, New Jersey Ave. to Veterans Park, 609-641-9722

- Absecon: The South Jersey Field of Dreams is creating a "Field of Flags" at the Park. Beginning May 15th, 1000 flags are being placed on the field each day until Memorial Day. A total of 15,433 flags, symbolizing each veteran who never realized their dreams on display for citizens who wish to pay their respects.The final flags will be placed during a ceremony following the Absecon Memorial Day Parade. The Field of Flags will remain in place until 5/28.

- Somers Point: Parade, Mon 5/25 @11a, Dawes Ave. School to Patriot Park, 609-481-6932,

- Egg Harbor City: Parade, Mon. 5/25 @ 9:30a, Philadelphia Ave. to Lincoln Park, 609-965-1195

- Ocean City: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 11a, Veterans Memorial Park, 5th & Wesley, 609-399-6111

- Margate: Parade, Mon. 5/25 10-11a, Ventnor Ave, 609-204-5017

- Ventnor: Memorial Service, Fishing Pier, Mon. 5/24 @ 9:15a, 609-703-1975

- Seaville: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 9:30am, Memorial Park, 609-390-8006

- North Wildwood: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 9:30a, Veterans Monument, Spruce & New York Ave, 609-846-2657

- Wildwood: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 11a, American Legion Post, Atlantic Ave., 609-846-2657

- Mays landing: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 11a, War Memorial park, 609-625-4113

- Egg Harbor Township: Parade, Mon. 5/25 @ 9a, Zion Road to Veterans MNemorial park, 609-926-4088

- Northfield: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @ 9a, Veterans Park, Oak Avenue

- Linwood: Parade, Mon. 5/25 @ 10a, Shore Road to All Wars Memorial park

- Galloway: Memorial Service, Mon. 5/25 @10:30a, Germania Cemetery, Moss Mill Road, 609-652-3700 #238