Holiday Hours: Memorial Day

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Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army
Arlington National Cemetery is the nation's first federal military cemetery. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 27. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses


BRTA is not running

Open:
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum begins its summer runs from Adams to North Adams on Saturday, Sunday and Memorial Day.


Check here for a list of parades and observances.

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1 and 7 on those days.

Free coffee will be served at 18 MassDOT service plazas beginning at 10 p.m., Monday, May 27, and continuing through 5 a.m., Tuesday, May 28.

Traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at Exit 11A, I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine. In 2012, the Friday before Memorial Day was the 13th busiest day on the Turnpike in terms of toll transactions with approximately 350,000 logged between I-95 and the New York Border.

MassDOT will suspend all construction work on major arterial roadways from noon on Friday, May 24, through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 28.

Sign up at the 511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving. Call into the 511 service before departing. Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.

CapeFLYER weekend rail service to Cape Cod and the Islands resumes Friday, May 24, through Labor Day. Visit www.capeflyer.com  for complete schedules and ticket information.


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Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Mulls Possible Expansion

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — The solid waste district is hoping for a decision from North Adams, and possibly Dalton, before considering service contracts.
 
The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Commission on Thursday discussed the bid process for servicing the district and, with the possibility of North Adams coming on board, Program Coordinator Linda Cernik wants to ensure they use every resource available.
 
"This is a very, very important bid coming up. There can't be any mistakes, any hiccups, nothing. With the possibility of North Adams joining the district, and maybe Dalton, we have to get this right," Cernik said. "We met with Williams College and the four students doing the study (about North Adams joining the district) and they are going to present to the City Council in December."
 
The possible inclusion of North Adams and Dalton would be especially convenient this year as both municipalities' solid waste contracts expire on June 30, the same date as the district's.
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