Memorial Day weekend is going to look a little different this year.

Coronavirus-related social distancing guidelines and restrictions against large gatherings mean the parades and events we're used to won't be happening. Yet there are still ways to celebrate the holiday weekend in The Bend, especially as Indiana reopens under the governor's Back on Track Indiana plan. Let's take a look at the possibilities.

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Find Your Favorite Patio

Restaurants are back open at 50 percent capacity and with social distancing measures in place. Even better, many of them have hustled to get their patios open to take advantage of the warmer temperatures. Summer vibes, a great meal and a cold beverage — that's a great way to spend any night in The Bend.

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Shop Local for Your Cookout

Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like a barbecue. If you're gearing up, there's no better place for fresh ingredients than our local farmers markets. South Bend Farmers Market, with its indoor setting, has been open all spring. Mishawaka's outdoor farmers market is open for the season.

Hit the Trails on Two Wheels

Seeing as May is National Bike Month, it's a pretty good time to dust off your bicycle and take it out for a spin on The Bend's trails. You can ride between Niles, Mich., and the Mishawaka Riverwalk with much of the mileage along the St. Joseph River.

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Visit the Great Outdoors

There are parks galore around The Bend, and beautiful spring weekends are among the best times to visit them. St. Joseph County Parks offer ample room to spread out for a hike, cycling trip or picnic. The jewel of The Bend's outdoor areas is Potato Creek State Park (photos below), which features beautiful Worster Lake.

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Dogs Day Out

This is a simple formula: You + your pup = a great time. From restaurants to dog parks, there's a whole lot to do for man's best friend.

Tee It Up

Long weekends are practically meant for a jaunt to the golf course. Most area courses are open, albeit with some coronavirus-related guidelines and restrictions. Round up the crew, get a tee time and prepare your swing.

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