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Plenty of Memorial Day-cations in north Pinellas

There's plenty to do right here in north Pinellas for a memorable Memorial Day-cation.

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Family Event at the Armed Forces Military Museum

Monday, join 71-year-old Pete Moller on an audio combat mission over Hanoi, Vietnam, similar to those he flew as a pilot of an F-4 supersonic fighter/bomber jet.

"We'll be looking to avoid any SAMs (surface-to-air missiles), antiaircraft fire and MiGs," he said.

The former Air Force captain, who lives in Tampa, will speak during the museum's Russian MiG-21 dedication ceremony at 1 p.m., part of the museum's Memorial Day Family Event.

Plan to make a day of it, because there's plenty to see in the 35,000-square-foot nonprofit museum, which artfully tells stories of our country's military history through a vast collection of tanks, aircraft, memorabilia and interactive multimedia dioramas. Open since 2008, it's a buried treasure tucked away in an industrial park off Ulmerton Road.

The event features an abundance of activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discounted admission rate for the day is $8 for adults, $5 for children.

Meet and greet war heroes, rock climb, power jump, ride in an M8 armored vehicle and have your picture taken in military fatigues. Take in tae kwon do demonstrations, performances by the Tutterow Dancers and the music of Pepper and Rick.

"A great way to honor our veterans is to learn all about what they did and the sacrifices they made to keep our country free," said Nadine Piazza, the museum's director of operations and daughter of John Piazza, the museum's founder.

Blast Friday on Cleveland Street

Grab your blankets and chairs and camp out in front of the historic Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., tonight as the Atlanta Rhythm Section, pictured at left, rocks with their hippie hits like So Into You and Imaginary Lover. Blast Friday runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m. in downtown Clearwater. The family-friendly event also features vendors, food, beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Downtown restaurants will be open for business. The Tampa Bay Rays will partake in festivities as well. Call toll-free, 1-888-532-5278 or go to blastfriday.com or clevelandstreetdistrict.com.

Curlew Hills Memorial Day Service

Curlew Hills Memory Gardens in Palm Harbor will hold a Memorial Day service at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The event is free, and the public is invited to the 30-acre cemetery at 1750 Curlew Road. Speakers will include local military, political and religious leaders. For information, call (727) 789-2000.

Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team Memorial Day tribute

The ski team presents its Memorial Day tribute Saturday at 6 p.m. with barefoot, ballet lines, doubles, pyramids and more. The show is free; donations are accepted. 130 Burbank Road, Oldsmar. Call (813) 917-8354 or (727) 480-9365 for info.

Memorial Day Parade in downtown Clearwater

The Clearwater Veterans Alliance/Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance hosts the second annual Memorial Day event at 2 p.m. Monday at Station Square Park on the 600 block of Cleveland Street. The ceremony features a parade and appearances by elected officials.

Three-day Oldsmar Freedom Fest

Salute the holiday with a visit to Oldsmar's State Street, where the third annual Freedom Fest unfurls today through Sunday. Hosted by the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and PAC Publishing, the event features six bands, two stages, food and libations, a children's play area, performances, car and bike shows, and about 100 arts and crafts vendors. "Dunk a cop" for charity. Free admission. Hours: Tonight, 5 to 10; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A Memorial Day ceremony is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park, 250 Shore Drive E. On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., a Memorial Day military salute will take place on the Buddy's Home Furnishings Stage. (813) 855-4233 or utbchamber.com.

Submit ideas for Diversions features to Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com. Events must take place in north Pinellas.

If you go

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday

Where: Armed Forces Military Museum, 2050 34th Way N, Largo, on the north side of Ulmerton Road between Belcher and Starkey

Special admission: Adults $8; children $5

Info: (727) 539-8371 or armed

forcesmuseum.com

Plenty of Memorial Day-cations in north Pinellas 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:50pm]
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