Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day honors fallen soldiers. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. The following are a few ways the Tampa Bay area will mark the holiday, which is on May 29 this year.
Flag Placements, Parades and Other Ceremonies
Memorial Day Social: Wear a Hawaiian shirt for this luau featuring guest speakers including Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a combat decorated USMC officer, an honor guard presentation and a contest for best Hawaiian shirt. Free. 5 p.m. Friday (May 26). Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, 200 N Inverness Ave. 813-988-1791
Memorial Day Cleanup and Flag Placement: Join other volunteers to clean up and place memorial flags around Crest Lake Park. Free. 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday (May 27). Crest Lake Park, 201 S Glenwood Ave., Clearwater. 727-562-4800.
Memorial Day Ceremony: Veterans Counseling Veterans provides a “safe space” for remembrance and grieving for those who lost a veteran or first responder to suicide. Free. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday (May 27). American Legion Post 5, 3810 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. 407-516-8398.
Memorial Day at the Cemetery: The Orlando Devil Dogs — Young Marines Unit honors fallen soldiers with a presentation of the colors. Free. 9 a.m.-noon Monday (May 29). Bushnell National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Brooksville.
Memorial Day Ceremony: The city of Largo marks the holiday with live music and a presentation of the colors by the City of Largo Fire and Police Department Honor Guard. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday (May 29). Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. 727-587-6740, ext. 5014.
To Honor and Remember: There will be a parade of military vehicles, a remembrance ceremony and a reception with food and drinks. Anyone dressed or decorated in holiday decor is invited to join the parade. Free. 1:30 p.m. Monday (May 29). VFW Post 2550, 360 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. 727-733-6107.
Parties and Other Fun Stuff for the Holiday
Hiking With Heroes: Join members of the veteran community as they explore the mangrove and upland ecosystems of Weedon Island. $3. 9-11 a.m. Friday (May 26). Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-453-6500.
Memorial Weekend Bake Off: It’s a weekend of baking-themed beer releases with names like Key Lime Pie Berliner, Blueberry Cheesecake Berliner, Strawberry Cheesecake Berliner, Neapolitan Stout, Blueberry Donut Stout, Peanut Butter & Jelly Porter, Raspberry Lemonade Berliner and Watermelon Gose. No cover. 3-8 p.m. Friday-Monday (May 26-29). Rapp Brewing Company, 10930 Endeavor Way, Seminole. 727-544-1752.
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“We Are Not Forgotten” Beer Release: The release of a Memorial Day-themed pale ale made with domestically produced ingredients and dedicated to those who have died serving the country. Benefits scholarships through Children of Fallen Patriots. No cover. 6-9 p.m. Friday (May 26). Dunedin House of Beer, 927 Broadway. 727-216-6318.
Memorial Day Cookout: Rev up your engines for this motorcycle-themed cookout with free food and drinks, service specials, helmet discounts and a T-shirt swap. No cover. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Moramoto, 7807 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-512-6888.
Memorial Gulf Cruise: A two-hour catamaran sail in the Gulf of Mexico with dolphin watching, live entertainment, unlimited food and drinks. $120, $50 20 and younger. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Kai Lani Catamaran, 25 Causeway Blvd., Slip 49, Clearwater. 727-446-6778.
Soul Breeze Memorial Day Weekend: An outdoor comedy jam and R&B concert featuring music by the Beat Down Band and comedy by Ryan Robinson, Tarus Josey, Ms Quin and Tight Mike. BYOB welcome and outdoor-summer attire encouraged. $40. 4-10 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Tampa Sandbox, 9024 W Hillsborough Ave., Town ‘N Country.
Memorial Music Fest: Remember our heroes at this music marathon featuring Manna, Crimson Shadow, Alexis Mattey, Nicaea, Evan French, Almost to Feedback, The Baby Chimps and more. $12-$15. 5 p.m. Saturday (May 27). The Orpheum, 14802 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-248-9500.
All White Memorial Day Party: White attire is required for this 21-and-older only party with drink and bottle specials and music by DJs MT, Jazzy Jeff, Dreesey Baby and Tony Go Hard. $10-$15. 5-9:30 p.m. Saturday (May 27). 7th + Grove, 1930 E Seventh Ave., Tampa.
Memorial Day Weekend Camping Trip: Join Sawmill and Friends gay and lesbian camping club for a weekend of camping, music and drinking. Clothing optional. 21 and older only. $50 membership, $30 per night camping, $25 day pass. 11 a.m. Friday-Monday (May 26-29). Sawmill Camping Resort, 21710 U.S. 98, Dade City. 352-583-0664.
Memorial Day Party: The Eagles Club welcomes nonmembers for a party with music by Wilde Knights. Food available until 7 p.m. No cover. 6 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Hudson Eagles 3997, 6840 Beach Blvd. 727-868-3997.
Memorial Music and Motor Fest: An outdoor family festival with a car, truck and motorcycle show, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, monster truck rides, live music and fireworks. $15, $5 kids. 6-11 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Lead Foot City, 17109 Old Ayers Road, Brooksville. 844-532-3366.
Memorial Beach Party: Put on a patriotic bathing suit for this party with a “best beach look” contest, two drag shows hosted by Juno Vibranz and music by DJ Nan. No cover. 9 p.m. Saturday (May 27). Quench Lounge, 13284 66th St. N, Largo. 727-754-5900.
Memorial Day Beach Run: A 5K run for all ages, abilities and experience levels, with postrace trivia and “All American Medals” for all finishers. Benefits Finish Lines for Scholarships. $45. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday (May 28). Caddy’s Indian Shores, 20025 Gulf Blvd. 727-226-7223.
Memorial Bath Day: Dog owners can start their summer with a clean dog by bringing them to this dog wash with adult drinks and food from the Got Lobstah? truck. Benefits area rescue groups. $7 cover per dog, $10-$20 dog wash (depending on size). 1-6 p.m. Sunday (May 28). Dog Bar, 2300 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-317-4968.
Memorial Sunset Paddle: Remember those who have served or lost their lives serving the country as you watch the sunset and paddle the waters around the Memorial Park. $50-$95. 6:15-8:15 p.m. Sunday (May 28). War Veterans Memorial Park, 9600 Bay Pines Blvd., South Pasadena. 727-509-7629.
Splash Sunday: Wear beach attire to welcome summer at this Memorial Weekend Splash Sunday with music by DJ Mikhael Aaron, go-go guys and girls and special guests Kesha Mann, Athena S. Embers, Angelique Young-Cavalier and De Delovely. $5, $20 ages 18-20. 9 p.m. Sunday (May 28). Southern Nights, 1401 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. 813-559-8625.
Memorial Day Beach Yoga: Veterans and active duty can relax in a free yoga session. 8:30-9:30 a.m. Monday (May 29). Archibald Memorial Beach Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach. 727-914-6902.
Memorial Day Yoga: Bring water and a mat for an outdoor, lakeside yoga session. Free. 9-10 a.m. Monday (May 29). The Yoga House, 505 Eichenfeld Drive, Brandon. 813-763-2522.
Red, White and Bee You: This Memorial Day celebration for kids includes dancing, arts and crafts, open play and a balloon drop. $16.95. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday (May 29). Little Explorers, 35225 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. 727-286-6896
Memorial Day Special: The museum is honoring veterans, active military and Gold Star and Blue Star Families with free admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday (May 29). The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, 150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-892-4200.
Memorial Day Community Fest: This family festival features games, carnival attractions, a bake-off, basketball tournament and free food (noon-2 p.m.). Free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday (May 29). New Life Tabernacle, 6912 Williams Road, Seffner. 813-740-1868.
Memorial Day Grilling: Listen to live music by IRATE as you eat free grilled food. No cover. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday (May 29). Brandon Harley-Davidson, 9841 E Adamo Drive, Tampa. 813-797-6181.
Memorial Day Cars for a Cure: Spectators and kids choose winners of this all-makes-and-models car show with a bounce house, balloon art, vendors and barbecue. Benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. $25, $22.50 military, children free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday (May 29). Circle S BBQ, 14630 U.S. 19, Hudson. 727-233-9966.
Make a Splash: Kick off your summer at a Memorial Day pool party with music by Gordo. $30-$40. Noon-8 p.m. Monday (May 29). WTR, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. 813-265-1234.
Memorial Day Pool Party: DJs Brianna Lee and Miketastic rock the pool deck for this party with dancing, drinks and food. Cabana rental available. No cover. 1-5 p.m. Monday (May 29). Hollander Hotel, 421 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 727-873-7900.
Memorial Day Family Picnic: Join the VFW to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price at this potluck picnic with games, hot dogs, hamburgers and a raffle. Bring a side to share. Free. 2 p.m. Monday (May 29). VFW Post 4321, 2010 W Morrison Ave., Tampa. 813-374-2490.