1. Things to Do

Here's where to find Veterans Day ceremonies, free admission deals for veterans

The Morris F. Dixon Jr. Marine Corps League Detachment 54 presents the colors at the Curlew Hill Memory Gardens Veterans Day Services in 2014.
Published Nov. 11, 2015

There will be a number of ceremonies honoring the military on Wednesday, and in honor of Veterans Day, everyone gets free parking at Pinellas County parks. But it's veterans themselves who will have oodles of free admission deals to choose from to thank them for their service.

Here's some of the top picks for Veterans Day:

Bay Pines VA Veterans Day Ceremony: The ceremony features the Florida Orchestra, guest speakers from MacDill Air Force Base, U.S. Rep. David W. Jolly and the Keswick Christian School Choir. A special parade of colors and traditional military presentations include the posting and retiring of the U.S. flag, a firing salute, and a taps performance. The ceremony will take place in the courtyard located buildings 2 and 37 of the medical center campus at 11 a.m., C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and National Cemetery at Bay Pines, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg. Free.

City of St. Petersburg Veterans Day Celebration: The city will give the 2015 Honored Veteran Award to Willie Rogers, who served as a master sergeant with the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The Gibbs High choir will present a musical medley of patriotic songs. Light refreshments will be served at 8 a.m., Williams Park, Fourth Street and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. Free.

Largo Veterans Day Ceremony: The city of Largo celebrates with a ceremony featuring music, a keynote speaker and a color guard presentation at 5 p.m., Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. Free.

Veterans Day Concert: Organist Ryan Hebert presents a celebration of American music including The Liberty Bell, Amazing Grace and more, to recognize those who have served in the armed forces. 7:30 p.m., University of Tampa Sykes Chapel, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Free.

Florida National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony: The keynote speaker will be Don Hahnfeldt, who is retired from the Navy and chairman of the Sumter County Commission. Steve Jerve of WFLA-Ch. 8 moderates, with patriotic music provided by the Pasco High School Band and a performance of taps. Arrive early for a musical prelude. Seating is limited; visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets at 11 a.m., Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell.

Veterans Day Celebration: American Legion Post 238 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10093 will present a salute to all who have served and are currently serving our country at 11 a.m., Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor. Free.

VFW Veterans Day Ceremony: Rep. Jolly delivers a keynote speech before a reenactment of one of the last military patrols in the Vietnam War at 1 p.m., VFW Post 6827, 4145 34th St. N, St. Petersburg. Free.

Veterans Day Memorial Rededication: Earl McMillian, commander of East Pasco Chapter 705 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, serves as keynote speaker over this rededication ceremony with a flag raising and the reading of the names on the new bricks in the memorial walk at 11 a.m., Travelers Rest RV Resort, 29129 Johnston Road, Dade City. Free.

Lowry Park Zoo: All military personnel (retired, active and veterans) plus one guest get free admission to the zoo, with discount admission for additional guests at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Regular admission is $27.95, $25.95 seniors, $20.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. (813) 935-8552;

Florida Aquarium: All veterans, active duty or reservist can get two free tickets to the aquarium. Additional family members (up to 4 people) get half priced admission at 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Regular admission is $23.95, $20.95 seniors, $18.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. (813) 273-4000;

Tampa Bay History Center: All veterans and active-duty service members with military ID will receive buy-one-get-one-free admission at 801 Old Water St., Tampa. Regular admission is $12.95, $10.95 seniors/students with ID, $7.95 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. (813) 228-0097;

Glazer Children's Museum: Military family get free admission at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. Regular admission is $15, $12.50 seniors, $9.50 children, under 1 free. (813) 443-3861;

Florida Holocaust Museum: Free admission to veterans with ID. Active U.S. military members always receive free admission at 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg. Regular admission is $16, $14 seniors, $8 students under 18. Free for USF students with ID and children 6 and under. (727) 820-0100;

Great Explorations: All veterans get one free admission at 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Regular admission is $10, $9 seniors, one and younger free. (727) 821-8992;

Armed Forces Museum: Active military, veterans and their immediate family get free admission and refreshments in the Officers' Club at 2050 34th Way N, Largo. Regular admission is $17.95, $14.95 seniors, $12.95 children 5-12, free children under 4. (727) 539-8371.

Dalí Museum: The Dalí will hold a Wish Tree Ceremony featuring the U.S. Central Command Color Guard and offer free admission to veterans, active duty personnel and a guest at 1 Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive SE and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg. Regular admission is $24, $22 seniors, $17 students and children ages 13-17, $10 children ages 6-12. (727) 823-3767;

Sky Zone: The trampoline park is offering half off a 60-minute jump and a free for veterans and one guest at 10137 E Adamo Drive, Tampa. (813) 575-5112;

Orlando Eye: The huge observation wheel on Orlando's International Drive will be lit in red, white and blue and offer free rides for military personnel. Admission for active duty and retired military personnel with a valid military ID is also free to Madame Tussauds Orlando and Sea Life Orlando Aquarium. Each veteran can receive a 20 percent discount on up to six tickets purchased for their guests. See for details.

Free parking: Pinellas County is waiving daily parking fees at county parks on Veterans Day, including all county boat ramps, Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, Sand Key Park in Clearwater and Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde. See

Free pancakes: IHOP restaurants will offer free red, white and blue pancakes (with strawberry preserves, whipped cream and blueberry compote) to veterans and active duty military to from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Free wings: Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants will offer veterans and active duty military a small order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries for free from 4 to 7 p.m.

Free rides: The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will offer free rides on buses and streetcars to U.S. military veterans. See schedules at

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at Follow @SharonWn.


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