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Best Of Tampa Bay Memorial Day Ceremonies & Festivals

By Barbara Ann Kelley, CBSTampa.com
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ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 05:  Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket to the gravesite during the burial service for Army Spc. Camy Florexil at Arlington National Cemetery October 5, 2007 in Arlington, Virginia. Spc. s.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA – OCTOBER 05: Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket to the gravesite during the burial service for Army Spc. Camy Florexil at Arlington National Cemetery October 5, 2007 in Arlington, Virginia. Spc. s. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Memorial Day is a federal holiday designated to honor those who died in military service to our country. Kudos to you if you already knew that. Here’s a list of the best Tampa Bay Memorial Day events to help you and your family honor our fallen military heroes.

Bay Pines National Cemetery
Monday, May 28, 10am
10000 Bay Pines Blvd. / St. Petersburg
(727) 398-9426 / Website: www.baypines.va.gov

The ceremony will be hosted by Fox 13 reporter Alcides Sequi and will include music, a firing salute and also a taps will be permormed. Clearwater High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Silent Drill Team will conduct a flag ceremony.
The Bay Pines National Cemetery is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

To honor our fallen, all 31,733 graves will be marked with U.S. flags to memorialize those who gave their lives while serving our country. Boy Scout Troops will begin to put flags on the graves starting 8 am Saturday, May 26.

Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from the VA parking lots to the National Cemetery. Lots and shuttles are handicapped accessible.

For the history of Memorial Day click HERE.  For a list of Tampa Bays hottest events this Memorial Weekend click HERE.

Memorial Day Celebration
Sunday, May 27 10:00a
at Veteran’s Memorial Park / Tampa

Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance
Memorial Day Sunset Parade and Ceremony
Sunday, May 27 at 7:30pm
Crest Lake Park, 201 Glenwood Ave. / Clearwater

The event is sponsored by the Coast Guard Auxiliary following a ceremony, the film “Taking Chance” will be screened. Its about a fallen soldier being brought home and the remarkable change this event has on people involved. Attendees may bring blankets and low-backed beach chairs.

City of Largo Free Memorial Ceremony
Monday, May 28 at 7pm
Largo Central Park
101 Central Park Drive / Largo
Website: www.LargoEvents.com

Music, a color guard and wreath presentation. keynote speaker: Marvin L. Hill, Command Sergeant Major, United States Army.

Memorial Day Family Funfest
Monday, May 28, 10am – 4pm
Armed Forces Military Museum
2050 34th Way N. / Largo

Family festival includes rock wall climbing, bounce house, power bungee jumping, face painting, military dress-up, karaoke, a DJ and music. Food vendors will be on hand. Admission: Adults $10 / Youths 4 -12 $5.

Oldsmar Freedom Fest 2012
Friday – Sunday 5/25 – 5/27
100 State Street West / Oldsmar 34677
Website: www.oldsmarfreedomfest.com

Bike shows, food vendors, live music and a kids fun zone. Bands include Greg Billing, The Alter Eagles, The Black Honkey’s and Stormbringer. Hours: 5 to 10 pm – Friday, 10 am to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday.

National Televised Observances

National Memorial Day Observance
Arlington National Cemetery -
11am – Televised

Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A service hosted by the Department of Defense will follow.

National Moment of Silence & Remembrance

The National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. Monday, May 28. All Americans and others are asked to take a minute from their activities to honor those who gave their lives in defense of America.

For ideas on other ways to honor and remember our fallen military heroes click HERE.

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