By Barbara Ann Kelley,

Veterans Day 2012 is Sunday Nov. 11 and it’s a National Day for Americans to honor and give thanks to all the men and women of the military past and present. It’s a day to celebrate their courage, dedication and sacrifice while upholding, protecting and fighting for our democracy and freedom. Here are the best Veterans Day events going on in the Tampa Bay area to help honor our military heroes.

The Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade
Saturday, Nov. 10  | 10 – 12:30pm
Hanley Road from Barry Road to Paula Drive
Town ‘n’ Country, FL 33615
Cost: Free  | Website:

This Saturday, November 10th, give thanks and honor those that have served our country at the Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade. An event for all ages, so grab the family and find a spot along the route. Hanley will be blocked to traffic at 9:00 AM SHARP.

Related:  Free 2012 Tampa Bay Veteran’s Day Meals For The Military.


Bay Pines VA Veterans Day Ceremony
11am Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
10000 Bay Pines Boulevard
North Bay Pines, FL 33744
(727) 398-6661 | Website:

One of the biggest and best Veteran’s Day Cremeonies in Tampa Bay will be this Sunday at Bay Pines VA Hospital in Pinellas Country. Guest speakers will include Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA; Michael Prendergast, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs; Master Sgt. Jovanny Galiano, United States Special Operations Command; and Michael Jernigan, a Marine Corps Veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

Highlights of the ceremony will include musical performances by “Singers Express” and a special presentation by the Suncoast Vietnam Veterans of Pinellas County called “The Last Patrol.” The ceremony will also include a firing salute, taps performance, and military vehicle display. A shuttle service will also be available to provide transportation for guest from parking lots to the ceremony area starting at 10am.


Veterans Day celebration
1pm Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
Temple Terrace Community Arts Festival
Riverhills Park
401 S Riverhills Dr | Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Council member Mary Jane Neale will be the guest speaker. The King High Naval Junior ROTC will present the colors, and Cheri Tysver will sing.


48th Annual Veterans Day Tribute
11am Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
Veteran’s Memorial Park
3602 N. US-301, Tampa, FL, 33619
(813) 744-5502

Ceremony will begin with the presentation of colors by a joint color guard made up of members from MacDill AFB Honor Guard and JROTC Cadets. The National Anthem will be sung by Petty Officer Yarrick Conner, USN from the Joint Communications Support Element, MacDill AFB. There will be over 100 JROTC Cadets from the area high schools in attendance to perform drill demonstrations and a Pass in Review. The POW/MIA empty chair ceremony to remember those who have not yet made it home will be performed. A Wreath Tribute will be presented by the Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families of America. The playing of TAPS and a rifle salute will be rendered by the Riverview Detachment of the Marine Corps League.

The Master of Ceremonies will be Walt Raysick, President of the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, Inc., and the keynote speaker will be Colonel Scott DeThomas, USAF, Commander, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill AFB


Serenity Meadows Veterans Tribute
8:30am Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
Serenity Meadows Memorial Park
6919 Providence Road, Riverview 33578
(813) 677-9494 | Website:

Music, Flag Ceremony and guest speakers.


Chargers Vs. Buccaneers Veterans Celebration
Sunday, Nov. 11 @ 1pm
4201 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33607 | (813) 350-6500

Cost: $30 – $255

A military supply drive will kick off a day-long Salute to Service celebration at Raymond James Stadium on Veterans Day.  Fans are asked to donate coffee, hygiene items, non-perishable food, tube socks, and new or slightly used CDs and DVDs. Volunteers from the nonprofit organization Support The Troops, Inc. will be located at the yellow collection stations outside all gates and club entrances at Raymond James Stadium from 11:00 am. until 1:00 pm. Donated items will be shipped directly to United States military bases overseas.

  • Fans will receive a special-edition Buccaneers military lapel pin upon entry into the stadium
  • Military flyover
  • National Anthem sung by former Air Force Staff Sergeant Angie Johnson, a Season 2 contestant on “The Voice”


Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 273-4000 | Website:

On Sunday, Nov.  11th, active and retired service members can spend the day exploring exhibits and Florida’s marine life for free between the hours of 9:30am to 5pm.  Veterans and military receive free admission for themselves and one guest, and up to four additional family members can enjoy 50% off admission costs.


Busch Gardens
10165 N McKinley Dr | Tampa, FL 33612
1-888-800-5447 | Website:

The Hero-Salute program from Anheuser-Busch Parks, gives back to active military with complementary theme park passes. Once a year active military, and up to three direct family members can enjoy the park, on any day of their choosing (some restrictions apply).

Cost: Free admission for active duty service members and up to 3 guests.