Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. To find commemorative ceremonies near where you are staying, call the closest Vet Center
The long Memorial Day Weekend is also considered to be the official start of summer, so there are many festivals that take advantage of the three day weekend. Here are some ways you can celebrate Memorial Day and Memorial Day Weekend around Los Angeles and Orange County.
Memorial Day is May 27, 2013.
Queen Mary Salutes U.S. Military Personnel
The Queen Mary will offer FREE admission to all U.S. active and retired military personnel on Memorial Day. General Admission includes a self-guided tour and the Ghosts & Legends Show.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 10 am - 6 pm
Where: Queen Mary, 1126 Queen's Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
Cost: Free for retired and active military with ID, regular price for all others
Check out my Queen Mary Visitors Guide.
Patriotic Memorial Day Programs at Forest Lawn
Patriotic ceremonies honoring veterans.
When: Memorial Day Monday
Where: Various Forest Lawn locations
Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach
Seaside arts and crafts festival with multiple entertainment stages and over 400 vendor booths. There's also a kiddie carnival, petting zoo, extensive food court and Beer and Wine Garden.
When: Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday
Where: Directions and Map
Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade
The annual parade includes military marching units, bands, floats, dignitaries, antique cars, classic cars, youth groups, flyovers by military aircraft, and equestrian units. The procession is followed by a car show and entertainment in the Parking Lot of the First Baptist Church.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 11 am parade, 1:30-4 pm festival
Where: Begins at the corner of Sherman Way and Owensmouth Ave and proceeds east on Sherman Way to Mason. After-fest at 20553 Sherman Way, Canoga Park 91306.
Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
Four day festival celebrating everything to do with the humble strawberry. Carnival rides, pageants, Strawberry Idol karaoke contest, Red-Head Roundup Contest, Berry Beautiful Baby Pageant, and, of course, a strawberry-themed parade on Saturday.
When: Memorial Day Weekend, Friday through Monday
Where: The Festival is held at the Village Green, between Euclid and Main Street Streets in downtown Garden Grove, CA
Info: www.strawberryfestival.org, 714-638-0981
Cajun Creole Music Festival in Simi Valley
A full schedule of Zydeco music interspersed with dance lessons, demonstrations, kids area, dog team demonstrations.
When: Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Rancho Santa Susana Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, California 93063, see web site for directions and parking.
St. Nicholas Valley Greek Festival
When: Memorial Day Weekend, Sat-Mon 1-9 pm
Where: 9501 Balboa Blvd., Northridge, CA
Info: www.valleygreekfestival.com(818) 886-4040
Annual Topanga Days Country Fair:
A new-age hippy hillbilly jamboree including multiple stages of entertainment, fine arts and crafts fair, healing. Think belly dancing to Old Timey music, with a Monday morning parade for good measure.
When: Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday. Parade - Monday, 9 am.
Where: The Topanga Community House, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290
Scotsfest Scottish Fair and Highland Games
An annual celebration of Scottish and Irish music, dance, sports and culture in Orange County.
When: Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend
Where: The Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA