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. Spending a day or more at LA Beaches is a popular way to kick off summer. Here are some other ways you can celebrate Memorial Day and Memorial Day Weekend around Los Angeles and Orange County.
Memorial Day is May 26, 2014.
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. Be aware there are DETOURS DUE TO ROAD CLOSURES.
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
Rose Hills Memorial Day Observance
A family-friendly observance and remembrance with community and patriotic groups, including the chamber singers, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and American Heritage Ensemble as well as other musical performances, tributes and a keynote address.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 11 am - noon
Where: The Gardens at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier
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 usually followed by a car show and entertainment in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 10 am - noon
Where: Begins at the corner of Sherman Way and Owensmouth Ave and proceeds east on Sherman Way to the First Baptist church at Cozycroft.
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
Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival
A full schedule of Cajun, Zydeco Blues and Roots 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
Live Greek music, social dancing and costumed youth performances, Greek imports and other vendors, church tours, and of course tons of amazing Greek food.
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
Scottish Fest (formerly ScotsFest) and Highland Games
An annual celebration of Scottish (and some Irish) music, Highland Dancing, Highland Games and everything to do with the Scottish culture in Orange County.
When: Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend
Where: The Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
Grand Park's Got Moves Salsa Festival
A free family-friendly celebration of all things Salsa including bands and dance performances from multiple dance champions.
When: Memorial Day, Monday
Where: Grand Park, downtown Los Angeles, 200 N. Grand Avenue, between Spring St. and North Broadway