TAMPA BAY - Here are some events happening in the Bay area for Memorial Day.
Annual Memorial Day Ceremony
The Bay Pines VA Ceremony is the largest in Pinellas County with more than 3,000 expected.
This is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and the largest observance of Memorial Day with over 3,000 expected attendees. Veterans, their families and friends, and the general public are invited to attend.
To mark the occasion, the nearly 32,000 graves at the cemetery will be marked with U.S. flags to honor the men and women who served the nation.
The event will be hosted by ABC Action News Reporter Alison Morrow. Parking for the event is available nearby. Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the National Cemetery.
The event will take place outdoors. For further information, please contact the cemetery office at 727-398-9426.
Directions: I-275 to Exit 25 (38th Avenue North).
West on 38th Avenue North about five miles to Tyrone Boulevard. Turn right onto Tyrone Boulevard and proceed approximately 2.5 miles.
Turn left at 95th (this is the east entrance to the VA property). Follow that road about .25 miles and the cemetery will be on the left.
Memorial Day Ceremony at Florida National Cemetery
The Florida National Cemetery Joint Veterans Committee will sponsor the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Florida National Cemetery on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Mike Prendergast, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs will be the Keynote Speaker.
Patriotic songs during the ceremony will be performed by Linda Burnette and Tina Foss; Naomi McClain will perform on the bagpipes. Gayle Williams will play Taps. There will be a rifle salute by the Sumter Correctional Honor Guard and posting of the colors. Ye Mystic Air Krewe will provide a flyover. Guests are invited to arrive early and enjoy the patriotic and inspirational musical prelude which will begin shortly before the ceremony. Seating is limited; those attending are encouraged to arrive early, wear comfortable clothing and bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit upon. The ceremony begins promptly at 11:00 a.m. The event will e located at 6502 SW 102 nd Avenue, Bushnell, Fla.
Memorial Day Service To Honor Fallen Veterans
U.S.S. Tampa invites the community to its Memorial Day event. The two-day event begins with a luminary memorial held at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, May 26th, and concludes Monday, May 27th following the Memorial Service from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Sunday's luminary observance requests that all come out and place a memorial candle in the veterans' cemetery. Feel free to bring a flag Monday and show support by flag waving along Kennedy Boulevard. Remembrance wreath may be registered in advance at http://www.post5tampa.org or at the registration table at 10:00 a.m. Monday. The service begins at 11:00 a.m. with Commander Bill Hamblin presiding. For over 90 years the American Legion has been honoring the fallen with a Memorial Day Service. The event provides a venue for all ages to give thanks for our military's sacrifices. The ceremonies are at the American Legion, "U.S.S. Tampa" Post 5 located at 3810 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33609.
BBQ and Bingo Social
On Memorial Day, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital is throwing a BBQ and Bingo social for approximately 150 patients.
The BBQ portion of the day almost didn't happen, but employees at the Tampa law firm of Foley and Lardner (POC is Chris Griffin) heard through the WUSF broadcast and blog that it was being cancelled due to a sponsor backing out and got together to make sure that didn't happen. In fact several individuals (including one from Dallas), organizations and business offered to sponsor the event. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community for our area Veterans. The events include the BBQ at noon followed by a bingo social with the Buccaneer's cheerleaders at 2 p.m. in the hospital's second floor auditorium.
The hospital is located at 13000 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, Fla.
Fireworks at the Pier
A day of music and fireworks is in the works for Memorial Day at the St. Petersburg pier. Bands begin performing at 1:00 p.m. The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show team has a special performance at 2:00 p.m. and the finale starts at 9:45 p.m. with a fireworks show over the bay.