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Memorial Day events around Pinellas
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A number of events to commemorate Memorial Day have been scheduled around Pinellas, including the following.

Veterans Alliance to stage parade

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Veterans Alliance and Clearwater chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will present Clearwater’s Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff Parade on Friday, May 28, 7 p.m., on Cleveland Street in Downtown Clearwater.

The parade will include a U.S. Coast Guard flyover, Military Honor Guards, Clearwater High School JROTC Silent Drill Team, Boys and Girls Clubs and Boy and Girl Scouts. Visit www.CVAD.org.

Honoring the Heroes Among Us

LARGO – Honoring the Heroes Among Us will be presented Thursday, May 27, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Armed Forces Military Museum, 2050 34th Way N.

The program will help attendees prepare for Memorial Day, which historically has been set aside as a day of remembrance for those who have died in the nation’s service. The museum seeks to pay tribute to fallen soldiers by honoring living soldiers and veterans, along with their families and their professional caregivers.

A schedule of planned events follows:

• 9 a.m. – Registration, complimentary continental breakfast and self-guided museum tours • 10 to 10:15 a.m. – Welcome and overview • 10:15 to 11 a.m. – Understanding the Value of Your Military Memorabilia, presented by Braxton Bradford, collector and researcher • 11 a.m. to noon – VA Aid and Attendance Benefits, presented by elder law attorney Dana Kemper. Kemper will discuss a little known benefit that can help pay for home health care, assisted living, nursing home and other medical costs • Noon to 1:30 p.m. – Complimentary lunch for those who preregistered by May 15; includes the presentation Everything You Need to Know about Veterans Cemetery and Funeral Benefits.

• 2 to 5 p.m. – “Peace at Last: Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families,” presented by Deborah Grassman, R.N.

• 5 to 6:30 p.m. – Book-signing and reception for author Deborah Grassman.

For information and to register, call 539-8371 or visit www.armedforcesmuseum.com.

Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony

LARGO – A Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony will take place Monday, May 31, 7 to 9 p.m., at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. The event will honor those who have sacrificed their lives as soldiers in the United States Armed Forces. The event will feature music, speakers and remembrance. Call Charla Lucas at 587-6740, ext. 5014.

Grand Villa honors heroes

LARGO – The Honoring Our Heroes Memorial Day Celebration will take place Monday, May 31, 1 to 4:30 p.m., at Grand Villa of Largo, 750 Starkey Road. Grand Villa of Largo will honor veterans at this Memorial Day event which will feature a military display, live music and snacks.

Curlew Hills to present service

PALM HARBOR – The annual Memorial Day service will be Monday, May 31, 9:30 a.m., at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, 1750 Curlew Road.

Korean War Veterans Association Memorial Day ceremony

PINELLAS PARK – Members of the Korean War Veterans Association Suncoast Chapter 14 will honor the lives and memories of those who have defended America throughout our history on Monday, May 31, 11 a.m., at Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St.

Residents, veterans and city officials will come together to recognize the brave men and women who have served and are serving in all branches of the United States Military. Call 541-0895.

Bay Pines Memorial Day ceremony

ST. PETERSBURG – Bay Pines VA will commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony Monday, May 31, 10 a.m., at the Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd.

Bay Pines is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and the largest observance of Memorial Day with over 3,000 expected attendees. Steve Jerve, chief meteorologist for WFLA, News Channel 8, will serve as the ceremony’s emcee. Guest speakers will include Congressman C.W. Bill Young (FL-10-R) and representatives from VA.

An invitation is extended to all veterans, their family and friends and the general public to take this opportunity to remember the men and women who served and gave so much to protect the United States.

The Clearwater High School Marine Corps JROTC Silent Drill Team will perform as well as post and retire colors. The ceremony also will include musical performances, a firing salute and taps performance.

Parking will be available nearby and shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the National Cemetery. The venue is handicapped accessible. A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired. As the venue is outdoors, attendees should dress appropriately for inclement weather.

Call 398-9426 or visit www.baypines.va.gov.

Other Memorial Day events

Memorial Day benefit for fallen hero’s daughter

ST. PETERSBURG – A Memorial Day event in honor of a fallen American hero will take place Saturday, May 29, 6 to 9 p.m., at Paddy Burke’s Irish Pub, 100 Fourth St. S. The benefit is to honor Marine Cpl. Porto, originally from Largo, who was killed in action March 14, 2010. All proceeds raised at the event will be placed in a trust fund for Porto’s infant daughter, Ariana Porto. The event will include a live performance by Talk to Mark and a chance to win XFC tickets, salon services, dining certificates, framed artwork, sunset cruise, kickboxing lessons and a family portrait package.

Call Lynn Hawkins at 452-6791 or e-mail lynnhawkins77@gmail.com.

Oldsmar Freedom Fest

OLDSMAR – The Oldsmar Freedom Fest, billed as Tampa Bay’s premier Memorial Day celebration, will run Friday through Sunday, May 28-30, at 100 State St.

Hours will be Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

The event will feature 10 bands on two stages, including performances by The Dive Bar Stalkers, Stormbringer, Crackers, Jaded and the Bobby Friss Band. There will be food, arts, crafts and business vendors. Attendees will find three bike shows, a stunt show with Jesse Toler, a kids carnival, beer, wine and entertainment and contests.

The event is being staged to honor all those who have made sacrifices for American freedoms.

Visit www.OldsmarFreedomFest.com.

Memorial Day bluegrass concert

TREASURE ISLAND – Bluegrass on the Beach will be presented Monday, May 31, noon to 6 p.m., at Lions Club Beach House, 9300 W. Gulf Blvd.

Five bluegrass bands perform on Memorial Day. Entertainment will include performances by Bluegrass Parlor Band, Gypsy Wind, Dennis Wallace Unit, Mountain Memories and Gator Grass and Friends. Cold beer, wine, hot brats and spicy barbecue will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the visually impaired. Coolers will not be allowed at the event.

Tickets are $15. Call 768-1121 or e-mail bookwiz123@yahoo.com.
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