A Day of Tribute and Tradition
Set aside to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service of the United States Military, Memorial Day is a holiday marked by ceremonies of reflection and remembrance. With the rich naval and military history of the greater Long Beach area, you’ll find plenty of local opportunities to commemorate the fallen with events throughout the day.
Forest Lawn Cemetery– Monday from 10 to 11 am, a memorial service will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at 1500 E. San Antonio Drive. The ceremony will include a keynote address, a rifle salute, the pledge of allegiance, an invocation, color guard, wreath laying and patriotic music.
Lakewood Veterans Memorial Plaza at Del Valle Park– An annual tribute those who have fallen in military service as well as honoring members of local veterans organizations who have died during the past year. The ceremony will take place Monday at 11 a.m and includes the laying of wreaths at the memorial as well as remarks from keynote speaker Lt. Col. Carl Fabrizio, Jr. and Mayor Diane DuBois.
The U.S. National Submarine Memorial West– Located at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, the commemorative site’s 11 am observance on Monday will include a “tolling the boats” ceremony, with each of the 52 U.S. submarines lost during World War II honored with a toll of the bell.
USS Iowa, San Pedro– Visit the historic World War II battleship and take a self-guided adventure highlighting life at sea for thousands of sailors over the past 70 years. In addition to active military members and veterans getting in free, there will be a free live music festival, carnival games, food trucks and live entertainment on Monday beginning at 10:30 am. www.pacificbattleship.com
The Queen Mary– Nicknamed “The Grey Ghost” during its years of service as a troop transport during World War II, the Queen Mary was once a highly sought after target among German u boat commanders. Memorial Day Monday it will offer free admission to all U.S. active and retired military personnel. General Admission includes a self-guided tour and the Ghosts and Legends Show. www.queenmary.com/events/memorial-day
Along with honoring the sacrifices of the military, Memorial Day Weekend has also traditionally marked the beginning of Summer. The three day weekend offers a chance to get away, kick back, and gear up for a season of warm weather adventures. But with rising gas prices, a spike in freeway traffic, and a forecast of hot weather inland, a locally based staycation might be your best bet for getting the most out of your holiday weekend.
Local Spots To “Get Away”
Hit The Beach– While we might not be known for world class surf, Long Beach is no slouch when it comes sun, sand, and relaxing spots to take a dip. If you’re bringing your furry friends along, Rosie’s Dog Beach is the perfect place to splash around with your pups. Stand up paddle boarding or kayaking more of your speed? Alamitos Bay Beach provides a great launching point for exploring the calm, sheltered waters of the bay and beyond. If you’re looking for some action, the shores of Marine Stadium Beach are a picnicker’s paradise for watching some local water ski and wakeboard acrobatics. And if a sunny spot to enjoy a cold beverage and a good book is what you’re after, Colorado Lagoon is our go-to urban oasis.
Walk the Canals of Naples– Soak in the ambiance while strolling some of Long Beach’s most scenic waterways. Singing gondoliers only add to the European style charm as they ferry passengers through the neighborhood canals. Visit at night for a completely different experience as the city lights twinkle across the waters.
Garden Grove Strawberry Festival– A four day festival celebrating everything to do with strawberries and the fields that once lined the historic roads of Orange County, including carnival rides, pageants, a Strawberry Idol karaoke contest, Red-Head Roundup Contest, Berry Beautiful Baby Pageant, and a strawberry-themed parade on Saturday. The Festival is held at the Village Green, between Euclid and Main Street Streets in downtown Garden Grove, CA. www.strawberryfestival.org
OC Fairgrounds’ Scottish Fest and Highland Games– An annual celebration of Scottish music, highland dancing, highland games, and everything to do with the Scottish culture in Orange County. Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA www.scottishfest.com
Visit Your Local Amusement Park– It’s easy to forget that visitors flock from across the globe to enjoy some of our local themed attractions. Unleash your inner tourist and take advantage of some of the seasonal rides, shows, and parades at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.