Memorial Day is upon us, which means boating, beaches, and burgers. But most importantly, it means taking time to honor our fallen military service members. Before you hit the water, check out these 5 special events happening around SWFL where you can celebrate and support military personnel and their families. Be sure to check out our Boater’s Resource Directory for waterfront dining, boat rentals, and other celebration inspiration!
Saturday, May 27:
- Matanzas on the Bay will hold their Bluesgrass, Brew and BBQ event benefiting Operation Open Arms, a SWFL nonprofit dedicated to the care and treatment of PTSD in military personnel and veterans. Enjoy live music, craft beer from Fort Myers Brewing Company, a 50/50 raffle and a $15 barbecue plate, all for a great cause! Come by land or sea and enjoy free car parking and boat dockage.
Monday, May 29:
- There will be a Memorial Day Service from 9:00-11:00a.m at Riverside Park in Downtown Bonita Springs. The all-volunteer City of Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee have organized veterans and officials to speak, musical tributes, Posting of the Colors, a 21-gun salute and other traditional commemorations.
- Veterans and their families can visit the Edison & Ford Estates in Fort Myers for free admission to a self-guided audio tour of the historic homes, gardens, laboratory and museum, as well as a 10% discount in the Edison Ford Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shop, and Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower Shops. Plus, active military personnel receive free admission year-round.
- The Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda’s Fishermen’s Village will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony at Laishley Park from 12:00-1:00pm in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives during their military service.
- There will be a program honoring America’s fallen soldiers and their families at the Sarasota National Cemetery Patriot’s Plaza. Admission is free and the program will include special guests and dignitaries hosted by the American Legion NO-VEL Post 159 of Venice, and patriotic music by the Sun Coast Wind Ensemble.
Don’t forget to set your waterproof watch for 3:00pm on Memorial Day for the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress in 2000 as a way to unify all Americans at the exact same time.
However you choose to celebrate, we wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!