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Memorial Day events, margarita and food festivals: 10 things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay

There are several events to mark Memorial Day and numerous food and music festivals to celebrate the long weekend.

Memorial Day weekend 

Memorial Day is all about honoring those who have died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Because of Tampa Bay's large military community and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, there are plenty of events this weekend and Monday where veterans can be remembered.

Bay Pines National Cemetery: The largest event in the area is expected to have 4,000 attendees. Veterans, families and the public are invited to the event with special speakers, local leaders and music by the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra. It's at 10 a.m. Monday at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd in St. Petersburg.

Stars and Stripes: USO Show and Dance: The re-enactment of an authentic United Service Organization dance returns Sunday to the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. There will be swing dancing, jitterbug lessons, historic displays, a vintage fashion show and more. Attendees are encouraged to wear military or vintage attire.

Largo Central Park: Remembrance ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday at 101 Central Park Drive. There will be special speakers, presentations and music.

Florida National Cemetery: Remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at 6502 SW 102nd Ave. in Bushnell. Attendees are asked to wear comfortable clothing and to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

Veterans get in free at Busch Gardens

Through July 15, U.S. Military veterans and their families get free admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The offer is through the Waves of Honor program and also gives free admission to veterans at Adventure Island and SeaWorld in Orlando. The park said veterans can redeem their free single-day tickets here by June 9 and use the tickets in Busch Gardens by July 15. 

This weekend is also the park's first pin trading event since it launched pin trading a couple months ago. Pin trading hubs will be set up Saturday through Monday with games for pins and special collections to trade for. Included with park admission.

More information here.

Tampa Bay Margarita and Music Festival

The area’s biggest celebration of margaritas returns this weekend to Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa. Along with more than 60 different types of margaritas, a food market and local vendors will be performances by Nelly, Cold War Kids, Soul Asylum and more. Tampa Bay Margarita and Music Festival tickets are $25 and up. 

Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, 1001 North Blvd., Tampa

More information here.

Sunset Music Festival

The Sunset Music Festival is hoping for a comeback and better weather this year. Top performers at the annual EDM fest include Zedd, Zeds Dead, Kaskade, Alison Wonderland, Yael and more. Tickets are $109.95 per day or $189.95 for the weekend. The festival kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the North Lot of Raymond James Stadium. 

More information here.

St. Armand’s Seafood & Music Festival

The third annual seafood and musical festival is free and full of local dishes and live entertainment. All food is prepared fresh onsite from area restaurants and all dishes include indigenous and sustainable seafood. There will also be a marketplace of arts, crafts and vendors and the Humane Society will bring their mobile adoption center. The festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in St. Armands Circle Park.

More information here

Emerald City Comics yard sale

It wouldn’t be Memorial Day weekend without a good local sale, and one of the biggest comic book stores in the area is hosting a yard sale. Emerald City will have multiple tables outside covered with discounted back issues, books, toys, games, graphic novels and collectibles. The yard sale is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and the store is open until 8 p.m.

More information here.

Tampa’s Fourth Friday

The city’s monthly celebration of local arts and culture has a bike spin this month. For the downtown festivities, enjoy exhibits and programs at venues throughout downtown. Participating venues this month include AIA Tampa Bay, Jobsite Theater, John F. Germany Library, Le Meridien Tampa Hotel, The Portico, Stageworks Theatre, Straz Center, Tampa Theatre and TECO Public Art Gallery. Fourth Friday Tampa recommends biking, using the TECO streetcar or walking the Riverwalk to get to venues. 

Fourth Friday is free and kicks off at 5 p.m.

More information here.

Clearwater Music and Arts Festival

Celebrations of food, drinks and music just keep coming. Clearwater has its Music and Arts Festival this weekend at Coachman Park. There will be live music, fine art, local vendors and attractions, live music and visual art performances. If you get hot or hungry, the festival will have stations of water misting fans, a food pavilion and a beer and wine garden. The evening ends with a fireworks show.

More information here. 

Franklin Street Farmer’s Market

Tampa Theatre hosts the local debut of The Biggest Little Farm documentary about a couple’s quest to trade in a small apartment for 200 acres of farmland. To celebrate the premiere, local small farms and sustainable businesses will line Franklin Street for a farmer’s market Friday evening. There will be vendors for plant-based edible cookie dough, the Tampa Bay Beekeeper’s Association, a local meal kit company and a zero-waste lifestyle store. The first 200 guests get a free Tampa Theatre reusable bag. The market is free. The movie screening is $11.

5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday

711 N Franklin St., Tampa

More information here.

Ice Cream 5K

This race is for the whole family and yes, it ends with ice cream. The event in Al Lopez Park features a baby crawl, a toddler race, a kids 1 mile run and a 5K. The after-party will have cool treats, awards, music, face painting and family games. A portion of the proceeds and registration fees support pediatric medicine at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

More information here.

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