Local Memorial Day Weekend Events Honor The Fallen & Kick Off Summer


The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times entertainment and events reporter Sharon Wynne. To check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times, click here.

Honoring Memorial Day

The Bay Pines National Cemetery commemorates the largest observance of Memorial Day in the Tampa Bay area with more than 4,000 expected. Veterans, their families and the public are invited. Speakers include U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, local leaders from Veterans Affairs and retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Scott Neil, who was portrayed in the movie 12 Strong, about the soldiers who were part of special operations in Afghanistan in the first days after 9/11. Shuttles will provide transportation from parking lots to the cemetery. Music will be provided by the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra. 10 a.m. Monday.

There will also be ceremonies Monday at the following locations:

-- 7 p.m. in Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive.

-- 11 a.m. at the Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell. **Wear comfortable clothing and bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Summer Kickoff

  • Clearwater Music and Arts Festival: This new, two-day festival of art has a lineup of Southern rock and country performers in Coachman Park. More than 50 artists will be on site with paintings, photography, sculpture, stained glass and homemade jewelry, crafts, candles and gifts. There are fireworks Saturday night, a custom motorcycle display, a classic car show, a kids zone, a food pavilion, all-star performances and a beer and wine garden. Free. 12:30-10 p.m. Saturday, 12:30-9 p.m. Sunday. 301 Drew St.
  • To kick off the summer, Shephard’s Memorial Day Weekend has a four-day music party in three locations at the Clearwater Beach resort. Vincent will spin on Friday. On Saturday, it’s a huge show with Jay Sean, Bryce Vine, AJ Mitchell and NOTD. And on Sunday, it’s 3LAU with Grandtheft, Lodato and actor Taryn Manning. (She’s also a singer and songwriter.) A four-day pass is $35; $10 Friday; $20 Saturday; $25 Sunday; $5 Monday at eventbrite.com. 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. 


  • Sunset Music Festival: For EDM fans, head to Raymond James stadium this weekend to catch big-name DJs like Zedd, Kaskade, Zeds Dead, Flux Pavilion and Dog Blood (a side project of Skrillex and Boys Noize). Performers include Illenium, Bonnie X Clyde and Walker and Royce. $109.95 and up per day, $189.95 and up for the weekend. 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa.
  • Rascal Flatts is one of the biggest country groups of all time. Lee Brice and Morgan Evans open. $33.75 and up. 7:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
  • Joe Jackson (She Really Going Out With Him? And Steppin’ Out) was a thinking man’s New Wave dude, a guy who could veer from genre to genre and still land a hit on the radio. Jackson returned in February with Fool, his 20th album, and you can now hear him play it on tour. $34.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Tampa Theatre.
  • Florida Orchestra season finale: The Florida Orchestra are ready to close out their 2018-19 season. This weekend’s performances include Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, featuring concertmaster Jeffrey Multer; and Silver Glass, a piece inspired by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books written by Florida State University student Lincoln Sandham, winner of this year’s Student Composer Competition. Michael Francis conducts. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $18-$48


T.J. Miller, the comic and actor, known for roles in Deadpool, Transformers: Age of Extinction and How to Train Your Dragon, has gotten in repeated hot water due to patterns of unruly behavior. He was arrested after allegedly making a fake bomb threat aboard an Amtrak train in New York; he lost his role on HBO’s Silicon Valley over disruptive behavior on set; and he was accused of sexual violence by a former college classmate (an accusation Miller has denied). Yet his outlandish and explosive skills as a comic actor and improviser continue to make him an appealing hire in Hollywood; in January he’ll co-star with Kristen Stewart in a new Disney action movie called Underwater. In the meantime, he still has stand up. $25 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000.

Outdoor Events

  • Tampa’s Fourth Friday: This month’s party in downtown Tampa art and cultural venues adds a bike spin. Free commemorative Bike Month spoke cards can be picked up at participating venues. Don’t have a bike? Coast Bike Share is offering a free day pass using the code FOURTHFRIDAY42019. Restaurants, museums and stages around downtown Tampa will have special deals and programming on Friday, including watercolorist Heather Rippert leading a tour and discussion of her exhibition, “Transitions.” It is on display through June 28 at the TECO Public Art Gallery, 702 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. 5 p.m. Friday. Find a list of venues and the lineup at FourthFridayTPA.com or the Fourth Friday Facebook page.
  • Saturday Morning Market: Another sign of summer comes when the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market moves to Williams Park for the season. That won’t happen until June 1, but this weekend is the last market in the parking lot of Al Lang Stadium until October. Started in 2002, the market has grown to more than 170 vendors and developed a distinct neighborly vibe. Where else do you get a cross-section of strollers, dreadlocks, canes, high heels, tattoos, balloon hats, purple hair and Bermuda shorts? Come hungry — besides the produce, plants and artsy items, there are loads of ready-to-eat foods including Greek, German, Cuban, Mexican, Ecuadoran, Thai, Ethiopian, Cajun and vegetarian. There will be live music in the center of the market by the Urban Gypsies. Free. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 230 First St. SE. 

Free For The Military

Tampa Bay museums and attractions offer free admission to active-duty military and up to five family members over the summer in a program called Blue Star Museums, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families. It extends the offer not only to the armed forces, but also members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps. The program runs through Labor Day (that’s Sept. 2). Don’t forget your ID. Here’s a list of participants:

Tampa Museum of Art: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 274-8130. tampamuseum.org.

Imagine Museum: 1900 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 300-1700. imaginemuseum.com.

Chihuly Collection: 720 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 896-4527. moreanartscenter.org.

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg: 255 Beach Drive NE. (727) 896-2667. Mfastpete.org.

This weekend the Florida Aquarium is offering free admission for military, vets and their families.

Busch Gardens and SeaWorld have free admission now through July 15 in their Waves of Honor program.


  • Tampa Bay Rowdies: Our USL team hosts the Swope Park Rangers. Fans 14 and younger get a mini soccer ball, while supplies last. $17 and up. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Al Lang Stadium, 230 First St. S, St. Petersburg. 
  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays host the Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game visit Monday (1:10 p.m.), Tuesday (7:10 p.m.) and May 29 (7:10 p.m.). Prices vary by game. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-888-FAN-RAYS. mpv.tickets.com. TV: Fox Sports Sun; radio: 620-AM, 95.3-FM.


The eighth annual Stars and Stripes: USO Show and Dance returns to St. Petersburg’s Coliseum. This re-enactment of an authentic USO dance features swing music by the G.I. Jive Big Band, jitterbug lessons, taxi dancers, historic displays, period characters, a vintage fashion show and a cash bar. Military or vintage attire is encouraged. $30-$45. 7 p.m. Sunday. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5202. Starsandstripesuso.com.



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