Deals on meals, runs for fun and concerts featuring military marches to rap music, plus special ceremonies and other events, are all on tap throughout the Tampa Bay area this weekend to honor members of the military, give thanks for their service and celebrate Memorial Day.

Put your patriotic spirit on display for all to see while waving a flag, wearing your favorite red, white and blue ensemble or enjoying some activity that acknowledges appreciation of the military personnel who have served, or currently are serving, our country.

Moving Tribute

Lace up your running shoes and prepare to “Honor Our Heroes” as part of a 5K run in Oldsmar Saturday starting at 8 a.m. The course overlooks the scenic northern shore of upper Tampa Bay and covers 3.1 miles. Strollers are welcome but all participants must complete the distance within the designated time limit of one hour and five minutes. The race fee is $40 for civilians with discounted rates available for members of the military, VIP Warriors, a local, non-profit, and Wounded Vets. Shirts, post-race beers and food plus music and merchandise giveaways are included in the registration fee.

Well Orchestrated Entertainment

Take your pick of two performances by The Florida Orchestra and celebrate with a musical salute to the American spirit. Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads a lively selection of favorites from some of this country’s most noted composers, ranging from rousing renditions of patriotic and military marches by John Philip Sousa to iconic and emotionally charged selections by John Williams. Catch this concert at Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and at St. Pete’s Mahaffey Theater Saturday.

Tasteful Appreciation

What could be more perfect for a Memorial weekend meal than meats hot-off-the-grill? One way to enjoy a barbecue without worries about the weather is to leave the cooking to Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse. This South Tampa restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily including Memorial Day. And for military personnel there’s an extra perk. Lots of local businesses show their appreciation by offering military discounts year round. Terra Gaucha is raising the stakes on its steaks, and other meats, Memorial Day by bumping its usual reduced rate to 50 percent off. Just show the server a valid military ID and enjoy a fantastic array of freshly grilled meats that are presented on skewers and carved tableside. Selections include beef, lamb, chicken, seafood and pork. There’s also a 45-item serve yourself salad and hot gourmet bar filled with delicious fruits, vegetables, cheeses and side dishes. Offer is extended to active duty and retired military, veterans, drilling reservists or those in the National Guard. Valid military ID required.

Get on Board

Not just for those in the Navy. The Pirate Water Taxi welcomes all members of the military to ride for free on Monday, May 28, with the purchase of one full-priced adult or child’s ticket. Climb aboard to cruise from 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Memorial Day. This is a great way to take in the sights on downtown Tampa's waterfront. Along the route, there are 15 stops where passengers can take a break from boating to stand on land and visit restaurants, attractions or stroll the popular Tampa Riverwalk. The offer is available to active duty and retired military, veterans, drilling reservists or those in the National Guard. Must present a valid military ID. 

Sunset Ceremony

Gather Monday evening at 7 p.m. at Largo Central Park’s James S. Miles & Richard A. Leandri Military Court of Honor for a special observance held in memory of those who lost their lives while fighting for their country. A color guard presentation, music and a wreath presentation in remembrance of fallen soldiers are planned. The annual event is free and open to the public.

Beautiful Music

Visit both sides of the bay to gather with fans of all types of music, from pop and rock to the distinctive vibes of electronic and dance artists. Downtown Tampa boasts the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival Saturday and Sunday. Downtown St. Pete hosts the 97X BBQ Music & Arts Festival on Saturday. And the Sunset Music Festival returns to Raymond James Stadium Saturday and Sunday bringing “dance music's most in-demand players to soundtrack a Memorial Day weekend blowout!”
Looking for more great ways to enjoy the weekend and the Memorial Day holiday? Simply register at 813Area or 727Area. It's easy and free!