Southern California Hosts Array of Memorial Day Events

    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: May 25, 2024 (3 weeks ago)

    As the nation pauses to honor the sacrifices of its military service members, Southern California is abuzz with a variety of Memorial Day events. From solemn ceremonies to family-friendly festivals, the region offers numerous opportunities for residents and visitors to commemorate the holiday.

    Los Angeles National Cemetery Ceremony

    One of the most poignant events will take place at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, where a traditional Memorial Day ceremony will honor fallen service members. The event will feature speeches by military officials and local dignitaries, a wreath-laying ceremony, and a 21-gun salute. Attendees will have the chance to walk through the cemetery, reflecting on the lives of those who have served.

    Huntington Beach Annual Pier Plaza Festival

    In Huntington Beach, the Annual Pier Plaza Festival will draw crowds with its mix of patriotic tributes and family fun. The event, spanning the entire Memorial Day weekend, includes live music, food vendors, and arts and crafts booths. A highlight will be the Veterans Car Show, showcasing classic and military vehicles, with proceeds benefiting local veterans’ organizations.

    USS Midway Museum in San Diego

    San Diego, home to a large military community, will host several events, with the USS Midway Museum at the forefront. The museum will hold a special Memorial Day commemoration on its flight deck, featuring guest speakers, live performances, and a flyover by vintage aircraft. Visitors can explore the historic aircraft carrier and learn about its storied past in service to the nation.

    Long Beach Memorial Day Parade and BBQ

    Long Beach will continue its tradition of hosting a Memorial Day Parade, one of the oldest in the region. The parade will wind through downtown, featuring marching bands, military units, and community groups. Following the parade, a Memorial Day BBQ will be held at the Long Beach Veterans Memorial Park, offering free food and entertainment for families.

    Santa Monica Veterans Memorial Park Ceremony

    Santa Monica’s Veterans Memorial Park will be the site of a solemn ceremony honoring the city’s veterans. The event will include the reading of names of local service members who have died in service, a moment of silence, and the playing of “Taps.” Local schools and scout troops will participate, placing flags on the graves of veterans.

    Orange County Great Park in Irvine

    The Orange County Great Park in Irvine will host a Memorial Day Remembrance event, featuring a flag-raising ceremony, patriotic performances by local choirs and bands, and a historical exhibit on the contributions of Orange County residents in various conflicts. The park’s expansive grounds will also host a family picnic area, where visitors can enjoy the day with games and activities.

    Palm Springs Air Museum Flyover

    Palm Springs, known for its vibrant veteran community, will hold a special flyover event at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Historic aircraft from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will take to the skies, paying tribute to fallen aviators. The museum will offer special tours and exhibits related to the history of military aviation.

    Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor Concert and Fireworks

    In Oxnard, the Channel Islands Harbor will host a Memorial Day concert featuring local bands playing patriotic and contemporary music. The evening will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display over the water, providing a fitting tribute to those who have served.


    As Southern California residents and visitors come together to mark Memorial Day, these events offer a blend of remembrance, education, and community spirit. Each gathering provides a unique opportunity to honor the sacrifices of military personnel while celebrating the freedoms they fought to protect. Whether attending a solemn ceremony or a festive gathering, participants are reminded of the importance of Memorial Day and the enduring legacy of those who have served.