A weekend to remember: Memorial Day events

Where to go for fun and tributes this Memorial Day Weekend

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As we respectfully remember the soldiers who've fallen in the line duty this Memorial Day Weekend, let's also take time to enjoy the good things in life they bravely fought to preserve. Here's a diverse list of events to help you both celebrate and commemorate.

Bands on the Sand 3
Sat., May 28, noon-10 p.m.
Treasure Island Beach
Gulf Boulevard and 104th Avenue
In its third year, the day-long Treasure Island Memorial Day Weekend music fest has a wider, more open stage and a diverse lineup of local bands to play original music on it, ranging from the funk-psyche-roots jam rock of COPE to the brassy blues rock of Steve Arvey Horn Band. Attendees of the beach party enjoy dozens of arts and crafts booths, a fireworks display, and food and drink vendors. The fest takes at 104th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard, behind the Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island. All of it culminates in a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Also with Rebekah Pulley & the Reluctant Prophets, Grant Peeples & the Peeples Republik Band, Rebel Pride Band, Sunza Beaches, Shoeless Soul. For other info, call 727-547-4575, ext. 237 or visit mytreasureisland.org/bandsonthesand3.htm. $10.

97X Backyard BBQ
Sat., May 28, 11 a.m.
Vinoy Park, downtown St. Petersburg
Not only is the 2011 edition of 97X’s Backyard BBQ free (italics for emphasis), but the day-long Memorial Weekend music fest features a bill packed with quality acts that all have a crowd-drawing buzz going right now, and their music is served with plenty of tasty brewskies and barbecue. Among the musical highlights are Tampa’s own up-and-coming indie rockers and CL favorites, Marksmen; NYC-based eclectic pop-groove-rock artist Hugo, a recent signee on Jay-Z's Roc Nation label who was discovered writing songs for Beyonce and is known for his downhome roots rendition of "99 Problems"; vintage chic Las Vegas baroque alt rock outfit Panic! At The Disco, co-led by Brendon Urie (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Spencer Smith (drums), and fresh off the release of their third album, 2011’s Vices & Virtues; and Australian hard rock trio Sick Puppies, also on their third album, Tri-Polar (2009), and riding the waves of success in the U.S. a few years after its release. Make sure to snag your free tickets in advance at any of the participating retailers (Daddy Kool, Rent King and AutoWay Toyota, among others). Also with: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, AWOLNATION, The Airborne Toxic Event. Text by Leilani Polk.

Oldsmar Freedom Fest
The three-day event kicks off 5 p.m. Fri., May 27
813-749-1260
The free fest promises to bigger and better than ever, with two stages of live music by 12 bands, a kids carnival, games, activities, bike show and ceremony in Veteran's Park. It all takes place along State Street from Fairfield Street to St. Petersburg Drive. Click here for band details and activities.

Pre-Memorial Day Show with Red Room Cinema, Lady Lazarus , Birdlips and Set & Setting
Sun., May 30, at 9 p.m.
New World Brewery
1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City
Celebrate your Monday off with a Sunday night show featuring some hot indie acts. Post-prog rock shoegazers Red Room Cinema makes one of their increasingly rare appearances, and their local presence will become even less pronounced when drummer John Hayes moves to NYC and RRC morphs to more of a recording outfit. They'll still perform, but only when Hayes can make it back to town, likely once the band’s new LP is completed and ready for release. Also on the bill is Savannah, Ga.’s Lady Lazarus, the Pitchfork.com-approved solo experimental pop project of poet/musician Melissa Ann Sweat, psyche folk-indietronic duo Birdlips (from Virginia), and St. Pete sonic soundscape builders Set & Setting. Cover is $7. Text by Leilani Polk.

Nu Soul Memorial Day Weekend Party
Sun., May 29
813-215-0682
The Blues Ship Cafe, 1910 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City
813-215-0682
Spend a soulful evening with spoken word, nu-soul music, food and other fun stuff. General admission includes includes raffle and all-you-can-eat dining. $20 advance; $25 day of show; $30 VIP.

Military Families Day at the Henry B. Plant Museum
University of Tampa
Sun., May 29, 12-5 p.m.
813-254-1891
In honor of Memorial Day, military families and their guests are welcome to enjoy the museum, a live performance at 2 p.m. and refreshments served on the veranda. $10.

Second Annual Memorial Day Recall
Copper Top Pub, 5112 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa
Mon., May 30, noon-5 p.m.
Proceeds go to the American Widow Project, a non-profit organization providing support to military widows who have lost a spouse in the armed forces. myspace.com/coppertoppub.

Free Admission for Military Personnel to Lowry Park Zoo on Memorial Day
Mon., May 30
Enlisted and retired military personnel can get in free to the park on Memorial Day with Department of Defense ID. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. For more info, visit lowryparkzoo.com.

Memorial Day in Downtown Clearwater
Mon., May 30, 2 p.m.
Station Square Park
the 600 block of Cleveland Street
727-692-5152
Join the local community and families for a parade and memorial service honoring and celebrating our veterans and military members.

Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony
The Bay Pines VA Medical Center
St. Petersburg
The Bay Pines VA Medical Center holds its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Bay Pines National Cemetery beginning at 10 a.m.; 3,000 expected to attend. There will be a performance by the Clearwater High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC silent drill team, as well as musical performances and a firing salute. Boy Scouts have placed flags of 30,000 grave sites.

Memorial Day Concert and Tribute to Veterans
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Derric Johnson's Liberty Voices (EPCOT performer and group) headline a Memorial Day Concert and tribute to veterans beginning at 2 p.m. Also performing will be the Steinbrenner High School Band. Food and drinks are available for purchase.

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