Free admission and Veterans Day events this weekend

Museums and aquariums are offering free admission, plus there are parades on land on sea in honor of Veterans Day
John C. Pelczynski of Massachusetts untangles the lines on his kite at the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI. Tampa Bay Times (2014)
John C. Pelczynski of Massachusetts untangles the lines on his kite at the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI. Tampa Bay Times (2014)
Published November 8

Monday is Veterans Day, and a variety of museums and aquariums are offering free admission this weekend for veterans and their families. There are also parades, barbecues, restaurant deals and ceremonies in honor all of those who have served their country.

Heroes Weekend: Gulfport will get things started with a parade down Beach Boulevard followed by opening ceremonies and the eighth annual VETSports Beach Volleyball Gulfport Open. Free. 11 a.m. Sunday. 5730 Shore Blvd., Gulfport.

Boat parade: The American Legion Post in Madeira Beach has what it calls the nation’s only Veterans Day Boat Parade. 10 a.m. Saturday. Viewing areas include the John’s Pass boardwalk, ROC Park at 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach, the American Legion Post and the Elks Lodge.

Brooksville Parade: The annual parade honoring veterans and military service members begins and ends at City Hall. A concert follows. Free. 10 a.m. Saturday. Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. (352) 540-3810.

CEREMONIES

Official ceremonies will be held Monday at a number of locations including:

Veterans Memorial Park: The 55th annual celebration features patriotic music, guest speakers, color guard, drill performers and light refreshments. Bleacher seating available and lawn chairs are permitted. Free. 10 a.m. 3602 U.S. 301, Tampa.

VA Medical Center and National Cemetery at Bay Pines: The military cemetery will host its annual ceremony in the courtyard between buildings 2 and 37 at medical center campus. A special parade of colors and traditional military presentations includes the posting and retiring of the U.S. flag, a firing salute, and a taps performance. Keynote speaker is retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Mike DeLancey, a Purple Heart recipient and the founder of the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch in Pinellas Park. Free. 11 a.m. 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg.

City of Largo: A ceremony featuring music, a keynote speaker and a color guard presentation. Free. 7 p.m. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive.

Florida National Cemetery: Chaplain Linda J. Pugsley, Lt. Col., U.S. Air Force, serves as keynote speaker for this ceremony with patriotic music, Taps, a rifle salute and the presentation of colors. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Free. 11 a.m. 6502 SW 102nd Ave, Bushnell. (352) 793-7740.

Safety Harbor Marina: American Legion Post 238 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10093 present a salute to all who have served and are currently serving. Free. 11 a.m. 110 Veterans Memorial Lane.

City of St. Petersburg: The mayor will present the Honored Veteran Award to a local community hero who served in the military. Free. 8 a.m. Williams Park, Fourth Street and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg.

A variety of themed kites, many patriotic in theme, will be in the sky over Treasure Island for the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI this weekend. Times (2015)
A variety of themed kites, many patriotic in theme, will be in the sky over Treasure Island for the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI this weekend. Times (2015)

FREE ADMISSION AND EVENTS

Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI: Kite flying, kite games, stunt kite lessons, demos, bubbles and all things that decorate the sky. With no formal competition, the event is geared to prep novice kite fliers of all ages. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday behind the Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.

Free Shuffleboard for Veterans: Shuffle will offer free shuffleboard for veterans all Veterans Day weekend on its four indoor shuffleboard courts. 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday, 4-midnight Monday. 2612 N Tampa St., Tampa. (813) 450-3797. shuffletampa.com.

Florida Aquarium: All active duty military, retired, prior service of the Armed Forces (includes Guards and Reserve) get two free general admission tickets. Up to four additional guests can get in for half off. 9:30 a.m. Sunday-Monday. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000. flaquarium.org.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Veterans receive free general admission, with half off general admission for up to four guests. 10 a.m. Sunday-Monday. 249 Windward Passage. (727) 441-1790. seewinter.com

Glazer Children’s Museum: The museum offers free admission for all veterans and active military. 10 a.m. Monday. 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. glazermuseum.org.

Bishop Museum of Science and Nature: The museum will give all veterans free admission for the entire month of November. ID required. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 201 10th St. W, Bradenton.

Yard of Ale Soho: Veterans and active military take 10 percent off their tabs at this party with music by DJ Giuseppe Live. 3 p.m. Sunday. 406 S Howard Ave., Tampa. (813) 251-4433.

Veterans Day BBQ: Veterans and active military get a free plate of barbecue. Free. Noon Monday. Caddy’s Gulfport, 3128 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. (727) 592-2842; 4 p.m. Monday. MacDinton’s Irish Pub St. Petersburg, 242 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 201-9783.

Arts Legacy REMIX: From Sea to Shining Sea: Singers, dancers and musicians unite to present this performance honoring veterans. Free. 6:30 p.m. Friday. The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. strazcenter.org.

K9 Partners for Patriots: A 5K run or walk to help provide training for K9 companions for veterans. $25. 9 a.m. Saturday. Anderson Snow Park, 1360 Anderson Snow Road, Spring Hill. (352) 345-4203. k9partnersforpatriots.com.

Veterans Day and First Responder Prayer Brunch: Includes a fire vehicle display, bagpipe music and a color guard presentation. Free. 9:30 a.m. Saturday. First Baptist Church of Tampa, 302 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (910) 322-0539.

Veterans Day Card Making: The cards will be delivered to a nursing home for veterans. Free. 3 p.m. Saturday. Temple Terrace Public Library, 202 Bullard Parkway. (813) 506-6770. hcplc.evanced.info.

Bartaco Tampa: Active duty and retired military members get 20 percent off their bill Saturday through Monday. 1601 W Snow Ave., Tampa.

Bonefish Grill: Active and retired service members with a valid military ID get a free appetizer including mussels Josephine, calamari, Imperial Dip and Bang Bang Shrimp on Monday.

Metro Diner: Active and retired military with valid military ID get half off at all locations on Monday.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Free calamari with any purchase to all veterans, active military, police officers and firefighters with a valid military ID Friday through Monday. All restaurants also offer 10 perfect off to active and retired service members.

Smokey Bones: Free dessert for active duty and retired military members on Monday, dine-in only. Smokey Bones also offers a 10 percent military discount every day with valid ID.

Sonny’s BBQ: Free pulled or sliced pork combo for veterans and active duty military with valid ID, dine-in only on Monday.

Winn-Dixie: Veterans and active military service members with ID get an 11 percent discount Monday.

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