Memorial Day Weekend 2014 on Florida's Gulf Coast: Here's What's Happening

Let the symbolic start of summer begin! Memorial Day weekend is upon is and packed with plenty of things to do here on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Start making your plans now. There's a little something for everyone including music, margaritas, military appreciation and more. In addition to our beautiful beaches, warm Gulf of Mexico waters, and usual fun in the sunhere's what's happening this weekend.
Memorial Day on the Gulf Coast of FL

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Take me out to the ballgame! Tropicana Field is the place to be as the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Boston Red Sox Friday, May 23, Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25. Friday night's game offers an Alex Cobb Military Bobblehead as its Ticket Tandem item. There's a Rays Irish Heritage T-shirt package for $35 (code Irish1). It's also Volleyball Night offering a lower level seat and volleyball t-shirt for $30 (code Spike1). You can purchase tickets for the Rays game here.

2014 Sunset Music Festival in Tampa

In its third year, the Sunset Music Festival (SMF) offers Tampa's biggest and best electronic dance music concerts and DJs. The SMF takes places this weekend on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25 at the Raymond James Stadium. Tickets go quickly, so get yours now.

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival

What's better on a hot day than a cold margarita? Not much! Come and get your fill of margaritas of every flavor and style at the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival happening this Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 24 from 1-10p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. In addition to the many margaritas, you'll also find over 80 bartenders on hand ready to serve you plus live music featuring Los Lonely Boys, games, sand sculpture, and an evening fireworks show. Don't miss the frozen margarita truck! Advance general admission ticket purchases for the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival cost $15, $20 the day of the event. Other ticketing options are available.

Military Appreciation Day on Memorial Day at Lowry Park Zoo

On Monday, May 26, Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa offers free admission to active and retired military, as well as to military veterans. In addition, each military member can bring up to three dependents that day and receive free admission for them, too. Just be sure to bring the military ID along to the park's admission gate. Dependents can take advantage of the free admission without their service member, but an adult must accompany minors.

Memorial Day Family Funfest at the Armed Forces Museum

The Armed Forces Museum in Largo hosts its 6th Annual Memorial Day Funfest on Monday, May 26 from 10a.m. to 4p.m. What better way is there to learn what Memorial Day is really about? In addition to the history and learning found here, the event also offers a rock climbing wall, power bungee jumping, bounce houses, military dress

Memorial Day Ceremony & Parade

-up, face painting and more. Visitors can also buy tickets for a ride on the fully restored World War II M8 Greyhound Reconnaissance Vehicle at an additional cost. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4-12.

Memorial Day Sunset Ceremonies & Parades

Largo Central Park hosts its annual Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony at 7p.m. to honor those who have lost their lives fighting for our country at this ceremony with a color guard performance, music, a keynote speaker and wreath presentation. Admission is free.

The Veterans Alliance in Clearwater hosts its Memorial Day Sunset Parade and Ceremony beginning at 7:30p.m. at Crest Lake Park along Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard near S. Highland Avenue. Following the ceremony, the movie Taking Chance (starring Kevin Bacon as a U.S. Marine who escorts the body of a fellow Marine to his funeral) is showing in the park starting at 8:30p.m. It's a free, family-friendly event. Bring your own lawn chairs, blanket and picnic items. Concessions are also available for purchase.

There you have it. It's quite a full holiday weekend, and these are only a partial listing of events. We hope to see you on our beaches, at our local Memorial Day festivals and events, and any time you can get away for a beach vacation on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Have a meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend 2014 and we'll see you soon!

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