Residents looking to stay local to celebrate Memorial Day have a couple options in Tarpon Springs.
Monday officially marks the national holiday honoring service men and women who have given their lives in defense of their country.
Sponsored by the Tarpon Springs Elks Lodge and in cooperation with the city, an afternoon ceremony at Veterans’ Monument in Craig Park will begin at 11 a.m. Following a service to honor fallen soldiers, participants are invited to stay for a barbeque in the park.
Also on Monday there will be a two-part happening at the Sponge Docks.
For its second year, the 2013 “We Salute You” event kicks off with an outdoor portion from noon until 4:30 p.m. This daytime celebration is free of charge and includes live entertainment from young performing artists and instrumental concerts.
In addition to the Sponge Docks’ existing eateries, booths will be set up along Dodecanese Boulevard selling hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque, ice cream and more.
Following the daytime celebration will be an evening indoor event from 5 - 10 p.m. at the Riverside Grill House. Tickets are $10 and space is limited.
Along with a sit-down dinner, the event features a number of guest speakers, including U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Maj. Peter Chambers, a physician who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A collection of wartime memorabilia will be on display, and the Tarpon Springs Police Department Honor Guard is scheduled to perform.
Providing the night’s entertainment is Bobby Palermo, a Neil Diamond tribute artist.
Sponsoring both day and evening events is Sand Soldiers of America, a nonprofit organization based in New Port Richey.
For more information about the “We Salute You” events, call (727) 474-0382. More details about the Craig Park Memorial Day ceremonies can be found by calling (727) 938-2974.