BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Memorial day is more than the unofficial start of the summer season. Observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day honors the members of the U.S. military who died while serving.
According to History, many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries, memorials or participating in parades.
Here is a list of events happening across Bakersfield this weekend so you can honor the fallen soldiers.
Thousand Flags at The Park at River Walk
When: May 28-30
Where: 11200 Stockdale Hwy
For the eighth year in a row, Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club will sponsor the event.
Flags will begin flying at noon on May 28 and will be on display through May 30 at 3 p.m.
Weekend highlights will include an opening flag raising ceremony with the National Anthem at noon on Saturday, a Boy Scout flag retirement at 6 p.m. on Sunday, a patriotic fair featuring exhibitors and food vendors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, a flag raising ceremony with Invocation, National Anthem, and short program at noon on Monday and a final flag lowering ceremony with Taps at 3 p.m. on Monday.
You can sponsor a flag for as little as $50. You can pre-order the flag through the Breakfast Rotary website, www.bbrc.org, and clicking on the Thousand Flags “Flag Sponsor” link, or at the event throughout the weekend.
You’ll get to bring the flag home along with a special certificate to commemorate the holiday. Pick up your sponsored flag from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
Historic Union Cemetery
When: May 30 at 9 a.m.
Where: 730 Potomac Ave
Pay your respects to over 5,000 veterans by visiting their gravesites for Memorial Day. Lieutenant Augustin Moreno of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office will sing the National Anthem, and Pastor Josephate Jordan will lead the event in prayer. Guest speakers include BGen I. Sandifer Jr. of the Buffalo Soldiers and Lieutenant Colonel Christopher “SIN” Campbell from Edwards Airforce Base.
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets and Sons of the American Revolution will perform the presentation of colors, the Associated Veterans of Kern County will fire a rifle salute and the Veterans Family Band and the West High School Band will provide music selections, according to a Facebook page.
If you’d like to volunteer for the event, organizers need people at 4 p.m. on May 28 to set up the flags and at 2 p.m. on May 30 to remove them.
Tehachapi American Legion Post 221 Memorial Day Parade
When: May 30 at 10 a.m.
Where: F Street in Downtown Tehachapi
After an hour-long parade, the Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at approximately 11 a.m. The ceremony will include a presentation of colors, the National Anthem, bagpipes, bugle, special guest speakers and the singing of Taps, according to a press release.
Bakersfield National Cemetery Annual Memorial Day Weekend Ceremony
When: May 28 at 9 a.m.
Where: 30338 East Bear Mountain Blvd
Ceremony highlights will include a performance from Kern County Sheriff’s Office color guard, Eric Dyer singing the National Anthem, a performance by a local high school band, a keynote address from an Edwards Airforce Base speaker, a rifle salute by the Associated Veterans of Kern County and the playing of Taps.
If weather permits, the Kern County Fire Department’s Huey Helicopter will conduct a flyover.
Families can pick up small, individual flags from the administrative building to place on their loved one’s gravesite from 7-8:30 a.m. The public is encouraged to place the remaining flags after the ceremony concludes.
When: May 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 4809 Stockdale Hwy
Described as something fun to do before Memorial Day, honor fallen heroes by showing off your national pride on your favorite pair of boots. For $25, event organizers will provide all the materials you need to spruce up your old or new boots with some American imagery to reflect your love for this country.
12th Ridge Route Run Car Show
When: May 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Mt Pinos Way in Frazier Park
Free to the public, the event begins with a car show at 9 a.m., with a Patriotic Memorial starting at 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.
If you’d like to showcase your car, visit RidgeRouteRun.org to apply. Entries are $25 in advance and $40 the day of the event.
Greenlawn SW memorial tribute
When: May 30 at 10 a.m.
Where: 2739 Panama Lane
Representatives of Shannon Grove and Kevin McCarthy will be present. Performers will include two choirs, Sons of the American Revolution color guard and Bakersfield High School color guard.
The event will pay tribute to veterans without headstones by placing 50 markers across the gravesites.
Shafter Memorial Day service
When: May 30 at 10 a.m.
Where: Shafter Cemetery – 18662 Santa Fe Way
Entrance to the Memorial Day service honoring fallen veterans is free.