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How to celebrate Veterans Day across the greater Tampa Bay region

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media

Groups and organizations have scheduled several events to honor service members.

This year, the nation will commemorate Veterans Day on Nov. 11 as a way to honor U.S. military veterans and victims, or those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Several events are planned across the greater Tampa Bay region, including parades and exhibits to pay tribute, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will allow all visitors free admission to Florida state parks on Veterans Day.

Here are some events you can attend in the greater Tampa Bay area to celebrate Veterans Day.

St. Petersburg Veterans Day Celebration: The 8th consecutive St. Petersburg Veterans Day celebration will start on Nov. 11 at 8 a.m. St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman began this event when he was first elected in 2014, and will be his last as mayor. He and attendees will honor many veterans and present the Honored Veteran Award to three local veterans.

Hillsborough Veterans Day Tribute: The 57th annual Veterans Day Tribute, hosted by the Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services and the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, will be on Nov. 11 starting at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. The event will salute veterans and current members in the military and will also have junior ROTC color guards and tributes from local high schools, Veteran Council awards, live music and refreshments. Also, the event will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to veterans and their spouses or caregivers. Veterans can also receive a free flu shot.

Clearwater Veterans Day Celebration, Road Dedication: A Navy SEAL who died in combat, and a portion of State Road 60 will be dedicated as Purple Heart Trail. The ceremony begins on Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Crest Lake Park, 201 S. Glenwood Ave. Former Congressman David Jolly is hosting the event, and speakers include Cindy Dietz — whose son was killed in Afghanistan — and Mayor George Cretekos. Food and drink will be provided, and the ceremony will include a U.S. Coast Guard fly-over.

Veterans Day Celebration: Veterans from Oldsmar will be honored with a roll call and their names will be engraved into a wall at Veterans Memorial Park, 250 Shore Drive E. The ceremony begins Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

Wellness Challenge: The event will bring awareness out PTSD and veteran suicide, and will include a flag retirement ceremony by the MacDill Air Force Honor Guard, along with vendors and music. Admission for the ceremony and outdoor event is free and takes place on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Centre St. Pete Beach, 7525 Blind Pass Road. An indoor event featuring demonstrations, live food, and education on PTSD will be held inside. Tickets are $5 if purchased now, or $10 at the door.

City of Treasure Island Veterans Day Parade: The city of Treasure Island is hosting a Veterans Day parade Nov. 14. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at the Treasure Bay Recreation Facility and ends at the Treasure Island Community Center.

Corsos for Heroes Charity Telethon: The American House Zephyrhills will host the Corsos for Heroes Charity Telethon on Nov. 7. The event will pay tribute to veterans and first responders. Also, some entertainers who will participate in the telethon will include Mr. T, Blackbird Anthem and Ari The Magician. The event telethon runs from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Veterans Day Bike Ride: Veterans will be honored with three separate rides starting at Fort DeSoto Park on Nov. 13. Participants can take part in 10-, 32- and 55-mile rides. You can register here.

Zephyrhills Parade: Zephyrhills will also hold a rally to honor veterans from Nov. 12 at noon to Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m. at 5200 Airport Road. Visitors can see a number of history military vehicles and living history displays, from World War 1 to Iraq and Afghanistan. Food trucks will be on site, and a battle reenactment will be held on Nov. 13 and 14 at 1 p.m.

Eyes of Freedom Memorial Exhibit: The Eyes of Freedom memorial exhibit, a traveling memorial, will take place on Nov. 16-20. This event features portraits about the fall of Columbus, Ohio-based Lima Company 3/25, which was an engaged unit of Operation Iraqi Freedom. There will be 23 life-sized portraits honoring veterans and those currently in the military. The Brandon Harley Davidson will host the event starting at 10 a.m.

Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade: The Town ‘N Country community will host the Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 6. The event is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The parade will include music from marching bands and veterans walking with their families.

Safety Harbor Ceremony: A ceremony to honor veterans will be held at the Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, from 11 a.m. to noon.

Veterans Road March: The Veterans Road March in Spring Hill will be held Nov. 7. from 2-5 p.m. It includes a three-mile walk that will end at Rookie Sports Bar and Grill, where the after-party will take place. There will also be live music and food.

SCF Music "Welcome Home: In Gratitude for Our Veterans:" The SCF symphonic band will host a concert at the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W. in Bradenton. The band will play Americana favorites and salute the branches in the United States Armed Forces. The event will be on Nov. 11. from 7:30-9 p.m.

Veterans Day Coffee Plant City: The Plant City community is hosting a brunch event for the public and veterans at the Bing Rooming House. Attendees can expect coffee and a Reveille and Retreat that will be played at 9:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. to honor veterans. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Field Day: A Veterans Day Celebration: The SVB Tennis and Wellness Center. 6585 Simons Road in Zephyrhills, will have a Field Day to celebrate Veterans Day. The event is open to the public and will have food trucks, live music, cornhole tournament, raffle items and bounce houses. The event takes place Nov. 13 from 3-7 p.m.

Lithia Parade: Veterans will be honored with a parade, followed by a ceremony, on Nov. 11 starting at 10 a.m. at Park Square at FishHawk, 16132 Churchview Dr.

Haines City Celebration: Haines City's Veteran of the Year will be honored during the ceremony, No. 11 at 9 a.m. at Railroad Park, 502 E. Main St.

Lake Alfred/Auburndale Ceremony: The cities of Lake Alfred and Auburndale will pair up for a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Frank C. Gardner Park.

Leonardo Santos is the WUSF Rush Family Social Media Intern for the fall of 2021, his second straight semester with WUSF.
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