Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

What to do in Sarasota on Memorial Day Weekend

Here are a few events to attend Memorial Day weekend to honor those who died in military service.

  • By
  • | 1:11 p.m. May 17, 2019
  • Sarasota
  • Neighbors
  • Share

Subtropical Storm Alberto may have rained out the Sarasota Memorial Day Parade last year, but this Memorial Day the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee is back and ready to shine.

“We want to recognize our fallen brothers and sisters, who gave their lives for the freedom that we now enjoy across our beautiful land,” said Daniel Kennedy, chair of the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee.

Two Air Force jets are expected to fly over Main Street at 10 a.m. to announce the start of the annual parade at Main Street and Osprey on May 27. This year the event will pay tribute to Glenn Miller, an American big-band trombonist, who led the Army Air Force band in World War II.

“(Miller) volunteered to enlist in the Air Force to promote goodwill, and inspire the troops. He lost his life in 1942 over the English Channel when his plane went down, and it’s never been recovered,” Kennedy said. “We feel like he was an American hero. So we're honoring him this year.”

The Sarasota Jazz Club Band will play music from Miller’s discography at J.D. Hamel Park, where the parade is expected to end at 10:45.

The parade will also feature marchers from the Sarasota Military Academy, Sarasota High School, Booker High School, Riverview High School, the Venice Middle School Young Marines and JROTC units.

Kennedy said he is expecting over 2,000 marchers and between 10,000 and 15,000 spectators to attend.

What else is happening for Memorial Day:

Whether you’re all in on parades, prefer to honor our veterans through music or want to put a little pep in our morning workout, this year’s Memorial Day festivities have a little something for everyone.

May 19

‘Tribute to Heroes’

Feel like kicking off Memorial Day a week early? Head to Main Street in Lakewood Ranch on Sunday for the “A Tribute to Heroes” Memorial Day Parade. A pre-block party begins at 6 p.m. and will continue after the parade kicks off at 7 p.m. The parade will feature local bands, choirs, drum lines and dance teams. Leashed dogs are welcomed, but coolers are not. For information visit

May 25

Remembering those who have fallen

A ceremony to honor America’s fallen soldiers and their families will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery. The event will feature special guests and dignitaries as well as local artists who will perform a medley of patriotic music. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Patriot’s Plaza, 9810 State Road 72. While there is ample seating, guests who prefer a seat with a back are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair.

A Hike to Remember

Some remember fallen soldiers by marching in a parade, others lay wreaths on solider's graves, but those looking for something a little more rigorous can attended the 4th Annual 5K Memorial Hike over the Ringling bridge. The hike, which is hosted by SRQ Vets,  begins and ends at J.D. Hamel Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the hike starts at 10 a.m. Tickets are free, but a $25 donation ticket includes an event T-shirt, a lunch ticket, two beverage tickets and one raffle ticket for hikers 21 and up. Those ages 13 to 20 will receive an event T-shirt, a lunch ticket, two non-alcoholic beverage tickets and 1 raffle ticket. Participants 12 and under will get a lunch ticket and one non-alcoholic drink ticket.

May 27

Concert in the park

The Sarasota Concert Band will perform at the Annual Memorial Day Concert at Phillippi Estate Park. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. The entrance fee is $5, and children under 16 are free.