Memorial Day has been celebrated in Sarasota since the early 1900s. The first known observance of the holiday in Sarasota took place in 1907, when a group of veterans gathered at the Sarasota Cemetery to decorate the graves of their fallen comrades. In the years that followed, Memorial Day became a more widespread event in Sarasota, with parades, speeches, and other ceremonies being held to honor those who had died in service to their country.

Today, Memorial Day is still a major holiday in Sarasota, with a variety of events taking place throughout the city, including tonight (Saturday, May 27): Enjoy Patriotic Pops & Fireworks at CoolToday Park with the Venice Symphony! Venice Symphony Music Director Music Director Troy Quinn has programmed an unbeatable concert of American music, patriotic songs and a tribute to our Armed Forces. Their special guest vocalist is the renowned vocal group Liberty Voices. Tickets are on sale on line and at the CoolToday Box Office 941-413-5000. Various ticket prices starting at $49. 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.) CoolToday Park, 18800 S. West Villages Parkway, Venice FL.

Some of the most popular events tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday include:

Sunday May 28

  1. May 28, 2023: To put a little fun in the hot days of a Sarasota summer it’s the AquaPalooza 2023, an on the water party for boaters with music and fun in the sun, free give-aways and more. The fest takes place at New Pass Sandbar, just in front of the MarineMax Marina, 1601 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL. The fest is being called “the largest party on the water” by organizers. Have fun, stay safe and be safe. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. More info: 941-388-4411.
  2. ┬áThe 2023 Tribute to Heroes Block Party and Parade. Each year thousands of attendees line Main Street in support of our local veterans and heroes! This annual live parade features local bands and choir groups, drum lines and dance teams, floats, food, drinks and live entertainment from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m… All event Proceeds Benefit Local Veterans Groups & Organizations. Pre-Block party starts at 6 p.m., Parade starts at 7 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL.
  3. A Weekend Beach Service in honor of Memorial Day at North Jetty Park. 6:30 p.m. hosted by First Baptist Church of Venice. Please bring your own chair. All are welcome. North Jetty Park,(south Nokomis Beach area) 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, FL.

Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day)

  1. Sarasota: Sarasota County Government and the Patriotic Observance Committee host this Memorial Day parade starting at 10 a.m. – 10:45am at Main Street and Osprey Avenue, traveling westward on Main Street and ending at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park, where a ceremony with keynote speaker Capt. Richard Petrucci, U.S. Navy retired, will be held.
  2. The Memorial Day Ceremony: This ceremony is held at the Sarasota National Cemetery and features speeches, music, and a wreath-laying ceremony.
  3. Military Appreciation Day at St. Armands Circle: Participating businesses offer special discounts to all members who have served in the military.
  4. May 27 – 28, 2023: It’s the St. Armands Fine Art Festival. Come see the remarkable fine art event and experience the amazing outdoor gallery of original artwork from artisans all over Florida and America. Explore mediums such as sculpture, jewelry, painting, photography, glass, ceramics, mixed-media, metalwork, fiber art, woodworking, and more! 10 am.-. 5 p.m. St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, FL.
  5. May 29, 2023: You’re invited to enjoy the Annual Memorial Day Concert in Phillippi Estate Park at the gazebo featuring the Sarasota Concert Band from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Lawn chairs welcome. Free admission. Food and drink vendors will be available. More info at: 941-364-2263. Philippi Estate Park, 5500 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL May Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota
  6. May 29, 2023: There will be a Memorial Day Concert at Sarasota National Cemetery featuring the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble. Selections will include, America The Beautiful and numerous other patriotic melodies. Free and open to all. 5 p.m. Sarasota National Cemetery, Patriot Plaza, 9810 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL.

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those many heroes who have given so much to secure the freedoms we today take for granted here in the U.S. Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend, from the folks at Sarasota Events Calendar! GOD BLESS AMERICA!