What is Memorial Day + Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States. It’s to remember those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is observed every year on the last Monday of May.

The day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war, and was formerly known as Decoration Day. In the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died in the military service.  During the day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died. Majority of these graves are decorated with flowers and the American flags.

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are to not be confused with one another. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who have died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.


Fiesta Hermosa
Hermosa Chamber of Commerce
1007 Hermosa Ave.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 376-0951
Dates: May 23, 24 & 25, 2015Memorial Day weekend in Hermosa Beach means the chance to savor Fiesta Hermosa. This three-day festival has been around since 1972, growing into what the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce says is “the largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California.” Along with works by painters, photographers, ceramicists and all other mediums, this outdoor gathering is big on music. Two stages offer tribute bands covering all kinds of top tunes, from rock and roll to country to zydeco and then some. For the little ones, a kiddie carnival providing a petting zoo with pony rides and a rock climbing wall will be all the rage.

Main Street Memorial Day Weekend Block Party

Circle Bar
2926 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Date: May 24, 2015This year, Santa Monica’s Main Street is throwing a Memorial Day Weekend block party you won’t want to miss. From 3pm to 2am, enjoy Santa Monica’s biggest and best party where venues will be offering food specials, live DJ’s, drink specials, and much more. Tickets range depending on what you get, and start at $10.

Topanga Days

1440 North Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Topanga, CA 90290
(310) 455-1980
Dates: May 23, 24 & 25, 2015The 42nd Annual Topanga Days event is here and will be featured on May 23, 24, and 25th with more than 30 bands rocking two stages. In addition, enjoy 11 food vendors including food such as barbecue, pizza and vegan selections as well as a number of prize-winning games for competition lovers. The event will be from 10am to 7pm each day and include a kids zone, healing arts, fine arts and crafts, activities and contests and a Memorial Day parade. Enjoy a free shuttle to the event as well. General admission is $25 although children between the ages of 6 to 12 can get in for $15 and if you’re under 6, its free. Seniors and military members enjoy the event for just $15.

Valley Greek Festival

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
9501 Balboa Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91325
(818) 886-4040
Dates: May 23, 24 & 25, 2015Do delectable dolmathes and freshly constructed gyros suit your palate? How about homemade moussaka and juicy souvlaki? These and other Greek delicacies are served up during the annual Valley Greek Festival fundraiser held on Memorial Day weekend, from 1pm to 9pm. The Mediterranean delights are only part of the party, which includes the chance to survey the goods available via a number of vendors hawking everything Greek, from music to pottery to jewelry and more. Folk dances from the old country are also a big treat, as is the chance to tour St. Nicholas Church. Admission is just $3 and they offer free parking. Opa!

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

Garden Grove Village Green
Between Euclid and Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714) 638-0981
Dates: May 22 to 25, 2015All kinds of fun and free activities suited to every member of the family are on hand during Memorial Day weekend at the 56th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. From contests in the realms of karaoke, red heads and “Berry Beautiful” babies to a big parade, this gathering is filled to the brim with strawberries. Of special interest to big eaters is the giant strawberry shortcake. Free admission.

Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade

Sherman Way and Owensmouth
Canoga Park, CA 91306
(818) 884-4222
Date: May 25th, 2015

For those who love a parade on Memorial Day, the festivities in Canoga Park, now in its 26th year and beginning at Sherman Way and Owensmouth, are, hands down, the best in the Southland. The theme for 2015 is “Saluting the Price of Freedom” so expect military units to march in memory of the fallen while military aircraft produce flyovers for the same reason. Horses, floats and a number of youngsters take part in this march after which a car show and live music takes over the First Baptist Church’s parking lot.

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