DAYTONA BEACH — Amid a long holiday weekend that kicks off the summer vacation season, there will also be plenty of opportunities to honor the sacrifices made in the name of freedom during a assortment of Memorial Day ceremonies and events in Volusia and Flagler counties.
The biggest event will be the inaugural Heroes Honor Festival, a two-day celebration on Friday and Saturday May 27-28 at Daytona International Speedway to honor the service of Vietnam veterans.
Presented by Engage Your Destiny, a nonprofit veterans support organization founded by Tennessee-based U.S. Army veteran Ben Peterson, the Heroes Honor Festival is expected to attract 20,000 spectators for a program that features a slate of artists and guest speakers ranging from Toby Keith and Ann-Margret to Lt. Col. Oliver North and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Additionally, the event will also feature music from country stars Justin Moore and Craig Morgan, as well as messages from artist Chris Noel, known for his work on the Armed Forces Network; Vietnam Veteran, Medal of Honor recipient, Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady; Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a member of the US Army Delta Force; and author and military consultant Mark “Oz” Geist (“13 Hours”).
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The celebration will also include military flyovers, patriot parachute team, veterans reunions, veterans resource display, lifetime legacy awards for veterans, vigil for those killed in action and a Sunday Ride for Freedom.
All veterans, active military members and their spouses can register for free tickets on the event website, heroeshonorfestival.com. Children 12 and under are also free. For others, two-day general admission tickets are available for $79, with VIP packages available for $199.
The event runs from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, May 27; and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 28.
Visit heroeshonorfestival.com for up-to-date schedule information.
Here are other events planned to commemorate Memorial Day:
Remembrance Day Ceremony, hosted by VFW Post 1590: 2 p.m. Monday; VFW Post 1590, 1013 Veterans Ct., Daytona Beach. A traditional Memorial Day program, with presentation of the colors, guest speakers.
Remembrance Day Ceremony, hosted by VFW Post 8093: noon-2 p.m. Monday; VFW Post 8093, 351 S. Charles Richard Beall Blvd. (US Highway 17-92), DeBary.
Remembrance Day Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Orange Baker Post 187: 10am-1pm Monday; Bill Dreggors Park, 230 N. Stone St., DeLand.
The event includes the presentation of the colors by the DeLand City Fire Department Honor Guard; rifle salute to the dead by U.S. Marine Corps League Detachment 1144; messages from DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar; and William C. Feyk, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, on “Service, Sacrifice, and Remembrance.”
There will also be the dedication of the “West/Friend Pavilion”, named after Jim West and Dan Friend, two longtime DeLand residents who dedicated themselves to veterans advocacy.
Additionally, tours of military collections at the DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum will be available after the event. For details, email [email protected] or call 407-484-9858.
Remembrance Day Ceremony, presented by American Legion Post 255: 1-2 p.m. Monday; Veterans Memorial Park, 1912 Evard Avenue, Deltona. Ceremony honoring fallen servicemen and women, including the unveiling of the new Iraqi Freedom Monument in the park.
Remembrance Day Memorial Service: 9am-11am Monday; Rockefeller Gardens Park, 26 Riverside Drive, Ormond Beach. Presented by City of Ormond Beach Department of Leisure Services, Memorial Remembrance Committee, American Legion Post 267.
Remembrance Day Ceremony: 9am-10am Monday; Kay & Ayres Davies Lighthouse Park, 4931 S Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet. Parking available at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse parking lot and boat trailer parking lot.
Remembrance Day Ceremony, presented by VFW Post 3282 and Port Orange Parks & Recreation Department: 10-11 a.m. Monday; Veterans Park, 4655 City Center Circle, Port Orange.
Remembrance Day Ceremony, Remembering America’s Heroes: Monday 8-9:30 am; Heroes Memorial Park, 2860 Palm Coast Parkway NW, Palm Coast. A ceremony in memory of the men and women who gave their lives in the service of the United States Army. Parking is available along Corporate Drive and at the library.