Are you looking for a fun way to spend Memorial Day in Bradenton? Whether you’re into music, movies, or outdoor adventures, there are plenty of great events to keep you entertained all weekend long. Want to take some time away from the weekend’s festivities to honor those who have served? We have some ideas for that too!
Whiskey and War Stories at Motorworks Brewery
Wednesday, May 22nd 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Motorworks Brewery: 1014 9th St W. Bradenton, FL 34205
Kicking off Memorial Day early, Motorworks Brewery and St. Petersburg’s American Freedom Distillery are hosting Whiskey and War Stories this Wednesday night. This promises to be an unforgettable event. You see, many of the Distillery’s employees served in Afghanistan as part of the famous Green Beret Soldiers who fought the Taliban on horseback in the country’s mountainside. American Freedom’s Master Distiller and “Horse Soldier” Tyler Gardener is coming to Motorworks to tell their story.
Beginning at 7 p.m., Gardner will host a two-hour Q&A session. After the session is over, the evening will end with a showing of Chris Hemsworth’s 2018 film “12 Strong” which is based on true events surrounding these legendary soldiers. The evening will feature the distillery’s Horse Soldier® Bourbon, which was released as a tribute to them. You can order your whiskey neat or try some of their specialty cocktails. You’ll also have the chance to commemorate this memorable event by taking home your own whiskey bottle signed by Tyler Gardner.
Memorial Day Kickoff Party at Joyland
Friday, May 24th 8:00 p.m. until 12:00 a.m.
Joyland: 5520 14th St W, Bradenton, Florida 34207
Get ready for a rockin’ good time this Friday night at Joyland. Their Memorial Day Kickoff Party will feature The Greg Billings Band and special guests The Lost Boys. If you love classic and hard rock and aren’t afraid of a good time, then this event is for you!
The event cover is $18 for guests 18 to 21 and $10 for everyone else.
Memorial Day Ceremony: Veterans Monument Park
Monday, May 27th 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Behind Manatee Memorial Hospital: 206 2nd St E, Bradenton, FL 34208
Every year, the Manatee County Veterans Council holds a Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Monument Park, located between the Riverwalk and Manatee Memorial Hospital. This is a great way to take a break from the weekend’s parties and spend an hour reflecting on what the day is truly all about.
The celebration will include a local honor guard presenting the colors, playing of the national anthem, and wreath-laying on the graves of soldiers. Retired Col. William Michael Thurmond will be this year’s keynote speaker. There is no cost to attend this event.
Free Showing of “We Were Soldiers” Lakewood Ranch Cinema
Monday, May 27th 11:00 a.m. to 1:18 p.m.
Lakewood Ranch Cinema: 10715 Rodeo Drive#8 Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
If you’re ready to escape from the heat, spending a couple of hours at the Lakewood Ranch Cinema’s free showing of “We Were Soldiers” might be just what the doctor ordered. This movie, starring Mel Gibson, Greg Kinnear & Sam Elliott is based on the true story of one of the most savage military battles in U.S. history. It highlights the loyalty and love between soldiers entering the first, and possibly the worst, major battle of the Vietnam War.
Memorial Day Cookout at Astroskate
Monday, May 27th 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Astro Skate: 3611 3rd St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
Get out of your comfort zone and try something different! Astro skate is hosting a Memorial Day Cookout, so now is the time to channel your 1980’s self, strap on a pair of skates, and show the kids how it’s done. There will be free hot dogs and hamburgers for the first 75 guests, and a day of skating is only $7 (skate rental is extra, though). Active military members get in free and can bring two guests for free as well!
Memorial Day Patriotic Symphony Salute: City Pier Park
Monday, May 27th 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
City Pier Park: Pine Ave / N Bay Blvd Anna Maria FL
Are you planning on spending your Memorial day out on the beach? While you’re on the island, why not check out the Memorial Day Patriotic Symphony Salute at Anna Maria Island’s City Park! Relax and enjoy the Anna Maria Island Concert Orchestra’s performance of patriotic music as well as a flag presentation and wreath placement in honor of our veterans and their families. There is no cost to attend this event and free refreshments will be served.
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