By Britt Bickel

Memorial Day is a time to observe and salute all the soldiers who gave their lives to defending our country in a time of war as well as honoring all the current troops enlisted. It’s also the unofficial kickoff to summer with many families and friends getting together for a cookout over the three day weekend!

This long weekend features plenty of activities for the whole family around Los Angeles from parades, festivals and more in honor of Memorial Day!

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
Memorial Day Weekend: Friday – 11am to 10pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 10pm, Monday 10am to 9pm
Village Green, between Euclid and Main Street Streets, Garden Grove
Admission is FREE.
Four day festival celebrating everything to do with the humble strawberry. Carnival rides, pageants, Strawberry Idol karaoke contest, Red-Head Roundup Contest, Berry Beautiful Baby Pageant, and, of course, a strawberry-themed parade on Saturday.

St. Nicholas Valley Greek Festival
Saturday, May 26 – Monday, May 28
St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church, 9501 Balboa Boulevard, Northridge
Opa! St. Nicholas Church and its 500 volunteers invite you to enjoy a cultural experience for the entire family with live music, dancing, gourmet food, homemade pastries, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, a Greek market, and a variety of shopping boutiques. Boasting a three-day average of 50,000 guests, the admission-free fundraiser is the largest festival of its kind in the area. So make the most of your Memorial Day weekend and immerse yourself in the cultural vision that is the 39th Annual Valley Greek Festival.

Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 28
Quimby Park, 7008 Desoto Ave., Canoga Park
The Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade returns this year. After a years absence, the streets of Canoga Park will be lined with faithful fans watching as the Parade passes by. The whistle will blow at beginning at the Corner of Sherman Way and Owensmouth the head east towards Desoto Ave, turning South toward Vanowen. The VIP reviewing stand will be in front of Quimby Park where after the Parade there will be a celebration with music, food, and vendors.

Fiesta Hermosa: Arts & Crafts Fair
Memorial Day Weekend: May 26, 27 & 28, 10 am – 6 pm
Hermosa Beach Pier and along Hermosa Avenue
People flock to Fiesta Hermosa each year for not only the art fair, but for the Music – which is always of the highest caliber. There are two stages featuring live music – one at the Main Stage on the Pier and another in the Charity Beer & Wine Garden. The Main Stage features the finest “tribute bands” performing the classic rock of bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Collins, Fleetwood Mac, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, to name just a few.

Target Free Holiday Mondays: Memorial Day
Monday, May 28, 12 – 8 pm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
Visitors of all ages are invited to a free day at the museum*, with live music by George Kahn “Jazz and Blues Revue” on the plaza at 12:30 and 2:45 pm. Free bilingual tours, programs, and other activities occur throughout the day.

Scottish Fair and Highland Games
Saturday & Sunday, May 26 & 27
Orange County Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Tickets: Adults/$15, Children/$3
An annual celebration of Scottish and Irish music, dance, sports, family fun and food and culture in Orange County. The Massed Bands will perform at the opening ceremony on Saturday starting at 12 Noon, and at Closing Ceremonies, held both days starting at 5 pm.

2nd Annual Walk for Warriors
Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 8 am
West LA Veterans Affairs Campus
Walk for Warriors is a fun, community-oriented 5K run/walk to take place on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 at the West LA Veterans Affairs Campus. Proceeds from Walk for Warriors will help New Directions provide transitional services for returning veterans. By participating in Walk for Warriors, you will help support our nation’s veterans and the thousands of men and women who are currently serving our country.

Tough Topanga 10K
Saturday May 26, 8 am
Topanga State Park, 20829 Entrada Rd, Topanga Canyon
This is an all-trail race which is rugged and steep in parts and which takes place in one of the most beautiful State Parks in the Santa Monica Mountains. Note that Race Day parking is limited — please carpool! All proceeds to benefit youths sport and fitness in the Santa Monica.


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