Communities throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley will observe Memorial Day this weekend with music, color guards, the laying of wreaths and more. Veterans are sought to ride in a tractor parade, and a fun run/walk will benefit a local veterans group. Among the events being held:
▪ A ceremony is planned at Acacia Memorial Park, 801 Scenic Drive, at 11 a.m. Monday.
▪ Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion will conduct their annual drop of flowers from the Seventh Street bridge into the Tuolumne River to honor those lost at sea. The flower drop will take place at 9 a.m. Monday. The groups then will move to Graceada Park for a ceremony.
Modesto American Legion Post 74 and other veterans organizations of Stanislaus County will present a ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday at Lakewood Memorial Park, 900 Santa Fe Ave., Hughson. It will include presentation of the colors by the California National Guard, a flag pole ceremony by California State Honor Guard, a wreath ceremony and white dove release. The 191st Army Band, also known as the Band of the West, will perform, as will the Golden Valley Chorus. The Avenue of Flags display and the Poppy Crosses will be on display until 3 p.m.
The city will present the program “Salute to Our Heroes” on Monday to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, to pay tribute to veterans and to honor those currently serving in the armed forces. There will be speakers, prayer, presentation of colors, laying of the wreath, music and light refreshments. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Wall at the Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe St.
A ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at Turlock Memorial Park, 425 N. Soderquist Road.
The Memorial Day Gospel Fest will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday at Connecting Point Nazarene Church, 3200 E. Monte Vista Ave. Performers include Steve Weatherford, the Herb Henry Family, the Chordsmen, Bridge of Grace, the Taylor Girls, Regents, Debt Free and the Premiers. Tickets are $13 in advance, $16 at the door. Call 209-538-3838.
A ceremony hosted by the Elijah B. Hayes American Legion Post 168 will be held at the Patterson Cemetery District at 10800 Highway 33 at 10 a.m. Monday.
The Calaveras Community Band presents a special Memorial Day concert Monday at 6:30 p.m. under the direction of conductor Mic Harper. There is no admission charge for the program, which will honor those who have served in the armed forces and those stationed around the world. The concert is in Murphys Community Park, Algiers Street. To learn more, call 209-728-8183.
The Not Forgotten Memorial Day Weekend in Woodward Park will include flyovers, parachutists, a 5K run,, helicopter landings, free haircuts for veterans, performances, demonstrations and more. For a full list of scheduled events, go to thememorialweekend.org.
The third annual Westport Memorial Day Tractor Ride will take place Monday featuring antique and classic farm tractors. Organizers hope one tractor will pull a hay wagon that can accommodate several veterans. To inquire, call Gary Thompson at 209-531-8825. The ride will begin around 8 a.m. at a staging area west of Ceres, with the tractors driven to My Garden Cafe at Whitmore and Moffet in Ceres.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327