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Marla Jo Fisher
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We all know that Memorial Day is about remembering the people who served us and lost their lives defending our country.

But after the memories are over, this weekend has also become the first dose of fun of our upcoming summer. Here are some things you can do that won’t cost anything at all (except sometimes parking fees).

Multiday events

Fiesta Hermosa returns with music, food and fun May 25-27. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)
Fiesta Hermosa returns with music, food and fun May 25-27. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

Fiesta Hermosa, Hermosa Beach, May 25-27. Enjoy ocean breezes, free live music, craft booths, food for purchase and more at this annual arts event. It’s in downtown Hermosa Beach and the live music is on the beach. Organizers recommend parking at the Northrop Grumman lot, 1 Space Park Drive, Manhattan Beach (Bldg. M5), and riding the free shuttle.

The 64th Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will celebrate the fruit with a parade, rides and more. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The 64th Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will celebrate the fruit with a parade, rides and more. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, May 24-27: Check out the daily free entertainment at the 64th annual strawberry festival on the Village Green, located at Euclid Street and MainStreet. Rides, contests and more. Free strawberry shortcake to attendees at the opening 6 p.m. May 24. Parade on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Garden Grove Amphitheatre is at 12762 Main St. Other entertainment at various venues.

La Cañada Flintridge Fiesta Days, May 25-27.Vintage car show, fireworks, ukelele rendevous, parade, live music and more. Free tours of the Lanterman House. Various locations.

LA Fleet Week takes places in San Pedro from May 24 through 27. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)
LA Fleet Week takes places in San Pedro from May 24 through 27. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

LA Fleet Week, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, May 24-27: Here’s your chance to enjoy military bands, flyovers and board real Navy ships in port on this annual Memorial Day weekend event. Go early. To go on board a ship, adults must bring a current, government issued ID and catch a shuttle bus from the Expo center next to the Battleship Iowa (the Iowa is not free) at 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro. Non-US Citizens must bring passports. Minimum age is 5 years and you must be able to climb ladders. No strollers.

Friday, May 24

Jazz at LACMA. Los Angeles: This is part of the free Fridays jazz concerts at the LA County Museum of Art. These are fun, and held in the welcome plaza at 6 p.m. This week’s artist is woodwind and spoken word artist Katisse Buckingham. Seating is first come, first served.  LACMA parking is $21 (ouch!) but you can find street parking, just beware of tow-away zones. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Scary dinosaurs at Movies at the Park, Thousand Oaks: Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Thousand Oaks Community Park for an outdoor screening of “Jurassic Park”. Movie starts at sundown. Bring a picnic and snacks. 2525 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. .crpd.org/events/moviesatthepark/

Saturday, May 25

Corvette Car Show + Chili Cook Off, Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo: Yeah, who doesn’t love Corvettes? This free show runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (If you want to enter your own Corvette, it costs $20) The show does not include admission to the museum. 610 Lairport St., El Segundo.

The Hammer Museum offers free Art Labs and admission to its galleries on Saturdays. (Courtesy of Hammer Museum)
The Hammer Museum offers free Art Labs and admission to its galleries on Saturdays. (Courtesy of Hammer Museum)

Hammer Museum at UCLA: Art Lab for kids or actually anyone. 1 to 4 p.m. Every Saturday, there’s a fun creative art project that’s free to join. And you can view the galleries too, which include Rembrandt, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Monet and other paintings from the collection of the late Armand Hammer.  Parking is $8 with museum validation. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Sunday, May 26

The Museum of Latin American Art is free every Sunday. (Photo by Brittany M. Solo, Press-Telegram/SCNG)
The Museum of Latin American Art is free every Sunday. (Photo by Brittany M. Solo, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA), Long Beach: The museum is free every Sunday and always has interesting exhibits. Free docent-led tours are offered at 2 p.m. Sundays. Exhibits are always open on Sundays, but free tickets are recommended and can be booked online. Parking is free. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach.

Monday, May 27

Musicians with Charros De Rancho Las Palomas perform during the 31st Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade on May 29, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)
Musicians with Charros De Rancho Las Palomas perform during the 31st Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade on May 29, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Memorial Day Parade, Canoga Park: This is the 32nd annual event. Floats, music and more. 10 a.m. laying of wreaths and commemoration. Parade starts at 11 a.m. Route along Sherman Way from Owensmouth to Cozycroft.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley will hold a Memorial Day ceremony outdoors. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley will hold a Memorial Day ceremony outdoors. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley: Memorial ceremony outdoors. Live music starts at 9 a.m. and program at 10 a.m. at the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument with live band music, color guard, aircraft flyover, keynote speakers and more. (Admission to the museum is not included.) 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley.  RSVPs are suggested.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda: Wreath-laying ceremony and speech outdoors at 10:15 a.m. Patriotic band concert indoors at 11 a.m. (Does not include museum admission). Free tickets can be reserved online. 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda

And have a great weekend!

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