Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. However, the festivities in Los Angeles extend over a weekend—three busy days full of events, starting from traditional commemorating ceremonies of service men and women who gave their lives for their country, ending with community fairs and beach events. The most iconic Memorial Day ceremony in Los Angeles area is held at Santa Monica where the sandy beach just north of the famous Santa Monica Pier transforms into a military cemetery. The memorial known as Arlington West honors American soldiers who sacrificed their lives while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. This project created by the Los Angeles chapter of Veterans for Peace.
Another memorial service takes place at the Forest Lawn cemetery. It includes patriotic music, a rifle salute, a color guard procession, and more. The SkyRose Chapel at Rose Hills Whittier features a special concert with the participation of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the American Heritage Ensemble. One more popular location to pay your respects is Battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro. The USS Iowa is a battleship that participated in World War II. The ship is now a museum that offers educational exhibits and public tours. The annual Memorial Day Parade can be seen in Canoga Park, San Fernando Valley. It features military units, marching bands, floats, antique cars, flyovers by the military, and equestrian demonstrations.
Add some more music to your Memorial Day weekend at the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival focusing on Cajun-Creole music. A scenic Simi Valley hosts a few musical stages with Creole, Cajun, zydeco and blues music. Over 150 booths offer crafts and Louisiana food favorites like jambalaya, po' boy, cornbread or an alligator sausage. A vast kids area has bouncers, carnival rides, rock walls, and talent shows.
Other popular events of the Memorial Day weekend include Fiesta Hermosa held at downtown Hermosa Beach. Over 400 stalls offer arts, crafts, fine foods, and beverages. Entertainment includes live music and a beautiful beach just a few steps away. Topanga Days Country Fair attracts thousands of visitors to the beautiful Topanga Canyon. Live music, food, arts, and ‘60s hippie spirit make this event one of a kind.