Special events will take place on November 11 and surrounding days to honor U.S. veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  In addition to parades, festivals, and ceremonies, several local restaurants, parks, theaters, museums, and service providers will be offering special deals and freebies to honor those serving this great nation.

As always, the Veterans Day National Ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery, but there several local opportunities to celebrate our heroic veterans, retired military, active duty, and their families.  Here is a glance at the 2018 celebrations we’ve found throughout the Greater Tampa Bay area, however, be sure to check event websites and news listings for official details and information regarding official times, changes, or cancelations:

Local Ceremonies: A formal Veterans Day Ceremony is hosted annually on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and National Cemetery at Bay Pines in St. Petersburg.  The event features speakers, performances, a firing salute, and the posting and retiring of the U.S. flag.

Local Parades: The James A. Haley VA Hospital Parade in Tampa begins annually at 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 with a ceremony to follow. The VA’s Parade participants include nonprofit organizations like Operation Helping Hand, which provides support for the families of wounded and injured active-duty military. This year, you may also salute our nation’s heroes at a parade along 5th Avenue in Zephyrhills on Nov. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Veteran’s Run:  There will be marathons run in several areas, including a half marathon across the famous Courtney Campbell Causeway on Nov. 11 from 7 a.m. to 12 noon.

Veterans Day Fall Fly: Enjoy a kite festival on Treasure Island to honor our veterans on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two-day event with games and kite flying is held annually on the beaches of the Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.

Veterans Story Telling Workshop: This free, live event for veterans and guests will be held at Tampa Marriott Waterside in Tampa on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

American Legion Events: Check American Legion locations for wonderful events. For example, a Veterans Portrait Day will be held Nov. 10 from  5 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the American Legion at 3810 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.  Free mini-portrait sessions will be provided to veterans of the U.S. Armed forces.

Operation Helping Hand’s Monthly Dinner: Remember that honoring our military doesn’t have to be a once-a-year celebration.  There are year-round opportunities to honor our military.  For example, we are proud to participate in Operation Helping Hand’s Monthly Dinner at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital on the third Thursday of each month.  Learn more at www.operationhelpinghandtampa.com.

Our real estate team is happy serve active military and veterans with compassion and integrity during the home buying and selling process.  We support you through the entire real estate transaction, including connecting you with an expert in VA Loans if you are a veteran.

As local real estate consultants, we love to see our customers enjoying the special activities across our areas. Contact Dick and Karla Nielsen at 813-294-5786 for more information about neighborhoods, home buying, investing, and selling throughout Tampa and across Florida.