Memorial Day is a U.S.-only federal holiday falling on the final Monday in May--in 2010, that date fall on May 31.
In the United States, Memorial Day traditionally marks the first day of summer. The original name of Memorial Day was "Decoration Day," and the federal day of remembrance originally was created to honor veterans who died in combat while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Memorial Day activities in Florida, however, have their own, unique identity and arguably differ from celebrations anywhere else in the nation.
Orlando Carnival and Fringe Festival
2010 marks the 23rd annual Orlando Carnival and Fringe Festival--the original Orlando Carnival took place on Memorial Day Weekend in 1987--during Memorial Day weekend for three consecutive days, this year from Friday, May 28, through Monday, May 31.
Typically, the Orlando Carnival and Fringe Festival incorporates Caribbean and Mardi Gras performances, costumes and cooking into the festivities, which include a street parade that begins downtown at about 9 a.m. on May 28. The procession then winds its way to Thunder Field, which adjoins Tinker Field and is across the street from the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Orlando Carnival Association, Inc.
PO Box 680945
Orlando, FL 32868-0945
Miami Beach's Annual Urban Beach Week
Memorial Day Weekend, South Florida Style, arguably has its own unique twist, due to the melting pot that South Florida became during the last 15 or so years. For instance, Memorial Day weekend in Miami is sort of an unofficial gathering of the hip-hop community, with festivities running six days from May 23 through May 28, 2010.
2010 marks the Miami Beach's 11th annual Urban Beach Week, showcasing some of the more extravagant festivals and parties aimed at people who prefer to live an "urban lifestyle."
Typically, more than 350,000 people descend on Miami for Urban Beach Week--"a weekend of relaxation and fun," according to the Black Beach Week website.
Black Beach Week
8253 Normandy Trace Ct., Suite C
St. Louis, MO 63121
Cocoa Beach Annual Memorial Day Celebration
The annual Memorial Day Celebration in Cocoa, Fla.--just outside the headquarters of the NASA space program--takes place at Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village, which combined with Taylor and Lee Wenner parks provide permanent public access to about 10 acres of pristine riverfront property located right in the middle of downtown Cocoa.
For the Memorial Day festivities in 2010, event organizers plan a parade around Riverfront Park, as well as the annual guest speaker who honors our fallen veterans, a special ceremony folding the U.S. flag, a full-on military 21-gun salute followed by the playing of taps, costumes that surely will evoke memories of yesteryear, and a moment of silence for all U.S. veterans currently serving on active duty or retired from the military. Best of all, all of the events mentioned above are free of charge.
401 Riveridge Blvd.
Cocoa, FL 32922