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Enjoy Memorial Day weekend: Some ideas for how to spend the holiday around Tucson

Enjoy Memorial Day weekend: Some ideas for how to spend the holiday around Tucson

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The long Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Here are some ideas on how to spend it around Tucson.

And remember, Memorial Day isn't about living veterans. Some who've served and are still alive are more interested in remembering the dead servicemembers who are honored during Monday's holiday, than they are in being thanked for their own service.

Camp at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

The General Hitchcock Campground is open as of May 1 and Peppersauce Campground is open all year round. The long weekend makes for an escapade to the wilderness. The sites at $20 a night. General Hitchcock Campground and Gordon Hirabayashi Campground do not have drinking water available, so make sure to prepare accordingly. The canyon is home to a diverse animals and plants and it's a great getaway for group or solo camping.

Oro Valley Military Veteran Marches in National Memorial Day Parade

Veterans from 1991's Operation Desert Storm will be in Washington, D.C. for the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29, starting at 11 a.m. Tucson time on Constitution Avenue. Jeri Harwood, who is from Oro Valley, will be participating on the parade. The event will be produced and broadcast by the American Veterans Center. Harwood is a retired Air Force veteran who served at Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Visit the International Wildlife Museum

The International Wildlife Museum will be having free admission for all military members, including retired and veterans, with a military ID. Military dependents will receive a 50 percent off their admission ticket. The last admission into the museum will be given at 4:15 p.m.

Tucson Pops Orchestra Memorial Day Concert

The Tucson Pops Orchestra and the Tucson Latin Jazz Nonet will be performing in a Memorial Day concert on Sunday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base honor guard will present the colors.

Ritual Ceremony by VFW Post 459

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 459 will host a ceremony in honor of those who served. It will take place on Monday, May 29 at 9 a.m. in the Funeraria del Angel South Lawn Cemetery's Garden of Tribute, 5401 S. Park Ave. The Tucson Concert Band will be performing at the ceremony and the Sons of the American Revolution along with bagpiper William Don Carlos will do a color presentation. Detachment 007 of the Marine Corps League will fire a rifle salute. Plus, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106 will have a Memorial Museum.

Spend the day at the zoo

Reid Park Zoo will be thanking the military by offering free admission for all military members with military, VA or retiree ID. Up to six military dependents will all receive discounted admission of $5 each. This will be valid on Monday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attend a flag placement event

There will be flag placements on gravesites at the Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, 15950 N. Luckett Rd., Marana, and at the Southern Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, 1300 S. Buffalo Soldier Tr., Sierra Vista. The Memorial Day at the cemetery in Marana will be on Monday, 29 at 8 a.m. while the one at Sierra Vsta will be at 8:30 a.m. If you're closer to Flagstaff, there will be a ceremony at the Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Camp Navajo, 1431 Veterans Dr., Bellemont, at 1 p.m.

Bianca Morales is’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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