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7 ways to celebrate Veterans Day in Southern California

A retired American soldier salutes to the colors during Veterans Day celebration at the American Cemetery in Manila on November 11, 2010. The US pays tribute on Veterans Day to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United State Armed Forces.  AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO (Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)
A retired American soldier salutes to the colors during Veterans Day celebration at the American Cemetery in Manila on November 11, 2010. The US pays tribute on Veterans Day to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United State Armed Forces. AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO (Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)
JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images

On Veterans Day we honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Whether you want to see a parade or hear live music, here's more on how you can celebrate this Wednesday, Nov. 11:


1. Go to a national park for free

(Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Most national parks don’t charge an entrance fee year round. But those that do — including Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Yosemite — waive it on Veterans Day. Here’s a list of national parks that will be free for the holiday.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 11

Where: Various locations

Price: Free


2. Meet historical reenactors at the Battleship USS Iowa Museum

See if you can spot FDR at the festival. (Photo: Pacific Battleship Center)

The Battleship Iowa will host an all-day festival with a gun salute, an Army helicopter landing on board and actors playing historical military characters. There will be food trucks, vintage vehicles and 1940s swing music. The dockside festival is free, but guests who donate footwear to the American Soldier Network's campaign to end veteran and military suicides can go on a tour of the ship for a discounted ticket price of $11. 

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7

Where: 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

Price: Free


3. Attend a Veterans Day parade

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District was among the more than 100 entries in the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day parade 2012 in Pacoima, Calif. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Every year, downtown Palm Springs, the San Fernando Valley and Long Beach are among several SoCal locales that host a Veterans Day parade. Watch vets as they march in a parade near you. VetFriends has a list of processions in California (but double check the website of the host city or organization).  

When: Wednesday, Nov. 11

Where: Various locations

Price: Free


4. Watch a Shakespeare reading 

Enjoy a reading of William Shakespeare's "Henry V" at the Veterans Home of California, West L.A. The reading will be performed by celebrity and non-celebrity actors, who are either veterans or actors known for their support or portrayal of veterans. Tickets are free for vets (with RSVP); $75 for non-vets. The good news: All proceeds from the reading benefit the residents.

When: 7 p.m. reception, 8 p.m. reading Saturday, Nov. 7 

Where: Veterans Home of California | MAP

Price: Free for vets; $75 for non-vets | Free RSVP, purchase tickets here


5. Take a trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Veterans Day is a great day to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Every year the library honors the men and women who have served in the military with a commemoration. The festivities include a program that has an honor guard, live entertainment and a military vehicle display. The event will have remarks from retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne. The outdoor events and the program honoring veterans is free, but people who want to attend are encouraged to RSVP.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 11

Where: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library | MAP

Price: Free



6. Hear Rickey Minor and the Tonight Show Band at the VA Campus

https://twitter.com/RickeyMinor/status/180105536321241088

Head to the west side for a celebration at the VA. Hear music from Rickey Minor and the Tonight Show Band, who played on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" for years. The event will also include a car show, and guests can enjoy refreshments and gifts provided by Bridges For Heroes, Hewlett-Packard and Starbucks. 

When: Saturday Nov. 7 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

Where: VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System | MAP

Price: Free


7. Stop by a memorial or check out public art honoring veterans

There are several memorials, monuments and sites with public art honoring veterans around L.A. Check out the map and stop by any of them to remember those who have served. 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zDu6duH23jL0.k6hNzW2cMXxc