Patriotic parades aplenty will be marching through many Long Island downtowns in homage to America’s fallen soldiers throughout Memorial Day Weekend, which simultaneously ushers in the unofficial start of beach season.

The result is more events—both heavy- and light-hearted—that one person can possibly attend, even in a three-day weekend. So we’ve narrowed it down to seven notable picks for what to do.

And as a reminder, the last Monday of May was originally called Decoration Day, when friends and family would put flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers after the Civil War. It later became a federal holiday dedicated to Americans lost in all wars.

2014 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach
Jones Beach State Park, 1000 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday May 24-25
Witness the aerial acrobatics of the Blue Angels, the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the Navy Leap Frogs as well as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey. Civilian stunt plane tricksters include the American Airpower Museum Warbirds, GIECO Skytypers, the Air National Guard and the Red Bull Air Force, to name a few. Grab a spot on the beach, anchor your boat in the bay, or try out an air-show cruise via Freeport Water Taxi and Tours.

World War II Veterans Medal Ceremony
American Legion James Ely Miller Memorial Post 833, 51 Juniper Ave., Smithtown
10 a.m., Sunday May 25
A U.S. Navy veteran who took part in D-Day will be presented with the French Legion of Honor Medal, the highest decoration bestowed by France. WWII veterans will receive various medals, including the Bronze Star and Air Medal, for service in Ardennes, Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. Veterans or next-of-kin from Suffolk County will be honored.

The Beach Huts Reopen
Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton Beach, Meschutt Beach County Park in Hampton Bays, Smith Point County Park in Mastic, Cedar Beach in Babylon, Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst, Tanner Park in Copiague
Friday, May 23 to Monday, May 26
Among the many perks of living on an Island in the summer is being able to get meet friends and family for dinner and drinks while taking in some live music at oceanfront venues like the Beach Huts (OK, Venetian Shores and Tanner Park are bayfront, but the sentiment is the same). This holiday weekend’s lineup boasts some of LI’s best local bands performing covers and originals. Parking fees apply at the county beaches. Babylon town beaches charge non-residents, but Cedar Beach, for one, is free after 5 p.m.


Navy and Marine Helicopter Landings:
Eisenhower Park, Merrick Ave and Park Blvd, Park Fields 6A, East Meadow
Navy Landing- 10 a.m., Marine Landing 12 p.m. Saturday, May 24
United States Naval and Marine teams show off during air and land demonstrations. Once demonstrations are over, machinery is available for an up-close look.

Brookhaven Fair
Bald Hill, Farmingville
12-10 p.m. Saturday, May 24 to Monday, May 26
$20 advance, $25 at door
Magic Show, petting zoo, karaoke and Sunday night fireworks.

Make Plans to Visit the 9/11 Museum
200 Liberty St., Manhattan
For those who missed the news, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center opened to the public this week. But, don’t just show up and expect to get a tour. Visitors are required to reserve tickets after choosing dates on the museum website. Yes, this one may require a trip across the East River, but it’s worthwhile.

Sunday Funday at Flynn’s
1 Cayuga St., Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island
1 p.m. Sunday, May 25
The barrier beach’s premier hot spot is back, throwing some of the biggest parties in the area all weekend and summer long, but they may be best known for their Sunday Funday with King Wellington and DJ Epic. Don’t miss out on the first wild Flynn’s party of the year!


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