Memorial Day 2023: Where to go and honor the fallen this holiday weekend

A group of bike riders pedal between rows of American flags at Castaways Park in Newport Beach.
A group of bike riders pedal between rows of American flags posted on the pathways during the 14th annual Field of Honor at Castaways Park in Newport Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

With the arrival of the three-day Memorial Day weekend, local cities and veterans’ groups are gearing up for events to mark the holiday, which salutes and commemorates those who have died in service to the country.

Here’s a quick look at some of those events in the Daily Pilot’s coverage area:

Costa Mesa

The Freedom Committee of Orange County will host its 69th annual Memorial Day ceremony again this year at the Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park, 1625 Gisler Ave. The event will feature two flyovers, one by the 146th Airlift Wing of the state National Guard and Dawn Patrol. There will also be a rifle salute, a dove release and music. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Fountain Valley

The city of Fountain Valley and the West Orange County Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post and Auxiliary 9557 will host a flag-raising ceremony on Memorial Day, beginning at 10 a.m. in Veterans Park, 17635 Los Alamos St. The event will be livestreamed on the city’s Recreation and Community Services Department’s Facebook page. Attendees are encouraged to post and use the hashtag #FVVETS.

Huntington Beach

The city is partnering with the American Legion Post 133 to host a Memorial Day tribute event at Pier Plaza near the Huntington Beach Pier on Main Street at 11 a.m. The event is expected to include a presentation of a wreath by the City Council in addition to a remembrance of military heroes, music, a POW/MIA banner and a three volley rifle salute. The Huntington Beach High School band will be playing “Taps.”

Laguna Beach

Early on Memorial Day, the Laguna Beach Fire Department will host a Memorial Day breakfast at Heisler Park, 375 Cliff Drive between 7 to 11 a.m. at a cost of $8. Pancakes, sausage, coffee, orange juice and maple syrup will be available.

The American Legion Post 222 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5868 will hold a Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen soldiers at Monument Point, also at Heisler Park, beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday.

The Laguna Community Jazz and concert bands will honor troops on Memorial Day with a free concert at Main Beach. The concert is expected to begin at 11 a.m. with a mix of Big Band, Latin, pop and rock hits. By 12:30 p.m., the band is expected to transition into more patriotic music along with a medley of songs from the musical “Chicago.” Monday’s concert will feature vocalists Ginger Hatfield, Gary Greene and Lisa Morrice. Eliana Merritt will dance to “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Newport Beach

Currently on display at Castaways Park, 700 Dover Drive is the 14th annual Field of Honor, organized by the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor. The Field of Honor touts 1,776 flags and honors not only military servicemen but also first responders. Those interested can dedicate a flag in their loved ones’ name online.

Admission is free, and the display will remain through Monday.

Some local state parks are offering free or reduced admission on Memorial Day to veterans, active and reserve military officers. This includes Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington State Beach in Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove State Park between Newport and Laguna Beach. Those interested will need to provide a valid military ID or proof of discharge for reasons other than dishonorable or bad conduct.

Around 130 state park units are included and can be found at