By Melanie Graysmith

The Memorial Day holiday can be observed in a variety of ways, from traditional parades and tributes to symbolic remembrances of veteran sacrifices and then on to enjoying the day off. Making for a day of remembrance, San Francisco events offer traditional, family friendly, relaxing, and pure fun ways to celebrate the holiday all weekend long.

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Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Cemetery 2017
Presidio of San Francisco
1 Lincoln Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94129
(650) 589-7737
Date: May 29, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

For the largest Memorial Day event in the Bay Area, consider an awesome experience that pays tribute to our nation’s veterans. Start the day for this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the Presidio’s National Cemetery with the parade through the Presidio, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and lasts approximately 30 minutes. The parade route begins at the Main Post (Anza between Sheridan and Lincoln Blvd) and ends at the National Cemetery. The 191st Army Band will perform at the start, followed by veterans’ organizations and a roster of distinguished guests at the formal program that begins at 11 am. The official program ends at noon with the 21-gun salute, conducted by the U.S. Army’s 75th Pacific Division. After the ceremony two additional activities are worth staying around for: a visit to the Presidio Chapel, just up the hill from the National Cemetery, is open for prayer and meditation. This historic beauty opens for only a few hours each week so here is a rare chance to see it. Another option is taking one of the available tours for an excellent way to learn more about the National Cemetery. Following the official program, National Park Rangers and Docents will offer guided tours of this noteworthy cemetery.

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Pier Pressure Memorial Day Yacht Party
Pier 40
8 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94111
Date: May 28, 2017 at 3:30 p.m.

If you’re looking for holiday fun for big boys and girls, check out Pier Pressure SF Cruise – Memorial Day Yacht Party, presented by San Francisco Nightlife. This 3-hour cruise is a view-fest with stunning vistas around the Bay, including Treasure Island, Alcatraz, The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Nob Hill and more, along with San Francisco’s famed skyline and sunset for a stunning backdrop to the sail. Enjoy three decks on the comfortable Cabernet Sauvignon Yacht where on board for a fantastic VIP cruise are six DJs on four decks, three dance areas playing today’s hits and Top 40, four fully stocked, staffed cash bars, a private deck with hosted bar.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
760 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543- 1718
Date: May 7 through Oct 29, 2017

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It’s back; the fabulous annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival returns May 7 through October 29 to mid-town San Francisco, and vibrates with a cornucopia of international sounds and sights of the wealth of talent worldwide. From classical, jazz and world music, traditional and contemporary dance, theater; children’s and family friendly programs combine with cultural events that highlight and reflect the rich cultural diversity of the region Bay Area residents call home. On Memorial Day weekend enjoy the sounds the Bay Area’s own Richard Howell & Sudden Changes, described by KQED as a jazz “Jedi master.” See the full Yerba Buena Gardens Festival schedule here.

Walt Disney Family Museum (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Walt Disney Family Museum
The Presidio of San Francisco
104 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 345-6800

Could any name bring images of America more easily than that of Walt Disney? The Walt Disney Family Museum presents a different view on Disney, and it’s not about Mickey you-know-who. The museum presents Disney the man, his story and achievements: the man who elevated animation to art status and forever changed the film industry in a myriad of ways. Through story telling and world-class exhibitions the Walt Disney Family museum stands alone. The museum’s opening exhibition makes for a wonderful pastime this Memorial Day weekend, Awakening Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle, a retrospective that showcases Earle, the lead stylist for Disney’s classic feature Sleeping Beauty (1959), plus his concept art on such favorites as Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Peter Pan (1953). The Art of Eyvind Earle opened May 18th, just in time for Memorial Day. Also, not-to-be-missed, is the exhibition The Art of Andreas Deja that showcases original works on paper and moquettes of character animator Deja’s most iconic Disney characters.The Walt Disney Family Museum is free year-round for active and retired military, their spouses, and dependents with valid ID. The museum also participates in the Blue Star Families program, which grants all active military free admission for themselves plus five additional guests (six people total) between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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KublaCon Game Convention
Hyatt Regency SFO
1333 Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
(866) 582-5226
Date: May 26 through May 29, 2017

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Just a skip away from the City in nearby Burlingame, the KublaCon Game Convention is a dream come true for gamers of all persuasions, from board games and role playing, to online gaming and you-name-it. KublaCon is the West Coast’s largest gaming convention and is conveniently held every Memorial Day weekend at Burlingame’s Hyatt Regency, so you know it will be grand and a fun fest rolled into one. Nearly 30 vendors will be on hand to sell games and accessories, especially the latest games from top world game publishers. Visit the website for the complete scoop on everything you’ll want to know before you go.