We officially welcome summer 2016 with the arrival of Memorial Day Weekend. We usually think of  Memorial Day as a day off from work or school, a day where you go to the beach, hang out by the pool, spend time with friends and family, BBQ,  have watermelon, corn on the cob and lemonade. Memorial Day marks a day of reflection, remembrance and memorial.

Per Wikipedia,Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

There are lots of events happening this weekend in Southern California, whatever you choose to do, have fun, stay safe and give thanks to all of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to enjoy a life of freedom. God Bless America!



Laguna Hills Memorial Day Marathon                   lhhm_2011
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center
24451 Health Center Dr
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Date: May 30, 2016

This year, Memorial Day marks the 18th annual event for the City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon event. The event, which features a 5k, and 10k marathon, will honor the U.S. Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion and is a favorite event for locals and visitors alike. Taking place in Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel, it’s definitely one even you won’t want to miss as it takes over many cities throughout O.C. Runners and walkers of all skill level and experience are invited to enjoy the activities. The half marathon (13.1 miles), the 5K run/walk (3.1 miles), the 10K run/walk (6.2 miles) and a kid’s run (1/2 mile) will be on offer and be great fun for everyone involved.


Santa Ana Memorial Day Carnival
Centennial Park
3000 W. Edinger Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Date: May 27 – 30, 2016

For three days, enjoy the Santa Ana Memorial Day Carnival at Centennial Park. As the unofficial beginning of summer, there’s no better way to get into summer mode than with a carnival on Memorial Day. Starting on Friday, the carnival goes all weekend and will give guests the chance to find everything you love about carnivals including rides, games, food and live music by localbands. It’s a great way for the whole family to have fun without spending a lot of money like you would at an amusement park.


Garden Grove Strawberry Festival 
Village Green
S. Euclid St. & Main St. Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 638-0981
Date: May 27 – 30, 2016

For more than 50 years, the city of Garden Grove has held a festival celebrating the delicious fruit. The festival is celebrated throughout the entire Memorial Day weekend and includes a parade, a 5K run and a variety of contests. Expect grand floats, bands, equestrians and characters such as Knott’s Berry Farm’s Snoopy as well! Thousands turn out every year for this grand event where you’ll also get the chance to see many film and tv celebrities who are honored in the parade. Admission to the festival is free, but there is a cost for rides.



A Day of Remembrance in Irvine

Sunday, May 29 @ 4:00 PM –
The Northwood Memorial Ceremony, held in partnership with the Northwood Memorial committee, will take place at the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial site and will feature presentations by Gold Star families. Please bring lawn chairs or a blanket for seating.

Monday, May 30 @ 10:00 AM –
The City of Irvine will host its annual Memorial Day Ceremony in the Formal Garden at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park. Attendees will have the opportunity to memorialize our troops’ sacrifice by writing down a brief remembrance to be posted on a memory board at the event. Cards will also be available for well-wishers to send a message of appreciation and support to members of Irvine’s adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion.

Northwood Community Park (Sunday)
Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park (Monday)
Irvine, California

Visit: www.cityofirvine.org or call 949-724-6606


May 28.
In honor of Memorial Day, the Nixon Presidential Library, Museum and Birthplace is offering free admission to guests. Get a glimpse of the tiny house in which Nixon was born, sit in Nixon’s presidential helicopter and explore interesting exhibits such as Pat Nixon Centennial: People Were Her Project and Watergate. The library is also hosting Patriotic Concerts throughout the day as well as a presentation by Ed Nixon, the president’s brother. 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, 714.983.9120. nixonfoundation.org


Memorial Day Program, El Toro Memorial Park

 Additional Information: s.veterans.1111 11/11/14 Photo by Nick Koon / Staff Photographer. This is the 26th annual Veterans Day observance at El Toro Memorial Park. The committee that puts the event on is honoring Vietnam WAr veterans this year. Featuring: 1st Lieutenant, Frank Pangborn, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Vietnam, music by vocalist John Huntington, and a historical display by American Legion Post 862.

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

El Toro Memorial Park in Lake Forest

Featured speaker Capt. Bob Meyer, a glider pilot during World War II. The program will also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a presentation by Darrell Rivers and historical display by Ziggy Wilczynski. The Saddleback Master Chorale will sing. Also featured are color guards from local veterans’ organizations, a wreath-laying ceremony and firing salute by VFW Post 6024.

Visit: occemeterydistrict.com/ or Call: 949-951-8244



Iowa BB61

USS Iowa Military Appreciation Day

In addition to active military members and veterans getting in free, there will be carnival games, food trucks and live entertainment.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 10 am – noon
Where: USS Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd. , San Pedro, CA 90731
Cost: Free for military and veterans. Regular $19.95 adults, 16.95 Seniors 62+, 11.95 youth 6-11. $2 off online. Discount tickets Adult/Youth $11, Seniors $7  available at AM870.info .
Info: www.pacificbattleship.com



san clemente

The City of San Clemente invites the community to join in our annual observance to remember all fallen soldiers of war. The program features key note speakers from the military and local leaders, color guards dressed in authentic uniforms, patriotic music, bagpipers, and a floral ceremony.

This event is co-sponsored by the local chapter of VFW, South Coast Detachment, Marine Corps League, Orange County Sheriff Department, MOWW, and many civic organizations and volunteers. The event is free and open to the public.

City of San Clemente Community Center
100 N. Calle Seville
San Clemente, California 92672

For more information please contact the City’s Recreation Division at (949) 361-8264.


SCOTS FEST  scotsfest
May 26-27. Channel your Scottish roots with Celtic music, excellent piping and drumming, championship Scottish athletes and traditional highland dancing. Sample delicious food, enjoy whisky tastings and trace your heritage with the help of over 60 clans in attendance. The event also features a memorial service to honor veterans. Orange County Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.296.3551. scotsfest.com


May 28  Dunes’ Aquatic Park  newport dunes

9 a.m. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach

Price: $25

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is making its annual “splash” by opening its popular Aquatic Water Park daily this weekend. The 100-acre waterfront resort includes a state-of-the-art RV park, rent-a-tent camping sites, 450-slip marina and a private waveless beach.

Visit: newportdunes.com


Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Honor U.S. Military Personnel  snoopy3
Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City USA will both offer FREE admission to all U.S. active and retired military personnel Memorial Day Weekend Saturday through Monday. The celebration at Knott’s Berry Farm features a fireworks show Sunday night at 10 pm. Military personnel will be able to purchase discounted tickets for family members.
When: Saturday though Monday, Soak City 10 am – 6 pm, KBF Sat 10-10, Sun 10-11, Mon 10-8
Where: 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park CA 90620
Cost: Free for retired and active military with ID, discount for family members, regular price for all others
Parking: $17
Info: www.knotts.com



Queen Mary Salutes U.S. Military Personnel queen mary
The Queen Mary will offer FREE admission to all U.S. active and retired military personnel on Memorial Day Monday. General Admission includes a self-guided tour and the Ghosts & Legends Show.
When: Memorial Day Monday, 10 am – 6 pm
Where: Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
Cost: Free for retired and active military with ID, 30% off regular price for family and friends (limit 6)
Parking: $18
Info: www.queenmary.com
Check out my Queen Mary Visitors Guide


Veterans of War Memorial Day Event capistrano
Pines Park
34941 Camino Capistrano
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
(949) 248-7696
Date: May 30, 2016

Dana Point Veterans of War will be presenting their annual Memorial Day event this year on Memorial Day. Held at Pines Park in Capistrano Beach, this special memorial for those fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice will including offering flowers to those who have served and have died in combat. A special presentation of the Marine Corps empty boots ceremony will also be held.

Natalia Winter

Natalia Winter

Natalia Winter, the founder of Mason and Madison's Corner is dedicated to providing fun, educational, exciting topics and experiences for the entire family to enjoy together. This website originated when her children Mason and Madison began asking to participate in events that were non-traditional kids activities. Natalia documented and shared her families adventures and thus Mason and Madison's Corner was born.

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