This coming Monday is a day that we “celebrate” together as a nation.  Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May and is a day of remembering and honoring those US men and women who have given their lives, the ultimate sacrifice for our treasured (we do treasure it, right?) freedom.  

Get out and enjoy the last little bit of “decent” weather before it gets too hot to leave the air conditioning or the pool. Here are some fun Memorial Day events to check out around town:

Salt River Heros = Litter Zero - Take Pride in America and lend a hand “stashing and bagging” picnic trash while enjoying a floating picnic during the “Salt River Heroes =Litter Zero” holiday weekend event. Salt River Tubing and Tonto National Forest encourages tubers to be responsible public lands stewards, May 23 – May 25, 2009, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tommy Tuber litter bags will be distributed to floaters as they board their shuttle buses at Salt River tubing headquarters located in northeast Mesa. Free beach balls and giveaways. $15

Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast and Parade - 6 a.m. May 24. Parade starts at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds go to Surprise Sundancers youth charities. Surprise Recreation Campus, 15850 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise. $5 for breakfast; $3 for kids; free for parade.

Tempe Memorial Day Luncheon - Hamburgers, watermelon, potato chips and apple pie will be served. Musical entertainment also provided. Registration required. Dennis J. Cahill Senior Center, 715 W. Fifth St., Tempe. $4; $5 non-members. 480-350-5214

Phoenix Historic Celebration – 9:30 a.m. May 26. Wear vintage clothing and join representatives from many of the Valley’s historic societies who will be in period attire as they honor those who have died in the service of their country. Historical activities for children and refreshments also provided. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, 1317 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix. Free. 602-262-5071

Memorial Day Pool Party - noon-6 p.m. May 26. Event features free hot dogs and drinks. Open swimming is available. Watch a mock drowning staged by Peoria lifeguards, fire and Southwest ambulance. Sunrise Pool and Family Center, Sunrise Mountain High School 21321 N. 86th Drive, Peoria. Free. 623-773-8495. 

Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Fair – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Saturday, May 24-26. A wide array of arts and crafts available, especially jewelry, is on display. Bell Rock Plaza, 10 Bell Rock Plaza, Sedona. Free. 928-284-9627

For me?  I’m headed to beautiful Greer, AZ with the extended family.

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