A three day weekend is coming up for many Southwest Floridians. It is to honor all of the men and women who have served our country. Saturday is Veterans Day. The day is also a federal holiday. Because the holiday falls on the weekend, many people have Monday off. However, Charlotte County’s government is closed on Friday. There are all kinds of commemorative events in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte, Naples and other communities over the three day span. Here are a few of the top Veterans Day celebrations in Southwest Florida.

Veterans Day is November 11th. Its origins date back to World War I. It represents  the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when hostilities between the Allied Nations and Germany ended. The day is set aside to recognize, honor, and thank the men and women who have served in all military branches.

The words "Thank you Veterans" in front of an American Flag

Here are some ways veterans are being recognized locally. Put these on your calendar. Share with your friends too. Thank you veterans.

Veterans Day Celebrations

Small celebrations can be found in many community centers, shopping centers, and local neighborhoods. Those listed here are among the largest and traditionally, the most well attended in the area. In addition, a few take place on Sunday and Monday. Be sure to check the dates and times listed below. They are all family friendly as well.

Finally,  if you can’t make it to any of the following events, you can still participate in the spirit of the day. Take a few minutes to thank veterans on social media. Reach out to those in your circle who have served. We salute all of the men and women in all of the United States Armed Services. Most importantly, we thank you for your service to our country. Enjoy these celebrations.

  • Midpoint Madness Veterans Day 5k

    This is a huge event every year for many reasons. The Midpoint Bridge between Fort Myers and Cape Coral closes allowing runners to replace cars for three hours. In the past the race has taken place at night, however, this year it is in the morning, Saturday, from  7-10am. It starts at Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. Race activities take place at the Fort Myers YMCA which is the beneficiary of all proceeds. Registration $35 , $20 for veterans. More info here.

    close up of feet running on a road

  • Cape Coral Veteran's Day Parade

    This is another well attended event every year, organized by Cape Coral’s Parks and Recreation Department. The parade is Saturday from  11am to 1pm. It starts at Cape Coral Street and travels west  Chester Street on Cape Coral Parkway. More info here

    event flier

  • Collier County Veterans Day Ceremony

    This annual ceremony also takes place Saturday. There will be live music, keynot speakers, a JROTC demonstration, and more. In addiiton, 21 bells will be rung for the “Bells of Peace.” It’s in Cambier Park from 9:30-11:15am. More info here. 

    Black dog with a red white and blue bandana on

  • Bonita Springs Veterans Day Celebration

    The City of Bonita Springs holds its annual Veterans Day celebration on Saturday. It includes musical tributes, speakers and the posting of the colors. Activities begin at  11am in Riverside Park, downtown Bonita Springs. More info here. 

  • Concert in the Park

    This is another popular, annual event in Southwest Florida. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and listen to the patriotic music of the Bonita Springs Concert Band. In addition,  singer Heather Ivy performs a salute to Whitney Houston. This event is Sunday at 2 p.m. in Riverside Park on Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs. More info here
    hands playing a violin

  • Estero Veteran's Day Celebration

    This event is Saturday. It is highlighted by music from New Horizons Choir and pop singer Lindsey Graham as well as a 21-gun salute. Other activities include a classic car show, kids activities, and free hotdogs. Local veterans and Gold Star Families will also be recognized. It’s at Estero Community Park, on Corkscrew Palms Blvd. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Saturday 11-2. More information here.  

  • Port Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade

    The Charlotte County Veterans Day Parade  steps off at Port Charlotte Beach Park at 9 a.m. Monday. The route travels along Harbor Boulevard to Edgewater Drive and on to the William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park. Harbor Boulevard from Edgewater Drive to Port Charlotte Beach Park will be closed to traffic 8:30-11:30 and the parking lot at Port Charlotte Beach Park will be closed from 12 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. More info here.

    profiles of men and women in the the US Armed Forces

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