Whether you are a veteran yourself or just want to thank them for their service, there are several ways to celebrate Veterans Day this weekend.
This Friday through Sunday, there is something going on every day, from an art installation, to a parade and many, many meals.
Knitted Poppy Project: Local crafters have been hard at work knitting and crocheting thousands of red poppies for a unique art installation, organized by What the Knit! Guild. Starting Friday, the poppies will go on display at the Veterans Memorial at 515 Truxtun Ave., where they will stay all weekend.
Raise Your Wands to Veterans: This tribute to veterans is billed as "a magical night to benefit the brave." International award-winning magician Chris Lopez and special guest Ron Bell will perform at the Stockdale Affairs Event Center (201 New Stine Road). The evening, which will go from 6 to 10 p.m., also includes a buffet dinner (choice of tri-tip, chicken or vegetarian), drinks and dessert. Veterans Dick Taylor and Cece Packham will be honored. For tickets and more information for this 21-and-over event, call 496-2925 or go to chrislopezmagic.com. Tickets are $65.
A Concert Salute to Veterans: The Bakersfield Master Chorale will open its 86th season with a free concert honoring veterans. The musical tribute, which will happen at 7 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, is to include patriotic songs spanning different eras. For more information, 831-1735.
243rd U.S. Marine Corps Birthday: The Kern County Veterans Service Department (1120 Golden State Ave.) is celebrating the 243rd birthday of the Marine Corps with an event at 8 a.m., which will include breakfast, a cake cutting ceremony, color guard, bagpipes and a reading of remarks from the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Call 868-7300 for more information.
Military Appreciation Lunch: Veterans and their families are invited to the Bakersfield Vet Center (1110 Golden State Ave.) for an appreciation lunch at 11:30 a.m. sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Admiral Callaghan Assembly 52. It is open to all veterans and their families. Call 323-8387 for more information.
Bells of Peace: A National World War I Remembrance: The Kern County Museum (3801 Chester Ave.) is all about local history, so a tribute to veterans is perfect. The Beale Memorial Clock Tower will toll in honor of those who served in the Great War. It will start at 10:45 a.m. in the museum's Jim Burke Plaza. The free event falls on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. For more information call 437-3330.
Camp Hamilton Veterans Day Ceremony: Head north to Camp Hamilton Veterans Memorial Park (34999 Lerdo Highway) for a Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. with a free barbecue to follow. The park has dedicated more than 308 trees to veterans in the past 40 years, making this a great place to spend the holiday. Guests are encouraged to bring a comfortable chair. Call 573-8733 for more information.
Veterans Day Parade: Come to honor veterans from all world conflicts at the annual Veterans Day Parade, put on by American Legion Post 26 and local veterans organizations. The parade, which starts at 10 a.m. downtown, is themed "Ninety-Nine Years of Honoring Our Veterans." Veterans Day originally started in 1919 as Armistice Day, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I.
Before the parade, there will be a breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at the American Legion (2020 F St.), free for veterans and $6 for everyone else. A flag-raising ceremony will happen at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial (Truxtun Avenue and S Street). After the parade, back at the American Legion, lunch will be available, free for veterans and $6 to $10 for everyone else. The awards ceremony will be at 2 p.m.
Veterans Day Blood Drive: Donate blood in honor of those who served during this blood drive, a partnership between Ticor Title, Miramar, Equal Housing Lender and Signature Home Lending, with Houchin Community Blood Bank. The drive will go from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Miramar Office (10800 Stockdale Highway). Call Melissa Anderson at 432-0630 to sign up.
Veterans Day Luncheon with Dick Taylor: Guild House Restaurant (1905 18th St.) is holding a special luncheon, with veterans' services expert Dick Taylor, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Veterans will receive 15 percent off. Call 325-5478 for reservations and more information.
Later in the month
Veterans Day Luncheon: The Beale Memorial Library (701 Truxtun Ave.) will hold a late Veterans Day Luncheon on Nov. 19 at noon, with Rusty's Pizza providing lunch. Special guests Chad Mioni-Garcia and Monica Peck will speak. Call 868-0701 for more information.
Every Citizen Armed clothing drive: Local apparel company Every Citizen Armed is partnering with the California Veterans Assistance Foundation to give clothes to homeless veterans. For every T-shirt bought at Everycitizenarmed.com between Veterans Day and Dec. 9, the company will donate one to a homeless veteran in Kern County.