Locals have lots of options for Memorial Day ceremonies over the long weekend

May 25—Individuals and families thinking about finding a meaningful way to mark Memorial Day 2023 have several local events to choose from this weekend. Read on for times, locations and event details.

Bakersfield National Cemetery


Veterans, their families and friends, and the public are invited to the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bakersfield National Cemetery, about 25 miles east of Bakersfield at 30338 E. Bear Mountain Blvd.

Guest speakers for the event include U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Smith, deputy director, Europe-Mediterranean Directorate at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

The event will also feature a flyover, wreath presentation, traditional military tributes and music provided by the Bakersfield High School Band.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael "Cap" Pacini will provide the keynote address. Pacini is the commander of the 416th Flight Test Squadron and director of the Global Power Fighter Combined Test Force, which is responsible for developmental testing on various fighter and trainer aircraft. The CTF consists of more than 234 personnel and oversees flight test activities for multiple variants of the F-16 fighter as well as the T-7 and T-38 programs.

Disabled-accessible parking is available at the cemetery but is extremely limited. Therefore, carpooling to the ceremony is strongly urged. An ASL interpreter will be on site for the hearing-impaired.

Due to the expected large crowd, patrons are encouraged to arrive early and be in their seats by 8:45 a.m. The ceremony, which will begin at 9 a.m., is expected to last approximately one hour. Traffic at the site will be required to cease at that time.

The ceremony will be held rain or shine so plan appropriately for inclement weather. Should the weather be warm, as expected, complimentary bottled water will be available during the ceremony.

Ninth annual Thousand Flags

Saturday through Monday

The Park at River Walk in southwest Bakersfield will come alive over Memorial Day weekend as a thousand flags are flown simultaneously through the park to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to their country.

Presented annually by Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club, the flags will fly beginning at noon Saturday and will remain on brilliant display through 4 p.m. Monday.

The public is invited to sponsor a flag in honor of or in memory of a current or former member of the military or a first responder. Flag sponsorships are available at $50 per flag and can be ordered through the Breakfast Rotary website, www.bbrc.org, and clicking on the Thousand Flags "Flag Sponsor" link — or at the event throughout the weekend. Sponsors can retrieve their flag beginning at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

On Monday, Memorial Day, a patriotic fair, featuring exhibitors and food vendors, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Historic Union Cemetery