Veterans Day is chance for us to stop our busy lives and remember, if even for a moment, those who serve, have served, and gave their lives for our country. Sacramento does well to honor our veterans and active military personnel with an abundance of events, parades, memorials, and opportunities to give our nation’s heroes the special treatment with free admission to various locations around town. So get out there and celebrate the day…and don’t hold back your thank yous to those who served!
Unless otherwise stated, all events take place on Veterans Day are free to the public and/or veterans.
City of Sacramento Veterans Day Parade
Capitol Mall, Downtown Sacramento, 11am. Honor and celebrate our vets and active military with the 4th annual Veterans Day Parade down Capitol Mall. Follow the procession to the west steps of the State Capitol (at 10th St) for a program immediately after the parade. This vibrant holiday event will also have food trucks, children activities, booths, and a band contest. More info at cityofsacramento.org.
Veterans Day Parades in Elk Grove and Auburn
Elk Grove at 10am; Downtown Auburn at 10:50am. If you won’t be in downtown Sac on Veterans Day, Elk Grove and Auburn will also do their part in appreciating and recognizing our veterans with a celebratory parade. Elk Grove’s 14th annual parade will kick off at 10am at CDS Administration Building and will conclude at Elk Grove Regional Park (more info). Auburn’s parade begins at 10:50am at Lincoln and Cleveland Ave. and ends at the Gold Country Fairgrounds with a free lunch at Maurine Dobbas Placer Hall. Look forward to seeing participating veterans waving from escorted cars or jeeps in the parade (more info).
Saluting Our Veterans: Veterans Day Concert
Memorial Auditorium, 6pm, free with RSVP. The Sacramento Youth Symphony and the City of Sacramento Pipe Band will honor our heroes with a rousing and patriotic (and free!) concert. Held at the Memorial Auditorium, the concert will also include a reading by two young essay winners speaking on what veterans mean to them. Veterans and military personnel are encouraged to come in uniform so they can be recognized. Reserve tickets here or find more info on the SYS’s Facebook page.
Hoedown for Heroes
Auburn Veterans Memorial Hall, Auburn, 11/8 at 6pm, $25 adv./$30 at door. Can’t get much better than an all-you-can-eat tri tip dinner, no-host bar, live music, raffles, and proceeds going to the Veterans of Foreign Wars! Come out to celebrate with your own hero or to support all the heroes who have given so much to us and now need our help. More info at visitplacer.com.
Special events and free admission (and train rides!) to veterans/military and/or public at local Museums
Throughout Sacramento, all day Veterans Day + some additional dates. There are so many great things going on for our veterans and military personnel at museums across town*. The California State Railroad Museum will offer veterans/military personnel free admission to the museum and free train rides (at 1, 2, & 3pm) complete with patriotic music playing aboard the excursion train. Over at the Aerospace Museum, all guests, military or not, are invited to a special veteran-honoring day that includes free admission, a chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen, an open cockpit day, and a wreath laying ceremony at 11am. Roseville’s Maidu Museum will offer veterans free admission on 11/10 & 11/12-11/15 and a showing of the one-hour documentary “Original Patriots: Northern California Indian Veterans of WWII” at 2pm daily as well as a special appearance by the author and filmmaker, Chag Lowry, on Sat., 11/15 at 7pm. The Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland is also offering free admission to veterans/military personnel on Veterans Day, and invites all the public to see a developing WWI exhibit in which guest are also invited to contribute non-returnable photos, documents, and other items for display (more info about this cool exhibit here).
*Valid military ID or proof of discharge is recommended/sometimes required and wearing your uniform is always encouraged.
Military Family Day at the Zoo
Sacramento Zoo, 10am-4pm, half off admission for military personnel and families. The Sacramento Zoo is offering half-off admission to military personnel, veterans, and their families, so go ahead and make celebrating the day a family affair! Valid military ID required. More info at saczoo.org.
Free veteran/military ice skating at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink
7th and K St., holiday hours 10am-8pm. The Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, which opens Nov. 7, is offering extended hours for all and free admission to our veterans/military personnel (with valid id). Enjoy the day and the start of the ice skating season! More info at downtownsac.org.
Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance
State Capitol, 11/7-11/11. Remember those who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror and be reminded of all those who have fallen before them by visiting the Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance at the State Capitol. In town for only 5 days, Sacramento is the Wall’s 50th nationwide stop since July 2013. A ceremony honoring our fallen soldiers will take place Nov. 7 at 1pm. More info at calvet.ca.gov.