Memorial Day events will be held across the Central Coast this weekend, with events in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, the Santa Ynez Valley and Pismo Beach.
The events will pay tribute to the 1.4 million service men and women who died in some 60 military actions over a 229-year span, according to Alvin Salge, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7139 in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Local events include:
In Santa Maria, the Elks will host a Memorial Day ceremony Monday at the Elks Unocal Event Center, 4040 Highway 101, at 1 p.m.
Col. Bob Reeves, 30th Space Wing vice commander from Vandenberg Air Force Base, will participate in the ceremony, with the event planned near Gate 2 and the flagpoles at the veterans memorial. A light lunch will follow.
Members of the Arch Bishop J.J. Cantwell Assembly Knights of Columbus listen to a speaker during the 2018 Memorial Day ceremony at Santa Maria…
Also Monday at Santa Maria Cemetery, 1501 S. College Drive, the Santa Maria VFW and American Legion will host a ceremony that will include Air Force Col. Chris Barcomb, 30th Launch Group commander at Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 11 a.m.
The cemetery will be decorated with American flags at 6 a.m.
In Guadalupe, a ceremony will be held at Guadalupe Cemetery, highways 1 and 166, where Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Johnson, 30th Medical Group, will speak at 11 a.m.
And at Pine Grove Cemetery, 1100 Stubblefield Road in Orcutt, a ceremony will feature Air Force Lt. Col. Brent Gallant, 30th Security Forces Squadron commander, at 11 a.m.
In Lompoc at Evergreen Cemetery, 600 South C St., Air Force Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, will speak.
The 11 a.m. ceremony will include guest speakers, a flag presentation, patriotic readings and more. The event is being organized by American Legion Post 211.
In Pismo Beach at 11 a.m., the Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau will host its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Pismo Pier, 101 Pomeroy Ave.
And in the Santa Ynez Valley on Saturday morning, crosses and VFW medallions will be placed on veterans’ graves at Old Mission Santa Inés Cemetery on Highway 246 at Mariposa Drive, the Solvang Cemetery on Chalk Hill Road at Elsinore Drive, Oak Hill Cemetery on Baseline Avenue at Oak Hill Road in Ballard and Saint Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church Cemetery off Nojoqui Avenue at Alamo Pintado Road in Los Olivos.
Over 900 graves will be decorated at Oak Hill Cemetery on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. The public is invited to observe the ceremony and assist with the take-down of the memorial on Monday, May 27, at 3 p.m.
Wreaths are posted at the Memorial Day observance at Evergreen Cemetery in Lompoc in 2018.
On both Saturday and Sunday, members of the VFW Post 7139 will hand out red "buddy poppies" from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of Albertsons supermarket on Highway 246 at McMurray Road in Buellton.
On Memorial Day, American Legion Post 160 will conduct short ceremonies at 9 a.m. at the Mission Santa Inés, 9:30 a.m. at Chalk Hill Cemetery, 10 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery, and 10:30 a.m. at St. Mark's Cemetery.
Santa Ynez Valley events will conclude at 10 a.m. Monday with a Memorial Day program under the direction of the VFW Post 7139 at Solvang Park, according to Salge.
The program will include music by the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School band led by Les Rose; guest speakers from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the American Legion and VFW posts; the raising of the American flag by local Boy Scouts; and a display of vintage military jeeps provided by the Santa Ynez Valley Flat Fender Club.