Military Color Guard (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Since 1938, November 11 has been an official legal holiday to commemorate Armistice Day and honor our country’s veterans. Whether a loved one has served in the forces, or you are searching for a way to publicly honor all vets, there are a number of local celebrations to attend all throughout the Bay Area. Certainly enough to fill an entire day of festivities for yourself and your family. From parades to concerts, here are the best of the best Bay Area Veterans Day events.

Petaluma Veterans Day Parade
Walnut Park
4th and D St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 762-5710
Date: Nov. 11, 2015 at 12 p.m.

The city of Petaluma has made an annual tradition of holding a parade to honor vets on Veterans Day. The festivities will kick off at noon, starting with music in the gazebo of Walnut Park. At 1 p.m, the parade will begin at the intersection of 4th and D Streets, and then wind through town to Washington Street before finishing back at Walnut Park. Following the parade, there will be a pledge of allegiance, prayer and several speakers. The 2015 parade grand marshalls will be 12 local World War II vets.

Walnut Creek Veterans Day Ceremony
Lesher Center For The Arts
1601 Civic Dr.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 943-5819
Date: Nov. 11, 2015 at 11 a.m.

Walnut Creek vets can enjoy a special ceremony on the Lesher Center for the Arts at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The ceremony will include a welcome message from town Mayor Pro Tem Loella Haskew, as well as a concert. The patriotic music will be provided by the Walnut Creek Concert Band and directed by Harvey Benstein. This year’s keynote speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel Andrew J. Frankel, a decorated Air Force veteran.

United Veterans Council Of Santa Clara County Veterans Day Celebration
Oakhill Memorial Park
300 Curtner Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 297-2447
Date: Nov. 11, 2015 at 11 a.m.

Established in 1922, the United Veterans Council is dedicated to promoting the welfare of all veterans and their dependents. For close to a century, the City of San Jose has held a parade or ceremony on Nov. 11 to honor the country’s veterans. Partnering with the city, the Santa Clara County branch of the UVC will be sponsoring the celebration. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez and will be followed by a parade at noon, which will wind through downtown San Jose.

National Free Parks Day
Muir Woods
1 Muir Woods Rd.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 388-2595
Date: Nov. 11, 2015

Spend the holiday away from the crowds and out in nature with family to commemorate a veteran in your life this year. On select days throughout the year, the National Park Service waives admission fees to national parks. In honor of Veterans Day, all visitors to Muir Woods on Nov. 11 will have their admission fee waived. While some parks still charge for parking, Muir Woods visitors can stroll the park completely free of charge. Full of towering redwoods and part of the greater Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods offers scenic hiking trails and shaded serenity.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on