Palmetto Bay residents and other Miamians gathered at the Deering Estate on Saturday, May 25, to honor and remember our veterans in the inaugural Palmetto Bay @ Deering Memorial Day Celebration.
The commemorative event was the result of a collaboration among the Deering Estate, Deering Foundation, and Village of Palmetto Bay. Veterans Park Advisory Committee member Thomas Frank stated that the Deering Estate was the perfect location for a Memorial Day celebration. “It’s centrally located. Everyone knows where it is and the grounds are big enough to support all of the activities,” he said.
The 450-acre estate sits adjacent to Biscayne Bay and is known for hosting annual events and programs such as the Deering Seafood Festival that takes place every March. More than 1,200 guests attended the celebration, most of whom were dressed in patriotic attire and alo eager to celebrate the start of summer.
The park opened its gates at 10 a.m. and immediately started the festivities. Activities included a scavenger hunt, children’s games, and Deering Estate’s regular natural and historic tours.
Attendees enjoyed performances from the Miami Palmetto High Rock Ensemble and Glenda & Suzy’s Jazz Dancers. Throughout the day guests were encouraged enjoy snacks from Sports Grill, Golden Rule, and Chill-N Ice Cream stands or consult any of the various informational booths available.
At 1 p.m., members of the St. Andrews Pipe Band played their bagpipes signaling the start of the parade. During the parade, members of the Miami-Dade Police Department Honor Guard and Armed Forces Flag Team, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Jr. Cadets (MDFR), and local veterans marched to the beat of a drum played by the Miami Palmetto High Marching Band as they made their way to the front of the stage.
Speakers in the ceremony following the parade included Paul Amato, representing the American Legion Post #133, and Mayor Karyn Cunningham, who shared personal stories and spoke about the importance of celebrating Memorial Day. In spirit of following American tradition, Paul Amato led the pledge of allegiance and Samantha Zaitman, a seventh grader from Palmetto Middle School, sang the National Anthem .
The day ebnded with another performance from members of local community, the Hal Roland Jazz Band.
Grace McGregor is a rising sophomore at the College of William & Mary, where she plans on studying marketing and psychology. She is currently a marketing intern at the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay.