MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EVENTS (Friday through Monday)

Before you get too deep into the beginning of summer, take a moment and remember what Memorial Day is really about. The Florida Orchestra brings its Pops Series to Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Friday with "Let Freedom Ring," a night of patriotic music, including “Starts and Stripes Forever.” Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo opens its gates free to active-duty troops and veterans along with up to three family members. You must have a valid military ID to qualify. Tampa Museum of Art has joined the Blue Star Museums program and will offer free admission all summer to active-duty military, National Guard, Reserves and their families. Also part of the Blue Star Museums program: Henry B. Plant Museum, Plant City Photo Archives & History Center, and MOSI, Tampa Bay's Museum of Science and Industry.

TAMPA BAY MARGARITA FESTIVAL (Saturday)

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park will have just the right combination of tequila, mixers and salt when the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival takes over the park to kick off Memorial Day weekend. The program includes a smorgasbord of margaritas along with plenty of music, food and fireworks. Special RFID wristbands will make it quick and easy to sample the offerings without spending all evening standing in line. Bring your ID and remember to pace yourself. 

SUNSET MUSIC FESTIVAL (Saturday & Sunday)

Some of the biggest names in dance music will take over Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium this weekend with the Sunset Music Festival. Headliners include DJ Skrillex along with Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren. Check out the rest of the weekend’s line-up here. Buy a wristband for a cash-free, care-free weekend.

RUSH (Sunday)

The Canadian rock band’s R40 Live tour marks its 40th anniversary as a group. Join Geddy Lee and the gang when Amalie Arena rings with classic rock songs such as “Tom Sawyer” and “Spirit of Radio.”

AMERICAN CHRONICLES: NORMAN ROCKWELL (through May 31)

Works by iconic American painter Normal Rockwell continue their visit to the Tampa Museum of Art through the end of May. Take the chance to see first-hand the art that inspired patriotism in Americans at one of the nation’s darkest times.