Hundreds of people lined State Street in Santa Barbara on Friday to cheer on service members and veterans during the Veterans Day Parade, which kicked off a weekend of events.
The 16th Annual Pierre Claeyssens Military Ball at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort on Saturday is sponsored by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans’ Museum & Library and the Santa Barbara Navy League. Louis Zamperini, a World War II bombardier and former prisoner of war, will be the keynote speaker.
Zamperini, now 94, is a former U.S. Olympic athlete whose B-24 was shot down in the South Pacific in 1943. He and two crew mates were the only survivors, and the trio floated for 47 days in two rafts without food or water. They eventually were captured by Japanese armed forces and imprisoned for two years in Japanese POW camps.
On Sunday and Monday, the officers and crew of the USS Milius (DDG 69) will host free public tours of the Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS guided-missile destroyer, which arrived in Santa Barbara on Thursday. Reservations can be made at Sea Landing, 301 W. Cabrillo Blvd., or by calling Sea Landing at 805.963.3564.
Sailors will spend time in the city doing a beach cleanup, and play local first responders in a basketball tournament. Teams will include the U.S. Forest Service, the Navy, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and the Santa Barbara Breakers minor league basketball team.
The basketball tournament will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, 632 E. Canon Perdido. The public is invited to come out to cheer on their favorite team. It is a free event.
The Milius crew will also be attending Saturday’s Military Ball.
Los Padres National Forest is offering a “Fee Free” weekend through Sunday in honor of Veterans Day. A National Forest Adventure Pass will not be required for visitors recreating this weekend in all areas of the Los Padres except for the Santa Barbara Ranger District’s Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area, where an Adventure Pass will still be required.