Blue Star Museums Kickoff Cookout
Col. Battle Barksdale Parade Ground

Join The National WWII Museum in celebrating Blue Star Families! After our 2023 Armed Forces Day Commemoration Ceremony, we invite veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families to enjoy a cookout-style lunch and family-friendly activities on the Museum’s Col. Battle Barksdale Parade Ground to kick off this year’s Blue Star Museums program!

On May 20, Blue Star Families and Museum visitors will have the chance to get up close and interact with modern military vehicles and equipment, all while enjoying all-day access to the Museum’s world-class exhibits. From 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., take part in fun outdoor patio games, face painting, and an outdoor cookout lunch!

Note: The cookout lunch is free with prior registration. Click here to register for the Blue Star Museums Kickoff Cookout. For those who do not register in advance, cash sales for the cookout’s food and beverage service will be available.

Active-duty military personnel and up to five family members are eligible for complimentary Museum Campus Passes as part of the Blue Star Museums program from Armed Forces Day through Labor Day. Click here to learn more.

For more information about the Blue Star Museums Kickoff Cookout, please email Sarah Wehlage, Youth & Family Engagement Specialist, at

Schedule of Events

  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Military Static Displays from Local Military Installations
    At Col. Battle Barksdale Parade Ground
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Armed Forces Day Commemoration Ceremony
    At US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center
  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Blue Star Museums Kickoff Cookout
    At Col. Battle Barksdale Parade Ground
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker Rededication
    Sidewalk along Magazine Street in front of American Sector Restaurant

Time: 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM

We're sorry, the deadline for buying tickets for this event has passed.