LANCASTER – Antelope Valley Fair officials today announced the details for Military Appreciation Day, taking place this Thursday, August 21. Admission will be free all night for active and retired military and their guests with military IDs and DD214s, beginning at 4 p.m.
A special VIP, red carpet entrance will be designated for active and retired military and their guests.
From 4 to 7 p.m., the Antelope Valley Fair Community Queens, Joe Walker Middle School Civil Air Patrol and Antelope Valley Blue Star Mothers will be welcoming active and retired military and their guests on the red carpet. Active and retired military will be given lanyards, sponsored by Budweiser, for the specific branch of military serving/served. Adult dependents will be given “Proud Military Loved Ones” and children, “Proud Military Brat” dog tags.
At 7:30 p.m., in the Miller Lite Grandstand area, the A.V. Fair Boards of Directors and Community Queens will be introduced. Following the introductions, Patriot Guard Riders will ride into the arena on motorcycles and vehicles with American flags. The Patriot Guard Riders are a diverse group of riders from across the nation. The one thing they have in common besides motorcycles is “an unwavering respect for all military fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad,” according to Larry Miller of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Following the Patriot Guard Riders will be the Joe Walker Middle School Civil Air Patrol Color Guard for the presentation of colors. Announcer Don Jesser will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a live performance of the National Anthem by trumpet player, Alejandro Paz.
After the National Anthem is performed, guests will be asked to remain standing for a delta (triangle) formation fly-over by the Rosamond Skypark pilots led by Paul Rosales, Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin.
A tribute to all military personnel will then begin, with brief histories of each branch of the military recited followed by that branch’s anthem. When the anthem for that branch/flag begins, active and retired servicemen and women will be asked to stand to be recognized. The flags will be presented in the following order: Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Air Force.
After the recognition portion of the event, a video primarily of photographs and some actual footage, will be shown on large video screens in the arena. All involved in the first half of the video are active military (this year, sons and daughters of the Antelope Valley Blue Star Mothers). The video will end with a photo tribute to local servicemen and women who have died while serving their country between 2004 to present, while “Taps” is performed by Mr. Chris Parke on bagpipes.
At approximately 8 p.m., the Figure 8 Race, sponsored by Cullen Insurance Agency, will begin. This event is free with paid Fair admission for everyone.
The 76th annual Diamond Anniversary Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival will run until Sunday, Aug. 24, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, located at 2551 West Avenue H in Lancaster. Visit avfair.com for all Fair information.