Armed Forces Day is a special day to pay tribute to our men and women who serve in the United States military. It is generally celebrated on the third Saturday in May, and this year's celebration is set for May 21 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. Fallon Community Events, a Nevada non-profit organization started by Essie Burriss, whose website states they have been “actively helping our local community since 2010,” is organizing the festivities.
According to Burriss, this year's Armed Forces Day celebration is slated to be a jam-packed day of family fun and festivities, including special guest speaker US Senate candidate Captain Sam Brown (retired US Army), and Sheriff Richard Hickox who has volunteered to be in the Dunk Tank where one can have a chance at saying or singing, “I dunked the Sheriff”, a la Eric Clapton. An honor garden is planned as a memorable military tribute. Emcee and Karaoke Master Davey Munoz will keep the crowd on their feet with his DJ selections. Kids will find fun in the Kids Zone which will include a bounce house, face painting, petting zoo, and games for all ages. Grown-ups can find fun too with the poker chip run, and other motorcycle games while enjoying a pint of beer. A Corn Hole Tournament will start at 2:30 p.m., and live music is also planned by bands “korner ston,” “Beauty and the Beats,” and “Repeat Offender.”
“Last year was our first year doing this event. We were at the Convention Center, and we've outgrown that already. Moving to the fairgrounds will be great. Plenty of room, three bands, games, the petting zoo, first responders' equipment, and a car show and shine that will include race cars from Rattlesnake Raceway. We think it will be really fun, and I'm very excited,” Burriss said enthusiastically. “Armed Forces is about giving back to our military, so we've tried to pack a lot into this special day in their honor.” As a point of history, the first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 1950, and that proud tradition continues 72 years later.
She went on to say, “The City of Fallon has donated 850 pounds of meat that will be used to provide a free meal to the veterans, active or retired, doesn't matter. For anyone else, the cost will be $5 per person. Suzie's BBQ will be cooking all of the meat as a donation to the event, and side dishes will be donated by community organizations such as the Pennington Life Center, the Wolf Center, and the Elks. Donations will also be accepted from members of the community, all to provide each person with two side servings per plate.
Burriss said one of the planned vendors is called Bees4Vets, a Nevada non-profit organization that teaches veterans and first responders with PTSD and/or TBI about honeybee management. Their website states that beekeeping can be a beneficial therapy because it teaches mindfulness and staying in the moment. The apiaries used in their program are located in Washoe County which keeps it local.
Fallon Community Events also hosts the Fallon Lights of Christmas Family Festival and Tree Auction in December, and the Christmas in July Craft Fair. Burriss said that in the short term, funds raised go toward things for veterans and seniors such as paying for their utilities, bringing them bottled water in the summertime, and other forms of assistance. However, their long-term plan is to build a tiny homes and campsites community for veterans and seniors as an affordable housing option.
Burriss said the Fallon Community Events board is comprised of six people: herself, Pat Avery, Kevin Bowles, Serena Whisenhunt, Alison Fenimore, and Howard Fenimore. She said of her board's involvement, “They all help out with our events. We have one lady that makes jams and jellies which go out in the fall and winter with the Meals on Wheels deliveries.”
More information about Fallon Community Events can be found on their website, https://www.falloncommunity.com/, and Bees4Vets on their website, https://bees4vets.org
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