Lincoln City will be bedecked in red, white and blue all the way to the high tide line this weekend as the Celebration of Honor returns to Chinook Winds Casino Resort.
Now in its 14th year, the salute to active-duty personnel, military veterans and their families features a host of activities against a backdrop of 1,000 US flags and a special drop of patriotically colored glass floats hidden on the beaches.
The festivities kick off on Wednesday, Sept. 13, with a free meal at the Siletz Bay Buffet for anyone who can show proof of military service, like a DD-214 or other military ID.
And free entertainment will be on offer for veterans and active duty personnel at 8 pm on Thursday, Sept. 14, with a performance from Elvis impersonator Cody Slaughter in the Chinook Winds Showroom.
Born and raised in Harrison, Arkansas, gateway to the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Slaughter began entertaining at the age of 13. A true Southern boy, Slaughter’s true passion for Elvis’ music and memory has directed his career path. His uncanny portrayal of The King exhibits his amazing love for the man he calls “the greatest entertainer of all time.”
Guests presenting proof of military service will receive two tickets to the show.
And from Thursday through Sunday, a casual stroll on the beach could provide a hidden treasure in the form of a red, white and blue glass float hidden on the sands by one of Lincoln City’s Float Fairies. The stealthy volunteers will be placing 50 of the patriotic pieces as part of the city’s long-running Finders Keepers glass giveaway.
This year’s Celebration of Honor will officially open at 5 pm on Friday, Sept. 15, with an opening ceremony at the Field of Honor, an inspiring array of 1,000 US flags displayed in the open field behind the casino.
Guests at the event will also be able to view the Oregon KIA Memorial Wall and the Wall of Honor, which recognizes those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the convention center, attractions include a living military history weapons display, a uniform exhibit and a booth from the Spirit of 45, a project that aims to collect photographs of people who served during World War II. In the casino lobby, guests will be able to admire a life-size wood statue depicting the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.
Meanwhile, a Veterans Services information tent will be on site, packed with booths from groups that serve veterans and their families. The tent will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday, and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16. For more information, contact Bill John at 541-996-5815.
Also on Friday and Saturday, country star Easton Corbin will be performing, with one dollar from every ticket going to Northwest Battle Buddies, a nonprofit that provides free service dogs to combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Shows start at 8 pm each night, with tickets, $25 to $40, available by calling 1-888-MAIN ACT.
At 2 pm on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Field of Honor will be the backdrop for the Oregon Veterans Medal Presentation, which will begin with friends and family of service men and women posting flags on behalf of their fallen heroes. The Oregon Veterans Medal is a custom-designed medal that is available to all who have served. Application forms will be available at the Field of Honor starting at noon Wednesday, Sept. 13. For more information, go to www.veteransoforegon.com or call 971-806-0882.
Later that day, State Representative David Gomberg will be the keynote speaker at the Rededication of the Desert Storm Memorial taking place in front of the casino at 5 pm. The ceremony will also feature the Siletz Tribe Honor Guard and Tribal Drummers.
The Celebration of Honor will come to a close on Sunday, Sept. 17, with the Run for Honor, a challenging 5K out-and-back route along the beach, starting at 8 am.
Awards will be given for top female and male finisher, age groups and veteran/active-duty personnel.
The run is free for active-duty military and veterans, who will also receive a free gift upon picking up their race packets.