Operation Gratitude Highlights DFN

Downtown Friday Nights takes on a red, white, and blue hue this Friday Night as the event hosts its first ever Military Appreciation Night. “It should be our second annual Military Appreciation event, but Mother Nature had other ideas last year” said Mark Kazmer, organizer of the annual music festival, “but that will make our first one that much sweeter”.

The Military Appreciation event will feature divisions of the Army National Guard and their military vehicles, and all of the other Armed Force branches have been invited. “We are proud of every branch of service, and hope to see as many veterans and active personnel as possible out there Friday”, says Kazmer.

The nights events will include a collection drive for Operation Gratitude, which Kazmer says is “another way to show our appreciation not only for our soldiers, but their families as well.” Operation Gratitude collects needed items for soldiers and first responders, and is dispersed world wide. The items collected here get sent to a logistics center to be forwarded to the recipients. A detailed wish list of items can be found at https://www.operationgratitude.com/wishlist/.

You can purchase and donate items, or if you are crafty enough, you can knit or sew items they need as well. The troops and their families are also very appreciative of cards and letters, so feel free to share your personal appreciation with them.

Donations can be dropped off at the ID tent the night for the event, or all week at Sole Perfection Shoes in Downtown Spearfish.

The entertainment portion kicks off at 6:30 with the dancers from Kids and Company performing USA themed routines for 30 minutes. At 7 PM, Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers will be headlining the Fisher Beverage stage for the second time in Spearfish.

Be sure to get there early as Century 21 Spearfish Realty and Sole Perfection are giving away 2,000 US Flags, and you don’t want to miss a minute of the entertainment as a Black Hawk Helicopter fly-over will highlight the beginning of Chancey Williams performance.

“We are excited for the opportunity to thank the men and women of our armed forces for their service to our country” noted Kazmer, “It is because of them that we enjoy the freedoms we have in the USA, and we are eternally grateful for what they do for this country – they are all heroes to us”.

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