Memorial Day events in both Fallon and Fernley will honor veterans who served their country and passed on.
In Fallon, the Memorial Day weekend is highlighted by services at Churchill County’s three cemeteries. Military services are scheduled on Monday at the Churchill County Cemetery at 11 a.m.; the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Cemetery at noon; and The Gardens’ Veterans Cemetery at 1 p.m.
Representatives from the various military service organizations in Churchill County will participate in the three events.
Prior to the services, local military service organizations ask for volunteers to place flags on each veteran’s gravesite at the Fallon Cemetery on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and then pick up flags the following day at 5 p.m. After the Sunday event, the Veterans of Foreign Wars will serve breakfast to volunteers after they place flags.
The public is invited to attend two Memorial Day events at the Northern Nevada Veterans Cemetery located in Fernley.
The first is on Saturday with a “Flag-In” event. Volunteers are asked to arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. to assist in placing an American flag on each gravesite. Volunteers will receive a free commemorative World War I pin to show appreciation in preparing the cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony.
A one-hour memorial service at the cemetery begins at 11 a.m. on Monday. The event usually draws more than 3,000 people to the ceremony. People attending the ceremony are asked to arrive early due to parking and to also obtain the best viewing spot.
This year’s keynote speaker is Kevin Tokarski, associate administrator for Strategic Sealift — U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. The master of ceremonies will be Fred Wagar, the Nevada Department of Veterans Services deputy director. The ceremony will also include performances by the Maytan Band conducted by U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alan Pefley.
The event is sponsored by the Northern Nevada Veterans’ Coalition and hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. The Coalition is a group of veterans as well as non-veterans whose main focus is to support the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley. The cemetery serves veterans and their families from Northern Nevada and Eastern parts of California.
HOLIDAY CLOSURES: Also, most businesses will be closed on Monday: state, federal, county and city offices will be closed in addition to Western Nevada College, Churchill County School District and most financial institutions. Naval Air Station Fallon will also be operating on a holiday schedule.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: Camping will be open at all state parts this weekend, said Laura Vernon, a park ranger technician for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
She said prescribed areas for campfires have been established at the parks.
At Fort Churchill State Historical Park eight miles south of Silver Springs, fires are permitted only in designated fire rings, barbecues or approved portable stoves. Visitors should supply their own firewood. The park has 20 campsites.
She said the water level is up this year, but there are enough camping spots located on or near the Lahontan Reservoir beach as well as a few river spots below the dam.
Park Supervisor Tony Beauregard said boaters should use one of two boat ramps, one on the dam side and the other on the Silver Springs side. He is also warning boaters not to canoe or kayak in the Carson River below the dam because of cold, deep, fast-moving water.
Beauregard said the Fort Churchill State Park has 16 campgrounds, and they will be open this holiday weekend; however, he also warned that campsites on the south side of the Carson River could be under water because of increased flows.
Rye Patch State Recreation Area has 47 campsites, and fires are allowed only in designated grills and fireplaces.
East of Fallon at Sand Mountain, the Bureau of Land Management is expecting more than 2,000 people for the weekend.
Spokeswoman Lisa Ross said the recreation area has 500 campsites that are patrolled by both the BLM and Churchill County Sheriff’s Office.
AUSTIN FUNDRAISER: Music, food and a tribute to our veterans are just some of the activities on tap for the annual St, Augustine’s Cultural Center Open House and Fundraiser beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday in historic Austin, 110 miles east of Fallon.
Housed in a former Catholic church built in 1866, St. Augustine’s will eventually become a cultural and arts center for the community of Austin and central Nevada. Fundraising events to achieve those goals include a raffle and a sale of architectural salvage items from the recent restoration. Raffle prizes (awarded on July 4) include a Newmont Mining Corporation Gold Splatter and other treasures.
Tours of the National Historic Register site will also be on tap. There will be a special tribute to recognize Memorial Day and our veterans. Food will be available at the event for purchase.
The public can also bring their worn out or damaged U.S. flags. They will be collected and turned over to the Veterans of Foreign Wars for proper disposal.
There will be free entertainment from Nevada favorite Steven Christie and a chance to hear and play on the rare Henry Kilgen Organ, plus a presentation from Howard Bennett on the two-year restoration of this musical masterpiece.
The open house is being sponsored in part by the Austin Lion’s Club and made possible by a grant from the Lander County Convention and Tourism Authority.
For information on the St. Augustine’s Memorial Weekend Celebration, go to www.saintaugustinesnv.com.