Patriotic Summer is Coming.
The Chamber’s Boomtown Blast 4th of July celebration is just a few days away and things are already beginning to heat up! Dan Hilton of Hilton Automotive is getting ready to fire up the best firework display this side of Marion county and some of the best food available for that evening picnic you can find. No need to feed the family before you leave for the fireworks.
Just bring your chairs or blankets, your camera and get ready for a blast! The event gates at the football field will open at 6pm at Dunnellon High School off 180 Avenue Road (High School Road) Dunnellon. Parking up close to the event gates are $5.00 for a carload, no limit. Parking is free along 180 Avenue Road. Proceeds from the parking will go to DHS ROTC and to help pay for the fireworks. Entry to the event is free.
The patriotism will continue on into September with the presentation of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Dunnellon. This Traveling Memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It was made for the purpose of helping heal and rekindle friendships and to allow people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their home town who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington. We are so very proud to be able to bring this Wall to Dunnellon and are working hard to generate the needed donations to pay for this “once in a lifetime” event. The Wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC, and stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. The placement of the Wall will be at Ernie Mills Park in Dunnellon. This centralized location will make it easy for people to visit the Wall and pay their respects to friends and family members who lost their lives during that conflict. As of 2011, 58,272 names are listed on the Wall, the same as on the original Wall in Washington, D.C. There are no civilians listed on the Wall as it is specifically for those veterans in the U.S. military who served in that designated war zone.
The Wall will arrive at Ernie Mills Park on Thursday, September 29 and placement will begin with the help of local Veterans and Dunnellon High School ROTC and athletes. The Wall will remain until Sunday, October 2 when it will be respectfully removed and repacked for another destination. Each moment the Wall is in Dunnellon it will be guarded by Veterans and law enforcement. There will be an atmosphere of solemn regard for the Wall during the four day event.
The Chamber has opened a GoFundMe account to help with the funding to bring the Wall to Dunnellon. “To have something of this magnitude come to Dunnellon was so very important to us,” explained Chamber President Jon Kubiak. “We wanted to give everyone in the community an opportunity to be a donator, or a patron if you will, of this once in a lifetime event. So many here in Dunnellon will never see the Wall in Washington D.C. and yet we have names of friends and family members on the Wall. This will be our only opportunity to take that piece of parchment and mark that name as remembered,” Kubiak said.
Checks can be made out to the Dunnellon Chamber of Commerce and sent to 20500 East Pennsylvania Ave., Dunnellon, FL. 34432 or go to the GoFundMe site at https://www.gofundme.com/bringinginthewall Help bring this Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to dunnellon and our surrounding communities so they can honor those who served and died for our freedom. For information on how you can help, call the Chamber at 352-489-2320.