Subcommittee chiefs of the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee held a special meeting Tuesday at the Hinesville Police Department for discussion while coordinating final details for the first-ever Veterans Salute Day.
Committee Chairman and City Councilman David Anderson said the day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16. The annual Veterans Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. through downtown Hinesville. A continued celebration of America’s veterans, past and present, will follow at Bryant Commons, and family events will kick off at noon with the national anthem.
Anderson said food vendors, live entertainment for all ages, rides and static military displays will greet visitors. The event is scheduled to end at 5 p.m., he said.
George Holtzman, HMAC subcommittee chairman for signing up “large sponsors,” noted that the money raised from the event will go toward the construction of Veterans Memorial Walk, which is slated to be completed at Bryant Commons by Memorial Day 2015.
Holtzman said the proposed walk will include an entryway monument and American flag. Guests would be led in a counterclockwise circle that winds through palm trees, moss-covered oaks and magnolias. Along the way, there would be statues or mini-monuments representing the branches of the military. There also would be a POW/MIA monument, he added.
Melinda Schneider said the logistics necessary to prepare for such a large event have been the major issue of discussion during HMAC meetings for the past three months. She said that last month, subcommittee chairs were appointed or volunteered to lead coordination for food vendors, entertainment, raffle and door prizes, a beer booth, sponsors, security and publicity.
Schneider suggested two tracking sheets to keep up with sponsors and vendor applications. She told members some “tweaking” was needed for the proposed vendor application to make it clear that vendors had to provide their own tents, tables, chairs and cooking equipment. Security chairperson Dennis Fitzgerald suggested the application also require each vendor to have their own fire extinguisher.
Each subcommittee chief present submitted reports for Tuesday’s meeting, with considerable time devoted to ensuring those buying beer and wine would be properly carded. Food and vendor subcommittee chair P.J. Schneider told beer-booth chair Jeff Ashmen they should require those buying alcohol to get wristbands as soon as they get to the event. He said HPD officers would be better qualified for checking IDs.
“If they don’t have the wristband, they can’t buy alcohol,” Anderson said. “That’ll make it simple.”
Other concerns about alcohol sales included how much to charge for beer and wine and when to cut off someone from buying alcohol. Fitzgerald said those selling beer and wine would be able to tell when someone was intoxicated and that HPD officers would be able to assist them if needed.
It was noted that alcohol sales wouldn’t begin until noon and the event would be over at 5 p.m. Some then said that wasn’t enough time for anyone to drink enough to get intoxicated.
“I assure you, there will be some you’ll have to cut off before 3 o’clock,” Fitzgerald said.
Other issues raised included fixing a date to start selling raffle tickets and when to increase the price for food-vendor applications. The consensus was to begin selling raffle tickets early next month and end early registration for food vendors Oct. 10.
The next scheduled HMAC meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at HPD.
For more information about Veterans Salute Day, call 271-1702.