August 10, 2012

State Fair Military Appreciation Day to Honor Veterans and Active Duty

Third annual event to be held in fairgrounds' Mathewson building

On Aug. 12, Missouri servicemen and women, Gov. Jay Nixon, Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler and military leaders will join for a special tribute to our armed services at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. The 2012 Military Appreciation Day will pay tribute to men and women in uniform, with a special focus on the Tuskegee Airmen.

"Missouri has a great tradition of supporting those who serve and Military Appreciation Day is a way of giving something back," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "With two first class military bases and a National Guard that is second to none, Missouri stands out in service to our country."

Admission to the fairgrounds Sun., Aug. 12 is free for veterans, active-duty service personnel and delayed-entry recruits with appropriate identification. Admission for their immediate family members is only $1 that day.

The official ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the Mathewson Exhibition Center, which is air-conditioned, on the state fairgrounds in Sedalia and will be led by master of ceremonies and long-time mid-Missouri resident Major Mike Roberts of the Missouri National Guard. The event is free and open to the public and all fair attendees are invited to join in the recognition and celebration of Missouri's military.

The ceremony will include recognition of and remarks from Missouri's veterans and current military leaders. Major General Stephen Danner of the Missouri National Guard, Brigadier General Thomas Bussiere of Whiteman Air Force Base, Brigadier General Peter DeLuca of Fort Leonard Wood and Colonel (Ret.) Len Nevels of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. will participate. Students from the national champion JROTC program at Smith Cotton High School in Sedalia will also present a special tribute during the event.

The Patriot Guard Riders will kick off the event in the Exhibition Center. They will be followed by recognition of veterans and current servicemen and women. The Missouri National Guard Band, based in Springfield, Mo., will also join the group at the Fair and will play during the tribute.

In addition to discounted admission and the official ceremony, the 2012 Military Appreciation Day will also include a gathering of military and veterans' organizations throughout the day in the fairgrounds' Show Me Tent and displays of military equipment, including robots, bomb suits, a tank and the Army National Guard Motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers displayed throughout the grounds.

For more information about the day's festivities, visit