Celebration of Freedom logo
Celebration of Freedom logo

Thank You

We want to thank the community, the volunteers, and those who attended this unforgettable celebration. And once again, thank you to all those who sacrificed for our freedom!

Revisit our community’s history of freedom with the digital archives of the Parkston Advance, available here

Schedule of Events

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29

Seating is limited, please bring a lawn chair with you.

8:00 am – VFW Post 3298 Members will put up the flags on Main Street

8:00 am – Legion Post 194 will put up the Avenue of Flags in the park

9:00 – 2:00 pm – The Legion Hall will be open for families to set up or drop off memorabilia from any war / conflict to be displayed during the Celebration of Freedom. If you have any questions about the displays at the Legion, you can contact Mona Geidel at the following email: vetmemorabilia2022@gmail.com (schedule when the museum is open is listed on the following days below)

2:30 pm – Vietnam Veterans planning to ride in the parade should be dropped off at the corner of Main Street and Bismark Street in Parkston.

2:30 pm – The AVTT Memorial Wall vehicle and trailer will arrive at the Dimock Dairy Lot

2:30 pm – Anyone who would like to join the escort bringing The Wall to Parkston should meet at the Dimock Dairy. (Motorcycles, Classic cars, etc.)

3:15 pm – A 50 foot by 30 foot American Flag will be suspended over Main Street near the railroad tracks

3:30 pm – Escort convoy leaves Dimock via Highway 37 heading South (traffic on highway 37 will be stopped for our convoy)

  • Police and Fire Truck Escort from Dimock
  • Motorcycles, Corvettes, Classic Cars, and other vehicles join the convoy

3:37 pm – Escort convoy turns down Parkston’s Main Street (traffic will be stopped for our convoy to enter Parkston)

3:37 pm – Convertibles carrying Vietnam Veterans join the escort down Main Street – Any Vietnam Veteran who was “In Country” and would like to ride with the escort should meet at the corner of Bismark and Main Street in Parkston before 3:00 to be assigned a car and/or people carrier

Medal Of Honor Recipient Michael John Fitzmaurice will be joining us for our parade down Main Street. He will also be with us for our program on Saturday night.

**** NEW ADDITION***** “Proud Eagle”, a vehicle painted by Mickey Harris for the Wounded Warriors Family Support vehicle and his latest “13 Forgotten Heroes” will be joining us for the parade and will be available for viewing in our park during the entire “Celebration of Freedom”!

Candy will be thrown out by the Vietnam Veterans as they come down Main Street

3:40 pm – The AVTT truck and trailer carrying the Memorial Wall stops in the park

4:00 pm – A Men’s Chorus made up of members from communities around us will sing the National Anthem and few other patriotic songs

4:00 pm – Mayor Dave Hoffman will welcome The Wall to the community and kick off the “Celebration of Freedom”

4:05 pm – A representative from Vern Eide Motoplex from Sioux Falls will give a welcome.

BBQ reception hosted by the National Guard will follow the Mayor’s Welcome! The BBQ is limited to the Vietnam Veterans, their spouses, and those that escorted the wall to town.

  • Burgers / brats will be served
  • Trailer is parked for the evening
  • Tents / other items will be erected on site
  • Site will be ready for Thursday morning set-up

Mogen’s Heroes will be entertaining from 4:00 to 6:30 – The community is welcome to attend!

THURSDAY, JUNE 30

Seating is limited, please bring a lawn chair with you.

There are dining options in town and food vendors will also be onsite. Beer will be sold in the park.

**** NEW ADDITION***** “Proud Eagle”, a vehicle painted by Mickey Harris for the Wounded Warriors Family Support vehicle and his latest “13 Forgotten Heroes” will be available for viewing in our park during the entire “Celebration of Freedom”!

7:00 am – Reville

7:00 am – Rolls and coffee for the volunteers who set up the wall

8:00 am – Volunteers set up the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall and other Veteran displays in the park (volunteers welcome!)

1:00 pm – The Cost of Freedom Exhibit is opened and will remain open 24 hours a day (More about the exhibit can be viewed by clicking HERE.

1:00 PM – The Welcome Center opens – Powered by Pepper Entertainment!

1:00 pm – Mike Huether – Former Parkston resident and Former Mayor of Sioux Falls will open the “Celebration of Freedom” event.

1:00 – 5:00 pm – VA Outreach Coordinator/Minority Veteran Program Coordinator will be on site – Desiree Boyer

1:00 – 5:00 pm – VA Mobile Outreach Van will be on sight – 40 foot mobile office!

1:00-5:00 pm – Veteran’s Service Officer Available (Click HERE is you are looking for a Veteran’s Service Officer near you.)

1:00-6:00 pm – St. Peters Lutheran Church Food Booth (from Clayton) – Pecan Pie, Chex Mix, and other assorted bars will be available.

1:20 pm – Blessing of the wall – Reverend Rick Senner

1:30 – 5:00 Military Displays / Artifacts on display at the Legion Hall downtown (for questions about the military display or for more information please email: vetmemorabilia2022@gmail.com)

1:30 pmThe Native American Drum Group has been cancelled

2:00 pm – Mettler Airbrush Tent – Mickey Harris will be onsite to airbrush a painting to be sold through a silent auction (Read more about Mickey by clicking HERE.)

2:30 pm – Laying of POW MIA and Gold Star mothers’ wreaths by the VFW and LEGION Auxiliary

2:45 pm– Presentation of the Missing Man Table by Legion Members (Read more about the Missing Man Table by clicking HERE.)

3:00-4:00 pm – Entertainment by Jill Fitzgerald (Read more about Jill by clicking HERE.)

4:00-5:30 pm – Entertainment – Jordan Jaacks (Read more about Jordan by clicking HERE.)

5:30 – 6:00 PM – Entertainment – Dakota District Pipes and Drums group

6:00 PM – Unveiling of the “Helping With Horsepower” motorcycle (a motorcycle rebuilt by Veterans) Read more by clicking HERE.

6:05 pm – Armed Forces Medley Will Be Played To Recognize All Branches Of Service

6:10 pm – Prayer – Reverend Wayne Uppendahl

6:15 pm – Posting of Colors -Armour and Delmont Legion / VFW Members

6:20 pm – Pledge of Allegiance – Country Wranglers 4H Club from Parkston

6:25 pm – National Anthem – Jill Fitzgerald

6:30 pm – Evening Ceremony – The following will be invited but may not attend:

  • South Dakota Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Greg Whitlock CONFIRMED
  • VFW National Commander – Matthew M. Fritz Mihelcic (Sparta Illinois) DECLINED
  • VFW Incoming National Commander – Tim Borland INVITED
  • VFW State Commander – Tom Hafner CONFIRMED
  • VFW Post 3298 Commander – Charles McKean CONFIRMED
  • VFW District 7 Commander – Dr. Martin Christensen CONFIRMED
  • Legion National Commander – Paul Dillard DECLINED
  • Legion Department Commander – Doug Feltman CONFIRMED
  • Legion District 8 Commander – Jennifer VanRockel CONFIRMED
  • Legion Post 194 Commander – Cal Luebke CONFIRMED

7:20 pm – Retrieval of colors – Armour and Delmont Legion / VFW Members

7:20 pm – Rifle Detail – Rifle Salute – Wagner Legion / VFW Members

7:25 pm – Taps – Trumpet Player – Daniel Mettler

7:35 pm – Entertainment – 147th Army Band of the South Dakota Army National Guard

FRIDAY, JULY 1

Seating is limited, please bring a lawn chair with you.

There are dining options in town and there will be food vendors on site. Beer will be sold in the park.

**** NEW ADDITION***** “Proud Eagle”, a vehicle painted by Mickey Harris for the Wounded Warriors Family Support vehicle and his latest “13 Forgotten Heroes” will be available for viewing in our park during the entire “Celebration of Freedom”!

7:00am – Reveille

Exhibit is open for viewing 24 hours a day (More about the exhibit can be viewed by clicking HERE.)

8:00am – The Welcome Center Opens – Powered by Pepper Entertainment!

10:00am -3:00pm – Veteran’s Service Officer Available

10:00 – 5:00 pm – VA Outreach Coordinator/Minority Veteran Program Coordinator will be on site – Desiree Boyer

10:00 – 5:00 pm – VA Mobile Outreach Van will be on sight – 40 foot mobile office!

10:00 – 4:30 Military Displays / Artifacts on display at the Legion Hall downtown

11:00 – 2:00pm – Lunch being served by the Monday Night Women’s Bible Study Group of PCC Church of Parkston. They will be serving Taverns, Beans, Chips, Pickles, and Chocolate Chip Cookies until they are all gone!

12:30 – 8:45 Free Swimming in the Parkston Community Pool

1:00pm – Mettler Airbrush Tent – Mickey Harris will be onsite to airbrush a painting to be sold through a silent auction (Read more about Mickey by clicking HERE.)

2:00 – 3:00 pm – Entertainment – Colonel Doug Bormann

3:00-4:00 pm – Entertainment – Jill Fitzgerald (Read more about Jill by clicking HERE.)

4:00 – 5:30 pm – Entertainment – Dayna Jones (Read more about Dayna by clicking HERE.)

5:30 pm – Speaker – Mel Olson (Read more about Mel by clicking HERE)

6:05 pm – Armed Forces Medley Will Be Played To Recognize All Branches Of Service

6:10 pm – Prayer – Reverend Erika Lehmann

6:15 pm – Posting of colors – Tripp Legion / VFW Members

6:20 pm – Pledge of Allegiance – Individual TBD

6:25 pm – National Anthem– Madisyn Raymond

6:30 pm – Speaker – Roger Wiltz – Wagner and Dick Muth – Mitchell

7:20 pm – Retrieval of Colors – Tripp Legion / VFW Members

7:20 pm – Rifle Detail – Rifle Salute – Corsica Legion / VFW Members

7:25 pm – Taps – Trumpet Player – Daniel Mettler

7:35 pm – Entertainment – Mogen’s Heroes. (Read more about Mogen’s Heroes by clicking HERE.)

SATURDAY, JULY 2

Seating is limited, please bring a lawn chair with you.

There are dining options in town and there will be food vendors on site. Beer will be sold in the park.

**** NEW ADDITION***** “Proud Eagle”, a vehicle painted by Mickey Harris for the Wounded Warriors Family Support vehicle and his latest “13 Forgotten Heroes” will be available for viewing in our park during the entire “Celebration of Freedom”!

7:00 am – Reveille

Exhibit is open for viewing 24 hours a day (To see more about the memorial click HERE.)

7:30 am – 4H or other group to do coffee and rolls

8:00 am – The Welcome Center Opens – Powered by Pepper Entertainment!

10:00 am – 3:00 pm Veteran’s Service Officer Available

10:00 – 5:00 Midwest Honor Flight will be on sight and available to visit with Veterans about trips to Washington, D.C.

10:00 – 5:00 Military Displays / Artifacts on display at the Legion Hall downtown

10:00 am – Roundtable discussion with South Dakota Authors of books about Vietnam

  • Dr. Steven Feimer – “Vietnam Vets – Still Coming Home” (books will be available on site or can be ordered by clicking HERE.)
  • Dave Volk – “Draftee – a high school teacher goes to war” (Order the book by clicking HERE.)
  • Rod Boltjes – “Vietnam: As Seen Through the Eyes of Platte Veterans” (Order the book by clicking HERE.)
  • Deono Miller / Katina Miller – “The Sniper Inside The Man. My Vietnam Experience: The War, The Aftermath, and The Healing” ( will have limited books on hand at the event)

11:00 am – Hutchinson County 4H will be selling lunch (hamburgers, cheeseburgers, brats, chips, bars) until they run out! They will also have Cherrybean Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee available!

12:30 – 4:45; 6:00 – 8:45 Free Swimming in the Parkston Community Pool

1:00 pm – Honoring Ceremony – Law Enforcement, EMS, and Fire Fighters’ Appreciation. Laying of a wreath at the 911Memorial Tribute by local police, EMS personnel, and firefighters.

1:00 pm – Mettler Airbrush Tent – Mickey Harris will be onsite to airbrush a painting to be sold through a silent auction. (Read more about Mickey by clicking HERE.)

2:00 pm – Speaker – Harry Sykora – Retired General of the SDARNG (Read more about General Sykora by clicking here.)

3:00 pm-9:00 pm – Car Show – No entry fee, no prizes and all cars are welcome! Highlighting the Vietnam Era Cars (1955 – 1975)

3:00 pm – Speaker – Marilyn Carlson Aronson (Read more about Marilyn by clicking HERE.)

4:00 pm – Dave Rowe – A Vietnam Veteran who was a Disc Jockey in Vietnam will recreate his show: AVFN “From the Delta to the DMZ”. Dave will by joined by Bob Folshow from the 1960’s band “The Castaways”. In 1965 their song “Liar Liar” hit #12 on the charts!

5:00 pm – Community Meal: Pork Loin, Baked Beans, Water – ( Free Will Offering )

5:20 pm – Speakers – Gene Murphy and Lyle Bowes (Read more about Gene and Lyle by clicking HERE.)

6:05 pm – Armed Forces Medley Will Be Played To Recognize All Branches Of Service

6:10 pm – Prayer – Reverend Michael Boyle

6:15 pm – Posting of colors – Parkston and Ethan Legion / VFW Members

6:20 pm – Pledge of Allegiance – Kaylor 4-H Group

6:25 pm – National Anthem – Parkston Congregational Church Men’s Chorus

6:30 pm – Evening Ceremony – The following have been invited but not all have confirmed attendance yet:

  • Major General Jeff Marlette CONFIRMED
  • Governor Kristi Noem DECLINED
  • Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden
  • Representative Dusty Johnson CONFIRMED
  • Senator John Thune
  • Senator Mike Rounds DECLINED
  • Mayor Dave Hoffman CONFIRMED
  • Senator Kyle Schoenfish CONFIRMED
  • Representatives Kent Peterson and Marty Overweg CONFIRMED
  • Mike Fitzmaurice – Medal of Honor Recipient CONFIRMED

7:20 pm – Retrieval of colors – Parkston and Ethan Legion / VFW Members

7:20 pm – Rifle Detail – Rifle Salute – Parkston and Ethan Legion / VFW Members

7:25 pm – Taps – Trumpet Player – Paul Weidenbach

7:35 pm – Entertainment – Opening Act – Guitarist Geoff Gunderson

8:30 pm – Entertainment – Nashville Recording Artist Anna McElroy – Sponsored by C&B Operations

  • (Click HERE to see Anna’s video of Real Tractors Are Green)
SUNDAY, JULY 3

Seating is limited, please bring a lawn chair with you.

There are dining options in town and there will be food vendors on site. Beer will be sold in the park.

**** NEW ADDITION***** “Proud Eagle”, a vehicle painted by Mickey Harris for the Wounded Warriors Family Support vehicle and his latest “13 Forgotten Heroes” will be available for viewing in our park during the entire “Celebration of Freedom”!

7:00 am – Reveille

Exhibit is open for viewing 24 hours a day (More can be viewed about the Memorial by clicking HERE.)

7:30 am-12:00 pm – Pancake Breakfast – Free Will Offering

8:00 am – The Welcome Center Opens – Powered by Pepper Entertainment!

9:45 am – Posting of Colors – Menno Legion / VFW Members

10:00 am – Non-Denominational Church Service – Maurice Bieber

10:00 am-3:00 pm – Veteran’s Service Officer Available

11:00 am – Retrieval of Colors following Church Service – Menno Legion/VFW

12:20 – 4:15 Free Swimming in the Parkston Community Pool

12:30 – 5:00 Military Displays / Artifacts on display at the Legion Hall downtown. Please make sure display items are picked up by 5:00.

1:00 pm – Ride of Honor Motorcycle Rally and bike show on Main Street ( show bikes as long as you want! )

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Entertainment – Dayna Jones (Read more about Dayna by clicking HERE.)

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Entertainment – Geoff Gunderson (Read more about Geoff by clicking HERE.)

5:00 pm – Items can be retrieved from the Legion Hall that were left for display.

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm – Entertainment – Joyful Noise (Gail Tiede, Jayne Kinneberg, and Pam Freudenthal)

7:00 pm – Parkston Mudcat Baseball Game at “The Pond” (baseball field in the park)

7:05 pm – Armed Forces Medley Will Be Played To Recognize All Branches Of Service

7:10 pm – Prayer – Father David Stevens

7:15 pm – Presentation of Colors – Mitchell Legion / VFW Members

7:20 pm – Pledge of Allegiance – Person TBD

7:25 pm – National Anthem – Elsa and Ashlyn Tapio

7:30 pm – Rifle Detail – Rifle Salute – Mitchell Legion / VFW Members – TBD

7:35 pm – Taps – Trumpet Player – Dean Soukup

7:35 pm – Entertainment – Surfin’ Safari

Dusk – Fireworks show will take place at the conclusion of the Mudcats Baseball Game

MONDAY, JULY 4

7:00 am – Reveille

Exhibit will be open until 3:00

8:00 am – The Welcome Center Opens – Powered by Pepper Entertainment!

3:00 pm – Volunteers are welcome to help take The Memorial and other structures down

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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