FAIRBORN — The Fairborn community is gearing up for a weekend of highlighting veterans and fallen heroes, as the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club Ohio Chapter, in partnership with Fox Shooting Loft, will be hosting back-to-back events in honor of letting freedom ring.
Freedom Fest is slated to take place from 4-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 along Main Street in downtown Fairborn, followed by the Fallen Hero Poker Run beginning 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club Ohio Chapter clubhouse, 717 W. Xenia Dr., which will culminate at Vets Fest from 1 to 7 p.m. at Rip Rap Roadhouse, 6024 Rip Rap Road in Dayton.
U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club Ohio Chapter President Keith (Elmo) Tickle said the event was inspired after witnessing a protest take place that involved individuals stepping on the flag. A Vietnam veteran cried out and asked the protesters to fold the flag and give it back, and they complied and apologized.
“That’s how we developed Vets Fest,” Tickle said. “To pay respects to our flag, and we added to the event.”
Freedom Fest, 4-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 along Main Street in downtown Fairborn, will feature three live bands, food trucks, vendors and a beer garden. While some seating will be available, Tickle encouraged attendees to bring their own chairs.
The band TRUK will take the stage from 4:30-6 p.m., followed by Trippin’ Fish from 6:30-8 while 80HD will close out the entertainment of the evening from 8:30-10 p.m.
Freedom Fest will be followed up Saturday morning with the Fallen Hero Poker Run in honor of fallen hero Jesse Snow. Registration is slated for 9:30 a.m. to noon. Local motorcyclist will gather at the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club Ohio Chapter clubhouse, 717 W. Xenia Dr. Riders cost $20 to register while passengers cost $10. The beneficiaries include the Fisher House Foundation, Save a Warrior and the Fallen Hero Scholarship Fund. A free event T-shirt will be given to the first 100 riders.
“It will be a fun time with more than 1,000 years (combined) military service (among all participants),” Tickle said. “For our 2020 run, we’re striving to be in the record book with the most years of service in a Poker Run.”
The guided ride will depart from Fairborn at 11 a.m. and the last bike is expected to be out by noon. John Snow, the father of Jesse Snow, will offer a “salute of gratitude” to every bike that passes by, which is expected to be more than 350.
Lorenzo Lamas will serve as the 2019 Grand Marshall. Tickle highlighted that the Poker Run is not limited to motorcycles and individuals with regular vehicles wishing to participate are welcome but will be in the back of the line.
“Give space,” Tickle advises motorists on the road at the same time as the Poker Run group. “Pay attention and understand why we’re doing this and be patient.”
The riders will land at Rip Rap Roadhouse, 6024 Rip Rap Road in Dayton, to enjoy Vets Fest, an event aimed at honoring the flag. It will run from 1-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 and will feature a 21 Gun Salute, flag jump at 4:30, bag pipes playing “Amazing Grace” and more.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.