By Mitzi Beliveau
It was a hot summer day on a Saturday, and I was at the 2019 Vetsfest in Oakdale, Minnesota. I had been invited a few months before by Patrick McLaughlin, a well-known veteran himself. Pat as his friends call him also has a band that played at that Vetsfest that day. The Pat McLaughlin Band. I wrote about the band in my other blog.
It took many people to pull off one of the best musical and veteran family events that I have seen in years. Everyone in the community was welcomed. I commend all of those who help. Hundreds of volunteers that help before, during, and after. The Minnesota Blues Society also volunteered at this event. The current President of the Minnesota Blue Society is pictured below with Pat McLaughlin. Pat is the one who plans these events and more! A truly amazing man.
For everyone pleasure, there were antique cars somewhere between 75 and 100 I was told, a beer garden, food vendors, a military helicopter that flew in and parked for people to look at. The color guard for the flags was there. The Marines were there.
The other two bands that played there were Crow a band of 50 years running and internationally known for their many hits over the decades. https://musicexperiencewithmitzibeliveau.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/crow/
Also, the Craig Clark band a well know five-state area band and beyond. All the music was phenomenal.
Many people who were vets were there, old and young, women and men from all armed forces. Even the locals from the metro area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul showed up. Everyone was having a good time.
There was an elderly couple where were shaded in the volunteer area. They told me they had been married for 75 years. They were both vets. The wife still danced, and I danced with her. There was water and food for all the volunteers and those in the bands. I did see one man who was over heated and gave him cold bottle water.
There was security there as required by the City of Oakdale, very friendly people, and a whole lot of fun and compassion. Everyone mixing and mingling having fun and talking to the people beside them as they sat between bands that were entertaining everyone.
One of my friends sang the opening song acapella Liz Pollard Seagren. A beautiful, powerful singer.
Every year they have the Vetsfest at Richard Walton Park in Oakdale, Minnesota. I am very grateful to the City of Oakdale, Minnesota allows the Vetsfest to be there.
Thank you to everyone who puts this together year after year. I’m not sure how many years they have been this, but I hear they have started plans for next years event. Come join them! Have fun and help fundraise for the vets at the same time.
You can click on the link below to find out more information for next year’s event and to help fund it if you wish. Or maybe be a volunteer.
Vets for Music