Organizers are ready and waiting for next week’s Medal of Honor celebrations around Gainesville.
The persistence of COVID-19 doesn’t appear to have dampened preparation or anticipation for this year’s event.
“We’ve had a couple of recipients drop out, so we're not not going to have as big a crowd as we thought … that's not that drastic; those are just things we have to deal with every year,” Moore said Thursday.
Moore said all of the events have sold out and there are more than enough volunteers to help out around town. All that’s left to do now is wait for the medal recipients’ arrival at North Central Texas College on West California Street late Wednesday afternoon.
Since 2001, the Medal of Honor Host City Program has hosted 56 Medal of Honor recipients who have inspired our community with their messages of patriotism, sacrifice, courage and life values. Several have RSVP’d for this year’s event, despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s schedule:
Wednesday, Sept. 22 – Recipient arrival at North Central Texas College in Gainesville;
Thursday, Sept. 23 – School visits, Visit Medal of Honor Park, Patriot Dinner (sold out);
Friday, Sept. 24 – Tree planting, the Medal of Honor Banquet (sold out);
Saturday, Sept. 25 – Medal of Honor Parade in downtown Gainesville (10-11 a.m.), MOH Fest with live music at the Farmers Market (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) following the Parade and a book signing at Civic Center (1-3 p.m.).
The annual trek of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from Dallas-Ft Worth Airport to Medal of Honor Weekend in Gainesville is set for Wednesday. Current estimates project the procession to stretch two miles long, with well over 50 vehicles between 4-5 p.m.
That will mean rush hour traffic delays between Dallas and Gainesville, as drivers are expected to pull over and make way for the motorcade. It will exit the interstate at FM 1306 and loop behind Gainesville High School on its way to the college.
“It will go behind the high school right up to the college,” Moore confirmed. “So anybody who wants to stand on the roadways, the wave banners or flags, you know, they just need to know that route.”
Car show Sept. 25 at First Christian
First Christian Church, 402 N. Dixon St. in Gainesville, will host the Second Chance Car Show Sept. 25 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The event, staged around the city’s Medal of Honor parade, will benefit Abigail’s Arms.
Registration for entry into the show will begin at 9 a.m. for a fee of $20 per entry. Judging will be at noon. Cars of all types are welcome and will be displayed around the entire block of 400 North Dixon Street in Gainesville. Hot dogs, cold drinks and other concessions will be available in the Christian Life Center.
To get more information, visit medalofhonorhostcity.com. Check Tuesday’s Register for a special section highlighting the guests expected this year.
Editor's note: The print edition of this story incorrectly identified Gainesville Mayor Tommy Moore. We regret the error.