Craig Ranch Regional Park is set to host its largest event since it opened in October.
The inaugural Nellis, Creech and Military Veterans Appreciation Day is set from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17 at the park, 628 W. Craig Road.
“For this event we shall honor those still serving, those who have served, those who have fallen, wounded warriors, their spouses and most of all, the children of all who have served,” said Tony Munoz, entertainment coordinator.
A free barbecue lunch will be provided for all current and past military members and their families with a valid military identification or veteran’s card.
In addition, a food truck village will be set up for the public.
In order to create the event, Cherchio created the Armed Forces and Military Veterans Appreciation Inc. nonprofit organization for people to sponsor and contribute to the event and other future military affairs.
“To categorize it as a party in the park doesn’t do it justice,” said Richard Cherchio, event committee chair. “This is a stage production for our military to say thank you.”
Family-friendly games, such as tug of war and gunny sack races, will be scheduled throughout the day for military families.
A mobile memorial wall titled the Mid-East Memorial Wall will be on display with the names of 79 native Nevadans killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11.
Entertainment is open to the public and will consist of Planet Hollywood’s Beatles show and other USO theme acts, Cherchio said.
North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee said he remembers when the event was held at Nellis Air Force Base years ago.
“Both former and active military members are a huge part of our neighborhood,” Lee said. “Now that we have a beautiful park at (Craig Ranch), we wanted to thank and recognize them with this event. We hope to make this an annual occurrence.”
A Bob Hope impersonator will be the master of ceremonies. Special appearances also are to include impersonators of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.
The public is encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the shows.
Cherchio said he expects between 5,000 and 10,000 people at the event. In order to accommodate visitors, additional parking is planned.
Volunteers are needed to assist in serving meals and beverages, helping with activities, traffic control, and trash among other duties.
Those who wish to volunteer or participate in the free military lunch are asked to register online at nlvevents4military.org.
“This is our way of saying thank you to our military members,” Cherchio said. “We can never really thank them for all their sacrifices they and their families have made, but this is a start.”
Contact North View reporter Sandy Lopez at email@example.com or 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.