Ask people what they associate with Lincoln City and there’s a fair chance that kites will spring to mind. A seemingly endless supply of wind combined with stunning ocean vistas draws kiters from far and wide to take part in two annual kite festivals, not to mention the day-to-day flying by locals.
But, once each year, kites give way to flags as Lincoln City’s canvas of choice when the Field of Honor springs up just north of Chinook Winds Casino Resort. This inspiring display of 1,000 US flags forms the centerpiece of the Celebration of Honor, a four-day event that marks the sacrifices made by military veterans, active-duty personnel and their families.
From Wednesday, Sept. 18, through Saturday, Sept. 21, the Field of Honor will be open to the public, with visitors invited to stroll through the sea of red, white and blue in silent reflection.
Alongside the flag display, the Celebration of Honor will feature the Oregon KIA Memorial Wall and the Wall of Honor, memorializing service members killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Visitors to the event will also be able to view a Living Military History weapons display and a military uniform display in the convention center, as well as a Veterans Services information tent for veterans and their families.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, veterans and active-duty personnel can eat for free during open hours at the Siletz Bay Buffet, with one free voucher per person upon presentation of proof of military service (DD-214 or other Military ID) at the Winners Circle.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, serving military personnel and veterans can get up to two tickets for Comedy on the Coast, featuring sets from navy veterans Mike James and Steve Mazan and marine veteran James P. Connolly. Free tickets are available upon presentation of proof of military service.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10 am, there will be a presentation ceremony for the Oregon Veterans Medal, a custom-designed medal that signifies Oregon’s appreciation for the service and sacrifice of veterans. To qualify for this medal, veterans must complete an application form in advance with proof of military service attached. Forms are available at the Veteran Services Tent, starting at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Closing ceremonies are on Saturday at 5 pm in front of the casino at the Desert Storm Memorial, featuring the Siletz Honor Guard and Bear Spirit Drum Group as well as former Department of Veteran Affairs Director Jim Willis as master of ceremonies.
Throughout Celebration of Honor weekend, a casual stroll on the beach could provide a hidden treasure in the form of a red, white or blue glass float that was carefully placed by the stealthy Float Fairies of the Finders Keepers program.