THINGS TO DO IN DELAWARE
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Mummer and Veteran Groups Headline 4th Annual Vet Fest at Town of Whitehal
Veteran group 22in22 announces its 4th outdoor music festival, Vet Fest, to honor Delaware’s veteran and active duty military, while drawing a focus on the epidemic of soldier suicides. This event, organized by Delaware’s 22in22 initiative, will be held on September 28th from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm in the Town of Whitehall’s Mapleton Square, 801 Mapleton Avenue, Town of Whitehall, DE 19709. The day will include a motorcycle rally beginning at Minquadale Station 22 (in keeping with the 22in22 theme) departing at 9:00 am and arriving at Whitehall at 9:30 am. At 10:00 am, community members will begin the second annual 5K Run and 10K Ruck, along the C&D Canal. Runners are expected to wear military branch colors and will be carrying the names of friends and family who have been killed as a result of military service. After the run and ruck come in, a parade will quickly become the center of activity. Delaware’s Gold Star Families are this year’s Grand Marshalls and the Fralenger String Band of Philadelphia fame is the featured act. The parade lineup includes community group the Imagination Players, the First State Military Drill Team and the Delaware Military Academy Marching Band. Boy Scout Troop 301 will be presenting the Honor and Remember Flag in the parade that also features approximately 15 WWII veterans. All veterans in attendance are encouraged to march in the parade. At 12:30, following the parade, the music festival begins, featuring Philadelphia R & B sensation, Patrice and The Show.
22in22 was started in 2015 by Jacob DiSabatino while he was a junior at St. Mark’s High School as a way to draw awareness to the epidemic of soldier suicides. According to 22in22, approximately 120,000 have died at their own hand since September 11th while less than 7,000 have died from enemy fire. DiSabatino, now a senior at The Citadel, chose the organization Stop Soldier Suicide as his partner and together they have been able to raise $50,000 in Delaware and $100,000 nationally. The initiative asks participants to create an activity for 22 straight days, to raise awareness about the epidemic via the #22adayis22toomany hash tag, and collect funds. Participants run, walk, do yoga, pray, lift weights, or walk dogs. Delaware Technical and Community College joined the cause in 2015 and has all three campuses participating annually. Supporters are also creating campaigns on Facebook, supporting non-profit Stop Soldier Suicide.
Vet Fest organizers suggest that people arrive prior to 9:00 AM if they’d like to see the motorcycle procession arrive. The 5K and ruck begins at 10:00, parade at 11:00 and music kicks off at 12:30. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand. Suggested donations of $5 - $25 are requested for admission. This is a rain or shine event.
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