SOMERVILLE, NJ, - The Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 will wrap the town in red, white and blue for a patriotic celebration of Flag Day Saturday, June 11.
Everyone is invited to celebrate the American Flag, from 11:30 a.m-4 p.m. during the third annual Flag Day Festival.
Mayor Brian Gallagher and Somerset County Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh and members of the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 will be among the speakers to kick off the festival with AT&T volunteers at noon.
The program will include a re-enactment of the historic photograph of Marines raising the American Flag on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.
The Somerville Elks will also conduct a special “Flag Day” flag ceremony, normally performed within its lodge, to commemorate the birth of the American Flag and remind attendees of the importance of honoring the American Flag as a symbol of our freedoms.
John Dorell, a resident of Somerset County and founder of Operation Jersey Cares, a nonprofit dedicated to helping our troops overseas and those who have returned home, will also be honored with the Flag Day Festival “Defender of Freedom” Award, presented by AT&T.
J. Michael Schweder, MidAtlantic president AT&T said. “We hope the public comes out in force to enjoy all of the ‘red, white and blue’ festivities, learn some interesting facts about the American flag and support our brave service men and women at home and abroad.”
AT&T New Jersey Pioneers will be on hand to teach attendees the proper way to fold the American Flag. The pocket-sized American flags will be mailed to U.S. troops.
The Pioneers are also collecting used cell phones from the public that will be donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers. The organization uses the proceeds from recycled cell phones to buy long-distance calling cards for military stationed overseas and home so they can connect with their loved ones.
AT&T Pioneers are employees and retirees who volunteer and give back to their local communities.
Worn flags will be collected for proper retirement by the American Legion.
The public is encouraged to bring instant oatmeal, canned tuna or chicken, granola bars, beef jerky, trail mix, or everyday items including razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo to send to the troops overseas.
Veterans and service members in attendance will receive a free ice cream from the ice cream vendor.
The event is free to the public and will feature live music including a performance from Lauren Bonnell, a 19-year old singer and songwriter who has nearly 20 million YouTube views.
Children will be entertained by a bouncy house and carnival games, and are encouraged to complete in a scavenger hunt on the grounds for prizes.
Revolutionary war re-enactors will bring alive local history. Historic military vehicles and muskets and cool SWAT vehicles will also be on display and attendees will also see a drill with New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Heard’s Brigade.
Further information is available online at www.FlagDayFestival.org.