Events set to honor veterans downtown

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Veterans Day may still be a week away, but some folks have already started honoring our veterans and those who serve with events taking place in downtown Wilmington.

The weekend of events kicked off tonight with a World War II-style swing dance that took place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hannah S. Block Historic Community Arts Center.

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World War II Veteran Harold Garrish has become an avid dancer during the past couple of years.

“It’s nice to think that people can remember veterans,” said Garrish. “I don’t think we deserve any special acclamation. We had to do something and we did it. Myself and millions of others. We just did our work. What we had to do.”

“Swing dancing is a resurgence of our history,” added Babs McCullen Welker. “When we actually swing dance we’re celebrating our history and our heritage because swing dancing belongs to the United States of America.”

Veterans Day events in Wilmington co-sponsored by AARP will continue this Saturday, November 7. The Bandit Flight Team will be flying vintage Military aircraft at the Bailey Theater Park from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Boy Scouts will also be at Bailey Theater Park on Saturday to help retire worn American flags and give out new ones. Bands performing at the park on Saturday include Motown Legacy Revue, North Tower, Rhythm and Grits and Chris Pendergast.

On Sunday, November 8, a free movie marathon will take place from noon until 9:30 p.m. at the historic Thalian Center for the Performing Arts. ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Good Morning Vietnam,’ ‘Black Hawk Down,’ and ‘American Sniper,’ are among the films set to be screened. Although the event is free, you can reserve seats here.  AARP will also be collecting donations for the Battleship North Carolina Restoration Fund at the movie marathon on November 8.