The Clovis Veterans District hosted a holiday event on Sunday afternoon filled with Christmas music and Santa.
The ‘Here Comes Santa’ event included a concert program by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Sounds of Freedom. 36 band members took the stage with a variety of instruments like the flute, trombone, tuba, and saxophone.
Monte Gmur conducted the orchestra of musicians to some holiday classics like O Holy Night, Sleigh Ride, Midnight in Bethlehem, and The Polar Express.
California State University, Fresno graduate, Valerie Salcedo was the vocalist of the concert and mesmerized the crowd with her powerful voice as she took the audience through a winter wonderland of songs.
Lorenzo Rios, who is the CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, was the Emcee of the evening.
Rios gave special recognition throughout the afternoon to the men and women who have served our nation and recognized the families and widows in attendance.
“For the young that stand in here today, if you are wondering what heroes look like, look around,” said Rios, “Hero’s do not do this themselves, they do it with the great love and support from their family.”
Rios joined the Marine Corps and later the Army where he completed a 23 year military career. He is heavily involved in the community through the local school districts, service organizations and Veterans organizations.
Members of the crowd were filled with Veteran families eager to get into the holiday spirit and of course, meet Santa. Immediately following the Christmas concert, Santa and Mrs. Clause were waiting for photos and to hear if some children have been naughty or nice this year.
“This year I want a puppy and a pink bike,” said 6 year old Marina Campbell. Campbell has never met Santa and Mrs. Clause until that day. “I am not nervous, but only if my brother comes with me.”
The Clovis Veterans Memorial District will be hosting a Winter Wonderland Holiday dance on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. to continue the holiday spirit. The Central Valley Big Band will be there to make sure fun is had by all.
The Clovis Veterans Memorial District requests canned food donations as well as a toy for the Toys for Tots toy drive.