The Mesquite Airport was the place to be after the Veterans Parade. It was “all hands on deck” as Airport Manager Larry Lemieux and his merry M*A*S*H* group staged a grand event in the new hangar just inside the airport gate.

The spacious hangar was barely big enough to accommodate the two live bands, non-profit booths, and lots of townspeople who came for the Elks hotdogs and stayed for the music, fun, and beautiful autumn day. It was business as usual for private planes landing and taking off on the runway near the party.

Vintage rock band, Dealt-A-Straight, led off the party with some 50s and 60s classics from their deep repertoire.  While some of the crowd perused the lineup of T-birds, Corvettes and other automotive favorites parked on the tarmac, others gathered around the Elks lunch line to grab a hotdog and sides. A beautiful pyramid of festive cupcakes, baked and decorated by Kathy Bussman, was a huge hit with all who saved room for a tiny swirl of patriotic pastry.

WWII and Korean War-era costumes were the order of the day for the Mesquite Showgirls who circulated among the partiers to gather donations and sell raffle tickets. Wallets opened freely to support the Veterans Center and give back to those who stepped up to serve their country. Uncle Sam, known as Bob Barquist to his friends, worked the room, settling in with some of his veteran buddies who were selling military insignia gifts and shirts.

Dry Heat Jazz Band took the stage as Dealt-A-Straight took their break.  Familiar faces in the ensemble include lead musicians of the Southern Nevada Symphony who just get together to make music on their days off. Their next symphony concert will be Nov. 9.

As recreational skydivers drifting down out of the clear blue Nevada sky, Dry Heat played their medley of military salutes to Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. It was a beautiful day to be alive in Mesquite.

Hats off to all of our Vets.  We thank you for your service.  And a special salute to the Hangar Dance organizers who bring us together to celebrate, enjoy the day with old friends and make new ones, all for a worthy cause.