Organizers of two very different events are working collaboratively in Tombstone on June 28 and 29, bringing the town an intriguing mix of World War II fighter pilots along with a lineup of conservative celebrities.
The 11th annual Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers and third annual Freedom Days promise to fill the town with meet and greet opportunities, informational displays, panel discussions, a June 29 parade and the town’s typical lineup of street entertainment.
“We’ve combined these events for the past few years now, and they work well together, even though they are very different,” said Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers organizer Bill Pakinkis. “Tombstone Wild West productions, a nonprofit organization, and the Buffalo Soldiers of America, Inc. are sponsoring the Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers, while Tombstone Lions Club is the Freedom Days sponsor.”
“Both events will be represented with honorees when the parade moves down historic Allen Street at 11 a.m. on June 29,” Pakinkis said. “We are honored to have Tuskegee airmen as parade grand marshals for the Buffalo Soldier side of this event.”
Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers
Two Tuskegee airmen as well as the son of a Tuskegee airman will be honored during the Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers parade. The honorees are Lt. Col. Asa Herring and Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” Ashby, along with Lt. Col Nathaniel “Nate” L. Carr, who representing his father, Col. Nathiel Carr, Sr.
“The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American military pilots who went through pilot training in Tuskegee, Alabama during World War II,” Pakinkis said.
“These men come with amazing stories. We’re fortunate to have them in Tombstone on June 29 for our annual Salute.”
The Buffalo Soldier tribute will feature a traveling museum and historic uniform static display at Schieffelin Hall, located at Fremont and Fourth streets on June 28 and 29. The display, which will also contain items from the museum on Fort Huachuca, is free and open to the public.
While subject to change, organizers are planning a meet and greet with the historic Tuskegee pilots, giving attendees opportunities to ask them questions about their service. The meet and greet is also at Schieffelin Hall, starting at 2 p.m.
Also as part of the Salute, Buffalo Soldier organization will have informational booths set up along Allen Street.
For information about the Salute, contact Pakinkis at 520-266-5266.
Baseball great Curt Schilling, actress Morgan Brittany, AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News and Mark Walters of Armed America Radio will be in Tombstone for the town’s third annual Freedom Days, billed as a celebration of the Second Amendment.
“In 2017 Tombstone was proclaimed as a Second Amendment City, the first in this country, which served as the start of our Freedom Days celebration,” said Gordon Anderson, one of the event organizers. “Freedom Days is sponsored by the Tombstone Lions Club and our past two celebrations have drawn good-sized crowds to Tombstone.”
The event lineup starts June 28 with a celebrity mixer at the Oriental Saloon from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door.
On June 29, Schilling will be a parade grand marshal on the Freedom Days side of the celebration.
“Following the parade, Curt Schilling and Brittany Morgan will be presented with keys to the City by Mayor Dusty Escapule,” Anderson said. “The presentation will be happening along Allen Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets. “Also on Saturday (June 29) Morgan Brittany and her husband Jack Gill, who is a famous movie stuntman, will be signing autographs at the Crystal Palace Saloon from 1 to 4 p.m.”
The event grand finale is a “red-hot” celebrity panel discussion at Schieffelin Hall June 29. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 with Lance Husley as Patrick Henry. The panel discussion, which starts at 7 p.m. will focus on the Second Amendment and could roll into other current events, depending on the time, Anderson said.
“There are a lot of people who follow Curt Schilling. Along with his status as a top athlete — six-time major league baseball all-star, three-time World Series Champion, including MVP of the 2001 World Series, and his recognition as Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine — he is an outspoken conservative. We have a great lineup for our panel discussion.”
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased by calling 520-226-5024. Proceeds benefit the Tombstone Lions Club.