Honoring Our Vets

New Castle’s ‘Spring Fling’
has something special for vets

Main Street Program hopes to have
more than 10 WWII vets

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (June 2013) – When New Castle Main Street Manager Jeff Thoke realized that out of the 16 million veterans who participated in World War II, only about 1.5 million are still living, he knew something had to be done quickly to honor them.
“We wanted to do something special for our local World War II vets,” said Thoke. The result is to honor them in the upcoming 31st annual New Castle Spring Fling event to be held on Saturday, June 8, in New Castle.


Photo provided

World War II vets from
Henry County and surrounding counties include (from left) William Pollard, Sonny Fisher, Pete Raymer, Woodrow Payton, Herman Stanley and Herbert Williams.

“Generally, this event has been a small festival. We wanted to basically do something for the World War II veterans,” he said. The date played a part in the decision since the anniversary of D-Day is June 6, two days before the Spring Fling.
Statistics show that the United States loses 800-1,000 World War II veterans every day. Within five years, most of the “Greatest Generation” will be gone. “Three of our World War II veterans passed away last week,” Thoke said.
The lineup for the day includes a parade at 11 a.m., in which World War II veterans will ride and be honored. At noon they will eat lunch, followed by a meet-and-greet session from 1-2 p.m. at the Heritage Building located at 137 S. Main St.
Many of the veterans have never done a meet-and-greet before, Thoke said. “They have great stories to tell. They are living history.”
More than 10 World War II veterans from Henry, Trimble, Oldham and Shelby counties will be present, depending on their health. They vary in ages from 87 to 96 and include  one who landed on D-Day (age 95), one who fought on Iwo Jima (age 87), one who enlisted at 15 and met the Russians at the Elbe River in Germany (age 87), one who flew C-47s over the “Hump” (age 91), and another who earned a Bronze Star by knocking out three German tanks from his tank (age 91).
The tentative list of participating vets includes William Pollard, 95, Sonny Fisher, 86, Pete Raymer, 91, Woodrow Payton, 91, Herman Stanley 91, and Herbert Williams, 91.
“Many of these men are low key,” said Thoke. “They don’t want to be honored.”
Other activities for the New Castle Spring Fling will be held around the Courthouse Square and include arts and crafts, flea and farmer’s markets, city-wide yard sales, exhibits, live bands, games, and car, truck and motorcycles shows.
Registration for a 5K Run and Walk at Henry County High School will begin at 7 a.m. The Run and Walk will begin at 8 a.m.
A Pancake Breakfast will be held from 7:30-11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church. The Farmer’s Market opens at 8 a.m. The parade leaves Henry County High school at 11 a.m. The Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild will hold an art show in the Locker from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
From noon to 1 p.m., New Journey & Kentucky Girls will perform, followed by Six Guns Entertainment. At 1:30 the County Kickers line dancers will perform in front the Courthouse. A Car-Truck-Motorcycle Show will take place from 2-6 p.m.
Musical group Racehorse Charlie will perform from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and Six Guns Entertainment will return for a performance at 3 p.m. From 5-6 p.m., the Hardwood Stompers will perform their clogging skills. Street Dance, featuring Untamed Country, will kick off at 6 p.m. and run until 10 p.m.

• For more formation contact Jeff Thoke at (502) 645-5421.

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