Dave Maxwell/MCIN file photo
Hawthorne’s Big Flag makes its way down Main Street with the help of locals during last year’s Armed Forces Day parade.

The weather for the upcoming 71st Armed Forces Day weekend-long festival is supposed to be beautiful and there are more than two dozen events scheduled to celebrate “America’s Patriotic Home” in Mineral County’s biggest party of the year. Between the sporting events, live entertainment, Always Lost exhibit, pub crawls, bounce houses, and signature El Capitan fireworks and parade, there will always be something going on in town this weekend. Here’s what you can expect:

Remembering and Celebrating Our Military

All weekend long, the heart-wrenching Always Lost: A Meditation on War exhibit is available to view at the VFW Post 2313 on A Street. On Friday and Saturday, check out the Freedom Pull Nevada State Amateur Arm-wrestling contests at Barley’s (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Joe’s Tavern (Saturday at 2 p.m). Don’t miss the fireworks show on Friday evening that are fired off from the roof of El Capitan and help carry the Big Flag down Main Street at the end of Saturday’s parade starting at noon. There’s also the inaugural Warriors of Golf charity tournament happening at Walker Lake Golf Course on Friday and the traditional Elks Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Elks Lodge on 5th and F streets.

Kids Events

Mud volleyball is back for the 2022 AFD Celebration and taking place at the VFW Post on Friday and Saturday with games starting at 10am (must be at least 13 years old to participate). Ten bounce houses are also set up on the Mineral County High School Football Field for the younger kids, open on Friday and Saturday afternoons, weather permitting. Friday morning, the Renegades are having a Kids Kite Flying Adventure where any kid who wants to fly a kite can do it on Armory Road next to Lions Park starting at 10 a.m.

Live Entertainment

El Capitan will have stages set up inside its casino and outside on Main Street playing music every day through Saturday this week while Joe’s Tavern is hosting bands Dock 6 on Friday night and Nita & the Pipe Smokin’ Charlies on Saturday after the arm-wrestling matches. Kindred Souls will be playing at Barley’s Saturday evening starting at 9 p.m. On Thursday evening, adults 21 and over can join in a Patriotic Pub Crawl starting at either Barley’s Sports Bar, Joe’s Tavern, El Capitan, Gil’s Place, the American Legion hall, or the VFW that begins at 5 p.m. Shortly after the pub crawl kicks off, Barley’s is hosting a horseshoe tournament (with $500 in prize money!) and a disc golf putting contest. At noon on Friday, check out the Nevada State Chili cook-off at Barley’s and then go over to Joe’s Tavern for a cornhole tournament starting at 4 p.m. An alumni mushball game will be happening at Tiny Cardenas Memorial Field at 5 p.m.

Before and after the parade on Saturday, check out the hot rods, rat rods, ATVs and more at Ferrell’s Automotive, and then try your pedaling skills out in the trike races at Joe’s Tavern at 7 p.m.

Art Events

Check out the 61st Annual Walker Lake High Desert Juried Art Show at Souled Out Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and head over to the new Bizarre 101 art gallery in Walker Lake to see the winning entries of the 2022 AFD Coloring Contest. Friday evening around dusk, Hawthorne’s own Diego Pittman will be performing traditional Native American hoop and fire dances on 5th Street between E and F streets.