Veterans Day (Photo by Sydney Rae at Unsplash.com)

Veterans Day celebrations in Springfield and the Ozarks feature discounts, ceremonies, free food and an axe throwing!

Local businesses, schools and municipalities are showing appreciation for local veterans over the course of a few days, with the main lineup of events taking place on Friday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day. 

Missouri State University events

MSU is putting on their annual Taps Project to honor veterans on Friday, Nov. 11. While the main ceremony will take place outside McDonald Arena, the sound of trumpets will be heard across campus. 

At 10:55 a.m., “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be performed, and at 11:11 a.m., “Taps” will begin. It will feature Missouri State trumpeters from the Department of Military Science and the Bear Battalion.

“Taps” will be preceded by a complimentary breakfast in the Plaster Student Union Ballroom, and will feature music from the 135th Army Band, Windfall and the MSU BearTones, with a color guard performance. Prior registration is encouraged, but not required to attend the breakfast, especially for large groups. The Taps Project will be open to anyone, without any registration process.

Guests can park in Lots 14 (1144 Bear Blvd.) and 29 (1145 Bear Blvd.), where transportation to and from the Plaster Student Union will be provided from 8 a.m. until the conclusion of “Taps.”

At noon on the same day, an Alumni Open House will be held on the southeast corner of Fruedenberger House, 1000 E. Madison Ave. Guests are invited to “speak with cadre, cadets or other alumni, to enjoy a trip down memory lane with the history of the Bear Battalion throughout the hallways.”

Additionally, on Saturday, veterans and current military personnel are invited to the “BearFest Village Tailgate” at the Veteran Student Center tent for free food and beverages before the game, beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 12. Following the tailgate, the MSU Bears football team will take on the Youngstown State Penguins at 2 p.m. Those interested can contact Veteranservices@missouristate.edu for more information. 

More events in the Springfield area

On Friday, Cafe B-29 in Ozark, 1751 W. State Hwy J, is hosting their annual Veterans Day Mess Hall Breakfast buffet from 7 to 10 a.m. It is free to all veterans, who can each bring one guest. The breakfast is in collaboration with staff from Access Hospice Care and Springfield Grocer Co.

“Come out for this wonderful morning of great food, music and friends and to honor our local Veterans,” Cafe B-29 said on Facebook

From 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Evangel Temple Church, 2020 E. Battlefield Rd, is hosting a reception for veterans to honor all who have served. Springfield Mayor Ken McClure will be present, along with a Humvee and memorabilia for attendees to view. 

On Saturday, Nixa Parks and Recreation will be putting on a Veterans Day Ceremony at The X Center, 701 N. Taylor Way in Nixa at 9 a.m. Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

Other free and discounted activities for local veterans

On Friday, Craft Axe Throwing, 431 S. Jefferson St., Suite 132A, is offering active duty military and veterans to throw axes in their facility for free. Normally $23 a person per hour, current and former military personnel can play free for one day. They are open from Noon to 11 p.m.

Through Nov. 13, Wonders of Wildlife is offering veterans, with up to three guests, 50 percent off single day tickets, which includes access to the museum and aquarium. Normally priced at $40.50, veterans have the opportunity to see Springfield’s popular and award-winning attraction at a discounted price. Wonders of Wildlife, 500 W. Sunshine St., has varying hours between now and the conclusion of the Veterans Day deal; they are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.  

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American flag. (Photo by Shannon Cay Bowers)

This Friday, both Springfield Hy-Vee locations are offering free dine-in breakfast for veterans, and 15 percent off grocery store purchases for the entire day. With locations at 2150 E. Sunshine St. and 1720 W. Battlefield Rd., both stores close at 11 p.m.

Military.com offers a list of chain restaurants and stores that offer discounts on Veterans Day, although they encourage readers to check with each franchise to confirm their location if participating. 

Also the Missouri Veterans Commission provided a list of other events going in both in Springfield and other parts of the state. Look on Facebook and Google for events honoring active duty military and veterans this Friday in your area.

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the business and economic development reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and elections for the Citizen. Before that, he worked at documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and Missouri State University’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at jmcgee@sgfcitizen.org or (417) 719-5129. More by Jack McGee