The Board of County Commissioners voted Thursday to commit $15,000 in county funds to a new event planned for May that aims to annually celebrate and honor Carroll County’s veterans, active military and their families.
The Carroll County Veterans Celebration is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m., May 15, at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster. All county residents are invited to attend the free celebration.
Commissioner President Ed Rothstein, a District 5 Republican, said about 7,000 veterans between the ages of 30 and 65 have been identified as living in Carroll County. Mailers will be sent to the veterans to let them know about the event, he added.
Commissioner Richard Weaver, a District 2 Republican, is leading planning efforts. He originally expected about 2,000 people to attend, but now anticipates closer to 4,000 guests, and asked his fellow commissioners to commit funds toward the celebration.
“As we’re gaining momentum … I think we’re going to have to get some funding from the county to start moving,” Weaver said. “I’m going to ask for $15,000 to fund this. … We are a model for the state and even nationally for what we do for our veterans.”
Commissioners voted 4-1 to authorize the use of up to $15,000 in county funds to cover some expenses for the event. Staff could not specify where the funds would be taken from in the county budget.
Commissioner Eric Bouchat, a Republican representing District 4, dissented. During discussion, Bouchat asked for clarification on how the $15,000 would be spent.
Weaver said it would be used to pay for the stage, tents and canopies and other expenses.
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“I’d feel much more comfortable allocating resources with some sort of budgetary structure,” Bouchat said.
Carroll County commissioners, along with the Carroll County Veterans Advisory Council, are planning the event for May because it is nationally recognized as Military Appreciation Month. The celebration is an opportunity for the community to thank veterans and their families for their service to the country, according to a news release from county government.
This year will be the first gathering and the county plans to host the celebration annually, growing the activities and attendance each year.
The event will feature entertainment, children’s amusements, a military exhibit, a resource fair and other vendors and food. The Six String Soldiers from the United States Army Field Band and the band Midnight Run will entertain guests.
For more information about the inaugural Carroll County Veterans Celebration, contact the Department of Citizen Services at 410-386-3600. For venue-related information, contact the Farm Museum at 800-654-4645.