On a cold, brisk evening, a crowd of folks came out to hear some wonderful music, enjoy some free food and honor veterans at the city’s first-ever Salute to Service event. 

The Baytown Parks and Recreation Department hosted the event, which was held at Town Square on Texas Avenue. It featured free hot dogs and popcorn, lawn games, and a free live performance by the Space City Big Band. 

The veterans in attendance felt it was a wondrous gesture on the part of the city to hold this event. 

“I think this is great to do for service

members,” said Rolando Valdez, a U.S. Army veteran. “I think the City of Baytown has embraced the individuals that served in the armed forces with admiration.”

Valdez, like other audience members, was pleased with the music selection by the 

Space City Big Band, which performed classic tunes such as Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Henry Mancini’s “Moon River,” and Glenn Miller’s popular “In the Mood.” 

“The music is great,” Valdez said. “I’d like to see something like this in the future. It is a good thing. We are very appreciative of the City of Baytown for doing this.”

David Weber agreed the event  was perfect for veterans and their families.  

“It is nice for the city to salute the veterans. I appreciate it,” Weber said. “They did a great job of creating the right atmosphere with the orchestra being out here. It is enjoyable. Most veterans these days are older, and this is the perfect type of music and, it is just showing respect for the military. Without the men and women that are serving, we wouldn’t be able to do this. We wouldn’t be free.”

Although the parks department partners with the VFW Post 912 to host a Veterans Day service in Bicentennial Park each year, this event was created to be a family-friendly way to celebrate service members. 

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