VFW Loyalty Days coming to Spring Valley

A Civil War re-enactment, a grand parade and a public social gathering at the newly-renovated VFW Hall will be part of Loyalty Days in Spring Valley May 3 to 5, hosted by Spring Valley’s Hanson-Raabe VFW Post 4114.

  Loyalty Days, which changes locations each year, will be held in Spring Valley this year in honor of current Minnesota VFW First District Commander Nathan Pike, who resides in Spring Valley. First District members will conduct meetings and elect and install new officers during the event.

  Loyalty Day officially began in 1958 as a day of celebration and loyalty to the nation in response to anti-American rallies conducted by communists. Loyalty Day is held every year in the community where the Minnesota VFW First District commander resides.

  The Minnesota Boys of ’61 group was invited by the VFW for the weekend to teach community members about the American Civil War. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to honoring Minnesota’s role in the Civil War with a vision of establishing a memorial honoring those who defended the Union and the State of Minnesota during the years of 1861 to 1866.

  Re-enactors will begin showing up Saturday with infantry units, three cannons with crew, civilians dressed in period-correct clothing, and President Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd.

  The re-enactors will practice battle drill movements, fire musket volleys and cannons, and bivouac Saturday evening in Spring Creek Park. They will also cook supper and breakfast while in camp set up at the park. Area residents are encouraged to walk around to experience Civil War camp life and to talk with the re-enactors.

  The culminating event for Loyalty Days will be a grand parade at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The parade will include the Civil War re-enactors, civilians of the time, First Lady and President Lincoln, multiple VFW and American Legion posts, high school marching bands, Shriners groups, and many local businesses.

After the parade, the newly-renovated VFW Hall will be open to the public for a social gathering. Members of the community and surrounding area are invited to attend activities throughout Saturday and watch the parade during this patriotic Loyalty Days celebration.