Saratoga County will offer a free military band concert to honor veterans on Labor Day, the first time it has held such a concert in five years.
“It’s one of those events the county does where if it doesn’t happen, people ask,” said Supervisor Phil Barrett, R-Clifton Park, chairman of the county Veterans Committee.
Barrett announced Monday that the Naval Northeast Band from Newport, Rhode Island, will perform at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, which is Labor Day, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
The show is free, though those attending will be asked to obtain tickets in advance.
The county offered free annual military concerts at SPAC for several years, but hasn’t held the show since 2011, when the $50,000 expense was cut from the county budget during a financial belt-tightening.
The 2016 county budget includes $35,000 to re-establish the concert, but details about what band would perform and when weren’t known until Monday.
The Naval Northeast Band includes a traditional ceremonial military band and a soft-rock band called the Rhode Island Sound. Each plays during the concert, and then they perform together in the finale.
“You’re looking at pleasing a majority of the generations with this event,” said Frank McClements, the county’s director of veterans’ services, who met with the Veterans Committee in Ballston Spa.
About 5,000 people are expected to attend.
In addition to providing free entertainment intended to honor veterans, the county uses the event to promote its veterans’ programs, including a peer-to-peer program that helps veterans readjust after their discharges.
Barrett said tickets are required even though the event is free it order to keep the event organized and to get an approximate count of those attending.
Details on how tickets will be handed out this year have not been set.
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.